Streaming Wars For Live Sports, Entertainment, and Gambling

Nothing in here that we haven’t hashed through.


Netflix Top Series and Movies Second Half 2023

I’m going to post this here and cross-post it to the Netflix thread.

Of the top 10 series and movies by hours of viewing time, I’ve watched two of the series and would recommend these along with two documentaries not on the list like “Cocaine Cowboys: The Kings of Miami” and “The Cuba Libre Story” amongst a few others.

  1. “Lupin” - This series produced in France is excellent overall, but for me Season 3 was a downer and I turned it off before the end of the season. I highly recommend seasons 1 and 2 if you like action-adventure-drama in a series.

  2. Beckham - It’s an outstanding documentary on the life and career of David Beckham.

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It’s not really news here for US viewing demographics for regular TV, but CBS continues to be the oldest media viewing age thanks also to “60 Minutes,” which I figure has likely retained perhaps 50% of its audience for 50 years now.

Note that the three largest “cable news” channels skew even older than CBS, which explains a whole lot for the sake of what has been passing for “news” since about 2001.

The median age for a network primetime viewer long has been above 50 — this year, it comes in at 64.6 for the five English-language broadcast networks. Cable is much the same, with such networks as Bravo skewing a little younger (its median viewer age is 56), while the Big Three news channels’ average viewer is about 69.

Only one English-language show that aired on a broadcast network this season — Bob’s Burgers on Fox — had a median age (where half a show’s viewers were younger and half older) below 50, and not by much: The animated series’ median viewer age was 49.5. (All numbers in this story are through May 19, three days before the end of the September-to-May TV season.)

Here are the table data copied from the article, in which they are displayed in a better format at the bottom.

Oldest and Youngest Shows by Network

Table with 4 columns and 5 rows.

|Network| Median Age of Viewer — **Oldest Show
Primetime Median Viewer Age
Median Age of Viewer – Youngest Show **

| — | — | — | — |

|ABC| 71.6 — Jeopardy! Masters
57.1 — NBA Primetime

|CBS| 73 — Blue Bloods
58.7 — Big Brother

|Fox| 65.7 — Alert: Missing Persons Unit
49.5 — Bob’s Burgers

|NBC| 71 — Magnum P.I.
55.2 — Sunday Night Football

|CW| 71.5 — The Spencer Sisters
53.8 — All American


As the mobile phone companies have done to make any given number of streaming services available for free or at a discount to subscribers, now the big cable companies are rebundling so as to do the same beyond a mere promotional basis.

Of course knowing these as cable companies at the heart, I’m no fool to jump at these deals for wireless internet and streaming services yet, but of course they are without contract so have at it those of you in the US where available.

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This is a month old but so telling for a streaming service that is still losing well over a half billion per QUARTER.

NBCUniversal is hiking the price of Peacock for the second time in two years, tacking $2 onto the cost of the streaming service this summer, around the time of the Paris Olympics.

The change will take effect starting July 18 for new customers, and for existing subscribers at their next billing date on or after August 17. The timing is similar to that of a 2023 hike, which was the first since Peacock’s launch in 2020. The Summer Olympics in Paris are slated to run from July 26 to August 11.

And of course six weeks later there is the NFL game on 6 September in Brazil, so there’s the other part of the money grab.

I wonder how much content for the Olympics that Comcast will attempt to slide onto Peacock, sort of like they tried with the Premiere League in 2020 and 2021 until they faced more competition from CBS and other live sports as far as product quality and presentation?

These are the same unscrupulous good old cable TV company people who put that hub spring league trash on NBC often instead of on Peacock where it belonged, after all.

It’s not like Comcast had lowered those cable TV rates then or now.

Remember, despite high revenue gains, Peacock is a service that continues to lose more than a cool half BILLION dollars per QUARTER!

Peacock brought in $1.1 billion of revenue, up 54% from a year ago, with losses narrowing to $639 million from $704 million a year ago. The earnings release did not offer details about the higher programming costs, but in January Peacock featured an NFL Wild Card playoff game, which was acquired in a rights deal separate from NBCU’s long-term rights agreement with the league.


The thing with the Olympics is there is a ton of content that you can send to peacock and not disrupt the other flows to the main channels. You could dump all the preliminary rounds over there. Serbia vs Puerto Rico or Canada vs Australia women’s hoops. Not saying that any of it is really worth watching unless you are a junkie - pick a sport and dump that stuff over there -


It’s my belief that the Olympics and the two Hail Marys via the NFL are the ONLY reasons that Peacock continues to exist and is being pushed, as well as was as noted in this thread a year ago in 2023 with the upcoming 2024 Summer Olympics, that reality was the first tell a year ago that Comcast would not augment its stake in Hulu in their deal with Disney instead of selling their stake in Hulu to Disney as agreed.

I am thinking Comcast continues to play things up for Peacock for 2025 after more fluffing of the the business via the NFL game in September, much like in January via that playoff game though still now with Peacock losing hundreds of millions per quarter.

Now the Comcast strategy, as noted above, seems to be a price increase for standalone service for Peacock and bundling the Peacock service with two other streaming services in a low-price volume rollout of internet service without a subscription, as in “let’s make it up via affluent niche audiences with money (i.e. the lucrative advertising demographic [dominantly suburban women] during gymnastics!) or in volume.”

I see the volume part of this current move as Comcast’s strategy to try to knock down competitors like Verizon and T-Mobile so as to recapture heavily lost market share via their belated WiFi internet strategy in 2022, which had failed since they had continued to push the trash cable content and crappy Peacock with their internet service.

Let’s note that Comcast only adopted that strategy in 2022 after Peacock failed miserably after launch in 2020 due to being marketed as an add-on to the cable bundle along with coercion to try to get people to sign up after moving content off cable channels as they hiked cable rates - all during a pandemic too!

There was already far less real sports content on NBC Sports Network before Peacock and its shutdown after 2021 after NBC began to mail it in on NHL coverage in late 2019 once they found out they lost the rights to renewal.

For cable subscribers, Comcast badly misused its sports channel already in the bundle. Now they use USA for Premier League for a few games a week as they try to shuffle more onto Peacock, but I think Comcast wishes they had chosen differently given how CBS is airing sports content.

Now only after three years of such failure and pissing off millions including especially loyal customers for years, Comcast is pushing the internet with a streaming bundle instead of merely Peacock, for on its own without the Olympics or the NFL, PEACOCK IS A LOSER!

Anyway, some other developments are looming via the core competitors of Comcast in the US with regards to content bundles included with services.

Personally, I’m only interested in FREE via any given streaming service but for Paramount+, for it’s not as if I am not actually paying for it already via the mobile service in some way.

Later this year I’m shuffling my mobile plan, so we shall see what opportunities are at hand.

Compared to October 2021 in my last full month of cable TV and internet service with Comcast, after initial savings by November 2021, it’s great to have reduced combined monthly amount for internet, TV, and phones $55 per month now, and that includes after payment for a year of Paramount+, and on the decline more later this year.

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With regards to Olympic sports, here’s what else has been most telling since especially the summer of 2022.

Heavy signs were at hand that streaming services were not going to be quick moneymakers, including even to NBC Sports.

For athletics or track and field for example, it hardly makes sense in the US to dedicate live coverage for hours on top channels.

It’s a sport perfect for streaming. But even as a fan, would I or others pay for that service if otherwise there is not much else on there and it has a performance issue with latency?

No, we just wait for the highlights on YouTube as nowadays one can still avoid spoilers for the events in the US!

So why would many fans like me pay for a streaming subscription when we watch these highlights for free and have little or no interest in anything else on that crappy streaming service?

I watch these highlights many nights a week during the outdoor season most especially.

If there’s any opportunity for the most-watched races, the sprints, it’s a simulcast of TV coverage, which I figure Comcast will do for any live coverage on NBC.

The days of packaged highlights on weekdays for prime time viewing in the US are of course years behind us.


Quick Take, Bidding War On Paramount Global In Progress:

Expect much to change with all things Paramount and CBS for 2025 in the months after this bidding war, in progress for months now, is completed.

If you are a subscriber to Paramount+ as am I, perhaps we will be offered a sweetened deal in transition, for often upon a merger or acquisition in media, customer retention becomes a higher priority.

Otherwise it’s the same difference if treated like crap like in other mergers or acquisitions, such as in the financial sector, and those folks can generally go to hell anyway so it would be the same difference.

Now Skydance Media returns with another offer, improved upon its previous offer, for a complicated transaction that Paramount Global’s board and shareholders would have to consider to be worth more than $26B as offered by Apollo and Sony, all things considered supposedly.

The increased cash and improved terms of the new offer are not detailed yet.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the improved offer.

Skydance initially proposed a complex transaction, in which it would pay roughly $2 billion to acquire the Redstone family’s holding company, National Amusements, which holds 77% of Paramount’s class-A voting stock.

Paramount would then acquire Skydance in an all-stock transaction worth around $5 billion. It subsequently offered a $3 billion deal sweetener entailing a mix of share buybacks and cash that could be used to pay down debt.


This is hardly a surprise that the Chicago market would buck the sour trend of Regional Sports Networks much like a few other markets, much like in the northeast US starting from the Washington DC area market.

But Bulls and White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf is still entering that troubled landscape with an ambitious development of a new RSN for the Chicago market.

Reinsdorf has completed a deal with Standard Media to create the Chicago Sports Network, which will become a key player in the No. 3 U.S. media market. CHSN, as it will be known for short, will show both of Reinsdorf’s teams, as well as the NHL’s Blackhawks. The Bulls and Blackhawks will begin airing on CHSN this fall, while the White Sox will follow beginning with the 2025 season. All three teams have been aired since ’04 on NBC Sports Chicago, which is now expected to shut down.

It’s telling that Comcast’s NBC Sports Chicago is shutting down, and no tears ever for Comcast because NBC’s regional sports networks, like here in Philadelphia, have been trash for years long before streaming. Even though diversified beyond cable, the cable mentality persists as cable companies don’t know how to run TV networks.

Even NBC’s Sunday Night Football as the #1 show on TV is no longer a very good production after peaking perhaps by 2019.

Now we shall see though how much this network will be able to charge fans and if they will pay like during the heyday of the Regional Sports Network racket on cable.

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A federal antitrust case against the NFL for the NFL Sunday Ticket is now headed to a trial by jury.


Betting Against The Rules By A Player Tied To Criminal Activity - Shocker Right!?

There’s much to unpack here on how it goes wrong beyond the integrity of the game itself.

Here’s merely the first rigged game in January that involved the player, who is not named in the criminal indictment (yet?).

Here’s my scary and inconvenient question, something I tend to do well by nature, that will not be answered any time soon.

Do the losers of any bets in general for these games with knowingly rigged play get their money back, and if not, why not?

Yeah, here we are already again in a world of even regulated and legal mass sports betting.

The Betting Scheme

The NBA is a professional basketball league in North America. The NBA maintains a code of conduct for all of its players which prohibits wagering in connection with NBA games.

As alleged in the complaint, Pham and his co-conspirators placed “under prop” bets on Player 1’s performance in two NBA games, knowing in advance that Player 1 planned to withdraw from those games for purported health reasons. A “prop,” or proposition bet is a wager placed on a player’s performance, rather than the outcome of the game. For example, a betting platform could offer users a wager that a player would score more (referred to as betting the “over”) or fewer (betting the “under”) points than a certain number of points designated by the betting platform for a given game.

The January 26, 2024 Game

In early 2024, Player 1 had amassed large gambling debts to certain of the co-conspirators. Player 1 was encouraged to clear those debts by withdrawing from certain games prematurely to ensure that under prop bets on Player 1’s performance were successful. On January 22, 2024, Player 1 sustained a purported eye injury during a game. He was evaluated and diagnosed with a corneal abrasion, but was not placed on the NBA injury list. Shortly before the game on January 26, 2024 (the January 26 Game) Player 1 told the defendant that he would be removing himself early from the game, claiming that he was injured. Player 1 entered the January 26 Game midway through the first quarter. After playing just four minutes and recording zero points, three rebounds and one assist, Player 1 removed himself from the game after he complained to team officials that he had reaggravated the eye injury.

Player 1’s performance in several statistical categories during the January 26 Game was under the designated amounts set by Betting Company 1 in its prop bets related to Player 1. Thus, several bettors, including co-conspirators, who wagered the “under” on prop bets related to Player 1’s performance for the January 26 Game won those bets.
For example, a relative of a co-conspirator placed a $10,000 parlay bet through Betting Company 1 on the “under” for Player 1’s three pointers, assists and steals. As a result of Player 1 removing himself from the January 26 game, the bet was successful and the relative won $85,000 (netting a profit of $75,000). Additionally, a co-conspirator placed a $7,000 parlay bet through Betting Company 1 on the “under” for Player 1’s three pointers, points, assists and rebounds. As a result of Player 1 removing himself from the January 26 Game, the bet was successful and the co-conspirator won $40,250 (netting a profit of $33,250).

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It’s also early though not to be overlooked, I would guess, that the verdict on the NFL Sunday Ticket case would affect greatly the plans of Fox, Disney, and WBD to offer jointly a streaming service for sports, which already irked the NFL enough for perhaps the NFL to work with RedBird and Skydance principals as their latest pending, increased offer for Paramount Global, and by extension CBS, is at hand.

If the verdict goes against the NFL on an antitrust basis for such media rights, whatever new scheme on streaming or otherwise for broadcast of NFL games, it’s going to be either very hard or illegal to consolidate all those games under merely one unified service no matter the number of partners.

Meanwhile things will be just fine on Amazon and Netflix otherwise until the matter of all the other video media partners of the NFL, including what is to become of NFL media as the NFL divests from it, is resolved.

I suspect we will hear big news on this front by the end of the year as NFL games end up spread out across more platforms as early as 2025.

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The White Sux are worth watching only if you’re a fan of their opponent

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When the NFL wants taxpayer dollars, it’s all about civic pride.
When they want to squeeze every penny out of viewers it’s “hey, we’re just a private business.”


Ay hombre …
/Pauses further and slowly nods head

Si`, you are tough, but you are fair.

TUCO on Make a GIF

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CFL Solid on CBS Cable-Only Until 2026, But What if Acquired?

Here’s a big picture to consider now:

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Paramount Global Remains In Play and Fire Sales for Streaming Services?

And back and forth we go for the acquisition of Paramount Global, owner of also CBS.

There won’t be a Paramount Global–Skydance Media merger after all, at least under the previously discussed terms. But the status quo for the CBS Sports corporate parent is essentially not sustainable, strongly suggesting that some type of major move for the company is still on the way.

National Amusements, the Shari Redstone family company that controls Paramount Global, confirmed late Tuesday that it will not move forward on a proposed merger with Skydance Media potentially worth $8 billion, citing an inability “to reach mutually acceptable terms.”

This means no Skydance. But there is no parking on the dance floor either for Paramount.

But what now? Redstone is now reportedly pursuing a straight sale of National Amusements as opposed to a merger like what had been negotiated with Skydance. But as she does that, Paramount has more than $14.6 billion in debt. And despite the extensive battery of top-tier sports rights, the company’s stock has sagged more than 23% in 2024, it has not been as active in the streaming business as many of its competitors, and its linear TV business faces the same large-scale issues with cord-cutting as the rest of the industry.

When I read about such developments, I wonder if Paramount will have a fire sale for Paramount+, much as I had heard Peacock was doing in a promotion I saw to sign up people for $19.99 for the first year.

You better believe if I were near the end of my subscription term for Paramount+,
I would unsubscribe then re-subscribe to get that deal much as I figure a few will do for Peacock over the summer.

And then as noted in the article, there is talk that WBD may come back into the picture, which for any inclusion of NBA rights, would be an outstanding gamechanger for CBS and WBD for NBA coverage on top of their existing successful partnership for March Madness.


I figure the NCAA will be taking the lead on sports betting reforms now.


Data from a recent forecast by Morgan Stanley provides a new angle on the TV industry slowdown that has dominated recent headlines out of Hollywood and a closer look at how TV content spending will be impacted by companies’ shifting priorities.

According to the forecast, all but two of the major streaming players will grow their spending on “general entertainment” and news — TV content excluding sports, in other words — at rates of less than 10% over the next few years. The two exceptions, unsurprisingly, are Amazon and Apple, but even the Big Tech behemoths will be reducing their spending growth significantly from peak TV-era levels.

The bottom line here as I read it is that odds are there are going to be fewer good shows plus new quality niche content will be harder to find, much as it is already on YouTube from independent creators or otherwise.

It’s noteworthy that Comcast is noted on the chart is reducing investment even more in new non-sports content, not that they have had since at least 2019 terribly much for quality new shows on NBC, or otherwise via cable channels, that is quality and that is not sports. Note that’s even with Peacock!