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Interesting look at the future and past of sports media
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orangefan Offline
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Interesting look at the future and past of sports media
https://www.yahoo.com/sports/fourth-quar...05065.html

Suggests that the pandemic may be the dividing line between the cable era (i.e., the third quarter) and the streaming era (the fourth quarter).

This article addresses the road that got us here, including a brief history of sports broadcasting and discussion of the emergence of streaming media. A second article will address the more interesting question of what a streaming media world is likely to look like for sports rights.

Quote:The Fourth Quarter of Sports Media: Falling Bundles, Rising Streams

The advent of electronic sports media’s “first quarter” started a century ago, first as radio game recreations from press reports in 1920, and then as live on-site play-by-play (boxing and Pirates-Phillies baseball) in 1921 on KDKA in Pittsburgh. In the second quarter, broadcast TV ascended, with live sports becoming national weekend daytime and local primetime TV staples in the 1960s and ’70s. The third quarter came via cable TV, adding huge programming volume and bringing to fruition in 1979 the previously unthinkable notion of a 24/7 sports network: ESPN.

Today, as platforms like Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon lead entertainment, and now have higher penetration of broadband than pay TV, we are entering the sports media’s “fourth quarter” and its impending inclusion into the new mainstream—emphasis on stream.
(This post was last modified: 01-08-2021 08:55 AM by orangefan.)
01-08-2021 08:54 AM
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Todor Online
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RE: Interesting look at the future and past of sports media
Going forward, these "gate keepers" to the viewers eyes are becoming more irrelevant. If, say, a conference digital network streams games themselves, and attracts viewers, advertising dollars will follow.

Considering how supposedly big and powerful ESPN is, they aren't especially profitable. They pay huge money to get the exclusive rights to broadcast games, but they have an increasingly tough time even recouping their costs.
01-08-2021 09:38 AM
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DawgNBama Offline
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RE: Interesting look at the future and past of sports media
(01-08-2021 09:38 AM)Todor Wrote:  Going forward, these "gate keepers" to the viewers eyes are becoming more irrelevant. If, say, a conference digital network streams games themselves, and attracts viewers, advertising dollars will follow.

Considering how supposedly big and powerful ESPN is, they aren't especially profitable. They pay huge money to get the exclusive rights to broadcast games, but they have an increasingly tough time even recouping their costs.

As much as I personally loathe ESPiN, I will be the first to say that they are not allowing themselves to be rendered obsolete. ESPiN has jumped into the streaming market themselves, so if conferences think if it's too much of a pain to stream, they can allow ESPiN to do it for them, through ESPN+. ESPN+ has been in existence for awhile now; they are just looking to add more content. Rather, the networks that should be worried about streaming would be CBS, FOX, and NBC. To me, they are the ones behind on the curve, unfortunately.
01-08-2021 11:05 AM
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RE: Interesting look at the future and past of sports media
(01-08-2021 11:05 AM)DawgNBama Wrote:  
(01-08-2021 09:38 AM)Todor Wrote:  Going forward, these "gate keepers" to the viewers eyes are becoming more irrelevant. If, say, a conference digital network streams games themselves, and attracts viewers, advertising dollars will follow.

Considering how supposedly big and powerful ESPN is, they aren't especially profitable. They pay huge money to get the exclusive rights to broadcast games, but they have an increasingly tough time even recouping their costs.

As much as I personally loathe ESPiN, I will be the first to say that they are not allowing themselves to be rendered obsolete. ESPiN has jumped into the streaming market themselves, so if conferences think if it's too much of a pain to stream, they can allow ESPiN to do it for them, through ESPN+. ESPN+ has been in existence for awhile now; they are just looking to add more content. Rather, the networks that should be worried about streaming would be CBS, FOX, and NBC. To me, they are the ones behind on the curve, unfortunately.

ESPN+ also has a technology edge. MLB hired developers to build really good streaming technology a few years ago for MLB.tv, and ESPN paid a ton of money to buy the technology from MLB. At least some competitors have not caught up yet, as evidenced by the glitches on Amazon Prime last week when Amazon Prime had an exclusive NFL game telecast. The big boys like Amazon and Google, and Fox, Comcast/NBC, etc., will catch up soon, and the technology will probably be even better in a few years. That's a good thing, because strong competition is better for the fans. But it takes a big investment of money that smaller outfits won't be able to make on their own.

A college streaming its own softball or baseball games to a few dozen or a few hundred people watching through a website is not even close to the same thing as mass-market streaming -- that would be like comparing two kids talking through walkie-talkies to a nationwide mobile phone network. A college conference or sports league that wants to offer a top-notch viewing experience to its fans, instead of a small internet stream for a few diehards, will want the best streaming technology.

That's why I agree with you that college conferences will choose ESPN or another major partner for large-scale streaming. Conferences are already doing that, with the Big 12 putting a lot of stuff on ESPN+ and several non-P5 conferences making almost every event available to ESPN+, and that will expand further in the next round of TV contracts.
01-08-2021 01:34 PM
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orangefan Offline
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RE: Interesting look at the future and past of sports media
The problem facing leagues and networks is how to migrate programming from traditional cable to streaming in a manner that maximizes revenues during the transition and after it has been completed.

Today, cable and over the air networks receive payments from cable, satellite and virtual multichannel carriers for all of their customers, not just those who are sports fans. This allows leagues and networks to collect large revenues from rights fees without charging avid sports fans more than other customers.

It seems almost certain that the move to streaming will require sports fans to bear a larger portion of the cost of sports rights OR will result in leagues receiving lower revenues.

One possibility is that streaming rights and telecast rights for events and packages may be sold separately. We already see this with entertainment programming. For instance, The Office is available on cable on Comedy Central but is also available for streaming on Peacock. Undoubtedly this would reduce the value of the cable rights and the carriage fees for the channel with those rights, but it may allow a transition where the carriage fees decline slowly over time rather than falling off a cliff.
(This post was last modified: 01-08-2021 01:55 PM by orangefan.)
01-08-2021 01:54 PM
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nodak651 Offline
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RE: Interesting look at the future and past of sports media
(01-08-2021 01:54 PM)orangefan Wrote:  One possibility is that streaming rights and telecast rights for events and packages may be sold separately. We already see this with entertainment programming. For instance, The Office is available on cable on Comedy Central but is also available for streaming on Peacock. Undoubtedly this would reduce the value of the cable rights and the carriage fees for the channel with those rights, but it may allow a transition where the carriage fees decline slowly over time rather than falling off a cliff.

NCHC hockey conference is a good example. They just wrapped up their covid "pod" in Omaha. Midco SN had the TV rights and aired all of the games on TV, and the streaming rights were held by the NCHC's own streaming network. NCHC.TV has it's own app on all of the major streaming services (roku/fire/etc), and it has been working well since they launched it 5-6 years ago. 85% of the streaming revenue gets sent back to the schools. NCHC.TV only had like 50k revenue the first year, then 250k the second year, and this year they had enough viewership during the pod that the Sidearm Sports servers crashed, and viewing subscriptions for only pod games weren't cheap, costing about $50 bucks. Midco did not and could not stream the games on their own sports streaming app.

The revenue from the first two years that I mentioned isn't great, but streaming has come along way since those numbers were released. The point is that the NCHC is a pretty good example of a small conference doing this successfully, despite being a hockey only conference,
(This post was last modified: 01-08-2021 03:02 PM by nodak651.)
01-08-2021 02:58 PM
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RE: Interesting look at the future and past of sports media
The incumbents will always retain some advantage, but any option that opens up new avenues takes away a little of their leverage. I watch a lot of games on BYU TV and ESPN has nothing on them. But the worst part of ESPN is sticking horrible announcers to cover teams they know literally nothing about. Can't pronounce the players names etc.
(This post was last modified: 01-08-2021 05:03 PM by Todor.)
01-08-2021 05:03 PM
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orangefan Offline
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RE: Interesting look at the future and past of sports media
The follow up article with the real substance has now been posted!
https://www.sportico.com/business/media/...234620276/

Their prediction: major streaming platforms like Amazon Prime have the size to compete directly with linear networks for major rights packages and are likely to do so.

Quote:For rights holders to embrace streaming as a primary distribution platform, the magic “critical mass” number might be 50 million active subscribers. Here, growing direct-to-consumer services and mini-bundled subscriber bases begin to approach the shrinking pay TV universe size.

The author notes that Amazon Prime already has 112 million US subscribers, which is more subscribers than the entire multichannel (cable/satellite/virtual) industry. Disney+/Hulu/ESPN+ collectively have over 100 million. Smaller SVOD services, like Peacock and CBS All Access, could combine to make competing bids. Individuals are likely to have multiple services, so distributing rights over several services would resemble the split of rights over different networks today.

Cellphone giants AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile also have over 100 million subscribers each and could be players.

My observation: one benefit to leagues and teams from the entry of such bidders is that, like cable today, the bundling with other programming will allow the cost to be spread over subscribers who may not have a high degree of interest in the sports programming, i.e. it would resemble the traditional cable bundle. Critically, this would relieve sports fans from bearing the full cost of sports programming.
01-15-2021 11:21 AM
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RE: Interesting look at the future and past of sports media
(01-08-2021 01:54 PM)orangefan Wrote:  The problem facing leagues and networks is how to migrate programming from traditional cable to streaming in a manner that maximizes revenues during the transition and after it has been completed.

Today, cable and over the air networks receive payments from cable, satellite and virtual multichannel carriers for all of their customers, not just those who are sports fans. This allows leagues and networks to collect large revenues from rights fees without charging avid sports fans more than other customers.

It seems almost certain that the move to streaming will require sports fans to bear a larger portion of the cost of sports rights OR will result in leagues receiving lower revenues.

One possibility is that streaming rights and telecast rights for events and packages may be sold separately. We already see this with entertainment programming. For instance, The Office is available on cable on Comedy Central but is also available for streaming on Peacock. Undoubtedly this would reduce the value of the cable rights and the carriage fees for the channel with those rights, but it may allow a transition where the carriage fees decline slowly over time rather than falling off a cliff.

I don't see a problem. ESPN will simply offer on Hulu (or Disney) there current cable network programming with some modifications and make the transition. ESPN+ tripled the number of subscribers in part due to COVID 19 fatigue and the fact that Network television sucks buckets. Intro into streaming permitted you to pick up Hulu / Disney / ESPN+ for a song at 12.99 a month. When the time comes I can see the whole Disney package including ESPN's standard offerings for twice that.

I have over 500 channels with UVerse. 400 of them are unwatchable. I thought that streaming's quality would be poor compared to fiberoptic and boy was I wrong. We've had no freezes and no resets with streaming. A typical streaming problem for us is taking 10 seconds longer than usual to load. The quality is great, including picture. Right now the sports streaming package that includes ESPN and FOX is too expensive. Get it in the 25 to 35 dollar range per month and bye bye cable.

All streaming really needs anywhere is local news and weather and the sports channels to kill cable completely.
01-15-2021 11:52 AM
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RE: Interesting look at the future and past of sports media
(01-15-2021 11:52 AM)JRsec Wrote:  
(01-08-2021 01:54 PM)orangefan Wrote:  The problem facing leagues and networks is how to migrate programming from traditional cable to streaming in a manner that maximizes revenues during the transition and after it has been completed.

Today, cable and over the air networks receive payments from cable, satellite and virtual multichannel carriers for all of their customers, not just those who are sports fans. This allows leagues and networks to collect large revenues from rights fees without charging avid sports fans more than other customers.

It seems almost certain that the move to streaming will require sports fans to bear a larger portion of the cost of sports rights OR will result in leagues receiving lower revenues.

One possibility is that streaming rights and telecast rights for events and packages may be sold separately. We already see this with entertainment programming. For instance, The Office is available on cable on Comedy Central but is also available for streaming on Peacock. Undoubtedly this would reduce the value of the cable rights and the carriage fees for the channel with those rights, but it may allow a transition where the carriage fees decline slowly over time rather than falling off a cliff.

I don't see a problem. ESPN will simply offer on Hulu (or Disney) there current cable network programming with some modifications and make the transition. ESPN+ tripled the number of subscribers in part due to COVID 19 fatigue and the fact that Network television sucks buckets. Intro into streaming permitted you to pick up Hulu / Disney / ESPN+ for a song at 12.99 a month. When the time comes I can see the whole Disney package including ESPN's standard offerings for twice that.

I have over 500 channels with UVerse. 400 of them are unwatchable. I thought that streaming's quality would be poor compared to fiberoptic and boy was I wrong. We've had no freezes and no resets with streaming. A typical streaming problem for us is taking 10 seconds longer than usual to load. The quality is great, including picture. Right now the sports streaming package that includes ESPN and FOX is too expensive. Get it in the 25 to 35 dollar range per month and bye bye cable.

All streaming really needs anywhere is local news and weather and the sports channels to kill cable completely.

If you have an Amazon Fire TV Stick, just use their News app and it'll get you local news and the other streaming news outlets. Cable will hold on for at least another decade but it's going to get rocky. I fully expect a ESPN OTT offering eventually. If Amazon Prime can get $119/yr and Sunday Ticket $300/yr. Then ESPN OTT can easily get the same but right now Cable is still profitable.

Though if I'm Amazon and I want to get my feet wet like I have with the NFL, a way to keep the Big 12 together will one be ESPN/FOX re-upping their deals and Amazon should offer Oklahoma $15 mil/yr like Texas gets with LHN and do a 6-year deal so it lines-up when LHN expires and have an Oklahoma channel on Amazon, you could also do an All or Nothing each season for the team, etc.
01-15-2021 12:00 PM
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orangefan Offline
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RE: Interesting look at the future and past of sports media
(01-15-2021 12:00 PM)Realignment Wrote:  
(01-15-2021 11:52 AM)JRsec Wrote:  
(01-08-2021 01:54 PM)orangefan Wrote:  The problem facing leagues and networks is how to migrate programming from traditional cable to streaming in a manner that maximizes revenues during the transition and after it has been completed.

Today, cable and over the air networks receive payments from cable, satellite and virtual multichannel carriers for all of their customers, not just those who are sports fans. This allows leagues and networks to collect large revenues from rights fees without charging avid sports fans more than other customers.

It seems almost certain that the move to streaming will require sports fans to bear a larger portion of the cost of sports rights OR will result in leagues receiving lower revenues.

One possibility is that streaming rights and telecast rights for events and packages may be sold separately. We already see this with entertainment programming. For instance, The Office is available on cable on Comedy Central but is also available for streaming on Peacock. Undoubtedly this would reduce the value of the cable rights and the carriage fees for the channel with those rights, but it may allow a transition where the carriage fees decline slowly over time rather than falling off a cliff.

I don't see a problem. ESPN will simply offer on Hulu (or Disney) there current cable network programming with some modifications and make the transition. ESPN+ tripled the number of subscribers in part due to COVID 19 fatigue and the fact that Network television sucks buckets. Intro into streaming permitted you to pick up Hulu / Disney / ESPN+ for a song at 12.99 a month. When the time comes I can see the whole Disney package including ESPN's standard offerings for twice that.

I have over 500 channels with UVerse. 400 of them are unwatchable. I thought that streaming's quality would be poor compared to fiberoptic and boy was I wrong. We've had no freezes and no resets with streaming. A typical streaming problem for us is taking 10 seconds longer than usual to load. The quality is great, including picture. Right now the sports streaming package that includes ESPN and FOX is too expensive. Get it in the 25 to 35 dollar range per month and bye bye cable.

All streaming really needs anywhere is local news and weather and the sports channels to kill cable completely.

If you have an Amazon Fire TV Stick, just use their News app and it'll get you local news and the other streaming news outlets. Cable will hold on for at least another decade but it's going to get rocky. I fully expect a ESPN OTT offering eventually. If Amazon Prime can get $119/yr and Sunday Ticket $300/yr. Then ESPN OTT can easily get the same but right now Cable is still profitable.

Though if I'm Amazon and I want to get my feet wet like I have with the NFL, a way to keep the Big 12 together will one be ESPN/FOX re-upping their deals and Amazon should offer Oklahoma $15 mil/yr like Texas gets with LHN and do a 6-year deal so it lines-up when LHN expires and have an Oklahoma channel on Amazon, you could also do an All or Nothing each season for the team, etc.

I could see Disney merging ESPN+ with Hulu. It's already pricing it for bundling, why not just make the bundle the default. I recently moved to the Disney+/Hulu/ESPN+ bundle through Verizon by going to a 5G plan. For only $10/mo over what I was paying, I get this bundle, plus 5G when it becomes available in my area, plus tethering, plus a higher data limit before throttling. And now they've added a free year of Discovery+

I'm guessing ESPN will migrate more and more programming over to ESPN+ over time. They've done it with some Big 12 tier 3 rights previously held by FSN, and will now be doing with some SEC games.

The new NFL negotiations could result in the Thursday Night package coming off of OTA tv and shared between NFLN on cable and Amazon (or a competitor) on streaming. Prior rights holders didn't like sharing with NFLN.

NFL Sunday Ticket rights also likely to be in play. Could definitely see ESPN+ or another streamer grabbing these rights.

I agree on video quality. I have an Apple TV fourth generation. The picture quality is spectacular. Can't tell the difference from cable or OTA digital.
(This post was last modified: 01-15-2021 12:24 PM by orangefan.)
01-15-2021 12:18 PM
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