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Finocchio Returns As CEO of Bleacher Report

Jason Barrett

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Dave Finocchio, founder and long-time strategic leader of Bleacher Report, who stepped back from day-to-day responsibilities in late 2014, is returning to Bleacher Report as CEO. He will resume high-level direction of the brand while partnering with Rory Brown, elevated to President of Bleacher Report, who will oversee all operations for the division. Finocchio, who served in a senior advisory role for Bleacher Report over the last year, will continue to be based in San Francisco and will report to Matt Hong, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Turner Sports.

In addition to his Bleacher Report responsibilities, Finocchio will also work with Doug Shapiro, Chief Strategy Officer, Turner; Trey Turner, Senior Vice President of Corporate Finance / Mergers and Acquisitions, Turner; Hong and other Turner executives on the company’s evolving audience-first and direct-to-consumer strategies.

“Dave is the original visionary behind the creation of Bleacher Report and has played the most influential role in growing it into the leading media property it is today,” said Hong. “There is nobody better to lead Bleacher Report into its next chapter of growth and extend the brand into new adjacencies. We’re privileged and honored to have him return to Turner in a full-time capacity, and we’re also excited to leverage his expertise across additional parts of our company’s portfolio. As Turner continues to extend its reach outside of traditional TV, his perspective, experience and input will be invaluable.”

As one of its original founders, Finocchio launched Bleacher Report in 2008 and he has played a key role in leading a period of rapid expansion for the business. Today, Bleacher Report sees more engagement across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram than any other publisher in the U.S. The company has also established a strong footprint in mobile. In 2015, Bleacher Report’s top-rated Team Stream app averaged 230 minutes of consumption per unique each month, #1 among all sports apps reaching Men 18-34.

Credit to Turner who originally provided this press release

Sports TV News

Netflix CEO: ‘We’re Not Anti-Sports, We’re Just Pro-Profit’

“He characterized expensive media rights as a “loss leader” in the streaming world and noted that Netflix doesn’t view sports as a necessity to grow.”

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Netflix will not join Apple and Amazon in the rush to gobble up live sports rights. Co-CEO Ted Sarandos addressed the streaming giant’s disinterest at the UBS Global Technology, Media & Telecom Conference on Wednesday.

He characterized expensive media rights as a “loss leader” in the streaming world and noted that Netflix doesn’t view sports as a necessity to grow.

“We’re not anti-sports,” Sarandos said according to Deadline. “We’re just pro-profit. We have yet to figure out how to do it. But I’m very confident we can get twice as big as we are without sports.” 

Questions about the interest the company has in carrying live sports have come up several times in the past. Sarandon made similar comments last year when asked about it.

Reed Hastings, Sarandos’s co-CEO at Netflix, has a slightly different view. In 2021, he indicated that Netflix could be interested in F1 rights someday thanks to the success of its documentary series Drive to Survive, but that would be a special case. Any league interested in doing business with Netflix, he said, would have to allow Netflix to control all of its content.

Ted Sarandos echoed that sentiment in his most recent comments. He said that the company does not see a way to profit by “renting big-league sports.”

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Sports TV News

FOX Sued for Patent Infringement Over NFL Scheduling

“Recentive Analytics filed suit against FOX in a Delaware federal court on November 29 according to Yahoo Sports.”

Jordan Bondurant

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An analytics company is suing FOX over claims that the network developed a mapping tool using their patented technology to create a season slate of NFL games.

Recentive Analytics filed suit against FOX in a Delaware federal court on November 29 according to Yahoo Sports.

The lawsuit claims FOX used access to Recentive’s predictive analytics tools to develop a resource of their own that would create optimal schedules for its 1 and 4 p.m. NFLwindows.

The company is seeking a declaration that FOX infringed on two of its patents. Recentive is also suing for damages and wants an injunction keeping FOX from using Recentive tech and preventing the network from “selling, offering for sale, marketing or using any internal network and mapping analytics tool for the scheduling and regionalization of events covered by the patents.”

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Sports TV News

FOX Will Use Chris Fallica On Belmont Stakes Coverage

“While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.”

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The Bear will be more than just a college football presence when he moves to FOX. Chris Fallica wrapped his final duties for ESPN last week and is now headed to a new network and will tackle some new responsibilities.

Fallica’s new role at FOX will involve plenty of sports gambling content. Richard Deitsch of The Athletic reports that content will include horse racing.

“One Fox Sports source said look for him to appear on the Belmont Stakes coverage,” Deitsch wrote in his weekly media column.

Starting in 2023, horse racing’s Triple Crown will not be seen all in one place. While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.

How the network intends to use Chris Fallica on the broadcast is not clear. Given that he is coming to the network to contribute to gambling conversations, it is likely he would either be making picks or at least reviewing odds right up to the start of the race.

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