Author Topic: Sports, Cable, and Streaming  (Read 61 times)


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Sports, Cable, and Streaming
« on: September 18, 2023, 11:27:34 AM »

I'm firmly convinced that a huge reason why cable bundles cost in excess of $100 a month is purely because of sports networks.  At peak cable (let's say early 2000's) there must have been at least a dozen cable sports channels.  And they were mandatory buy-in for all customers.

I'm chuckling and amused at the effort that pro sports is putting in, to try and get their cushy spot back in the Soft Communism of bundling in the new world of cord cutting and streaming subscription.  If anyone can pull it off it would be Disney, by "bundling" Disney+ with Hulu and ESPN streaming services.  But their Disney+ content is so milquetoast and nonimpressive for the last 3 years (Marvel Phase 4, most of the Star Wars stuff, their crappy movies the last few years) that the scifi and childrens' programming tentpole is falling down.

I think the dirty secret is that people (sports consumers AND non-sports consumers) don't think pro sports are worth what pro sports think they're worth.  Pro Sports have been soft-piggybacking on the revenue of millions of "consumers" that don't consume that content for decades, who are now free to not pay for it.  And they're struggling with mechanisms to recapture that slave revenue.  If sports were worth its asking cost, sports enthusiasts would be happy to pay HBO-tier subscription costs to sports programming or streaming services.  But no such thing exists; ESPN piggy backs on a Disney bundle.
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Re: Sports, Cable, and Streaming
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2023, 12:11:57 PM »
I am thinking that Pro and College sports went through a sweet spot the last two decades as far as income.  It seems to me they transitioned from broadcast TV network contracts to cable/TV contracts and sort of got income from both.  Now that we have streaming, they are running into the same issues other areas of entertainment have experienced when the internet takes over.  The income might contract or stagnate for a few years. 

Of course, part of the issue may be they are spending too much on peripherals that I don't want to see.  Aside from basic competency, I don't care who the announcers are for the game.  They generally talk too much about stuff unrelated to the game.  And please ESPN, just give me a highlights show.  Give me a one hour show with highlights for every college game of the week.  I do not care one bit for "analysis" from a bunch of overpaid, egotistical commentators that are probably wrong anyway.  You can fire most of them. 
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