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Monday, May 08, 2017

Why ESPN Hemorrhaging Money Will Impact The Next Wave Of National TV Deals

Overall, the landscape is seeing a shift with subs dropping from pay-TV. Whether there is a shift in providing skinny bundles or somehow channels being offered ala carte, fees through traditional pay-TV subscribers will likely continue to drop. Disney has made a substantial investment in BAM Tech, the MLB Advanced Media spin-off to provide ESPN an over-the-top (OTT) service platform that can grow, but there is bound to be a period of flux between the pay-TV model and getting to cord-cutters or no-corders that presents a revenue drop before transitions to monetizing just those that have no interest at all in pay-TV.

Right now, the model is pay-TV and premium live sports content to digital are attached at the hip. Yes, you can watch streaming to digital devices, but you’re forced to authenticate by showing that you have a pay-TV subscription. This has left those that have cut the cord with an inability to access the content, and as the MoffettNathenson numbers show, there is an increasing number of subscribers that are willing to walk away from live content if not available through streaming services. This audience can get some live streamed content through deals such as Twitter or Facebook, but it is not expansive, and there is limited programming to bookend live content.

So, unless ESPN gets the ship righted, they could potentially walk away from some content, or at the very least, not be able to be aggressive in bidding, which could allow others to move in and grab content out from underneath them.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 08, 2017 at 11:46 AM | 52 comment(s)
  Beats: cable, espn, television rights

Thursday, May 04, 2017

The Unplugged Effect: How cord-cutting could become baseball’s next huge crisis

The biggest disruptor of that perfect storm is technology. As Zimbalist noted, sports fans have so many ways to watch games now; that strips control away from cable networks, and makes it tougher for those network to pass rights fees onto customers. Meanwhile, consumers also have exponentially more entertainment platforms to choose from, sports-related or otherwise. That means fewer people are likely to watch games live—doubly so for younger generations lured away by Twitch and other exploding platforms. Rising numbers for newer sports like eSports and mixed martial arts have also pulled viewers away from traditional big-three viewing.

Even if those worrying trends continue, it could take several years before we see the full negative effects. The NBA’s deal with ESPN and Turner Sports runs through 2025. The NFL’s deals with FOX, NBC, and CBS run through 2022. MLB’s TV deals with
FOX, ESPN, and Turner run through 2021. The Collective Bargaining Agreements for each of those three sports have multiple years left on them too: The NFL’s runs through 2020, and the recently ratified agreements in MLB and the NBA last through 2021 and 2024, respectively.

That leaves the big three sports leagues little choice but to explore alternative broadcast arrangements, if they hope to avoid the potential cord-cutting bloodbath that could look far, far worse three, four, and seven years from now. MLB Advanced Media is a growing force in the sports world, and ESPN has hitched its fortunes to BAM’s growth. You can now stream NFL games on Yahoo! and Twitter. Funneling fans from traditional TV channels to over-the-top devices could absorb some of the blow too.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 04, 2017 at 10:22 AM | 177 comment(s)
  Beats: cable, mlb network, mlbam

Friday, April 07, 2017

Fox in danger of a blackout on Charter cable systems

Looks like we have yet another cable dispute on our hands and this one involves one of the major network groups. Fox is warning of a potential blackout of its networks on Charter Communications and it could happen as early as this weekend. This doesn’t just involve the Fox broadcast network, but its cable channels including FS1 and its Fox Sports Net regional channels.

In a statement, a Fox spokesman said this will leave many subscribers on Charter’s Spectrum systems without some major programming:
“Fox and Charter Spectrum have an agreement to carry the Fox networks that Charter has chosen to ignore,” a Fox spokesperson said in a statement. “We are disappointed that despite our best efforts over many months to resolve the situation without disruption, Charter’s 16 million subscribers may lose access to a wide variety of programming, including telecasts of the St. Louis Cardinals and Blues, Kansas City Royals, Cleveland Cavaliers, Cincinnati Reds and many other MLB, NBA and NHL teams on Fox Regional Sports Networks, FX’s hit dramas ‘The Americans’ and ‘Feud,’ and National Geographic.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 07, 2017 at 02:31 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cable, fox, television

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Travis: ESPN Cutting Nearly $100 Million In On-Air Talent

#StickToSports

Two years ago ESPN cut several hundred behind the scenes jobs to save hundreds of millions of dollars in yearly costs. Since that time ESPN’s subscriber losses have accelerated, averaging over three million lost subscribers a year. Now new jobs cuts are coming, only this time you’re likely to know some of the casualties—Outkick has heard from a variety of different sources that ESPN is cutting up to $100 million in on-air salaries.

Yep, on air. This means you’re going to know many of the people leaving the network.

The cuts will come via buyouts and expiring contracts that won’t be renewed and when those layoffs start becoming apparent many will recognize that what Outkick has been writing for a couple of years now—ESPN is in a world of trouble and doesn’t know how to stem a rapidly collapsing business model.

ESPN’s collapse is the biggest story in sports yet most still haven’t realized it.

That business collapse at ESPN has caused a panic at the network, a desperate grab for relevance that has led to a pronounced leftward move. ESPN’s trying desperately to stay relevant as ratings collapse and subscribers flee. The decision? “We’ll be MSESPN, the home for far left wing politics and sports!” Only, it’s not working.

Renegade (((JE))) Posted: March 07, 2017 at 06:00 PM | 260 comment(s)
  Beats: broadcasting, cable, espn, jobs, politics

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

ESPN, Fox Sports to broadcast on Youtube’s new TV streaming service

This could be huge.

YouTube will offer a new television streaming service online for $35 per month and the package will reportedly include ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, SEC Network, Big Ten Network, FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2 and NBC Sports Network, according to Bloomberg.

“YouTube TV includes major sports networks like ESPN and regional sports networks like Fox Sports Networks and Comcast SportsNet, so you can watch your favorite NBA or MLB teams,” YouTube said in a press release. “We’ve also partnered with local TV stations, so you’ll also get sports and local news based on where you live.”

YouTube does not have the broadcasting right from Turner to show some NBA games, the NCAA Tournament and some Major League Baseball.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 01, 2017 at 09:50 AM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: cable, regional sports networks, streaming

 

 

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