Streaming Wars For Live Sports, Entertainment, and Gambling

@Paolo_X - have we touched base on this one? Where Peacock is now on Everpass Media, which is a joint venture between the NFL and Redbird Capital to put NFL Sunday Ticket into bars and restaurants. I don’t know what value Peacock brings to the table for this joint venture. Olympics? Maybe the NBA if they get a slice of it next year?


@Paolo_X - Disney selling assets in India to pay for Comcast for their stake in Hulu?


Let’s recall, as commented in March in this thread, this is the very same Adam Silver who commented that the fallout from the failure of the Regional Sports Networks was going to be no big deal.

You decide whether Adam Silver or Gary Bettman deserves harsher karma for all their folly!

Now this site tries to make broader claims because NBA politics do not match their heavy slant to the right as do not most sports leagues anyway, but let’s just leave it at cord cutting and awful financial planning by the league executives on this front.

Opening night television ratings reached a nine-year low, with Tuesday’s doubleheader on TNT averaging just 2.78 million viewers, according to Sports Media Watch. That figure also marked the second least watched opening night in the past 15 years. Compared to 2022’s disastrous ratings, it was a 16% decline.

Even putting the star power of LeBron and the Los Angeles Lakers, Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors and Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets in primetime wasn’t enough to get eyeballs. Quite simply, the NBA is struggling.

And in the face of these atrocious numbers, a new interview with Adam Silver reveals that the league is going to shoot for a $7-8 billion media rights deal in upcoming negotiations. That represents a 3x increase from their current TV deal. For what?

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@Paolo_X totally agree with you on this one. The NBA is looking for the big payday in a time when the media landscape is shifting on a daily basis if not hourly. All driven by cord cutting which you have covered in depth is killing or has killed off the RSN financial model for these sports leagues.

Here are some quotes from ESPN’s Ex-President John Skipper
Skipper also said that when he was ESPN, he always valued the NBA more than any other bidders and he was willing to pay what he could to keep the league on ESPN airwaves.

Skipper also said that when he was ESPN, he always valued the NBA more than any other bidders and he was willing to pay what he could to keep the league on ESPN airwaves.

“I just believe the NBA rights are worth $1 more than anyone else will pay for them,” Skipper said. “I went into the negotiation believing I needed to win and that I needed to get those rights to maintain ESPN’s status as the Worldwide Leader in Sports.”

Skipper agreed, noting that ESPN does not get “paid” for ratings outside of advertising dollars and noted that ESPN’s distribution fees don’t change based on ratings.

So he always overpaid just to have the NBA - he didn’t worry about ratings because ESPN had the distribution fees to prop up their business model. Those distribution fees are evaporating.

Also the contract is up after the 24-25 season - Who is going to pay 3x for that product? Apple or Netflix? They could shell out for the NBA and not even blink but I expect ESPN/Disney to sit this one out.


The executive establishment in the NBA, and though to a lesser degree also the NHL, had not only underestimated this declining driver of viewership via cable but also the increased competition for the entertainment dollar of especially those who are 35 and under. That demographic does not just sit and watch TV. A majority don’t have cable or satellite TV any more as of the summer of 2022, and of those amongst those 35 and under, you would be hard-pressed to find perhaps 25% who do!

Even many of us older do not sit and just watch quite as much live sports either, including especially when the game is a dud.

The product and spectacle have changed forever.

The NBA cobbled together this “mid-season tournament” as well as cracked down on “load management” abuses, but how did we get here in 2023? Before the pandemic, those issues were already growing issues that were left unchecked.

Another flaw of Silver is that he allowed Lebron to dictate too much of the narrative of the league even in the media well off the court or any entertainment stage, for Lebron also owns a talent agency and even has his hack Nick Wright on FS1, who was exposed recently as such.

Silver better start thinking of the future NBA beyond Lebron NOW, for that act has been tired since at least 2019 but for his usually mindless fanatic band.

Sure let’s credit Silver for the exposure and turnout that has improved much for the NBA Playoffs since about 2013, except for the lower interest and ratings during the pandemic like for virtually all leagues, but here in 2023 the interest from the casual viewer in autumn is quite low. And in the cold winter how’s that looking?

I am not so sure many of these executives realize they have to shore up what they have at the core before they launch ambitious expansion campaigns.

MLB has finally figured this out with the messes with the Rays and the A’s before proceeding with expansion. Meanwhile, I hear the ratings for the recent postseason games have been solid.

The Premier League has figured it out (yet now has a newly serious officiating problem).

MLS seemed to have figured it out before the pandemic, but now with only dominantly streaming exposure in the US via Apple TV, the jury looks out to me.

The NFL most certainly has figured it out as well of course in moving far more games to ABC from ESPN.

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With the death of Cable and RSNs OTA broadcasting is the new cable. OTA is the new delivery method for the future, I don’t know what the money is going to look like but the second tier outfits like the CW, Scripps and those types of broadcast networks are working on getting 2nd and 3rd tier properties and broadcasting them to the masses. The CW has a slate of 2nd tier ACC games and the LIV golf thing. I don’t think they are stopping there. Phoenix, Utah Jazz and the NHL team from Vegas seem to have figured this out and are heading in that direction.


MLB is acting ahead of the curve now.

NBA and NHL, what are YOU doing as the same situation in many of the same markets worsens?

After taking over the production and distribution of the San Diego Padres’ and Arizona Diamondbacks’ broadcasts in 2023, commissioner Rob Manfred said the league could assume a similar role for as many as 16 teams next year.

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Interesting …I have a friend in Las Vegas who works there too, so I am getting more information by the week about the experience.

Bono’s voice is not near what it was by the way, but I thought on the opening night at least via YouTube he sounded on point.

You do have to wonder about editing and digital enhancements like AI voice enhancers though!

I appreciate the visionaries at hand here for the fan experience. There will be a great novelty effect, but the open question is “What is the staying power?”

Meanwhile, both the NBA and NHL are now behind on getting all of their games that are going off RSNs onto local or other TV!

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More here on my favourite punching bag of late, Adam Silver of the NBA, who appears now to be waking up to what was reality by February 2023.

And no Adam, you don’t get to cry now “Look, we are bigger victims!” when you were told the facts but dismissed them as “no big deal” you dolt!

And look at the success of Amazon’s Thursday night production for the NFL and all the additional attention it is drawing!

Contrary to what the Spring Football Echo Chamber trash claim with their beloved stupid hubs and the like, production quality AND spectacle on the screen do matter including even to the younger fan!


Uh-oh, just when you think it could not get worse for Bally Sports and owner Diamond Sports Group.

Going forward, I think all leagues certainly will be choosing their media partners far more carefully than even before.

As Diamond Sports Group continues to toil in trouble following its bankruptcy, its regional sports network brand is adding injury to insult.

On Monday, the Bally Sports app across the United States — at minimum in Michigan, Minnesota, North Texas, and Wisconsin — would not allow users to sign in and stream games, preventing many potential viewers from watching NBA and NHL games in those markets. Cable and satellite users in those markets were reportedly not affected.

“Our service provider experienced a widespread outage that impacted multiple partners,” Bally said in a statement released on social media Monday. “As it comes back online, signing in to Bally Sports will be impacted. We are currently working with our service provider on resolving this issue. We apologize and thank you for your patience.”


On 11 September I issued this warning above that the new NFL Sunday Ticket on YouTube was essentially laced with poison - high latency for an increased delay of the stream to real-time action!

And look now. Stay away folks, just stay away.

On Pirate Sports Network for games you cannot obtain otherwise, or if you are feeling it pay for NFL+ instead, you experience latency but it is FREE.

Paying for a service with latency like the NFL Sunday Ticket, and now live outages as well, is a straight up rip-off!

Don’t be fooled by those reports of “record” subscription numbers either when so many subscriptions were “free” from some gambling app or mobile phone promotion in the first year of the residential service on YouTube.


Comcast / NBC Universal’s Peacock Streaming Service Still Sucks

NBCUniversal’s flagship streamer Peacock reached 28 million subscribers after adding 4 million during the latest quarter, and did so on a narrowed loss of $565 million.

The studio’s streaming service lost $614 million in the year-ago period. The entertainment conglomerate earlier pointed to “peak losses” at around $3 billion for Peacock this year, which on Thursday were reduced to a $2.8 billion loss outlook.

but the following is a good sign for revenue, but then again the still high loss numbers over a half billion per quarter tell me they are having a very hard time controlling costs and with the matter of the actors’ strike since July unresolved and the numbers after resolution of the writers’ strike yet to hit after it was over on 27 September, well costs are going UP and are not stable or down:

The latest Peacock earnings report, published as part of Q3 results from NBCU parent company Comcast, also showed streamer revenues coming in at $840 million, up 64 percent from a year-earlier.


Live Sports >>> Random Network-Produced Shows


And if somebody can make sense of this new arrangement with the NBA, please enlighten me.

Maybe that dolt Adam Silver has bought some more time to figure out what he did not figure out last season?

Gary Bettman has not been much better on this front either.

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@Paolo_X - And so it begins -


Oh wow does it - thanks for this link. Look at THIS description and rinse and repeat for MLB, the NBA, and the NHL in the affected markets.

I say no tears there after they lived high hog off that that heavy gravy train “corporate welfare” that were all those “regional sports fee” arrangements added to mass cable bills whether or not one watched sports or even cared about the local teams.

Note here in Philadelphia, I would only pay to watch the Eagles for example, and we don’t ever have to pay to watch the Eagles’ games here anyway.

And reality check - why before 2023 should it not have been EASIER for ANY fan to watch favourite teams in the other leagues in other markets on a big screen?

Until then, well Pirate Sports Network it is.

Last week, the Twins said it was exploring alternative local TV options. This coincides with the retirement of the team’s play-by-play caller for the past 40 seasons, Dick Bremer.

Last season, the San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks were cast out of the Bally Sports ecosystem amid Diamond’s restructuring. Both teams were “backstopped” by MLB’s other clubs to the tune of 80 cents for every dollar they couldn’t make up with their alternative local broadcast schemes.

There is no backstopping plan for the Twins, Padres and Diamondbacks next season, however.

The article also linked me to more details to help answer my question in my previous post about what the NBA is doing and why:

Making a major step toward a long-awaited restructuring plan, bankrupt Diamond Sports Group said that it has reached an agreement with the NBA to keep all 13 of the league’s teams contracted with Bally Sports on the regional sports network through the 2023-24 season.

After this season, Diamond will relinquish linear regional-sports-network and direct-to-consumer rights early for all 13 teams, with the league fully in control of them. The league then can either renegotiate new terms with the restructured Diamond, perhaps under new ownership at that time, or the NBA could move in another direction with the local TV rights.

The NBA’s 13 Bally Sports-signatory teams will have the option of presenting up to 10 of their games on local broadcast stations this current season. According to Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand, the NBA teams will also be able to cut themselves loose from Bally Sports should Diamond be unable to agree to carriage renewal terms with Charter Communications and its 15 million pay TV homes in February, when the current deal expires.


@Paolo_X - We called this one months ago - and as I said Adam Silver had no other option but to say the sky wasn’t falling. Now we have proof in the form of the ending of the corportate welfare for these teams that were able to squeeze fans via the RSN route - looking like the games for some teams are heading to OTA and at a healthy discount of right sizing of the media broadcast fees.


I am not a wrestling kind of guy but it is interesting that the CW continues to add “sports” type programing as it shifts away from being a network of DC Superhero shows. The CW also has some lower tier ACC football games. It also appears that the CW is adding stations across the country expanding their footprint. Going forward this will be an interesting company to watch to see how they develop in regards to sports broadcasting OTA.


Disney is going to slash another two billion dollars out of their budget.