Streaming Wars For Live Sports, Entertainment, and Gambling

Also here’s what I have seen and am reading as possible in that situation, having experienced two acquired employers plus one acquirer as an employer as well.

Often the first people jettisoned before the deal is done or upon announcement are not merely let go for simply business reasons, though companies do like to capture quick savings as they figure out how to replace certain operations by such parties.

As in many an industry, the executives often know each other and also some of the main players in management, and if they have somebody else in mind or somehow they have a negative impression of another party even if competent and capable, somehow those parties are included on that “punch out list” as you draw with a fine analogy.

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Some say although I don’t think teachers as well could be replaced anytime soon, that teachers could be replaced by AI/robotics.

From a very personal perspective, I would like to see more research into the use of AI in medicine although I know this is already happening to some extent. For my situation, I was “diagnosed” with a DSM mental illness of Conversion Disorder/Functional Neurological Disorder for over 9 years when finally, thanks to a very experienced, a professor emeritus in neurology at a major university here in Ontario, I was able to have a referral to this neurologist who after a thorough examination diagnosed me, these are clinical diagnoses, with an organic disease, actually two - Paroxysmal Kinesigenic Dyskinesia/Choreoathetosis with parkinsonism. Started me on dopamine replacement therapy (levodopa/carbidopa) with significant results for my parkinson’s symptoms, my life is so, so much better. If AI can improve on the diagnostic accuracy for my situation, see below for instance, I’m all for it:

“62% of the patients were initially misdiagnosed. Wrong diagnoses included functional disorder (6 patients), epilepsy (4 patients), panic attack (2 patients), Tourette syndrome (2 patients), and dystonia (1 patient). Two of them sequentially received two wrong diagnoses (epilepsy and functional disorder for one; Tourette syndrome and functional disorder for the other)…
As the perceived stigmatization was tightly linked to delay to diagnosis, we suggest that a long history of misdiagnosis—often involving a wrong diagnosis of functional disorders (29% of patients)—may play a role in the high level of perceived stigmatization.[44]. This emphasizes the need to increase knowledge about the diagnostic clues suggestive of PKD.”

" Non-Motor Symptoms and Quality of Life in Patients with PRRT2-Related Paroxysmal Kinesigenic Dyskinesia" (May 2023)
https://movementdisorders.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/mdc3.13795

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Yeah good luck with putting AI robots in the classroom. I know a dude who teaches lower tier grade 9 science classes with a bunch of students with learning issues and whatnot. That dude is a warrior in regards to classroom management. I don’t think a robot is going to be able to deal with what he deals with day in day out.

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Pretty much what @Paolo_X has been saying as long as I have been interacting with him on this forum.

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True statements on clean out people and personalities from positions that the new owner might want to fill with their people. Clean that mess up before the new owner takes over the outfit.

Reading the article and ESPN is getting $150 million per year from the 3rd tier gambling site. That speaks volumes about how desperate ESPN and Disney are. When this house of cards finally collapses it is going to get super ugly.

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So as crosslinked below, from the NBA thread, is a bit of follow-up to a post from December 2022 about Genius Sports and expansion of its deals with leagues.

That Genius sports post is first, and the associated NBA post is below it.

There are a few other posts in this thread, especially from late 2022 nearer the top, about this subject of Genius Sports and deals with the major leagues and global gaming firms.

The gambling superhighway is being vastly expanded along these lines of enhanced instant data and augmented graphics at an accelerating pace now, including with now the use of far more cost-effective AI.

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Disney - You Bet It Gets Way Worse

You should have taken that deal offered for ESPN, Disney, whenever it was made.

Much as Comcast or any local cable company in 2020 should have taken an offer from customers, which was never made at the time, of let’s say $75 all-in for two years for internet and channels except for the premium channels, well now here they are losing customers and trying to pick it up with a streaming deal around $30 per month on a two-year contract. As far as what one gets in that deal that is not already free or cheap like YouTube, Netflix (with almost all major internet or phone contracts), Tubi, Paramount+ and some other streaming apps, well I don’t know and don’t care yet. It’s not like I’m going to care about the Discovery Channel or Bravo and the like EVER AGAIN, and I am certainly not paying for any of that crap and won’t even watch hardly any of it when free. I remember when I had cable and in 2020 they were promoting some bundle of that crap on some app for an additional $5 per month. Uh, hey guys, do you think you missed the far bigger picture then by a whole lot?

You bet here in 2023 Comcast would have taken that $75 deal in 2020 including with streaming apps, but oh no they were the wiser pretending like it was still 2005 weren’t they now?

And so no doubt Disney should have sold ESPN at some point in the prior decade, but nope, they sure got greedy and look now as money is headed out the door more and more beyond merely ESPN.

And so the investors have voted on the matter and well, it’s looking worse each month as Disney tries to find those other elusive strategic partners after indeed buying and re-branding a casino operation as ESPN Bet.

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@Paolo_X - You have been screaming this at the top of your lungs for a while -

“ESPN has two strategic paths, neither of which is terribly exciting,” Greenfield wrote.
“1) Renewing their extensive portfolio of sports rights licensing deals and eating into margins so they can attempt to transition from linear TV to streaming TV (preparing for ESPN+ to become ESPN, with no way of knowing if a dual distribution model will even work).
2) Pare back on major sports rights and become an increasingly irrelevant sports destination that simply harvests cash until it dies.”

ESPN needs to be spun off but Disney is going to try and save it due to hubris and ego. It is a sunk cost. Spin it off and walk away.

I think Apple is waiting for the price to get right and they are going to go all in on ESPN. They can lose billion on ESPN for a decade and it is budget dust to them. But they could buy ESPN take it to streaming and wait for that market to mature. Don’t know if that is realistic or not but they have a ton of cash and could run with it if they choose to do so.

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And just what will people be getting from this relaunched ESPN that they are not getting, already for less or free, via Amazon Prime and over-the-air TV?

I don’t see the NFL or NBA desiring to be tucked away behind such a costly streaming service that costs as much as monthly broadband WiFi service.

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Bottom liine is I love watching the Blue Jays but that night when I’m paying for cable sports to watch them, couldn’t that night because they were on Apple TV+, well guess what, I watched other stuff, not that important to me, not going to pay extra for this, as you say, NFL NBA whatever are going to need mainstream television to be able to garner the revenues they currently make. Completely agree.

I mean I watched an OUA game completely free last night on OUA.TV, Windsor vs McMaster, that was totally entertaining as much as any NFL or CFL game, free, just need an internet connection which I can do free at my local public library or park here in Hamilton.

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@Paolo_X - So we all know that ESPN is dying and will be parted out or bought out by a big streaming outfit or something. We have all agreed that the glory days of ESPN and the $10 per subscription ESPN Tax that fueled ESPN’s ability to purchase any sports broadcast rights is long gone. ESPN is shedding labor and costs.

I think that the sports leagues are in trouble as ESPN was a driving force in keeping the prices high for sports leagues. The linear networks are not going to be able to spend what ESPN spent on sports broadcast fees. RSN’s are done the last nails in those coffins are being hammered into place. As I see it the only way that the NBA or the NFL is going to get their next big payday is if it comes from Apple or Amazon and a paywall. No way Fox, CBS or ESPN is going to be able to shell out for sporting events like ESPN has been doing.

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And more gambling revenue, as we have seen already via that new NBA mid-season tournament, which never would have happened ever before even as a campaign to drive mere TV ratings, and the recent formation of ESPN Bet whoever ends up owning part or all of that enterprise or its trademark brand as well

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@Stickweld21 in addition to your excellent points on media rights for live sports and associated coverage, including on the emerging business model for some of the sports leagues that cannot be built and grown nearly as much from broadcast and cable TV rights, is the following feedback, including from some posts in this thread.

When we reflect, ESPN was basically the National Sports Network that was in reality the East Coast Sports Network (remember the obnoxious obsession and routine mention of all things Yankees, Patriots, Jets, Giants, Mets, and Red Sox?), which was also part of ESPN’s undoing for sake of its brand, which started its decline especially in the sports blog and hot take era that hit mass appeal about 2007. Twitter also began to emerge more into mainstream use as the US went into the Great Recession by late 2007 on the west coast.

Then in 2010, for the first time ever, there was a decline in cable and satellite subscriptions damn ESPN or otherwise.

The cable TV industry never, ever adapted much or fully recovered a lasting appeal after that decline in 2010, for most cable interests chose to still live that magic bundle life as if it were still 2003.

Such bundle magic certainly made for excellent golf-clapping presentations with Powerpoint slides and sales pitch in many a meeting with spreadsheets too no doubt, and most recently we saw the naive notion at work that people would magically add on streaming for only $5 per month to existing cable TV packages on which prices were vastly increased though core content was decreased, and here we are in accelerating meltdown after in the spring 2023 so many were chiming in “well, no worries, nothing to see here” as the RSN’s began their meltdown.

Above was a case study for the Mets that I posted last November.

Below was an excellent article along these lines from The Athletic in March as posted by @okie :

The larger media markets with high disposable income of more locals will be able to get away with charging over $10 per month on multiple streaming subscriptions for coverage of high-value sports teams. Look at the mess upon the average fan of the New York Yankees now with it seems like in some weeks, it’s a different medium for each day of the week.

Otherwise as the streaming business model already has evidenced, very, very few are going to pay more than $7 per month for several streaming subscriptions, excluding perhaps a few those who get the Disney Bundle because they have kids and even those are on the decline.

Remember folks, EVEN the NFL gets only about two million diehards for the NFL Sunday Ticket via now YouTube in the US.

That two million INCLUDES also those promotional subscriptions obtained via marketing affiliates and NFL partners such as Verizon.

Nobody is topping the NFL or even coming close in the US, so that’s the peak per season not year and it’s way down from there for seasonal revenue.

People who have gravitated to their selected sports and seasons are no longer going to pay, for example, to keep the likes of an ESPN for 12 months per year unless they get something MORE for it.

The most dead time is over the summer typically from May through August but for those who are watching the NBA or the NHL playoffs, and unlike before, now it is far easier to switch off or switch on a streaming subscription.

There are many who simply bail after the NFL playoffs in January!

Monthly streaming rates have increased no doubt, but there are still plenty of promotional plans around with which one is paying $5 per month or less if one prepays a year, which we know are numbers that have led to losses in the billions now.

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Statistic
50% OF NICHE SPORTS FANS, and 38% EARN OVER $100K
ARE BETWEEN THE AGES OF 25-44

And here is where the major sports leagues are losing also at the gate not just in media rights, including especially the NBA, MLB, NHL (in US) and MLS and especially for games not on Saturdays or Sundays.

CNN Realizes At Last That People Won’t Pay Anything For Overwhelmingly Most Cable Content Any More

This news comes less than 18 months since CNN+ failed spectacularly in less than a month in April 2022 at $5.99 per month. See that naive “it’s only ~$5 per month, so people will sign up!” at work again? CNN even had a big launch party in late March.

How out of touch were they? I happened to be on their FB page on the day when the news broke, and there were poor souls working for CNN who were still adding posts.

The posts from many mocking them were merciless, including from me, with rounds of rounds of jokes that continued to give after especially CNN’s hubris for some time.

Anyway, now CNN realizes to just add its service at no additional charge to Max as opposed to attempting to go it alone. Of course as badly as CNN has been suffering since before the pandemic, it’s worse since April 2022 and here we are.

I figure some folks care for about two years at best, and then CNN becomes what will happen to most cable TV brands - some will have nostalgia and most who have cut the cord already have bad memories.

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Streaming Platforms: More Ads or Pay More Than Before for No Ads

And I don’t see this strategy working given already the often unimpressive subscriber growth and continuing losses into the billions to date now.

I’ve noticed even on free YouTube that they have started doubling-up ads, akin to those long commercial breaks on the half hour for broadcast shows, as well as have increased the frequency of ads. But hey it’s free right!?

Oh well we will all adapt or abandon any given platform.

Also the WORST practice is by the likes of Peacock, which has a higher tier that once was supposedly with no ads that some time ago started getting ads from within the Comcast umbrella. Uh, no. Nobody is going to pay more for that very long if at all.

Even before the pricing changes, the ad tiers were having an impact. Iger said that 40 percent of new Disney+ subs were choosing the ad tier. A Netflix source, meanwhile, says that its ad-supported user base has doubled since the first quarter and now has more than 10 million active users, up from the 5 million it announced at its upfront in May.

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It’s always math - someone has to pay for the content. $10 dollars a month was never going to be a realistic number for all you can watch content especially if viewers are expecting new content. So you either pay for that content by significantly higher subscription rates or with the ever so hated advertising.

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Well there we go following in the footsteps of the UK. I suspect much of the rest of Canada will follow suit before too long including most especially when ads are clearly targeting men well under 25.

It’s going to be a good while in the US after the massive cash grab in progress and growing before any given new episode of extreme foul play (think another “Fail Mary” episode), more players caught betting on sports, and any given number of class action lawsuits including against an industry that is designed to enable addiction via the automated technology now.

I can already foresee the “victim” portrayals on some news show long after the damage is done, with that same network accepting plenty of money from the industry to run their cheesy ads.

The rampant use of AI was not at hand with regards to gambling addiction in the past, which has always been around of course, but now addiction is far more easily enabled including especially in the targeted youth.

I myself don’t use sports betting apps knowing full well that if you are a big winner, the AI plays games with you to skew the odds in favour of the house. Ultimately if you are too successful, they cut you off.

There are guys making some living by rotating apps and the like. No thanks - I’m there to bet games and props and not fiddle with technology and glitches as if some awful video game or hacking exercise.

Fair game is cash bets at the counter or kiosk, no names or information, cash my ticket, give me my free drinks (tip the nice waitress), see you again when I feel like it. Those days are behind us.

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