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@Jerryricefumbled The company might still exist and might still claim that the league will return, but for all practical purposes, the UFL seems quite done.
1 month ago on ESPN obtains rights to the A11FL ... Just what is the A11FL?
@ReedMiller The flip side to that is that plenty of schools are less interested in kids' education than they are in keeping them eligible, and as we saw at UNC in the past few weeks, quite a few "student-athletes" are being pushed to ignore the left side of the hyphen.Oh, and let's not forget that Jonathan Benjamin's studies rendered him ineligible under NCAA rules. http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/57680744/I'm not convinced his case is an isolated incident.This is actually one of the reasons I follow soccer more closely these days. It certainly has its own vast array of problems when it comes to player development and exploitation, but it still feels more honest than the NCAA.
1 month ago on Why College Sports Prevail Over Minor Leagues: Brands Matter
@stholeary: Let's remember why that's the case, though. Prior to the 1958 NFL Championship game, college football was BIGGER than pro football. The NFL spent decades just trying to survive, while tens of thousands of fans sold out stadiums in South Bend, Ann Arbor, and Tuscaloosa (among dozens of other towns) for most of the first half of the century.Truth is, the NFL could pour $1 billion into a minor league tomorrow, and it would probably do just as poorly as the UFL, if not worse. It's not just that college football provides the NFL a steady stream of players for free. It's cultural, too. Fans attached to their alma maters -- or to other schools whose teams & coaches they really like -- prefer it this way, and they have for decades. This is the attachment that ESPN exploits by throwing around 18% of its subscriber fee income at college sports, and it helps to fuel the current system's continued existence. And I'm not sure this system will ever change for football.
1 month, 3 weeks ago on UFC octagon girl Brittney Palmer stars in weird Fox Sports series "Slow and Hot"
Nice send off and all, but... Joe Buck made Tim McCarver better? Crikey, how bad was he before?
4 months, 1 week ago on Video: Tim McCarver signs off
"PRESEASON!?" is the new "PLAYOFFS!?"
4 months, 2 weeks ago on Craig Sager's preseason interview with Gregg Popovich is delightful
Naturally, Time Warner Cable hasn't signed up to provide access to this yet. TWC subscribers can't get NBC Sports Live Extra or TBS Online, either.
4 months, 3 weeks ago on Fox Sports quietly launches companion app for FS1
@coach henry That's largely because ESPN will run the SEC Network, and ESPN knows how the game is played and isn't so interested in these shenanigans.
6 months, 1 week ago on The Real Nonsense Between The Pac 12 And DirecTV Stalemate
@Magister Calvert Unless the carrier conveniently forgets to lower your monthly bill and just pockets the difference, of course. That would cause a bit of a ruckus.
I'm also a little surprised ESPN is first in line to talk to the likes of Intel and Google. You would think CBS and Fox would have more incentive, given that CBS is stuck in a huge carriage spat with TWC, and Fox Sports 1 got pushed by the carriers into a much lower price than it wanted.On the other hand, Fox DOES have to think about the future for Fox News, Fox Business, Fox Movie Channel, FX, and Nat Geo, too. It hasn't gotten quite as diversified with its income streams as Disney has lately.
6 months, 2 weeks ago on ESPN to stream all channels online?
Let's be clear about one thing. The rates that Intel, Apple, Google, and Sony would pay for ESPN would NOT be comparable to what cable and satellite incumbents are paying. They would be HIGHER, for two reasons:
1.) These tech companies have big bucks and are willing to spend them. Apple has $170B in the bank. Google has $50B. Intel has $17B. Several reports have suggested Intel is offering a 75% premium on subscriber fees to networks to get them on board. All three can afford to lay down billion-dollar guarantees to ESPN, Fox, etc., if it means getting a foothold in the evolving IPTV market.
2.) ESPN needs to hedge against the established carriers coming after them and demanding lower rates. They can reply to the cable and satellite carriers by saying, "Hey, people are leaving y'all behind, and we have to look after ourselves," and the numbers are there to back that up, but they'll still have to throw the carriers a bone, like a temporary freeze on rate increases or something.
Of course, if a TWC/Comcast/DirecTV subscriber who pays $6.44/mo. for four ESPN channels leaves cable/satellite behind in favor of an Intel/Google/Sony IPTV service that nets ESPN $11/mo. per subscriber, what does ESPN care about the old guard? They have to think about the future in Bristol, and the cable bundle as we know it doesn't really have much of one.
And if it means I'll be able to get a package of sports channels or apps for a flat rate without having to subsidize the wide swath of crap on cable, I'll take it.
So is CBS merely paying ESPN to sub-license these games, or are they giving any cash directly to the AAC?
6 months, 2 weeks ago on CBS Sports Network lands rights to American Athletic Conference
Do we REALLY want to pair Ray Hudson with Gus Johnson? *shudder*
6 months, 2 weeks ago on We all need more Ray Hudson in our lives
@stholeary To be fair, you can definitely argue that a 0.9% drop in subscribers is more than made up for by a 6.5% increase in fees. So ESPN will rake in more sub fees in August 2013 than it did in August of 2012.
That said, the overall numbers for cable and satellite subscribers have been trending down for 5 quarters now, and ESPN has two huge new rights contracts (NFL & MLB) kicking in early next year. It's not a good time for ESPN to lose *any* subscribers.
There will come a day when ESPN and Disney will have to choose between propping up the cable bundle and targeting sports fans who actually want to pay for ESPN. If these declines start accelerating, that day will get here sooner than we think.
6 months, 3 weeks ago on ESPN and other cable networks are starting to leak subscribers
DirecTV and Dish Network have about 34 million subscribers combined, and TWC has about 11.9 million subs after 2Q losses, so that's almost 46 million homes that FS1 should have. If they had 45 million before, they almost certainly have 90 million now.
6 months, 3 weeks ago on Fox Sports 1 strikes deals with TWC, Dish, DirectTV
I'm not entirely convinced FS1 is quite so lacking in winter sports. They have deals with four college conferences for basketball -- Big East, Big 12, Pac-12, C*USA. They have NASCAR, which starts in earnest in February. They can always arrange UFC bouts, which are year-round. They can fill slow nights in March with soccer, if necessary. The gap between the end of regular season college hoops and the start of MLB season isn't so big.Of course, given Fox's history, they probably WILL throw billions at the NBA to try and get it, but if the network's stated goal is to be profitable by 2016, Fox seems much more likely to pursue, say, the Big Ten, since Fox already owns half of BTN, and MLS, which will only be $40M/year at most and serve as an ad platform for the post-2014 FIFA events they plan to air.
Or they could start showing curling. That might be fun.
6 months, 3 weeks ago on NBC's Jon Miller on the state of NBC Sports Network
6 months, 4 weeks ago on This Wolf Blitzer GIF wins the day
@scooterb23 You can get all the AFL you can stand for the rest of this season for $56, actually. http://afltv.afl.com.au/
6 months, 4 weeks ago on NBC's Jon Miller on the state of NBC Sports Network
@WaltGekko NBC decision not to pursue MLB had nothing to do with Strasburg and everything to do with money. NBCSN only brings in $290 million a year in subscriber fees right now. $200 million a year goes to the NHL, and $83.3 million a year will go to the Premier League. That means advertising has to pay for just about everything else, and NBCSN doesn't exactly have the kind of ratings that lure in the big ad bucks ESPN makes. Advertising on NBC's broadcast network will end up paying for most of the NASCAR deal.
That lack of subscriber fees is one reason why NBC won't pursue the NBA anytime soon. NBCSN can't pay for it, and even if it could, it's made such a huge commitment to the NHL that the network won't have the airtime to cover both -- not unless they convert another NBCU-owned channel into NBCSN2, which might actually be worth it. Does anyone actually watch Chiller, Cloo, or Universal HD?
Just a few more notes on this:
Fuel TV is currently in about 37M homes. If your home is one of them, the channel gets $0.16/mo. from your cable bill every month. That ads up to about $71M/year from cable customers, which doesn't quite cover Fox's UFC deal ($90M/year), but certainly covers Fox's Big East deal ($41.6M/year).Of course, Fox is going to push for FS2 to get into as many of the 90M homes they want FS1 to be in. I wonder if THAT is the sticking point in the stalled negotiations with Time Warner Cable, DirecTV, and Dish Network. Would be a joke if FS2 launched on TWC without FS1.
7 months ago on Fuel TV website confirms Fox Sports 2 rebrand