I am with you on this one, as it will be super interesting to see what happens to the NBA, NHL and MLB as those leagues are all built on the the RSN model. It will be interesting to see what happens without those fees, I would expect the gulf between the NFL and the others to get larger as we move forward. The NFL is built on TV money from broadcast TV for the most part as you stated.
Disney/ESPN stated that they are going to look at what legacy sports they are going to carry in the future. Fox has already stepped back from broadcasting some of the higher priced sports I don't see this trend stopping anytime soon not just for Fox but for all broadcast entities.
NBCU Comcast's Peacock:
The Free Lunch Is Over Whether or Not You Are A Subscriber to XFinity Cable
(TV and/or Internet)
Pieces Being Put In Place To Rollover Live Sports From The Regional Sports Channels?
Why Does It Matter In The US Where Peacock Is Available?
More content going to Peacock will affect all production of live sports programming on NBC channels, except the NFL, and what you pay to see it.
The biggest relevance for most in the US seems to be those who want to watch Barclays Premier League or NBC's NFL Sunday Night Football or other live NBC games on streaming. After years of re-runs of old shows already, I am not sure what anybody watches on Peacock other than live sports if at all.
But now as we have discussed, there is also the matter of the NBC regional sports networks for a shift to Peacock right!? So that means more live sports on Peacock!
I'm not sure this news will go over well with especially those who are still Comcast XFinity cable customers, but this is a twist indeed.
Maybe this is also a tactic to shore up all the freeloaders to be in better position with numbers in case Comcast can land also Hulu this year via a payout by Disney?
UPDATE: A new report has additional details on Peacock’s free tier ending for Xfinity subscribers. Deadline reports that Peacock Premium will no longer be part of the free bundle starting June 26th. In addition, customers that want to continue will be able to get an add-on at a discounted price, though the price is still being decided.
Deadline also notes that new Xfinity customers will be able to get Peacock Premium for free for six months, after which they can get a subscription at discounted rate.
It's telling enough that as a customer of fierce and winning competitor T-Mobile Internet with free Google TV, I can get the very same free six-month deal now too. That's how a cable company treats existing customers still here in 2023 like it's still 1998 folks!
Now to follow the previous post from two weeks ago, which detailed the financial results for 2022, let's do some basic math.
In 2022 in order to bring in almost triple the revenue for US$2.1 billion, Comcast spent almost $3.1 billion.
Now Comcast makes this bold statement for 2023.
“For 2023, we expect Peacock losses to be up modestly to around $3 billion,” Comcast president Michael Cavanagh said on the company’s earnings call on Thursday. “As we’ve said previously, we believe 2023 will be peak losses for Peacock and from there steadily improve.”
Okay, so instead of losing almost $1B so far, their plan is to lose $3B this year?
We can only wonder their revenue growth plans for 2023, which I don't see carrying on at the current rate as for the 4Q2022 given the NFL and World Cup (via Telemundo though you did not even have to subcribe to Peacock to watch it for free on their site as did I).
But now comes a twist in their plan and why all shall pay more in time for autumn sports including regional live NBA, MLB, and NHL coverage!
Those are going to be moved to Peacock, and many fans will pay for those services, but of course there are two problems:
Those over a certain age, my estimate is about 58 as the average before "non-streamers" set in more and more, who are fans of local sports who are definitely not going along over to streaming let alone deficient Peacock for live sports and replays.
The leagues - rights were paid years ago on the basis of cable TV channels and not streaming coverage. Won't the leagues have a say as the migration away from the obsolete regional sports channels on cable continues? I don't think this heated discussion has even begun, for being sent to exclusive streaming is relegation any way the dolts at NBC and Comcast might try to spin it to the leagues.
Why Many People Don't Like Streaming and What Is Annoying For Those of Us Who Do
If there is one inhibitor to the transition to streaming for many, and one problem hardly resolved by the industry, it is the matter of latency, or a delay in getting to your show or an interruption or long lag in the live broadcast of the show.
Latency is primarily NOT a slow internet connection, although you must have a solid internet connection anyway.
Latency is derived somewhere between the streaming app and the hardware on which you are viewing when you select your app for viewing.
During a live broadcast, latency is derived somewhere between the satellite feed and and the broadcaster's retransmission equipment to your device via your connection.
TV as we have known it has been about pressing a button on a remote control for instant viewing, although many modern TVs still seem to take longer to turn on than our old TVs. Then again there are more sleep modes now too, but of course there are those power disruptions or the power saving feature if you happen to be away from home longer than planned, so no matter.
With streaming, sometimes it seems like it takes what feels like minutes longer yet is really only perhaps 10 or more seconds so as to get to your show as the app loads.
In a remote control instant access world beyond the TV remote including simply using any device, 10 seconds feels like an an eternity!
And like I have seen more than on any other via Peacock, even on replays, there is occasionally a lag in the live action that is simply unacceptable for those of us otherwise not watching the otherwise treasured Pirate Sports Network.
The NFL is not having it for streaming for primary viewing but for Amazon on only one night, and the NFL has the clout to demand just that service via broadcast channels only (even more now for the games on ESPN) and get it.
Of course Amazon Prime in the US seems to be performing up to a higher standard and appears to be the only major streaming platform to be profitable so far other than Netflix.
Certainly there is much work for improvement for the industry to do here even after years to do it!
And perhaps those of you with newer TVs can attest to better performance with less latency when watching on any given app on a big screen?
I listened to a podcast a few years back where a gal who had some knowledge on TV, Movies and streaming said that at some point in the next few years there was going to be a thinning of the herd as far as streaming services goes. And I think we are seeing that happen in the marketplace as even the Big Outfits like Disney are slashing budgets and trying to figure out what is the path forward where they can make money on streaming.
Via the USFL 2.0 example at hand, here are some overlooked consequences looming for the bigger leagues that are not the NFL for sake of the aftermath of the fall of more of the regional sports networks.
Side note - I know that Fox used to own these RSNs - but it gets back to Fox "getting lucky" and unloading these RSNs on Disney - then Disney being forced to dump them - and now they are collapsing and Fox has money in pocket - walking away unscathed - I guess they just got super lucky on this deal. /s
Disney did not just acquire the RSNs ... they acquired all of 21st Century Fox (including 20th Century Fox film and television studios, some cable/satellite channels (e.g., FX, Fox Networks Group), 73% of National Geographic Partners, Indian television broadcaster Star India, and 30% of Hulu) except for
The RSNs sold for around $10 billion usd when Disney spun them off - my point was that Fox was sharp enough to include those "dogs" in the sale - Fox got paid for them and got them off their books and now they are collapsing - That was the point I was shooting for -
Fair ... my point was just bringing back the larger context as the dicussion had become pretty micro and tended to treat the RSNs in isolation ... do we know what value was attributed to the RSNs in the Fox-Disney transaction ... Mickey selling them for $10 billion may have been as good a move (even if required to satisty anti-trust concerns).
I gotcha - I read somewhere that Disney got about 50 cents on the dollar for the RSNs. I think they were expecting to get maybe 20 billion for them and sold them for ten. Don't ask me to find the article - I will if I can - but from what I gather Disney was shocked that no one really wanted the RSNs.
Ah yes indeed, it sounds like it was that old corporate trick many know.
Company A hands over the promised bag of gold to Company B, and it's quite heavy and the metal is clanging too, but then Company B does not open the bag until a week later to discover it's loaded with choice garden manure and lead slugs.
Except that the company that bought the RSNs from Disney is now going to go broke or at least declare bankruptcy due to this purchase. And with that bankruptcy much of the bedrock foundation of the professional sports revenue streams gets realigned also.
For sake of perspective on how poorly Peacock is faring at merely 20M subscribers after almost 2.5 years at the end of 2022, check out AMC, which is bringing in over half that number of PAID streaming subscribers with one huge catch - NO LIVE SPORTS including NO NFL.
AMC Networks, the cable TV company behind such brands as AMC, IFC and Sundance TV, as well as such online video services as AMC+, Acorn TV and Shudder, hit 11.8 million streaming subscribers in the fourth quarter.
That’s up sequentially from 11.1 million paid subscribers at the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2022 as streaming revenues rose 35 percent to $502 million. Overall revenue jumped 20 percent to $965 million, compared to a year-earlier $803.71 million.
In these reported counts, let's note for AMC there do not appear to be any games of double counting of cable customers with free access to Peacock, customers with extended FREE promos as Peacock counted as "paid" who usually cancel anyway before the second charge if any at all, and whatever other hijinks to puff up the reported numbers of "subscribers."
And when you read chatter like this, which is about these smaller services merging with larger ones, you bet it's going down by the end of 2024 in this currently brutal media market. Or perhaps some services will simply go bankrupt and be bought up for pennies on the dollar.
James Dolan [interim executive chairman, AMC Networks] responded to a question on whether AMC Networks might consider a merger for scale to succeed in the transition to streaming, or would remain as a standalone company. “Our first concern is always going to be creating value for our shareholders. So what form that comes in could be stay the course, it could be M&A, you know, a strategic transaction. Very honestly, we’re very much open to all of those ideas,” he told analysts, while adding AMC Networks was likely to remain on its own in the short term.
Netflix To Augment Originals With Sports Documentaries With Also League Partnership
And here's how it appears Netflix is more than doubling down on involvement in sports documentaries. I'm in already.
Omaha Productions, the company headed by NFL Hall of Famer Peyton Manning, and Mahomes’ newly formed 2PM Productions will produce the series with NFL Films. The show is the first collaboration between the NFL and Netflix and the latest in the streamer’s crop of sports documentaries that includes Formula 1: Drive to Survive , the tennis-focused Break Point and PGA Tour docuseries Full Swing , along with upcoming shows on the 2022 men’s World Cup and the Six Nations rugby tournament.
The Last Run of Free or Cheap Major Streaming Deals Before the Brave New World for Live Sports in 2024?
$49.99 for one year of Paramount+
Peacock now is either a promotion for six months free if you have some other service, or one year for $29.99 the last I checked.
ESPN+ is more expensive than ever, and it's not going to be cheaper
Apple TV+ has its own new deals including for MLS
Watch for the NBA, NHL, and MLB to re-do their US deals for any games not on broadcast TV especially when the regional sports networks fail this year or the programming is rolled into streaming
I signed up for the Paramount+ for one year today after enjoying a year for free plus one month at $4.99 before tax.
And I have Netflix for free indefinitely now too.
Given the information in the articles and the way the winds are blowing, I don't see either and many others ever being cheaper.
Of course if you can get a new user promotion for any of them that you will use with any given new mobile service or internet service, go for it now.
By the end of the 2023 NFL season, we'll see the brave new world upon us and just what the platforms with also live sports will try to charge as otherwise broadcast TV air time become ever more valuable as cable channel airtime diminishes for more live sports.