Sports TV News
NWSL Signs Deals With CBS, Twitch
“The press release states coverage of the 2020 NWSL will begin Saturday, Apr. 18. As of Thursday night, the NWSL still plans to kick off their 2020 season as scheduled, but coronavirus concerns can certainly alter the start date.”
The National Women’s Soccer League landed a multiyear broadcast deal with CBS Sports and Twitch. All NWSL matches will air across multiple platforms which includes the CBS broadcast network, CBS Sports Network, CBS All-Access and Twitch, which is not an entity of CBS.
“This new media-rights agreement is a watershed moment for women’s soccer in the U.S. and around the world and is the first time NWSL matches will be available to such a wide audience,” said NWSL commissioner Lisa Baird. “We are excited to work with CBS with its rich history, tradition and storied innovation to utilize the power of their multiple platforms to reach more fans. We also are eager to team up with Twitch to showcase the brightest stars in the sport. These partnerships will continue to amplify the NWSL and its teams on a national and international stage.”
According to the announcement, the league’s season opener and championship game will air on CBS, 14 matches will be available on CBS Sports Network, with CBS All Access carrying 71 matches. CBS All Access is an OTT subscription streaming service, which means fans will have to pay for those 71 matches. Twitch, however, will stream 24 NWSL matches for free while also serving as the league’s international media rights partner. All regular season matches, playoffs and the championship game will be available to viewers outside of the United States via Twitch.
The NWSL partnership with Twitch also depicts continued efforts by Amazon to acquire sports broadcast rights. The live streaming service is a subsidiary of the e-commerce giant.
“We couldn’t be more excited to partner with the NWSL as we further expand our sports content on Twitch,” said Michael Aragon, SVP of Content at Twitch. “Their players are the greatest athletes in their sport from around the world and we are thrilled the NWSL chose Twitch as their home to build a bigger community of soccer enthusiasts.”
The press release states coverage of the 2020 NWSL will begin Saturday, Apr. 18. As of Thursday night, the NWSL still plans to kick off their 2020 season as scheduled, but coronavirus concerns can certainly alter the start date.
Brandon Contes is a former reporter for BSM, now working for Awful Announcing. You can find him on Twitter @BrandonContes or reach him by email at Brandon.Contes@gmail.com.
Sports TV News
ESPN Employees Brace For Major Layoffs
“According to Front Office Sports, 700 jobs have been cut, including those of anchors, reporters and analysts, since 2015.”
As the restructuring at Disney continues under CEO Bob Iger, tough decisions regarding people’s careers with the company are being made.
The jobs of 7,000 Disney employees will be eliminated as the company tries to save $5.5 billion in costs.
Stephen A. Smith, on a recent episode of his podcast K[no]w Mercy, said ESPN is not going to escape unscathed.
“ESPN is under the Disney umbrella,” Smith said. “They’re going to have cuts coming.”
ESPN has gone through multiple rounds of layoffs in recent years. According to Front Office Sports, 700 jobs have been cut, including those of anchors, reporters and analysts, since 2015.
Stephen A., who has an annual salary of $13 million, said no one’s job is safe.
“Hell, for all I know, I might be one of them,” Smith said. “Now, I doubt that. But it’s possible. No one knows.”
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He’s a multimedia journalist and communicator who works at the Virginia State Corporation Commission in Richmond. Jordan also contributes occasional coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly, WRIC-TV 8News and Audacy Richmond. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.
Sports TV News
Steve Rosenberg Out As President of Diamond Sports Group
“John Ourand of Sports Business Journal reports that a memo went out to the company on Monday morning announcing the change.”
A company declaring bankruptcy is never good for the people at the top. Steve Rosenberg is experiencing that right now. He is out as the president of Diamond Sports Group.
John Ourand of Sports Business Journal reports that a memo went out to the company on Monday morning announcing the change. In it, Diamond CEO David Preschlack wrote that CFO David DeVoe will assume Rosenberg’s responsibilities for now.
Steve Rosenberg joined Sinclair in 2020. He replaced Jeff Krolik as the company’s president of local sports.
Last week, Diamond Sports Group filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company intends to work out new deals with the NBA and NHL for its Bally Sports RSNs in hopes that it will remain in tact. Ourand writes that an attempt to do the same with Major League Baseball has not yielded meaningful results as of yet.
“With the recent appointments we have made to the senior leadership team, and the talented staff we have throughout the organization, I am confident in this team’s ability to work together to execute our strategic goals at this time,” Preschlack wrote in his memo.
Sports TV News
Variety Predicts Sports Betting Broadcasts Future of RSNs
“With the state of the RSN business a little hazy for some networks, closer integration with gambling is something that VIP+ expects to be leant into more in an effort to engage the most passionate local fans.”
The sports betting market grew in 2022. With five new states legalizing mobile wagering last year, that is not a surprise. The overall take for sportsbooks was $93.4 billion. That is a whopping 84% growth over 2021.
With so much money coming from new markets, Variety wanted to get an idea of how much the sports betting industry is actually growing versus how much of the growth is artificial.
The study from the publication’s VIP+ shows that in markets with a full year of mobile wagering on the books before 2022, the growth is slower but still significant at 19%. Writer Gavin Bridge suggests that the statistic could hold the answer for the future of regional sports networks.
“While winning money was the most popular reason for sports betting, data provided by VIP+’s research partner CRG Global in our ‘Sports Gambling & Media‘ report show that one of the most popular reasons was that betting ‘makes the games I watch more exciting,’ with several other reasons relating to watching televised games also important to some betters,” he writes.
With regional sports networks looking for a new model in the face of serious economic uncertainty, Bridge points to Comcast’s regional NBC Sports networks as a reasonable path forward.
Through its partnership with PointsBet, NBC offers alternate broadcasts of the local teams it covers that have a gambling focus. The alternate feed have not been available for every game on the RSNs, but Bridge writes that we could see more of that in the future.
“With the state of the RSN business a little hazy for some networks, closer integration with gambling is something that VIP+ expects to be leant into more in an effort to engage the most passionate local fans. Ultimately, sports betting overlays and alternative game feeds can be anticipated for most major sports in the coming years as media partners look for new revenue streams and ways to engage fans for longer.”