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What Would AT&T Buying Otter Media Mean for Barstool?

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Earlier this week, Peter Kafka reported in Recode that the Chernin Group was planning to sell its stake in streaming video company Otter Media to AT&T. Otter Media is currently co-owned by the two companies.

Andrew Bucholtz of Awful Announcing says this could mean Chernin has more time and money to devote to Barstool Sports, but points out that money has never really been a problem for the company or its CEO Peter Chernin.

Of course, it’s not like the Chernin Group was particularly resource-strapped before this. They’re a giant company that’s invested in everything from Tumblr to The Athletic to Second Spectrum to Dave.com, and group founder/chairman/CEO Peter Chernin has plenty of money of his own, and they just put $15 million more into Barstool earlier this year. That investment valued the company at around $100 million, and came with plenty of talk of hiring more staff, expanding Rough N Rowdy (the boxing promotion Barstool bought last fall), and possibly launching branded alcohol or sports bars and/or a premium content service; Chernin might want to see how that previous investment and those expansion plans go before putting more money into Barstool directly, even if they make a lot on the Otter Media sale.

Bucholtz notes that while it is likely that day to day control of Barstool Sports still rests with CEO Erika Nardini and founder Dave Portnoy, Chernin does own a majority stake in the company. That would likely mean it will have a say in any major investment or expansion plans for Barstool.

Chernin is still invested in a whole ton of companies, of course, but Barstool’s one where they have majority control, and it’s one where they’ve repeatedly indicated they see major growth potential and have floated numerous specific potential expansion plans. And they presumably would have been involved in growing or expanding Barstool even without this Otter sale. But it doesn’t seem unreasonable to think that Barstool might become even more of a focus for Chernin after this. And maybe that will lead to bigger things for the company.

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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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