Streaming Wars For Live Sports, Entertainment, and Gambling

https://www.reuters.com/markets/deals/paramount-talks-open-its-books-sony-apollo-sources-say-2024-05-08/

Advisers to both sides are discussing the terms of a confidentiality pact that allows the exchange of commercially sensitive information, the sources said. Doing so would pave the way for Apollo and Sony to firm up their $26 billion offer and challenge a rival bid from David Ellison’s Skydance Media.

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And so the overdue consolidation in the streaming space begins. Interestingly, this bundle won’t include the sports side of Disney via ESPN and ABC, but it does include Max as would include sports TNT / TBS / TruTV.

The companies announced a new streaming bundle comprising Disney+, Hulu and Max will be available this summer in the U.S. There’s no pricing info or specific launch date at this point. Disney and WBD said the bundle will be available for purchase on any of the three streaming platforms’ websites and offered as both an ad-supported and ad-free plan.

The apps and content from each company will remain separate.

But if the apps will remain separate, this is actually what is known as a “hard bundle,” meaning separate sign-ins and apps instead of everything under one app (i.e. a “soft bundle”), so this is no real bundle but a marketing and subscription partnership in my opinion. The only real advantage to the consumer looks like an effective discount on each service for signing up for all three at the same time.

Get on with the real bundles instead of this charade, guys.

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You ever drive through Louisiana? You can buy half gallons of tequila in gas stations at 4 am. It is wild. Nevada is like that also.

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This article is from a year ago, and if anything has changed, it’s only for the worse.

Being shown the same ads all the time, including if you skip them regularly, does not help their case. You would think they would just show you a new ad, and it might be one you like?

https://www.fastcompany.com/91016336/super-bowl-ad-teasers-2024-best-ones

UX = User Experience

There should not be much wonder left as to why these services lose hundreds of millions of dollars.

Quite simply, customers don’t pay for routine bad experiences.

Before the industry gets that much more excited about AI, fix the simpler stuff like streaming and broadband!

Across the board, the streamers have terrible landing pages and subpar curation algorithms. Playback buttons routinely fail to work properly, and using the time slide to scrub to the right point in the video still feels as fun and precise as playing Tetris with your toes.

In a silo, these UX sins are an annoying, but ultimately ignorable, trade-off for easy-to-access content. But it’s 2023, and really, there’s no excuse for an entire genre of digital tools to so blatantly ignore the basics of good design. I had to wonder: Why do the platforms that are supposed to bring us pleasure seem passionately invested in planting anti-UX mines all over their interfaces? I asked a few experts in the field for their take.

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As Christmas Day falls on a Wednesday in 2024, for the antenna channels this situation can make more sense as well much as it does for the NFL for the additional exposure and the amount Netflix would pay for the rights.

As follows on the CBS site is also a good summary of the current streaming strategy by the NFL:

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For the deal between Disney’s ESPN and the NFL for NFL Media, which we can see is being shut down one way or the other, the article states the following:

In January, Andrew Marchand (then of the New York Post) reported that the NFL and ESPN were in “advanced talks” that could result in the NFL taking an equity stake in ESPN, and that would give ESPN control of NFL Media.

Instead of the NFL taking an equity stake in ESPN as it is now, I have to wonder why they simply would not join forces to set up a new media company and then have that operation handle all of pro football for ESPN, including production of segments aired on ESPN?

Then they could simply also have their own streaming channel or simply produce content for ESPN+ for whatever is not shown on any ESPN channels, when not exclusively on those channels, for as we know Disney has plans to offer ESPN directly to consumer in late 2025 anyway instead of reliance on the antiquated cable model.

As I describe is similar to how Peyton Manning’s production company, Omaha Productions, and its deal with ESPN works through 2034.

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So here we are only 10 months after streaming plus other TV viewing (not broadcast or cable) first comprised a MAJORITY of television viewing in the US in July 2023, and now the majority of projected spending on advertising is via digital platforms, EVEN with all the live sports thankfully still on regular TV versus streaming.

These are the days that the major media companies have tried to forestall for years.

Digital video refers to a broad category of TV alternatives that includes paid streaming services like Netflix (NFLX.O), opens new tab, social video platforms such as TikTok, free ad-supported TV offerings like Pluto TV and cable replacement services including YouTube TV. It will account for an estimated $62.9 billion in U.S. ad spending in 2024, according to an April report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and Guideline.

That represents 52% of the projected spending on video advertising this year, reflecting a change in viewing habits nearly two decades in the making.

https://www.reuters.com/business/media-telecom/tv-upfront-presentations-clouded-by-digital-video-ad-supremacy-2024-05-13/

Many of the streaming services launched to capitalize on changing consumer viewing behavior “are still bleeding cash while declines in the traditional television business accelerate,” said Richard Greenfield, media analyst at LightShed Partners. “They simply pivoted too late.”

Mr. Greenfield is correct, as the rest of the article reads much like a sales pitch for the old media, especially NBCUniversal, as if they’ve been so innovative.

Now all the established “TV firms” are playing catchup after Google, Netflix, and Amazon have been kicking their asses all the more, including for simply not having innovated.

In 2020 and 2021 as did Comcast for their awful Peacock offering, the old firms simply tried to promote digital content as a mere add-on to their antiquated cable bundles, cable channels with awful content, and that Regional Sports Network racket that is still hanging on in a few markets.

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Contrary to a modern trend, at least for the NFL and the NBA from what I do know, I’m in the large camp of people who are not inclined to pay for a streaming subscription simply to catch one game per week for any given league.

I think the upcoming season in autumn for the big leagues will be most telling along such lines.

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Just when I had thought in October 2023 that MLB had moved to act ahead of the curve on the matter of shorting up or replacing local coverage of games on the Bally regional sports networks and others for coverage for up to 16 teams in local markets, here we are now after the 2024 season has started.

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Facts in 2024 on Live Sports on TV

I would add that it’s better than being stuck on a streaming app too.

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Everyone is taking pot shots at WSU/OSU - I would say they have done pretty well considering the soup sandwich that they were dealt when the Pac12 disintegrated and left them holding the bag. Then the others tried to steal the bag and WSU/OSU kept the bag after a short court battle.

Anyone out there feel super confident about Cal/Stanford and the whole ACC thing? Clemson, FSU, and UNC jump ship - the ACC is probably about 2 notches above the Sunbelt or CUSA, So when that happens how are Cal and Stanford better off than WSU/OSU. At some point in the next 4 years I am betting on Cal/Stanford swallowing their pride and rejoining WSU/OSU.

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Ah, jealousy and from the Pac 12 types who had plenty of time to fix their damn mess but pooped the bed spectacularly on their own and then lost rightfully in court, they can EAT IT with their spite and sour grapes too!

Well more broadly speaking, there is a college tuition bubble that is already unraveling, so I hope those associated with Cal, Stanford, and SMU will enjoy continuing to foot those bills as their wealthy endowments perhaps carry matters forward for a generation.

But I would not bet on those Cal and Stanford types swallowing pride let alone any time soon. They used up a considerable amount of political and legal capital to join the ACC to leave that Pac-12, along with SMU.

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A YouTube Exodus Is Coming — Leaving AI Junk and MrBeast to Reign Supreme.

The YouTube Exodus Is Becoming a GOOD Thing! – At Least for a Few of Us

From the article linked below,

The result is that even long-standing creators with large followings don’t feel like the work they are putting into their channels is paying off, leading them to pivot, or even give up altogether.

“The creators who have left recently have seen this process happen time and again,” Glatt said. “And for one reason or another this time round, they have decided to leave.”

Before 2024, I was in the minority with my heavier user experience since late 2021 on YouTube, using the platform routinely since 2009 and ditching cable for good in late 2021, when the algorithm was feeding a whole lot more of what does not interest us.

Now after complaints like so many about the fake algorithm and pessimism about the future in December 2023, perhaps I am in a quiet majority for whom the algorithm is actually …wait for it …working for the sake of my actual preferences!

I have noticed the great shift and better user experience especially since April, and instead of sorting through as much crap that I have downvoted or reported multiple times for no interest, right there at the ready is now far more of content that actually interests me.

What a concept eh!? Go figure, it’s like that’s what the whole technology industry promised for the user experience in the heyday of AOL in like…1996!
:roll_eyes:

Pushing narratives that have dominated cable television for years does not work online, and the people in media and in cable will NEVER figure that out despite over 20 years since mainstream residential use of high-speed internet (especially large media firms like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T),
so that’s why YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon continue rightfully to kick cable and telco asses because quite simply they are not democratizing the user experience for content rather than the inordinate continued pushes whenever you watch anything on one of their channels on TV.

Really now, is there ANY sound technical reason why in 2024 we are quite simply not also able to downvote ads online? Hmm? “But you can skip them or report them!” a few might chime in to which I would reply, “Okay, how has that worked for you and even if it has because you might spend an inordinate time setting your preferences, why does that not work for most everybody? Hmmm?”

Here’s a fine article from March citing the trend well at hand.

Rule of Thumb:
Unless used in an educational construct and disclosed for assistance with a simulation or graphic for the otherwise original narrative of the presenter, what is otherwise presented with the use of AI is generally clickbait BS much as are many of the YouTubers still sounding off from their basement like it’s still 2014. Thankfully, since October 2023 YouTube and and since at least February the EU has required also disclosure of the use of AI after passing suitable regulation:

Downvote and report these videos that are using AI without clear disclosure as either misinformation or misleading/SPAM. The same goes with any actual human using misleading titles for their videos, which they can no longer get away with as easily in 2024.

Pro Tip:

Another tell of LOSER channel on YouTube - a YouTuber still with a laptop in front of them here in 2024 or holding a phone and reading off the phone frequently.

You are not the corporate news desk circa 2005 dude or lady!

Observation:

Were it not for the pandemic, we’d have been likely right about where we are now by perhaps autumn 2021 with our online experience. The pandemic simply sustained some of these channels with captive audiences as it otherwise did stir some innovation and creativity and long overdue investment in broadband upgrades. As noted above and in the article, now even many fine content creators simply don’t have even the attention of loyal audiences, for there’s a world outside our doors and plenty more great stuff to do like in much of our lives.

But this current wave of departures feels different and may be the tipping point for a whole new era of YouTube — one where MrBeast reigns supreme and smaller creators struggle to compete for views against his extremely expensive, cinematic stunts, and where AI-generated content thrives.

It is unclear just how quickly AI-generated content has grown on YouTube, but one recent investigation by Wired found some channels with such content that appear to be targeting children. In September last year, the BBC also found children’s YouTube channels that were labeling AI-generated false scientific information as “educational content.”

The problem is already so widespread that YouTube is bringing in new politics to address the issue. In October last year, for example, the platform said it would require creators to disclose if they had used AI technology in their videos.

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Crossroads for Original Non-Sports Entertainment Content

Here in 2024 post-pandemic social media, after what was about a 3-year experiment by a record number of people not at work creating content with a few even starting a business and livelihood out of social media though now far fewer with social media providing their full-time income, we are upon an unprecedented crossroads for the entertainment industry.

Gone are the staid ways of content production for dominantly viewing via cable channels, which of course was edited for the insertion of routine commercial breaks.

Gone also is the upside for homegrown content production, and after you have seen enough original content over the past few years you probably know well why most of the time, content creation is best left to the professionals.

Akin to TikTok, X, and Facebook, now we have countless examples of too many cooks spoiling the broth.

So other than more fake reality shows or on the other hand very costly productions, what next, cheap scripts with characters built by AI?

Would those under 30 even care that they are not real actors?

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