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Turner Plans To Turn The Match Into Annual Event

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Phil Mickelson’s match play victory over Tiger Woods on Black Friday was something of a catastrophe for Turner Sports. The play was criticized on Twitter as everything from “The WWE on a golf course” to “fifteen years too late to be interesting.” Dan Wetzel of Yahoo compared the competition to Caddyshack II.

The financial implications were the most damning of all. A glitch in streaming at BR Live forced Turner to make the event free to everyone that watched it on the app. That led to Turner and TV providers issuing massive refunds to people that already paid to watch the event on pay-per-view. Sports Business Journal estimates the event may end up costing Turner something in the area of $10 million.

That won’t derail the company’s plans though. SBJ’s John Ourand spoke to Turner President David Leavy, who says he envisions The Match: Tiger vs. Phil as the start of a sports franchise for Turner.

“It’s a little early to say what we’re going to do next. Certainly, Tiger and Phil would like to have conversations. So would I,” Leavy said and then hinted other versions of this competition could be on the horizon. “I don’t think you have to keep this just to golf. This is something that could be used for other sports and other competitions. We now have a new model. If you put a compelling event together, people are willing to pay for it.”

The obvious next iteration would be one-on-one basketball. Turner already has the broadcast talent in house to cover the event. The road black would be finding willing participants. In golf, one-on-one competition is the norm. In basketball, losing a one-on-one game against another elite player could cost LeBron James, Kevin Durant, or Russell Westbrook money in their next contract negotiation.

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.”

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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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