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Thursday, February 07, 2019

NY Post: John Malone planning to battle MLB over Fox’s regional sports networks

Billionaire media mogul John Malone is cobbling together a team to bid for the Fox-owned regional sports networks being sold by Disney — and his roster will be going head-to-head against Major League Baseball, The Post has learned.
...
The Liberty mogul’s strategy, according to sources, includes a promise to team owners that he will continue to sell games to local broadcasters, where cable television is chiefly how fans follow their favorite teams.

Manfred, by contrast, wants to secure central control of media rights so the league can package games and sell them to different streaming and terrestrial networks, much as the NFL does. “MLB is more an adversary with the cable companies than a friend,” said a source close to the process.

Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: February 07, 2019 at 11:22 AM | 11 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, cable, tv rights

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   1. JJ1986 Posted: February 07, 2019 at 12:47 PM (#5813211)
I read the headline as: "Post Malone planning to battle MLB..."
   2. What if I planted tomatoes Posted: February 07, 2019 at 01:01 PM (#5813231)
Cordcutting continues to accelerate and someone's business model is to stick with cable???

From USA Today quickly found on internets: The latest cord-cutting statistics just keep getting worse.

TV industry analysts last week had already tallied up the losses for the major pay-TV players as about 1.1 million defections for the three-month period ending Sept. 30 – one of the worst quarters in recent history.

Now, market tracker S&P Global Market Intelligence says the exodus was even larger – 1.2 million – during the period. Overall, that left cable, satellite and telco TV providers with about 91 million subscribers, 88.2 million of those being residential customers, the research firm says.

Satellite TV providers had their worst quarter on record with a loss of 726,000 subscribers, the firm says. Cable operators have been hit with a tough trend, too. So far this year, they have lost nearly 1.1 million subscribers, their worst losses at the three-quarter mark since 2014.
   3. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: February 07, 2019 at 01:06 PM (#5813237)
I read the headline as: "Post Malone planning to battle MLB..."

Close. He's going to compete in a battle of the bands with Modern Baseball.
   4. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: February 07, 2019 at 01:46 PM (#5813272)
The total number of subscribers is going down over time, but cable/satellite seems to be the best way for teams to maximize revenue for their large amount of games.

The NFL has 16 games a week to sell. Baseball has 16 games a day to sell.

Selling a game at a time via facebook live probably does not maximize revenue.
   5. Cris E Posted: February 07, 2019 at 01:49 PM (#5813276)
Cordcutting continues to accelerate and someone's business model is to stick with cable???

Amen. Unless they're getting some sort of huge bargain here (which seems really unlikely) this looks like it'll be dumb within a matter of five years.

But they may be playing 14 dimensional chess here, as the group seems to include a bunch of owners who are owed a lot of money by these companies over the next decade or two. Are they worried about losing control of their broadcasts to someone else or do they want to get back the rights to resell them in the new non-cable market that's evolving? Maybe they want to license it to Netflix or Amazon. The Regionals' contracts might limit their access to secondary media, but perhaps they could sell their cable broadcasts and not some internet-only product.
   6. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 07, 2019 at 11:16 PM (#5813558)
Selling a game at a time via facebook live probably does not maximize revenue.

Despite the touting of cord-cutting as the wave of the future, I can't help but notice the near constant complaints here about the quality of the alternative experiences, at least for MLB games. Is that representative?
   7. puck Posted: February 07, 2019 at 11:39 PM (#5813563)
I wonder if cord-cutting makes you realize you were watching too much damn tv.
   8. TVerik - Dr. Velocity Posted: February 08, 2019 at 04:55 AM (#5813581)
Despite the touting of cord-cutting as the wave of the future, I can't help but notice the near constant complaints here about the quality of the alternative experiences, at least for MLB games. Is that representative?


Feature, not a bug. Sports and news - mainly sports and the increase in coverage of news AS sports; adversarial, zero-sum, unthinking loyalty to your team - have kept cable viable and will continue to do so.

The fight over these MLB rights will determine the future of cable TV. Full stop. If non-subscribers can get easy access to the games for a separate fee, there will be no reason at all for the continued existence of cable.
   9. McCoy Posted: February 08, 2019 at 06:24 AM (#5813582)
I’ll watch football and baseball games over the internet on my big screen TV and I’ll use a pirate site to do it. Most of the time the quality is good and very little difference between an actual broadcast over cable and a pirated one. Occasionall, usually with football, the quality will be poor but that generally has to do with a ton of people on one server. A problem that generally doesn’t happen for baseball games.

In terms of cable cutting my wife’s company pays for her internet so we get a sizable subsidy for our cable bill. When I was living by myself I didn’t have cable subscription. I just had an internet subscription.
   10. dlf Posted: February 08, 2019 at 12:05 PM (#5813700)
Malone is the Chair of Liberty Media which owns the Braves. As a fan of the team, I am hoping that some esoteric law or MLB rule would require Liberty to divest its ownership of the team if they do go through with these acquisitions of the media rights. Liberty's approach has been to choke spending on the club. It has been particularly troubling coming on the heals of the TW/AOL ownership group selling tv rights to an affiliated company for far less than market value and using that to claim poor financial viability of the club. And, well, describing the club owner as going to battle with MLB over anything suggests to me that there is a lot of downside for local fans in the near future.
   11. What if I planted tomatoes Posted: February 08, 2019 at 01:21 PM (#5813734)
8/9: I have shared this option other times and getting concerned that I am going to be accused of promoting. No financial stake whatsoever. But this service has the combo of local channels and live sports channels (Big10 network, NBSSports, FS1) that other services lack but which cable viewers want and why cable still has customers in many homes. I shared with my family mid last year and pretty much everyone still on cable switched and says all good.

edit--big10 app will not work through this service even though you have the Big10 network because big10 still requires cable service customer ID for access to app for viewing games. But this service has its own app.

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