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The Athletic Expands Into Three More Cities

Brandon Contes

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Just two years since its launch, The Athletic now covers professional and college sports in eleven cities. Last week, the subscription based sports site announced its expansion into Dallas, Cincinnati and New York.

The Athletic will debut in its three new markets on February 12th and they’re bringing a host of local newspaper writers with them. Six writers for New York, five in Dallas and four in Cincinnati were announced.

“We will wait every local paper out and let them continuously bleed until we are the last ones standing,” Alex Mather, a co-founder of The Athletic, said in fall interview with The New York Times. “We will suck them dry of their best talent at every moment. We will make business extremely difficult for them.”

Marc Carig, a former Yankee and Met beat reporter for Newsday wrote about his decision to join The Athletic, a platform that offers him flexibility to write stories he wants to produce. “Putting ink to newsprint takes time. A lot of time. The trickle-down effect for beat writers is putting forth a lot of effort on things the reader can’t see,” Carig wrote.

“The Athletic checked all the boxes for me in terms of what I wanted to do,” Bob Sturm, formerly of the Dallas Morning News, told the Dallas Observer on Thursday. “There are a lot of likeminded people at The Athletic writing stuff that seems counter to the current form of sports media.”

After beginning 2017 with only two regional sites, Chicago and Toronto, The Athletic will now be in eleven cities following their expansion to New York, Dallas and Cincinnati. Other main locations for The Athletic include, Cleveland, Minnesota, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and the Bay area. The growing sports website also offers coverage in St. Louis, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Vancouver and Winnipeg.

The decision to enter large markets such as New York proves The Athletic’s willingness to compete with established platforms. New York, Dallas, Philadelphia and others are not cities that lack sports coverage, with multiple newspapers and radio stations in each.

Currently, an annual subscription plan to The Athletic, which provides access to all markets, costs $47.99 for the first year and $59.99 each year after. A subscription on a per month basis costs $7.99.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

Sports Online

Over Half of All NFL Viewers Don’t Know Thursday Night Football Is Streaming on Amazon

A study of 1,000 Americans 18 and older indicated 53% of frequent NFL viewers are aware that the games will only be available on Amazon Prime Video.

Jordan Bondurant

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Thursday Night Football

The new NFL season is heading our way fast, and in Week 2, Amazon will be kicking off its historic run as the home for Thursday Night Football.

The only thing is apparently there’s a large group of football fans out there that still have no idea that you’ll only be able to stream those games.

Cumulus Media and Westwood One Audio Active Group commissioned a study of 1,000 Americans 18 and older which indicated 53% of frequent NFL viewers are aware that the games will only be available on Amazon Prime Video.

What’s more concerning, according to Nielsen Scarborough, 54% of of those who watched TNF (36.7 million) in the last year say they are not Amazon Prime members. So they likely won’t have access to a game stream anyway unless they subscribe.

On the flipside, though, those who already have Prime are more likely to tune in to games anyway. Of those surveyed, there’s a good chance the various alternate broadcasts offered in addition to the traditional feed with Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit will bring in larger audiences and viewers who may be occasional NFL watchers.

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Apple is Leader to Land Big Ten Streaming Rights

Amazon has also been negotiating, but the decision by USC and UCLA to join the conference reportedly brought Apple to the table.

Jordan Bondurant

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Apple Big Ten

A new media rights deal for the Big Ten Conference is nearing its completion, and it’s being reported Apple is close to joining NBC, CBS and FOX as a media partner.

According to both The Athletic and reporting from MacRumors, the tech giant remains as the leading potential streaming partner in the new deal.

Amazon has also been negotiating, but the decision by USC and UCLA to join the conference reportedly brought Apple to the table.

The deal will reportedly see the conference make $1 billion per year. Apple has already made a splash in the streaming world this year, making deals with both MLB and MLS to stream. The company is also still being linked to talks over securing NFL Sunday Ticket.

A formal announcement of the TV rights deal is anticipated by the end of this week, but no word on whether streaming will be included in that or if a separate agreement needs to be reached.

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Big Cat: Listening to ESPN Wisconsin After Packers Playoff Loss ‘Highlight of My NFL Season’

“For three hours, I sat in my car. I arrived home –it’s a 20-minute drive — I arrived home, and I sat for three hours listening to callers be like ‘blow up Lambeau!’, ‘get 12 (Rodgers) outta here!’, ‘we need to build a dome, this team isn’t built for the outside’, and that was the highlight of my NFL season. And I have no problem saying that.”

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During a recent interview with Barstool Sports, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers had a poignant question for noted Chicago Bears fan Dan “Big Cat” Katz that he then used to slam the Packers quarterback while also expressing his enjoyment for Green Bay fans.

“Is it hard, for you as a Bears fan, that some of your greatest moments are cheering against me when the Bears aren’t playing?”, the Packers quarterback half-jokingly asked.

“Very good question,” Katz responded. “No, it’s actually great, because what I’ve told everyone is — I’m very realistic about the Bears — ‘not a great franchise, (the Bears) just don’t do the right things’ for the most part. Every year I look forward to the playoffs and the game that you’re going to lose. I’ve told this story on air, but, when you guys lost to San Francisco this year we were watching the game in New Jersey and I drove back to Brooklyn — brag — and I listened to (Mark) Tauscher. For three hours, I sat in my car. I arrived home –it’s a 20-minute drive — I arrived home, and I sat for three hours listening to callers be like ‘blow up Lambeau!’, ‘get 12 (Rodgers) outta here!’, ‘we need to build a dome, this team isn’t built for the outside’, and that was the highlight of my NFL season. And I have no problem saying that.”

Rodgers laughed at Big Cat as he delivered the message, seemingly getting genuine joy out of the conversation.

“I know I’m a loser,” Katz continued. “That’s the best part. I’ve come to grips with the fact that I’m a loser, so yes, watching you lose in the playoffs is…that’s my Super Bowl. And I’ve won a lot of Super Bowls if you do it that way. More than you.”

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