Streaming Wars For Live Sports, Entertainment, and Gambling

A REUTERS SPECIAL REPORT

Online-gambling giants conquer U.S. with tactics deemed too tough for Britain

I’m paywalled on this report now, but it looks good and builds on prior discussion about how the UK has been at the forefront of regulation of sports betting within the Anglosphere, including in particular well ahead of Canada and the US where provincial or state regulation are at hand.

It ticks me off when on local NBC on a Saturday afternoon, there is a half-hour informercial with two blowhards for some gambling site instead of live sports content, but hey I can find that otherwise.

If this were on pay television or another streaming ad that’s another matter, but gambling given the same access to advertising during weekend daytime hours on free TV as anything else out there is an issue for me.

https://www.reuters.com/investigations/online-gambling-giants-conquer-us-with-tactics-deemed-too-tough-britain-2024-07-03/

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I wouldn’t be surprised at all to hear about more players charged with crimes, in addition to league punishments, for betting on their own sport and engaging in conduct that compromises the gambling.

I think a whole lot of athletes might not realize also the downside of perhaps life as a felon, beyond getting caught and suspended or banned from play.

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Same drum similar beat - not breaking news, but wow it seems to have taken the CFL more than long enough!

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Good news but I have to wonder how Ottawa was lucky enough to be scheduled three times in a row miss a game and on again. Makes me wonder if it is a conspiracy to kill the CFL on CTV. Ottawa for some unknown reason has by far had the lowest TV ratings of any CFL team since their inception (and that includes their early glory years)

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This didn’t age well considering Ottawa and Hamilton had the best ratings for week 4 lol

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I hope it doesn’t age well but it certainly is historically accurate. What was the rating?

Just checked. It would be great if Sunday games gave that as a usual rating but the CTV games are on Saturday. This is one post where I sincerely hope I’m wrong

Thursday
Edmonton at B.C. — 349,700 TSN

Friday
Montreal at Toronto — 274,900 TSN and 207,100 RDS (482,000 total)

Saturday
Winnipeg at Calgary — 510,700 TSN

Sunday
Hamilton at Ottawa — 722,700 TSN

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Gets back to the death of cable and linear OTA broadcasts becomeing where sports are heading. Scripted programing is going to streaming and OTA broadcasts will be news or sports. - as you say none of this is anything close to being new - same drum different beat.

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Free Tubi, of Fox Corporation, Has As Much Aggregate Viewing Time As …Disney+!:
Another Data Point On How Most Streaming Video Is A Failed Business On Its Own

Talk about news delivered under the radar, and as more often than not lately though at it since about 2007, I have to go to London or Paris to get the real story for my own country.

Look at this juicy detail in this article, which is about Tubi’s launch in the UK:

Anjali Sud, the chief executive of Tubi, said: “Tubi has spent the last decade honing our approach to vast, free and fun streaming in North America, and we feel that now is the perfect time to bring that recipe to UK audiences. Most importantly, we’re committed to listening to what resonates with UK fans, and bringing them more and more of what they love.”

Nielsen’s Report of the Gauge claims that in the US, where it has 80m active users, Tubi tied with Disney+ in total viewing time.

This data point is more evidence that Fox Corporation got streaming right compared to its media rivals, which are all still losing billions of dollars per year failing to make a profitable business out of such ventures.

Of course given the flaws in the experience of users that is NOT improving, if not still getting worse with the worst of the services, there’s no way in hell that streaming video becomes a viable business model but for Netflix with Amazon happy to use it as a vast in-house marketing arm that cuts marketing costs for their vast and growing larger businesses.

Consumers are happy to pay for live sports, as in like I stated LIVE sports, and not hours of sports shows and discussion like ESPN of yore, but we’re not paying to watch recorded content of any kind any more. Of course many services simply have recorded games available soon after the game.

Now I have not signed up for Tubi for a different reason - saturation.

I’m one of the majority of those who watch streams who will only watch up to three streaming services regularly when otherwise not watching the free FAST channels. Really now, how much can you watch on a big screen after a day with your phones and screens at work!?

Even YouTube had more than enough content for me for a while, but like many, I think YouTube is past its peak, which may have been 4Q2023.

YouTube 2024 is basically analogous to the video edition of Wikipedia circa 2008, when so much of the growing content was poorly vetted and there was far more incorrect or incomplete information as well as disinformation.

I especially enjoy all the BS channels now being outed more than ever for having been frauds for years, and for all the clickbait that prevailed for too long that YouTube cracked down on for good starting in October 2023 by changing up the algorithm to punish such folks, spare them no punishment folks!

But should I drop one of my other services, which I watch less than free YouTube, you bet I am intrigued to pick up free Tubi.

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Somebody started a new thread with that news as well, and I link it here:

The Panthers are the third NHL team to ink a carriage deal with Scripps, along with the Vegas Golden Knights (last year’s Stanley Cuo champions) and Utah Hockey Club (who agreed to a deal when they were the Arizona Coyotes). Last fall, the company claimed it had contingency deals in place with several teams in case the Bally Sports RSNs cut teams loose.

Screw you cable TV regional sports networks unless and until you make them optional for subscribers, which they should be anyway.

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The rest of this has to do with the shift to OTA broadcasting.
Key words - First NHL team to sign local broadcast rights with a streaming service.

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July 8 (Reuters) - Skydance Media and Paramount Global (PARA.O), opens new tab agreed to merge, the companies announced late on Sunday, scripting a new chapter for one of Hollywood’s oldest studios.

The companies agreed to a two-step process in which Skydance and its deal partners will acquire National Amusements, which holds the Redstone family’s controlling stake in Paramount, for $2.4 billion in cash.

Skydance will subsequently merge with Paramount, offering $4.5 billion in cash or stock to shareholders and providing an additional $1.5 billion for Paramount’s balance sheet.

And as projected last week, the deal was announced late on Sunday as Paramount announced that they will continue also job cuts.

Most interesting to most subscribers of Paramount+ is what CBS does to mess with coverage of the NFL, Champions League, other soccer, and live sports or not.

Without enhanced access to ALL of these, very few give a rip about Paramount+. They are the dominant reason to even have it or most any paid streaming service that is not Netflix any more.

https://www.reuters.com/markets/deals/special-committee-paramount-global-endorses-plan-merge-with-skydance-media-2024-07-07/

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Skydance and Paramount Global: A Closer Look Into 2025

The deal won’t close until 2025, which is not surprising as complicated as it is structured and akin to many such acquisitions of large, publicly-traded firms.

Here are a few of the key points listed in this fine article. Most consumers care the most about the impact to CBS Sports and live sports on Paramount+.

  • Regulatory approvals will likely take a while. Company officials are targeting a closing in the first half of 2025. But the last time a major U.S. broadcast network changed hands—NBC during Comcast’s ’11 acquisition of NBCUniversal—nearly 14 months elapsed between the initial announcement of the deal and approval from the Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice.

What this timeline would suggest is that perhaps at least for 1H2025, we just might retain what is at hand for CBS Sports, including UEFA Champions League, just as it is available now. The real tell will be what will change for NFL coverage and accesibility for the 2025 season, if anything at all.

  • Familiar faces will be leading the newly combined entity. The merged Paramount-Skydance will be overseen by David Ellison, Skydance founder, as chairman and CEO, and Jeff Shell, former NBCUniversal CEO, as president. Most recently, Shell has been chairman of RedBird Sports and Media.

Jeff Shell is an industry heavyweight who was fired from Comcast in April 2023 due to a complaint of sexual harassment via an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate, who was his mistress:

I had no idea he was in the mix for this venture.

  • Significant cost cuts are coming. Even before the deal closing, Paramount said in a company memo that it will move forward on actions such as “streamlining teams, eliminating duplicative functions, and reducing the size of our workforce.” In a call early Monday with investors, Shell said $2 billion in cost efficiencies have been identified, adding that “we’ve got to run these businesses in a different way” amid ongoing media disruption.

That’s an awful lot more layoffs than have already been at hand. How many of those layoffs that are associated with CBS Sports will be telling.

As Ellison and Shell laid out to analysts a goal of being a “winner” in streaming, suggesting potential partnerships that would advance bundling already happening across the industry, the executives additionally said that sports will remain a key part of the merged company.

It will be interesting to see what partnerships will be at hand for Paramount+, which is a business reality it lacks compared to its streaming competitors.

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TNT Continues To Fill The Looming Void of the NBA

Here’s more information about more live sports content to fill the potentially vacated space at TNT by the NBA in June 2025.

It’s an intriguing strategy being taken by TNT Sports, which aired more than 100 NBA games during the most recent regular season and playoffs. So, with that programming likely to end after the upcoming NBA season, TNT Sports has five new deals that are set to kick in either this year or in 2025:

  • Mountain West Conference: 14 football games per season through ‘25.
  • College Football Playoff: First-round and some quarterfinal games through ’28.
  • Big East Conference: Men’s and women’s basketball games from ’25 to ’31.
  • French Open: $65 million annual deal through ’34.
  • NASCAR: five annual races from ’25 to ’31.

Of those deals, all struck within the last eight months, only the French Open gives TNT Sports all of a property’s U.S. broadcast rights. Still, they all represent a variety of new offerings, complementing the existing TNT Sports portfolio, which includes marquee properties like March Madness, the NHL, and MLB.

Meanwhile, the expansion comes as more TNT Sports broadcasts are set to be streamed on Max, which recently launched a live sports tier, as well as Venu Sports, the joint venture that WBD has partnered on with ESPN and Fox.

In Canada I suppose it could be interesting as far as what you can access for these sports via streaming on services such as Crave.

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Sports Betting Realities Overlooked Lately In 2024

Before betting apps and an awful lot of mostly guys and especially under 30 using them to bet, there was in my opinion more of a mass consciousness that legal gambling is regulated.

How well regulated and the extent of regulation is up for debate, but without regulation, corruption in associated gambling is par for the course.

That reality of compromised games would not even stop some of the addicts from gambling, and it was not long ago when many of us who were not in Las Vegas found a reliable bookie.

And so as gambling is a regulated enterprise, there must be integrity to the associated sport.

There’s a very good reason that other entertainment like WWE is not available for legal gambling.

It’s a scripted show for which the audience does not know the script, but a designated outcome in advance.

I’m not so sure as many dudes any more know the difference?

Or as many dudes even care?

Blurring this line to its woes, but finding an entire new generation of fans of whom many don’t seem to care, is the NBA, especially in the later Stern years via the refereeing scandal as exposed in 2007 and most recently what is known as the historic stats scandal.

Quite simply, there has not been strict quality control for the tallying of stats at various NBA venues since inception. One reason that past reality came to light, as does much via the spotlight of modern technology, is that now with live betting and more prop betting than ever, the integrity of the game matters even down to any single rebound or shot attempt.

So recall all of this, before we even get to all that happens off the court via also the law and via the criminal underworld, when you see these dudes going about betting or whatever and the integrity of a game is in question.

You would not think with modern technology that people would lose an understanding of the difference between scripted entertainment and unscripted sports, but I guess when too many dudes leave the thinking to technology for them, this is what happens beyond only in this example.

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CNN+, Take Two?

A clarification is in order for this article, which attempts to revise the history on the matter of the grand flop that was CNN+, a streaming service that launched in late March 2022 and crashed and burned in less than a month.

  1. At the time, CNN’s ratings and quality of “news” were at what I thought was an all-time low after vast cord cutting as well AND

  2. People en masse are NOT going to pay for TWO paywalls to access content from the same source, as was commonly delusional media thinking when many streaming services were launched by the spring of 2021 and during the pandemic and recession at that.

And so now it appears that CNN is going to try this again without the cable subscribers, for one can access CNN coverage on minor delay just fine on occasion on its website, YouTube, or Pluto TV for FREE like more and more content than ever that used to be only on cable.

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The New NBA Deal Starting Autumn 2025 Is Done:
No More Warner Brothers Discovery / TNT, Lest They Match Another Offer

https://www.reuters.com/markets/deals/nba-finalizes-tv-deals-with-espn-nbc-amazon-tnt-could-still-match-athletic-2024-07-10/

I don’t see TNT outbidding Disney/ABC/ESPN or Amazon Prime Video. Comcast? Maybe there is still a chance?

July 10 (Reuters) - The National Basketball Association has finalized a $76 billion deal that will make Comcast’s (CMCSA.O), opens new tab NBCUniversal and Amazon.com’s (AMZN.O), opens new tab Amazon Prime Video new partners, and it will maintain Disney’s (DIS.N), opens new tab ESPN as the home of the NBA finals, the Athletic reported on Wednesday, citing sources.

The deal will extend for 11 seasons, the report said, citing executives with direct knowledge of the deals.

The new agreement, which is more than three times the current deal, comes as sports become a powerful draw for media companies trying to expand premium viewership.

NBA has always been a star-driven sport with talents such as Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Shaquille O’Neal dominating the games and viewership.

Disney’s ESPN and ABC, and Warner Bros Discovery’s (WBD.O), opens new tab TNT sports have been the league’s two primary partners from 2002 and 1984, respectively. But media reports have said the NBA has been looking to bring in new partners to maximize returns and more than double the deal value.

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Yeah the NBA is gone from the looks of it.

What stands out to me is the MWC football, I wonder how many of those games are going to be WSU/OSU? Not that they are huge draws but the CW is putting the OSU/WSU games on nationwide. Cheap content.

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The CW gets Belichick - don’t know if that moves the needle for inside the NFL but it is a a big name that brings credibility.

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