Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A 'Stream' Of Revenue For Pro Sports Leagues

The pro sports leagues are well aware that the billions of dollars paid for TV rights may not be there next time around, and continue to turn to revenue from online streaming.

Two more streaming deals have come to fruition within the past 10 days. Twitter now has a deal in place to be able to stream out of market games for both MLB and the NHL, likely to start with the coming NHL regular season in October.

Part of their arrangements allow them to include additional content along with the actual game telecasts. This of course, will allow for additional advertising revenue and for additional posting and interaction by users of Twitter, whether or not they are even signed in.

Fox Sports has secured the rights for local streaming of 12 NHL teams for which Fox and its regional networks hold the team rights. This makes Fox Sports the only provider to already have local team streaming deals with MLB, the NBA, and the NHL. The supposed multi-year deal will include the Fox Sports apps along with some distributor apps and web sites to be announced soon.

One likely difference between these two deals, as well as the Yahoo Sports deal to stream some NFL telecasts, is that the Yahoo and Twitter deals are separate from the user/viewer having to be a subscriber to a provider which carries Fox Sports.

The feeling here is that the sports leagues are seeing the Dodgers TV deal being priced out for the majority of Los Angeles viewers, the problems that teams such as the Yankees are having with fees for distribution, and realizing that the TV cash cow might not be as fat in the coming years.

By making streaming deals at this early stage, they can still have hundreds of millions of dollars coming in, regardless of how much cord-cutting consumers are doing.

Nice move by MLB Network to quickly schedule and air Game 1 of the Mets vs. Cardinals doubleheader on Tuesday (7/26) in the late afternoon period. The Monday night game was rained out, forcing the doubleheader on Tuesday, but MLB Network jumped on it. This gave fans a live triple header on a Tuesday, with ESPN's national game following and then MLB Network's previously scheduled west coast telecast airing live after that. Great move to add live games at every opportunity.

CHICAGO: WMAQ-TV Channel 5 has added Mike Berman as a sports reporter and anchor. Berman will join the station in time for football coverage, coming from WTTV-TV Indianapolis. The Chicago native did a sports intern with WLS-TV back in 2005.

Quite the telecast mess for White Sox fans this past Sunday (7/24). The team's Saturday night game vs. Detroit was suspended after eight innings late Saturday night with the score tied going to the 9th inning, and scheduled to resume at 1:10 PM on Sunday, with the scheduled game to follow.

However, Comcast SportsNet Chicago was televising Saturday's game, while WGN-TV had the Sunday "regular" game telecast.

WGN-TV aired their 'White Sox Warmup" pre-game show as scheduled at 12:30 PM, announcing throughout that the suspended game telecast will be on CSN starting at 1:00 and that WGN-TV would "return" for the scheduled game telecast 30 minutes after.

At 1:00, WGN-TV aired game shows, while CSN signed back on to show the finish of the suspended game. When the game ended (in the bottom of the 9th less than 20 minutes later), CSN stayed on for its postgame show. Host Chuck Garfein handled the show solo as studio analyst Bill Melton was not scheduled to work on Sunday.

Before the postgame show ended on CSN, WGN-TV came back on from the ballpark and then did the telecast, as usual, of the scheduled game, which ran more than one hour over their scheduled time due to the delayed start.

SAN FRANCISCO: KKSF 910 switched formats to sports, although it is now a Spanish sports station.

DENVER: Fans of The Fan 104.3 finally have their Sandy Clough back on the air, even if only from 10 AM to Noon as of this week. Still no explanation (as of press time) about his absence which went on for months, but both parties appeared to be happy to have his show back on the air. Clough has been part of the radio scene since 1980.

ROCKFORD: WNTA 1330 is dumping its Spanish programming and going to all sports starting on August 1st, in time for football season.

The station plans to air high school football each Friday and then high school hoops two nights per week, along with airing Chicago Bears pre-season and regular season games. Despite its Illinois location, it will also air University of Wisconsin football.

Just as curious, with the station airing Chicago Bears games, is the announcement that they will air "The Bill Michaels Show" each weekday, which has the Green Bay Packers (the Bears' biggest rival, of course) as its primary focus. As of now, much of their programming will be from Fox Sports Radio.

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