YES Mics

Sinclair Outlines RSN Rebates While UConn Lands CBS

  • Sinclair Broadcast Group CEO says rebates likely from teams and leagues missing game requirements.
  • UConn football nabs a deal with CBS Sports Network.

Sinclair Broadcast Group told analysts that rebates from sports leagues could come next year for missed games this year, according to Multichannel News. The company purchased 21 regional sports networks from The Walt Disney Co. in 2019 and owns parts of the Marquee Sports Network, YES Network and Tennis Channel. Any rebate money could be significant to RSNs, as sports fees account for more than 50% of a pay TV distributor’s programming costs. Sinclair CEO Chris Ripley said rights agreements […]

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Comcast TV

Lack of Sports Driving Cord Cutting

  • Traditional TV subscriptions dropped by 1.8 million in the first three months of 2020.
  • Lack of sports and growing unemployment could continue trend.

Fewer people are paying for TV. The nation’s cable and satellite providers experienced their sharpest decline ever, losing more than 2 million paying subscribers in the first three months of the year, according to the Wall Street Journal. A MoffettNathanson analysis of the situation cited 30 million U.S. unemployment claims and a lack of sports during the coronavirus pandemic as the main reason. The trend is unlikely to change soon, as the analysts suspect the numbers will get worse in […]

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UFC Pairs Return of Live Action With Revamped Fight Pass Service

  • UFC Fight Pass features a redesign and rollout of new original series and classic fights. UFC 249 sold separately.
  • The service introduced six new shows to subscribers in April with plans to launch more in May.

Strategic changes made to the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s OTT service at the end of 2019 have been put to the test without its usual catalog of live combat sports. So far, UFC Fight Pass has answered the bell, according to Crowley Sullivan, general manager and vice president of the direct-to-consumer streaming service. And now, combat sports are slowly coming back. Countless UFC fans are expected to tune in on May 9 to watch UFC 249 on ESPN+. Fight Pass will […]

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TV Talent Hunker Down To Wait For A New Sports Broadcast World

  • Kenny Albert of Fox is shooting videos for charity and enjoying rare family dinners with his wife and daughters.
  • ESPN’s Karl Ravech is remotely calling baseball games - 7,000 miles away in South Korea.

Kenny Albert of Fox Sports is shooting videos for charity. And enjoying rare dinners at home with his wife and daughters. After watching the cancellation of his beloved Little League World Series, Karl Ravech has found some normalcy by announcing baseball games. Except he’s calling them from his home studio in Connecticut – nearly 7,000 miles away from the live action in South Korea. Dianna Russini of ESPN put herself into self-quarantine for two weeks. Her saving grace was the […]

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Players-Hosted Podcast Pays Off for Washington Capitals

  • The Washington Capitals are the first NHL team to see their players create their own podcast series.
  • Forwards Nic Dowd and Garnet Hathaway recently launched Between Two Blue Lines, generating nearly 35,300 listens through 10 episodes.

The Washington Capitals are always looking to find new ways to reach their fans. With the NHL still on hold, the team is continuing to push into podcasts. While the Capitals have worked to diversify the ways the team was reaching fans in recent years, podcasts were a back-burner item, according to Zach Guerette, the Capitals’ manager of digital media. That started to change with the launch of Between Two Blue Lines, a Capitals podcast led by players Nic Dowd […]

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Sports Illustrated Is Going To The Movies

  • Authentic Brands Group partners with 101 Studios to bring Sports Illustrated to screens large and small.
  • The first project will be a docuseries going behind some of the magazine's iconic covers.

Authentic Brands Group is making its next move with the Sports Illustrated brand by launching a production studio. The company, which acquired SI for $110 million last year, has partnered with 101 Studios to create projects ranging from Quibi shows to feature films based on SI stories, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The first project will focus on SI’s best known covers. It has been a tumultuous year-long run as SI owner for ABG, whose portfolio generates more than $12 […]

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ESPN Ad Sales Lag Without Live Sports As ESPN+ Subscribers Grow

  • Network ad revenue declined 8% in the second quarter, with Q3 numbers showing similar trends.
  • Parent Walt Disney Co. reported a 37% decline in net income due to shuttered theme parks.

ESPN+ witnessed strong subscriber gains amid the coronavirus pandemic, which impacted the OTT service for only a couple of weeks in Walt Disney’s fiscal second quarter.   As of March 28, the streaming service had 7.9 million subscribers, nearly four times as many as last year. ESPN+ launched in April 2018. The figure also represents a 4% increase in users from ESPN+’s previous peak, reported by Disney in February. The average monthly revenue per paid subscriber for ESPN+, however, decreased 17% […]

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ESPN Moves Fast On McGwire Vs. Sosa Doc To Ride ‘Last Dance’ Wave

  • Within one week of the conclusion of 'The Last Dance,' ESPN Films will have three new sports docs ready to go.
  • Upcoming films will focus on the home run chase of 1998, disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, and martial artist Bruce Lee.

Building on the momentum generated by ‘The Last Dance,’ ESPN Films has moved up release dates of three new sports documentaries, including an eagerly-awaited look at the Mark McGwire vs. Sammy Sosa home run chase from the summer of 1998. During an earnings call Tuesday, executives at ESPN’s corporate parent The Walt Disney Co., said they wanted to capitalize on the buzz surrounding the 10-part Michael Jordan-Chicago Bulls-focused documentary, which concludes May 17.  Through the first six episodes, “The Last […]

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Q&A: ESPN’s Karl Ravech on Calling Korean Baseball

  • U.S. TV viewers will see plenty of bat flips and cheerleaders during ESPN’s KBO telecasts.
  • ESPN acquired the rights for KBO, which is one of the first leagues globally to return to live action post-coronavirus.

South Korea’s KBO League, the top-tier baseball league in the country, has plenty of things that normally would stand out to the sport’s purists, from players who’ve turned the bat flip into an art form to cheerleaders dancing on dugouts. Now added to that mix are umpires wearing masks and gloves and no fans watching in the stands. U.S. sports fans will get a good look at one of the first leagues globally to return to live action thanks to […]

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Neil Reynolds Using His Podcast To Grow ‘American Football’ In the U.K.

  • Often referred to as the Rich Eisen of the United Kingdom, Neil Reynolds is using The Neil Reynolds Podcast to grow American football in his home country.
  • In only three episodes, The Neil Reynolds Podcast has climbed to No. 2 on the U.K. Sports iTunes rankings.

Since it started to play regular season games in London in 2007, the NFL has made reaching fans in the U.K. an important part of its strategy. All but one NFL team – the Green Bay Packers – has been featured in a game in the city. But while the NFL has been forced to cancel all four London games in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, there is still a focused effort to grow ‘American football,’ as it’s called, […]

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