Streaming Wars For Live Sports, Entertainment, and Gambling


I don’t think a heavy patchwork of coverage of games for NHL fans, as opposed to fewer options so as to be able to watch any games you want across the country, is a good idea in modern times and especially in the era of cord cutting.

DSG = Diamond Sports Group = The parent company of bankrupt Bally Sports.

Minus the Coyotes, there are now 11 NHL teams with DSG deals: Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks, Nashville Predators, Tampa Bay Lightning, St. Louis Blues, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Minnesota Wild, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, and Carolina Hurricanes.

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Note the following move by Ligue 1 in pursuit of a far better media deal than currently at hand as well:

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I read an article a couple of years ago and the French league is just stunned at the amount of money that the bottom feeders in the EPL get compared to the top teams in Ligue 1. France is 20 years behind in chasing the USA TV market and the rest of the world whereas the EPL has been in the USA TV market for years - the EPL realized that with 350 million people in the USA - if you can get a little slice of that market it is a good chunk of money - Now Ligue 1 is waking up to that fact.


The New York Mets’ owner Steve Cohen remains at it to secure a casino license adjacent to the venue.

We’ve heard this argument before - “we’ll build a casino, and THAT will transform the area including for local residents.”

No, just no. I’ve seen enough of those failed promises in my time including right here in suburban Philadelphia as well as everywhere else I have been except for when in Las Vegas, where by contrast a new casino does make a difference that is usually positive.

The politicians promising whatever to the locals before the casino opens are simply campaigning and little more as the disappointments and social costs grow with time.

Then the casino is sold at some point usually, and fewer of those original agreements hold as much water if any at all.

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MLB is basically taking aggressive steps to ensure they don’t end up like the NBA and NHL with another season of complicated and patchwork TV coverage of live games due to the bankruptcy of Bally Sports.

I would think for the NBA and the NHL, one partial season of such nonsense was enough. Certainly only so much can be done as such a case winds its way through federal bankruptcy court, but I’m not convinced at all that they did everything they could to diminish as much as possible having games on Bally Sports regional sports networks.

MLB already gets it and is not having it for next season when they can substitute an alternative for any one of the Bally Sports regional sports networks, much as has been done already for some teams.

MLB has sent a blunt message to Diamond Sports Group, the bankrupt parent of Bally Sports: Let us know your 2024 broadcast plans — now.

Immediately on the heels of DSG’s separate, baseball-related carriage fee dispute with DirecTV, the league made two separate filings with a U.S. bankruptcy court in Texas.

The first asks for an immediate answer on which of the 12 MLB teams DSG airs will be carried by the company next season. The second offers a sharp rebuke of DSG’s push to extend its deadline to file a reorganization plan to Nov. 29.


Worth copying here for sake of the dynamic nature of our sports coverage in the era of YouTube, TikTok, and podcasts and what is going better and especially what is not as more and more cords are cut for good:

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Taking this great question here from the XFL/USFL emerging new NSFL thread:

As an example now, I follow only Marcellus Wiley now after sorting through a few others who were ex-ESPN or ex-FS1.

I’m sure a few others will come around after more layoffs and contract non-renewals.

These former employees on TV do have an advantage now, but it won’t last long.

Their advantage is over new contributors without media experience due also to all the connections they have built over the years plus all that experience in presentation even though presenting on YouTube is not the same as in a TV studio.

Here’s an example of a bygone bad look on YouTube that was circa 2013 but still at hand during the pandemic by the upstarts:
A person sitting down by a laptop, or holding a phone, talking to you.

That look won’t cut it in 2023. Nobody wants to see somebody sitting down in front of a device talking let along nobody is going to pay for that. Remember when that was the look on set of cable news not long ago? Now you see it on NFL sets simply for promotional purposes with those Microsoft Surface devices there, but that’s an exception on FREE TV.

It’s brutal trying to make it on social media much as it is via Amazon or eBay, with the latter something I know from personal experience during the pandemic.

Wiley voluntarily accepted the end of his time on air for decades after a career as an NFL player and with a degree from Columbia University, which is an Ivy League school.

He was informed that the show he was on at FS1 was going in a tamer direction, and he did not see himself going to a better place there in being more scripted and corporate than in much of his time working in sports media, so it was time.

As Wiley explained, when you go to YouTube no matter your name or fame, you start at ZERO.

If you are by contrast on a social media channel like Kim Kardashian for example, you go up like a rocket but that’s simply like winning the lottery in celebrity circles. No, I don’t get why she has such a large following, but that’s another thread and not the point and I point her out as a very rare exception for what virtually all other existing TV personalities or celebrities encounter when they start that social media channel.

YouTube works on various pay schedules with contributors, and I do know of certain rules like if somebody views you less than 30 seconds, it does not count plus there are potential penalties for click-baiting when people report you, which is something I do often when a channel starts going in that direction perhaps out of desperation.

General rule - the more click-baiting, as in via misleading titles or descriptions or introductions, and the more screaming, the greater the desperation and more than likely accelerating spiral downward.

A disturbing trend especially here in 2023 has been former employees taking belated shots at each other. This conduct might generate some extra views from all the lurkers just looking to watch a spat more than hear a substantive debate, but that’s a horrible look as a media professional or in any given profession unless perhaps one is working for the likes of TMZ or some publications of The Sun, which is a far smaller niche in media and entertainment as everpresent as is tabloid journalism.

For a few years now including via their “shorts,” (sometimes though these are edited clips from a longer video), YouTube has been trying to go more in a TikTok direction as have all other social media trying to copy TikTok’s success.

Most folks going to YouTube or FaceBook, as opposed to TikTok, are not having that nonsense with the clickbait and simply reporting those folks as they are not going to make it instead of with meaningful and original content that lasts more than one minute.


Netflix or Other Series: “The Third Episode or Seventh Episode Rules”


Here’s another reality I have noticed on streaming and social media for a few years now, and it is analogous to as noted in response to your question about new YouTube channels from ex-media employees or from celebrities in general.

Others no doubt noticed on this front on Netflix similar years ago or perhaps did not pay mind to it, but this observation seems less like it was in the cable TV era for series.

Quite simply since about 2020, many more of us have had far more series than we can watch instead of limited time slots only after fewer of the media executives bought into a series (i.e. ABC famously passed on “Breaking Bad” if not also others such that it landed on a lowly cable channel AMC that formerly was for old films).

I don’t watch as much Netflix or series in general now unless it’s the dead of winter or wintry weather, which arrives perhaps in about six weeks here in much more of the US.

I’ve noticed after watching many series, that in either Episode 3 or Episode 7 (maybe it’s 6 or 8), there is often some major twist (some key character dies, there is a vast yet unexplained change in plans or tactics of the main character, et cetera) in the general plot and the story being told.

More often than not, it’s a turn-off for not only me such that I stop watching that series.

The first episode is often cast as the hook with plenty of extra drama and often gratuitous nudity for example. So there you of course are like, “HEY, I could certainly like seeing more of her!”

Now of course after Episode 3 or Episode 7 it is on to something else so easily, but the point is that this happens now so often and regularly with series, akin to any given new YouTube channel after watching for a few weeks, that it goes to show how much more difficult it is to make it in media even for those with large production budgets.

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Heavy, HEAVY, emphasis and liberal use of “almost” there!

More accurate would have been “vast improvement and far closer to profitability,” but hey the author Timothy Green looks like maybe his fresh out of the Spring Football Echo Chamber for his other job.

A whole lot of teams almost won the Grey Cup, Super Bowl, and World Series too on that front.

I bet there are far better articles minus the characteristic spin of that site, which now like old sites and brands such as CNBC and Yahoo! Finance is so antiquated (except for Yahoo’s charts and the links to public filings perhaps) and misses key details.

Of note in the same article with that biased headline are the following oversights:

While the company gained subscribers on a year-over-year basis, the subscriber base shrunk by about 1.8 million in the second quarter. Warner Bros. Discovery ended the quarter with 95.8 million subscribers, 54 million of which are in the United States. It should be noted that the company includes the non-streaming version of HBO in its direct-to-consumer segment, so the number of pure streaming subscribers is lower.

Indeed the following is a healthy trend:

Warner Bros. Discovery generated $410 million in revenue from content within the direct-to-consumer segment in the second quarter, more than double what it generated in the first quarter. The company has stopped the strategy of locking up shows within its own platforms.

Higher direct-to-consumer revenue pushed adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) for the segment to a loss of just $3 million, compared to a loss of more than $500 million in the prior-year period. The company’s goal is for the U.S. direct-to-consumer business to be profitable on an adjusted EBITDA basis this year and the global direct-to-consumer business to generate at least $1 billion in adjusted EBITDA by 2025. With content licensing growing, Warner Bros. Discovery is well on its way.

Now I don’t know about you, and indeed that is massive improvement, but losing $3 million with an uncertain outlook, much as noted in the same article, is not “almost” for me and even if “almost,” well refer to “almost” all that has not been done in life in general.

Screw you Motley Fool too.


@Paolo_X - and that was the best one I could find - I got nothing to get you fired up about until we get word back on the configuration of the USXFL - and then you put together your 34,000-word dissertation on the evils of hub leagues based in Alabama and why they should just call it quits and burn the whole spring league to the ground. But that is a few weeks out, so I need something to entertain myself with on slow days at work.


:rofl: :facepunch:


The streaming numbers were high for Spanish-language viewing, but as a percentage of the total, well those are awful numbers.

I don’t quite understand Fox’s streaming strategy, but they have been winning so far by doing less or nothing than their competitors.

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I’m not going to put somebody on the spot, but let’s just say at The Shady Nest last night, Superb Owl asked me if I could find out more about this rumour that in turn was reported today. He was visibly annoyed, so I went ahead and said yes and just sipped the Night Train he had served me because I wanted a new subject.

I tried to sort through the article myself, and well, hard pass too much lingo and gibberish, but can anybody help sort this one out?

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I’m not surprised on the first item at all, having seen the quality of the production by Amazon Prime and seeing it as THE BEST NFL game production now.

But I am surprised at the second item, for it was NOT looking good for the NFL Sunday Ticket. Then again, I also have to ask how many of those subscriptions were paid for by the subscriber instead of included at a heavy discount or for free in the heavy promotions with various marketing partners?

Given the heavy latency of the NFL Sunday Ticket subscription on YouTube, I’m not expecting clear answers to that question.

I’ll take the claim made in the second item with a grain of salt.

Front Office Sports is generally a good site for various sports news, but they certainly do have plenty doing the cheerleading or carrying the water for the big leagues as does any major medium reporting on the NFL so long as they want privileged access.

  • Significant audience growth on ‘TNF’ brings package closer to traditional TV
  • YouTube also reaches five-year subscriber high for NFL Sunday Ticket

They put up a paywall apparently, so I could not read the whole thing, but any insights have at it.

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And nine months later, here we are on this better road for the NBA as well.

And as your post was in response to some rumblings about Amazon Prime making some major technical change to its NFL coverage, well right now it’s no longer looking like it given their huge success already this season.

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This bojack author, in an attempt to defend Pat McAfee’s presence on ESPN GameDay, actually makes a stronger case why NOT to even bother and why NOT to like him.

I’ve only seen clips. No thanks.

I myself don’t bother with stupid college pregame shows. I do not understand the fascination versus watching actual live sports otherwise.

When I watch any NCAA games any more, it’s almost always the night game especially when it’s really cold outside or I am at work in slow time.

The point is that a network cannot simply buy ratings just because it can buy an audience, which ESPN did when they bought Pat McAfee as they otherwise laid off many so as to help fund this move.

And the downfall of ESPN continues.

Screw you ESPN, and screw you David Hookstead too for ignoring the majority of fans and telling them they are wrong.

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Warren Buffett once stated,
“Only when the tide goes out do you learn who has been swimming naked.”

Now I add myself “and also when that tide goes out, it’s almost always only when the ugly people are swimming too.”

Enter ESPN, which Disney split out on its financials for the first time ever.

Now there is no more hiding by ESPN and Disney behind any or all of the following antics since at least 2003:

  • All the smug though sometimes witty sports banter

  • Staged agendas instead of just live sports coverage like most viewers want to watch on a sports channel or medium (DUH!)

  • Various large corporate accounting shell games,
    and especially since most definitely at least 2012,

  • All that finger-wagging virtue signaling commanded from the top.

One of many elements of free speech that most people forget or overlook is that whatever freedom you exercise to say what you would like to say,
there is not, never has been, or never will be ANYTHING that requires others to pay for what you say freely as well.

How often I see people of all backgrounds forget this important reality regardless of some doing so more than others.

Since 2020, the chickens have come home to roost all the more for ESPN.

Investors are getting a clear-eyed look at ESPN’s critical contribution to the Mouse House for the first time. Revenues for Disney’s sports division were $13.2 billion over the first nine months of fiscal 2023, a 1.3% drop compared to the same period in FY 2022 ($13.37 billion).

The numbers — which hadn’t been broken out independently in the past — may help explain why Disney chairman Bob Iger is seeking a strategic partner/investor for ESPN.

Disney’s sports media business had an operating income of $1.48 billion for the nine months ending July 1, according to the filing. That’s a 20% profit drop over the same period a year ago ($1.85 billion).

ESPN is likely to get the seasonal bump with less of a rate of loss through March, but I’ll leave it to you to assess the trend in the rate of loss of profit after 31 March 2024.

Going forward, another fact not to be overlooked is the positive impact on the quarterly bottom line of the biggest of the layoffs that took place on 30 June 2023, which followed others in the second quarter after Disney’s announcement in early April.

Those are millions of dollars saved with perhaps another heavy round of cuts (/grunt grunt Stephen A. Smith) coming by December.

Cuts to the cost of employees to the tune of millions only last so long though.

Don’t be fooled by marginal improvements going forward, for marginal improvements are also likely to indicate great impairment in the generation of increased revenue and operating income of ESPN.