According to Nielsen, ESPN has lost 7.2 million subscribers over the past three years. That news is causing concern throughout the industry and leading to a decline in value on Wall Street.
The Disney company released their quarterly earnings on Tuesday and announced that “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” helped the company’s earnings soar 32 percent, raking in $2.9 billion. However, its television profits dropped 6 percent due to the increasing costs of sports-programming rights. The combination of profit and decline marked the second time in the past four Disney quarters such a backwards spreadsheet has been recorded in the TV segment. As a result, Disney’s shares fell 3 percent to $89.48 during after-hours trading. It was the company’s lowest level in over a year.
In the coming years, sports rights will cost a combined $130 billion between all major media companies, and leading the charge in the cost department is ESPN and Disney who account for an estimated 29 percent of long-term sports-broadcasting rights, ranging from the NBA playoffs to “Monday Night Football.” If the current TV market declines faster than the current 1 percent annual rate, Disney’s overall profit for the next four years could be cut in half.
Disney CEO Bob Iger though remains a believer that sports programming will continue to be an attractive commodity to consumers. “This notion that either the expanded basic bundle is experiencing its demise, or that ESPN is cratering in any way from a sub perspective, is just ridiculous,” Iger said. “Sports is too popular,”.
Last month, ESPN’s subscriber base sat at 91.4 million. The latest data indicates that number is less than the 94.5 million subscriber base the network carried in January 2015. Additionally, about 78 percent of ESPN’s $9.5 billion in net operating revenue excluding ad commissions came directly from subscriber fees last year.
Credit to Examiner who originally provided this information
Mike Tirico, Tom Brady, Manningcast Win Sports Emmys
The annual Sports Emmys were handed out on Tuesday night, and some usual names and new names ended up taking home hardware.
Among the usual names were NBC’s Mike Tirico, who won for Outstanding Personality/Studio Host, and soon-to-be Sunday Night Football broadcast colleague Cris Collinsworth, who was named Outstanding Personality/Sports Event Analyst.
But among the new names as Sports Emmy winners include Tom Brady and both Eli and Peyton Manning.
Brady’s Man in the Arena saga won Outstanding Documentary Series, while the Mannings were rewarded for their work on the Monday Night Football Manningcast, which won Outstanding Live Series.
Here’s a rundown of some of the key Sports Emmy winners:
Here is a full list of winners and nominees for the 2022 ceremony.
Joe Buck Says He Won’t Miss World Series
“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game.”
Among the bigger chain reactions set off by Joe Buck leaving FOX for ESPN was the sudden vacancy in FOX’s main MLB broadcast booth.
The 2022 World Series will mark the first time since 1995 that Buck will not be on the microphone.
Speaking to Chris Long on his podcast Green Light, Buck hopes to be in a more exotic location watching World Series games this fall.
“I would like to be in Cabo San Lucas with a margarita in my hand and a half-smoked cigar watching Game 7 of the World Series,” Buck said. “Cheering on Joe Davis and John Smoltz, and Ken Rosenthal, and Tom Verducci, and Pete Macheska and Matt Gangl and right on down the line.”
Buck added he’ll take pleasure in turning the broadcast off if it’s Game 7 and there’s an insurmountable lead. But the broadcasting legend said even on a bigger scale, not calling any baseball games at all this season, let alone the World Series, is a bit surreal after covering the sport for so long.
“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game,” he said. “And that’s really weird to me, but I walk away really proud of what I and we did.”
He added that he will not miss the opportunity, because he does not feel like he will “leave any unfinished business” in FOX’s MLB booth.
Buck further praised his FOX colleagues and said it was time for a change. He knows Joe Davis will thrive in the opportunity.
NFL Likely To Launch NFL+ Streaming Service This Summer
“A source tells Fischer that a $5 per month price has been discussed for NFL+.”
According to the Sports Business Journal, consumers could be downloading NFL+ by July. Now, just what NFL+ will be is still yet to be finalized.
Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal reported in the site’s newsletter that live games will certainly be at the center of the league-owned streaming service. It is likely to only be available on phones and tablets with no option to stream to a larger monitor.
The viewing options would be limited. No out of market games would be available on the app. It is meant to replace the deals that recently expired with Yahoo and mobile phone carriers that recently expired.
The app could also include other content. Radio calls, team-created digital content, and league-owned podcasts are all options.
A source tells Fischer that a $5 per month price has been discussed for NFL+. The pricing structure can and likely will change before the app hits the market.