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Let's take a moment to be thankful that Merritt Paulson doesn't own Paris St. Germain. 

3 days, 5 hours ago on Conversation @ http://awfulannouncing.com/2014/portland-timbers-owner-tells-timbers-army-stfu.html

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The point of Fox Sports 1 was never to compete with ESPN. It was to compete with NBCSN. ESPN can't afford to have a Comcast-owned sports network be competitive with them, as it might ultimately result in lower carriage fees for their networks. Hence, ESPN created a partner to keep properties away from NBC. ESPN and Fox are partnering on the MLB, MLS, the Big 12, and the Pac-12, and they'll probably partner on the Big Ten and the Premier League in the next 3-4 years.


ESPN and Fox Sports 1 aren't really competing for carriage fees, either. In 90 million homes, both networks get their fees, no matter which one people decide to watch. Maybe there's some ad money competition there, but that's a smaller piece of the overall pie. Fox Sports 1 exists primarily to keep Comcast/NBCU from getting their hands on any major sports properties. NBCSN will having nothing but hockey, auto racing, and bicycle racing within a few years.

1 week, 3 days ago on Conversation @ http://awfulannouncing.com/2014/will-fox-sports-1-outside-looking-next-decade.html

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Is that why there's only one video of Katy Perry chugging beers and jumping off bars in Oxford? 

Also, there's no way this would have happened if the Super Bowl was in New Orleans this year.

2 weeks, 2 days ago on Conversation @ http://awfulannouncing.com/2014/report-katy-perry-will-perform-super-bowl-halftime-show.html

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Isn't the biggest problem here simply that Fox is stuck with the broadcast rights it has for the rest of this decade? FS1 can't show NFL games, it's been locked out of NBA talks (and some have suggested Rupert Murdoch pursued Time Warner largely because of that), and its college portfolio limited. Aside from adding NASCAR, FIFA, and MLS in the next year, what else can FS1 add to make it stand out from ESPN? 


The Big Ten and the Premier League will be up for grabs in 2016, but that's about it, and ESPN will probably partner with Fox on the Big Ten, just like it did with the Big 12 and Pac-12. Which begs the question: how much are ESPN and Fox Sports really competing, especially when so many homes are paying for both, no matter which channel they're actually watching?



2 months ago on Conversation @ http://awfulannouncing.com/2014/5-takeaways-from-fox-sports-1s-first-year-feedback.html

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You could almost see Rupert Murdoch telling Sumner Redstone, "Okay, we'll give you the entire CNN operation, TBS, TNT, and TruTV. But we keep all of Turner's sports rights, and you give us your share of the NCAA Tournament rights."

Then Sumner Redstone gets a news alert on his phone saying that Ed O'Bannon won the case, and says, "Deal!"

3 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://awfulannouncing.com/

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@MattGalvin Time Warner != Time Warner Cable. They're two completely separate companies. Clearly, the latter should have changed its name to avoid this sort of confusion.

3 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://awfulannouncing.com/

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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.

8 months, 2 weeks ago on ESPN obtains rights to the A11FL ... Just what is the A11FL?

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@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.

8 months, 3 weeks ago on Why College Sports Prevail Over Minor Leagues: Brands Matter

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@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. 

8 months, 3 weeks ago on Why College Sports Prevail Over Minor Leagues: Brands Matter

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Nice send off and all, but... Joe Buck made Tim McCarver better? Crikey, how bad was he before?

11 months, 4 weeks ago on Video: Tim McCarver signs off

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"PRESEASON!?" is the new "PLAYOFFS!?"

1 year ago on Craig Sager's preseason interview with Gregg Popovich is delightful

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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.

1 year ago on Fox Sports quietly launches companion app for FS1

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@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.

1 year, 1 month ago on The Real Nonsense Between The Pac 12 And DirecTV Stalemate

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@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.

1 year, 1 month ago on The Real Nonsense Between The Pac 12 And DirecTV Stalemate

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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.

1 year, 2 months ago on ESPN to stream all channels online?

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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.

1 year, 2 months ago on ESPN to stream all channels online?

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So is CBS merely paying ESPN to sub-license these games, or are they giving any cash directly to the AAC?

1 year, 2 months ago on CBS Sports Network lands rights to American Athletic Conference

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Do we REALLY want to pair Ray Hudson with Gus Johnson? *shudder*

1 year, 2 months ago on We all need more Ray Hudson in our lives

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@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.

1 year, 2 months ago on ESPN and other cable networks are starting to leak subscribers

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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.

1 year, 2 months ago on Fox Sports 1 strikes deals with TWC, Dish, DirectTV

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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.

1 year, 2 months ago on NBC's Jon Miller on the state of NBC Sports Network

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#badwolf

1 year, 2 months ago on This Wolf Blitzer GIF wins the day

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@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?

1 year, 2 months ago on NBC's Jon Miller on the state of NBC Sports Network

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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.

1 year, 2 months ago on Fuel TV website confirms Fox Sports 2 rebrand

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@_leegreen Even Houstonians who understand baseball would say Jim Crane needs a PR lesson or to. Asking sports fans to write him checks for $10 million if they want a better roster is a REALLY bad idea, and it certainly does nothing to help CSN Houston in the short term.

1 year, 5 months ago on CSN Houston Illustrate Fragile Nature Of Growing Sports Regional Bubble

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@tjleibowitz Thanks for the follow-up info, although it still seems to me like the Astros and Rockets made this deal with Comcast without thinking hard enough about what the ramifications might be. I certainly understand the desire to own your own network, but not everyone can be the Yankees, can they?

1 year, 5 months ago on CSN Houston Illustrate Fragile Nature Of Growing Sports Regional Bubble

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@kkolchack That's one of the reasons I launched What You Pay For Sports in the first place -- to show people how much money they're giving to pro and college sports leagues by merely subscribing to cable and satellite TV. It's a huge racket, and most people who have cable are completely oblivious to it. 

1 year, 5 months ago on CSN Houston Illustrate Fragile Nature Of Growing Sports Regional Bubble

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 @andycoppens: Take another look at the numbers. 6.4 million people in and around the L.A. area are paying $3.95/month, or $47.40/year, for TWC SportsNet. 6.4 million x $47.40 = $303.36 million per year.According to the LA Times, the Lakers were paid $120 million this season, and the LA Galaxy will be paid $5.5 million. $303.36M - $125.5M = $177.86M. That's how much is left to cover the production costs to keep the channel on the air.Now let's say production costs average out to $300,000 per day. That's $109.5M per year. $177.86M - 109.5M = $68.36M.

 

Thus, TWC has paid the Lakers and the Galaxy, covered production costs, and pocketed more than $68 million *before* the first ad has been sold.

 

*All* of that money came from subscriber fees, which are part of everyone's monthly cable bill. Every channel gets paid a certain amount per subscriber, whether those subscribers watch that channel or not. It's a numbers game, and as long as huge numbers of people are buying in, these costs will go up.There's an article on What You Pay For Sports that shows how much ESPN collects in subscriber fees, and how much they pay for TV rights for various sports. I think you'll find it quite illuminating.

1 year, 5 months ago on Looking at the rise of sports cable fees in Los Angeles | May | 2013

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