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International Sports Coverage

Rights, Broadcasters et Al beyond the UK.

ZE
zeebre12
I don't think NBC SN was a major player anyway - the result of a few rebrands and buyouts. Any news on what might happen with the channel next as unlike here channels aren't just launched or disappear so although it won't be the sports network it'll likely be something, whether owned by NBC or sold on.

No I can't see anything replacing it. That used to happen a few years ago on cable but no anymore.
ZE
zeebre12
'At the beginning of the pandemic NBCSN was in around 80 million homes and had a sub fee a bit above $.40, meaning it was making NBC ~$400 million annually before advertising is taken into account'
That is what NBC are walking away from. It was also the No2 ranked sports channel in 2020 after ESPN. Beggars belief.
Could they not air sports simultaneously on NBCSN and Peacock. Best if both worlds like they do in the UK? Streaming and cable covered.
BR
Brekkie Wales Wales Today
I suspect though streaming NBCSN on Peacock would see those cable sub fees wiped out.
Here's to the next 20 ye.....

Oh!
UK
UKnews
Cable really is falling apart in the US. Sport was always a draw for having cable. I thought it would be this way for a few years more but things seems to be accelerating quicker. I don't understand why companies don't air sports on cable/streaming simultaneously like here in the UK with Sky Sports/Now TV?

Because the structure of the market is very different in the US.

Here, when streaming began to take off, the dominant pay TV distribution platform was the same company as the dominant sports, movies, and premium drama rights holder. They launched Sky Go before Netflix took off, so subscribers got used to being able to watch at home and on mobile devices.

Then they realised there was an untapped market of people who didn't want to commit to a 12 for 18 month contract. So Now TV is launched, carefully designed to satisfy a lot of people, but to miss the most premium quality / features that would make others pay for the full Sky package.

BT come along and see that streaming is taking off, so develop a very good app and allow people to subscribe to that directly, as well as having linear broadcasts. They might own a smaller distribution platform, but they could offer access via the dominant platform, and made sure they weren't missing from the second one in the market.

So as Amazon and Netflix have grown, although they've taken some rights from the existing players, at least those existing players are usually on the same platforms people are using to access the competition. That makes it much easier to compete.

Compare to the US, where there are multiple distribution platforms across the country and multiple content owners, each with their own vested interests. Disputes between them about terms and fees are very common. We have seen that here, but nowhere near as often, and usually resolved very quickly. Recently in the US, Comcast the cable operator was in dispute with Comcast the channel owner, so had to work Comcast customers that they might lose access to Comcast owned channels.

In the US the cable companies in particular stuck their heads in the sand and refused to accept the growing impact of streaming. Problem is, if they aren't content owners, what's in it for them? Why would they allow channels to broadcast on their platform if they're also selling directly to customers in competition with them? They (generally) didn't invest in their hardware and platform the way Sky did, so they haven't got that as a reason to stay.

If you are a cable subscriber you can now stream via most of the apps from the content owners, but that has taken years of individual agreements. And there are still issues - it's quite common that you can't stream the major broadcast networks live via their own apps, because they affiliate owners won't agree to let you, partly because of the money they make from cable retransmission fees. (Yes, the cable companies have to pay the free to air broadcast networks to have their channels on their platforms.)

HBO deciding it would sell directly to consumers was a big change, even that ended up in a mess around branding of two very similar apps and, if you were already a subscriber via cable, which you could access.

The one that really would change things is - most probably when rather than if - ESPN go direct to consumers. It certainly seems more likely given the direction Disney as a whole has been going. ESPN charges the highest per subscriber fees of any 'basic' cable channel in the US.
UK
UKnews
'At the beginning of the pandemic NBCSN was in around 80 million homes and had a sub fee a bit above $.40, meaning it was making NBC ~$400 million annually before advertising is taken into account'
That is what NBC are walking away from. It was also the No2 ranked sports channel in 2020 after ESPN. Beggars belief.
Could they not air sports simultaneously on NBCSN and Peacock. Best if both worlds like they do in the UK? Streaming and cable covered.

As Brekkie says, that would wipe out the fees paid by the cable providers and, quite probably, lead to multiple lawsuits for breach of contract. (See my previous reply as to why its far more complex in the US than in the UK.)

It isn't the dominant player in the way ESPN has with it's NFL, NBA, MLB and college rights, but NBCSN shares the national broadcast contract for the NHL and the Premier League. It's built the following for the Premier League significantly since it got the rights. It's got NASCAR rights too, and come the Olympics, whilst NBC took the highest profile events it would still have been a big draw.
BR
Brekkie Wales Wales Today
Is Universal Sports still going in the US - think it may have evolved into the Olympic Channel. It did sit alongside NBC Sports Network for a period but not sure if it lasted. I think they have some regional sports networks too, as I think do CBS and Fox (not sure about ABC/ESPN).
Here's to the next 20 ye.....

Oh!
UK
UKnews
Is Universal Sports still going in the US - think it may have evolved into the Olympic Channel. It did sit alongside NBC Sports Network for a period but not sure if it lasted. I think they have some regional sports networks too, as I think do CBS and Fox (not sure about ABC/ESPN).

You’re right - the Olympic Channel effectively replaced Universal Sports.

Comcast do own a number of regional sports networks, they’ve been rebranded to ‘NBC Sports Washington’ (and so on).

Due to already owning ESPN, when Disney bought Fox, as part of the deal being allowed to go through, they had to sell off the 21 RSNs owned by Fox. So they don’t own any.

CBS don’t own any RSNs. What is interesting, in the light of the NBCSN announcement, is that they have a national Sports Network. It’s dominated by College Sports and some overspill from CBS, but recently picked up the rights to the Champions League, Europa League and the new competition.
RD
rdd Founding member
Must also be remembered that in the States, there hasn’t been the same move towards premium sports as took place in the U.K./Ireland. In the US, nearly all the major leagues have deals with multiple broadcasters and a mix of free to air and pay. How many of the NFL’s 256 regular season games are pay tv exclusive? A sum total of 26 (the 17 Monday Night Football games on ESPN and half of the 18 Thursday Night Football games on NFL Network). The rest, including all Sunday games are free to air. In fact even MNF and TNF must be broadcast FTA in the local participating teams markets, so not true exclusivity.

The balance is different for the other leagues of course, who do a mix of some national games sold by the league and games sold by local teams, often to regional sports networks which are pay-TV. The best games are often the ones broadcast nationally on free to air (with the NFL, both Monday Night Football and Thursday Night Football’s fixture list is locked in before the start of the season and so isn’t able to react to unexpected dark horses that might emerge during the season). So there isn’t the same amount of premium content there as there is here. Bare in mind also that ESPN isn’t a standalone premium subscription charging €40 per month for itself like Sky Sports alone, but more like Eurosport in that its main channel is typically part of the tier immediately above the basic one.

On a typical weekend in the Autumn, if you are an American football fan living on the east coast, with terrestrial channels alone, you could watch Fox Big Noon Saturday, the SEC on CBS, up to three college football games on ABC, Notre Dame on NBC (on some weekends), three Sunday afternoon NFL games (depending on your region - obviously you couldn’t watch all three because two will be on CBS and Fox at the same time) and Sunday Night Football. All without going anywhere near ESPN never mind the other cable sports networks.
Last edited by rdd on 23 January 2021 4:57pm
MI
Michael
There's always an uproar when a sports team takes their games exclusively behind a paywall - recent examples include Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers
VI
Viakenny World News
Last week, WarnerMedia relaunched its sports properties in three South American countries under the TNT Sports brand:

- In Chile, the CDF channels; CDF HD, CDF Premium and CDF; became TNT Sports HD , TNT Sports 2 and TNT Sports 3 , respectively; its TV Everywhere app changed from CDF Go to TNT Sports Go ; and its OTT streaming service, Estadio CDF, became Estadio TNT Sports
- In Brazil, Esporte Interativo (which used to be a suite of dedicated channels and then became the brand for the sports broadcasts on TNT and Space) became TNT Sports , and OTT streaming service EI Plus became Estádio TNT Sports (with an accent, because of how the word is spelled in Portuguese)
- The channel was also relaunched in Argentina, the first country to use the TNT Sports brand in the region, adopting the new "heartbeat" logo

Here is how the relaunch happened, as seen on TNT Sports HD Chile (the same program was broadcast in all three countries, except that, in Brazil, the Spanish parts were, obviously, subtitled in Portuguese):
BR
Brekkie Wales Wales Today
Although I refuse to call it sport it's interesting that in the wake of the closure of NBCSN with the plan to move content to Peacock that NBC have now announced that Peacock will be the exclusive home of the WWE Network. Guess that is something we might see more of moving forward - networks providing their own channels but then streamers bidding to become the exclusive home of that channel.

https://mortystv.com/2021/01/25/peacock-to-become-the-exclusive-home-of-wwe-network-in-the-u-s/
Here's to the next 20 ye.....

Oh!
MO
Mouseboy33
Many content providers are creating streaming services and moving some programming over to their streaming service. One such is Discovery and their Discovery+ service. They have moved several very popular programmes off their cable channels to their streaming service. Upsetting the presenters and fans of those shows. It remains to be seen if the streaming services will get the first airing and then eventually these programmes will wind up on the traditional channels.

NBC previously had streaming service NBC GOLD Sports that sat alongside NBCSN. Which was open to those viewers that already had a pay-tv subscription. It was like a free streaming add on. THis was also used for the Olympics for overflow programming. You were allowed to log in with your pay subscription and watch the expanded sports programming for free. WIth the launch of Peacock, NBC and other content providers are now making you pay for the "cable tv" channels but then also pay a subscription fee....$4.99, etc for their streaming services, like Peacock channel to watch programming that was free previously. So likely they will lock more Premier League game behind another paywall. To me its a matter of cutting off your nose to spite your face.

The streaming world is currently the wild west. People are cutting the cord left and right . Cable providers are losing subscribers left and right. Millions are dumping their services. AT&T and XFINITY and the main culprits amongst others. Among many reasons is the HIGH Cost of cable tv which is typically bundled with EXTORTIONATE internet cost. Sometimes double what the UK pays.

THe problem is like a vicious circle. Along with all the rights issues talked about earlier and the infighting, between providers and content makers. You have the consumer. They are paying for hundreds of channels they dont watch. But they are forced to get those channels because the content makers force the pay-tv companies to carry loads of channels. For example a provider cant just take MTV for example, they have to carry all the VIACOM channels something like 10 channels. THen you have the problem with sports. If you dont watch sports you basically are paying for something you dont need and that drives up the cost of your monthy pay-tv bill. And the pay-tv providers deceptively for years put popular channel in higher pay tiers forcing the cost of a subscription even higher for consumers. So people started dropping pay-tv service and only keeping their internet service. The consumer has turned to Netflix and Hulu, etc and other streaming services. Which further angered pay-tv service and content providers.

This internet only households cause panic amongst the providers and they started ripping off consumers by tacking on unlimited internet fees. Which you need to watch streaming tv. Which further angered consumers. Now in the internet streaming arena you have "cable like" services (which has live streaming tv that resembles traditional pay-tv it just is stream rather comes via satellite or cable lines) such as HULU w LIVE TV, SLING TV, FUBO TV, PHILO, YOUTUBE TV (not regular YouTube), (PlaystationTV was shut down). These services are streaming services simlar to traditional cable tv that offered no contracts, free dvr, no equipment rentals( which was another way consumers were ripped off). They offered smaller packages with basic channels that people want. If you dont want sports then you dont have to pay for them.

Now you have cell phone companies getting into the Home Internet business such as TMOBILE and VERIZON. SO their are now more internet service providers at the table. The means that traditional pay-tv/internet provider are looking vulnerable. Their prices are too high and consumer have had enough. So basically where as before you need to subscribe to AT&T for tv and internet. Now you can get YOUTUBE TV (no box, no contract) and get your Internet via TMOBILE (no contract, no installation, no box rental for $50 a month).

The irritated consumer is driving these massive upheavals in the tv market in the US and unfortunately the tv providers are tripping and falling over themselves over what to do.
THey are all creating pay streaming services separately from their traditional channels. And they think that consumers are going to keep subscribing to these services. HBO Max and DISNEY+ and of courseAMAZON PRIME, NETFLIX and HULU are the biggies. Now you have DISCOVERY+ and CBS ALL ACCESS is going to rename and their long running service as PARAMOUNT+ and then you have PEACOCK. There are smaller services like BRITBOX and LOADS of others. And you have smaller cable channels that are shunting exclusive programming to their own streaming services. PBS even their own and then they weirdly created a separate subscription for MASTERPIECE programming. That service competes with long running streamer ACORN and the newly newly expanded MHZ NETOWRKS Premium for British/EU programming. Its all a mess. I think this may put traditional pay-tv in a precarious position with consumers subscribing to streaming services they want and completely dropping paytv al together. Traditional pay-tv providers look vulnerable. It remains to be seen what this will look like in a couple of years. Will a these services survive?
Last edited by Mouseboy33 on 26 January 2021 5:42pm - 5 times in total
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