Danni Santana

NBA, Turner Grow Engagement With Twitter Show and Free League Pass

  • #NBATogether on Twitter averaging nearly one million views per episode.
  • Consumption on NBA League Pass is up double-digits thanks to free promotion.

This story has been updated to show data on NBA Instagram live stream views and clarify the title of the program, #NBATogether With Ernie Johnson. NBA TV, operated by Turner Sports, has adopted a three-pronged approach to entertaining basketball fans at home as it awaits the return of live games. The network’s content strategy during the coronavirus pandemic has relied heavily on original programming, classic games, and a new Twitter talk show. That show, called “#NBATogether With Ernie Johnson,” aims […]

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WWE Beats Q1 Estimates as Coronavirus Impact Lags

  • WWE revenue in the first quarter grew 60% to $291 million.
  • Sports entertainment company offers no 2020 guidance in light of the coronavirus.

When WWE postponed its earnings call to a later time closer to the NFL draft, many were expecting the company to disclose more on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic or hear from CEO Vince McMahon about the now-defunct XFL. Instead, WWE reported a limited impact from pandemic restrictions on first-quarter earnings, while acknowledging continued cuts to operating expenses in response to the outbreak. The sports entertainment company claimed a 60% increase in year-over-year first quarter revenue to $291 million, […]

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ESPN Leans On Large Tech Infrastructure For Smooth Virtual NFL Draft

  • Disney’s DTCI will route more than 150 feeds to ESPN from the homes of prospects and on-air talent.
  • Company staff will be working from home and on its Bristol campus while adhering to CDC guidelines.

ESPN expected to broadcast the NFL Draft live from Las Vegas this year, with thousands of rabid football fans in attendance. By mid-March, the network realized those plans would change drastically in light of the coronavirus pandemic. ESPN and the NFL are now getting set to produce a three-day remote show beginning Thursday, with draft prospects and on-air talent reporting from home. More than 150 feeds will be aggregated and sent to the media company’s campus in Bristol, Connecticut, by […]

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NFL Draft’s Marketing Power Endures as Brands Flock to Attract Fans

  • Disney reports double-digit growth in ad revenue for the event, led by NFL sponsors.
  • Ad inventory remains only for late round coverage as of April 22. More than 100 companies will advertise this year, with nearly 60% doing so for the first time.

As one of the few live sporting events during the coronavirus pandemic for marketers to reach consumers, the NFL and Disney’s ESPN and ABC networks have successfully turned the virtual NFL Draft into a major advertising event, according to media buyers and brands. “The NFL has done a lot in the last couple of years to make the draft a very big event. They partnered with NFL sponsors, but they’ve also opened it up [to other brands],” Gibbs Haljun, total […]

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Esports Offer NFL Draft a Roadmap for Hosting Remote Events

  • ESPN will receive more than 100 different feeds from the homes of talent, NFL personnel, and top prospects at its headquarters in Bristol, Conn.
  • Even if the tech prevails, “You lose a lot of the human element by not being able to film reactions in one space.”

As the NFL and ESPN make final preparations for the league’s first-ever virtual draft, both organizations may stand to learn lessons from esports in ensuring the three-day broadcast event runs as expected. On Thursday night, ESPN will receive more than 100 different feeds from the homes of talent, NFL personnel, and top prospects at its headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut. The company is set to run its own major mock draft tests the night before the main event, after some external […]

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FloSports Pushing Forward With Media Rights Acquisition Strategy

  • OTT provider acquired media rights to Gulf South Conference football on April 16.
  • Based on viewership trends during the coronavirus pandemic, FloSports is looking to acquire additional motorsports in 2020 as well as virtual cycling.

The coronavirus pandemic has not put a stop to FloSports’ aggressive media rights acquisition strategy in 2020. Plans remain largely unaltered for the remainder of the year as rights holders await the return of live sports. The OTT service provider on April 16 acquired the distribution rights to NCAA Division II Gulf South Conference football games until the end of the 2023 season. FloSports will also livestream the conference’s championship tournaments for basketball and softball, among other team sports. Terms […]

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Univision Moves Into Esports With Pro Soccer Players at the Controls

  • eLiga MX BBVA games will be televised on TUDN until June.
  • The Spanish-language network begins to field interest from marketers for the esports competition.

Professional stick and ball leagues have collectively jumped on the esports bandwagon in recent weeks to entertain fans and possibly cut down on revenue losses from the coronavirus pandemic. Television partners – themselves in search of more live programming – have not been shy about airing gaming competitions on their networks either.  Spanish-language network Univision offers one of the more recent examples of this trend. The U.S.-based company leveraged its existing broadcast agreement with Mexico’s Liga MX to launch an […]

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Esports Team Gen.G Rolls Out New Minecraft Event Around Penn Relays

  • Organization launches “Digital Penn Relays” in response to track & field event’s cancellation.
  • Partnership with UPenn adds to Gen.G’s collegiate casual gaming strategy.

Esports team Gen.G has announced a new partnership with the University of Pennsylvania to create the Digital Penn Relays – an online competition launched in response to the track & field event’s cancellation this month. Amateur athletes, school alums, and fans of the 125-year-old event will create avatars to compete against each other on customized Minecraft courses developed in partnership with Super League Gaming.  The one-day broadcast will stream on The Penn Relays’ Twitch channel on April 24. Toyota and […]

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Telemundo Deportes Drums Up Digital Series Without Live Games

  • Spanish language network has created two online shows during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Re-airs of archived Premier League matches on Telemundo down 15% since mid-March.

Telemundo Deportes’ struggles during the coronavirus pandemic are not unlike those faced by other sports broadcasters in the U.S.  The Spanish-language channel no longer has a slate of marquee English Premier League games to offer its audience.  In response, it has launched two short-form digital series during the health crisis – “Quarantine Confessions” and “Ask Me Anything” – featuring in-house talent, influencers, and athletes as a means to entertain fans at home. Segments from the shows will also be played […]

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ESPN to Air League of Legends Championship Series Spring Split Playoffs

  • Agreement with Riot Games helps to fill a void in ESPN live sports linear programming.
  • League of Legends Championship Series spring split will air on ESPN2 for the first time.

ESPN has announced an agreement with Riot Games to broadcast the League of Legends Championship Series spring split playoffs on ESPN2 and the ESPN app.  LCS is North America’s professional League of Legends esports competition. The league’s spring split playoffs, which began April 3 and will conclude on April 19, has its winner qualify to play in the Mid-Season Invitational. The MSI annually pits the winners of spring splits from all 12 League of Legends leagues around the world before […]

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