Streaming Wars For Live Sports, Entertainment, and Gambling

Welcome Back Jon Stewart

I think prime time comedy has had a huge void only partially filled by Netflix, and so it’s great to have Jon Stewart back.

I am still catching up on clips though.

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NOT SO FAST DISNEY! And Fox! And You Too, Uh …Warner Brothers Discovery!

Let’s note that the NFL was less than amused about this proposed largest streaming venture of all time, and I have no doubt there will be other litigants than Fubo TV, which I have not followed, but it seems like a dying business now. I know nobody who is a subscriber.

This matter ought to throw a spanner in the works for the planned launch for autumn 2024 in the heart of the 2024 NCAA football season.

Of course the venture still has to obtain federal approval via the Department of Justice, which no doubt will be monitoring this litigation now too.

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, New York-based Fubo alleges that Disney, Fox and WBD, together with Disney’s ESPN and Hulu, have “engaged in a years-long campaign to block Fubo’s innovative sports-first streaming business resulting in significant harm to both Fubo and consumers.” The complaint alleges that the forthcoming launch of their sports-streaming joint venture, pegged for the fall of 2024, “steals Fubo’s playbook” and violates antitrust law.

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It won’t hurt to have Jon Stewart back, but his former employee/sidekick John Oliver is killing it on HBO and I prefer Oliver over Stewart. I prefer Bill Maher over both. They are all a little different so if Stewart can still attract an audience good for him.

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The first paragraph and the last one are the most newsworthy.

The last paragraph has a sentence of commentary by Bloomberg Law on that new lawsuit by Fubo TV, for which I did a post here in this thread today.

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Yeah I don’t know how Disney, Fox and Warner Bros survives the scrutiny of the Feds to get this thing off the ground. Pretty clear monopoly thing happening there.

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Also after some initially sullen remarks, I don’t see how the king of all American entertainment media (setting aside as always video games and porn), the NFL, does NOT now have its powers that be on the case for its interests.

There is no way the NFL is going to stand for negotiating with one entity here for streaming rights as opposed to formerly three who are in competition, without much in exchange or a sweetheart deal.

Of course as we have seen with the example of the previous USFL 2.0 and now the UFL, the NFL can also have Disney and Fox simply shift higher payments in return to the NFL for their other NFL rights.

WBD is not in the current mix for NFL games and likely will not be in the mix at all for NFL games anyway, even via this venture.

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Sounds like a big game to me with negotiating rights to up-the-ante for the others to chime in. Just like an owner in pro sports saying to the city “build me a new stadium or arena or I’ll move my team to a city that will build me a new stadium or arena”. All a game.

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The irony is thick here.

If you go back at least a decade, folks would go to Reddit to catch the general vibe about any particular matter amidst all the renegade and fake content for those not yet on common social media or those kicked off of them.

Now I personally hardly ever bothered with Reddit but to try to catch a signal for Pirate Sports Network on occasion for especially CFL games years ago.

But look now, of course Reddit has been no different than other common social media, and it’s not as if they are trying to hide any more that so much of course has been simply made up just like on other social media, including of late many more videos on YouTube that are click-bait like overwhelmingly TikTok.

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WBD Streaming Is Profitable!

Beyond Netflix, YouTube, or Amazon, such positive financial or business news for a media company with a major streaming operation is uncommon.

Nevertheless, Wall Street has administered its punishment for the sake of expectations for WBD given the massive quarterly losses by the rest of the company.

Some like me just want them to streamline where they show all the NBA and NHL games instead of the current heavy patchwork framework that dates like it is still cable TV 2005 in large part.

Warner Bros. Discovery reported a significant milestone Friday, becoming the first major U.S. media conglomerate to post a full-year profit from its streaming business. But that achievement was far from enough as the TNT Sports parent posted a $400 million fourth-quarter net loss, helping fuel a nearly 10% stock drop.

The company, which recently rebranded its sports division, said it logged a $103 million profit last year from its direct-to-consumer division, which includes its Max platform that continues to elevate its college and pro sports content. The figure dramatically reversed a $1.6 billion loss in that segment in 2022. Such a financial milestone in streaming has yet to be reached by major competitors such as Disney, Comcast, or Paramount.

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Paramount Global 2023:
Great video performance of Paramount+, but no merger deal and bleeding more red ink than ever

“OUCH! THAT’S GOTTA HURT!” comes to mind as you read the following financial and business summary.

The unlocking process will include a $1 billion write-down to be taken in the current quarter. Bakish and Chopra promised Wall Streeters that the company will spend less to make and market movies and TV shows and they will get more bang for those bucks with more aggressive windowing of streaming content across linear assets and vice versa. Moves forced by necessity during the programming drought of last year’s strike months — “Yellowstone” reruns airing on CBS, for one — are helping to guide its future. Most of the write-down ($700 million to $900 million) will stem from existing TV shows and movies that will be yanked from Paramount’s various digital and linear platforms and development projects that will be scrapped.

After recording a $1.6 billion loss on streaming operations in 2023, Paramount+ will reach profitability in the U.S. in 2025, Bakish vowed. Paramount Global will deliver free cash flow and growth in the second half of ths year, Chopra added.

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Too bad SFU killed their football program. They would still get 1-4 wins but at least it’s better travel

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I buy some of McAfee’s ranting as noted but not all of it, for he had Rodgers on repeatedly and gave him the freedom to go to many places beyond sports and off the field that Rodgers later took to his other brotastic buddy, Joe Rogan, as they are all whining as if they are victims whenever otherwise being rightfully called out for farther than merely one slight misstep over any given lines.

Here McAfee claims to be “surprised” by the attention he has received, especially after that Rodgers’ mess now? Oh c’mon Pat! What hooey!

As if Rodgers even HAD to go to any of those places on McAfee’s show, but hey, Rodgers is the arrogant fool who thinks he’s above public scrutiny beyond the field, which Rodgers is obsessed to do for attention at the core, especially when he is unable to play.

Nope, get back on course McAfee or go the way of UFC on ESPN, as like perhaps had done the UFC though I don’t know if the UFC had, McAfee definitely was smart enough to have his money guaranteed from ESPN.

I don’t see McAfee as “the next Joe Rogan” strictly in terms of success though.

The tide against those striking out on their own via merely streaming any more has only increased, so without regular TV exposure, good luck with making a career out of entertainment unless one has also other off-screen channels for a brand well beyond streaming.

There quite simply are not many out there like Joe Rogan, Bill Simmons, Clay Travis, and emerging now after especially the interviews with Katt Williams and Monique, Shannon Sharpe.

Post-pandemic there simply is not near the window for viewership and attention span like from early 2020 to winter 2023.

Few like the first three mentioned above plus McAfee, plus a a few YouTube channels amidst numerous now fading YouTube channels, plus an inordinate number of ladies on Instagram and OnlyFans, became famous and thrived financially when so many people were at home or wandering around, whether working or not with most offices near empty for much of two years until early 2022 in the US and longer in many countries.

That tide is going out all the more now for all but for a smaller few.

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I wonder how all those who used to work at ESPN and then got cut loose are doing? The Jalen Rose’s of the world etc.

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Basically their media days are generally over for any such higher compensation like for overwhelmingly most any more.

The big media firms simply don’t need nearly as many talking heads or production people any more, and they don’t need to pay them as much either but for a select few with signature voices who are basically akin to A-list actors in public appeal.

Nobody under the age of at least 60 is sitting and watching people talking on a screen on a cable channel for most anything any more, including even news that one can obtain for free via also streaming channels for all of the major media.

Some like Marcellus Wiley go on to do their own streaming channel on principally YouTube, having saved up much for two decades in media after an NFL career with his pension as well, but very few of those will stick before people simply tune out.

2023 was a big year of transition for all these former ESPN and Fox employees on streaming media, and well for the biggest part of them, nobody cares any more in 2024 and especially for all their back-and-forth fights in 2023 going after each other on social media now that they can speak candidly.

I spent a bit too much time in the summer of 2023 watching some of those fights, but they did have some great dish for about a month on the inner diabolical workings of ESPN, for example.

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https://www.reuters.com/business/media-telecom/fox-disney-warner-bros-discovery-sports-venture-expects-5-mln-subscribers-five-2024-03-04/

And I still don’t see how this venture passes government scrutiny without major concessions and/or heavy corruption.

“Over $40 per month” is code for an introductory price of $44.99 per month, so then it becomes a matter of just how much sports content is shoved onto the platform.

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Where is all that material? I might have to go down that rabbit hole.

I would not recommend it in general, for most is a waste of time and you’ll end up downvoting and reporting most of these clips on YouTube after about two weeks.

But, I would recommend SOME videos on Marcellus Wiley’s channel to get up to speed, as well as some of Shannon Sharpe’s material on either of his two channels. They are both doing well on YouTube and beyond.

Rich Eisen’s channel also has some good stuff, but I don’t follow him.

I can’t think of any others that I would recommend for general discussions of sports and entertainment. Dreamerspro might have been a better channel if the principal Charles Tabansi was not so focused on NBA basketball and ESPN and the never-ending and tiresome Jordan-Lebron-Kobe debate.

I myself have tired of all the jibber-jabber and simply watch something else when it’s not live sports, so for the most part I don’t watch sports talk or media talk on YouTube any more.

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FuboTV goes full dramatic, already …

[CEO David] Gandler during a morning analyst call didn’t hold back when responding to questions about the impact of the lawsuit and upcoming competition from the rival sports streamer. “I think that this is a duel to the death. It has been when we started this company. We are fighting for consumers. We are fighting for our customers. We are fighting for the tens of billions of dollars that are wasted annually by consumers paying for the same content multiple times. This is a very important process. We are sticking to our principles, to our guns, and we’re continuing to be able to chew gum and walk at the same time, as you can see from our numbers,” he told analysts.

The FuboTV lawsuit claims the partners in the proposed rival sports streamer call for licensing rates 30 perent to 50 percent higher than other distributors like Hulu and YouTube as those streamers receive rebates that lower their content rates.

FWIW FuboTV’s subscription and revenue trends continue on a very positive basis, but they are still losing tens of millions per quarter, though that number is declining too, so obviously they must fight on this front so as to continue to reduce those content costs.

Also don’t forget that Disney now owns Hulu in its entirety, so of course Disney can easily manipulate Hulu’s reported financial performance.

FuboTV’s global revenue rose 28 percent to $410.2 million, up from a year-earlier $319.3 million, with $401.8 million of that coming from North America. The sports and entertainment streamer hit 1.61 million subscribers in North America during the fourth quarter, up 12 percent year-on-year.

Subscription revenue came to $370.0 million, against a year-earlier $284.6 million, while advertising revenue edged up to $40.0 million, compared to $33.8 million last year.

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