DAZN Furloughing Staff, Not Paying Rights Fees
“DAZN says it will resume paying live rights fees when live events come back.”
DAZN is taking some pretty drastic steps to weather the economic storm brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic. The company is cutting costs by furloughing workers and withholding rights fees for live sports that aren’t happening right now.
Furloughing workers is not a surprising move. Most of those effected at DAZN have seen their workloads nearly evaporate with no live events to cover. The Sports Business Journal reports the furloughs “will happen in the near future.”
Refusing to pay live rights fees is a more unexpected step. US audiences know DAZN best for its presence in the combat sports world, although the OTT streamer does offer whip-around coverage of Major League Baseball as well. Around the world though, DAZN carries the streaming rights for Champions League, Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, NFL, NCAA football and basketball, NBA, NHL, and UFC. DAZN says it will resume paying live rights fees when live events come back.
The coronavirus pandemic has drastically altered DAZN’s plans for 2020. The company had announced plans to expand into more than 200 countries in time for the boxing match between Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders, which was scheduled for May 2. Now, with the fight postponed and the world economy in a place of extreme uncertainty, it seems DAZN’s focus is more about survival.
Peter King: Adam Schefter Shouldn’t Be Surprised Aaron Rodgers Told Him to ‘Pound Sand’
“Being a celebrity or a public figure in no way diminishes anyone’s right-to-privacy vs an unknown neighbor two blocks over.”
Colleague or not, Peter King is not running to defend Adam Schefter after the ESPN NFL insider was told “lose my number” by Aaron Rodgers last week. In this week’s Football Morning in America column, King writes that even though he is a celebrity at the center of the NFL’s biggest story, Rodgers still has the right to privacy if he wants it.
“Adam Schefter is free to pursue leads and stories and info/rumor confirmation in any legal manner he sees fit,” King wrote. “But if Aaron Rodgers did not personally provide a contact tel # to Adam Schefter and grant permission for Schefter to contact him, then Schefter should be neither chagrined nor surprised when Rodgers tells him to go pound sand.”
Schefter has not complained about the interaction, though some colleagues have called Aaron Rodgers out. It seemed he published the text exchange in good spirits after Rodgers talked about it on The Pat McAfee Show.
Peter King notes that there was a time when the NFL made sure reporters had every phone number they needed. That isn’t the case anymore and he understands why.
“I’ve witnessed the pendulum swing, from the days of everybody knowing (or having access to) everybody else’s phone number, to heightened privacy concerns a few decades later, now to google providing instant access to background checks and personal info on billions of people worldwide, with just a few clicks,” he wrote. “Being a celebrity or a public figure in no way diminishes anyone’s right-to-privacy vs an unknown neighbor two blocks over.”
King also acknowledges that it may be hard for the audience, particularly its younger members, to understand his position. We live in a world where so many put their lives on social media. If Aaron Rodgers isn’t one of those people though, King writes it is not unreasonable for him to be put off by someone having his contact information that he did not give it to.
Dan Le Batard: ‘Does Sports Media Care if Interviews Are Done Well?’
“An exclusive interview with Ja Morant, who hasn’t talked to anybody after his controversy, is going to get eyeballs, so it doesn’t matter how good it actually is.”
Mike Greenberg had praise for Jalen Rose this week. He said that no one but his ESPN colleague could have handled the interview with Ja Morant that has been airing on the network. Dan Le Batard has the exact opposite opinion of what he saw.
“What I saw was soft and didn’t seem to serve anybody except ESPN,” Le Batard said on his Thursday show. “This seems to be a lot of people around the economy of basketball and Ja Morant orchestrating an interview so Ja Morant can move onto the next stage of his branding.”
Whereas Greenberg thought the shared experience of an NBA career made Rose more likely to get answers from Morant, Le Batard said it created a problem. He accused Rose of letting Morant get away with using “talking points” in lieu of answering any actual questions about the string of erratic behavior and disturbing incidents the Memphis Grizzlies star has been involved with.
It wasn’t the only interview that Dan Le Batard pointed to. He noted that Pat McAfee’s interview with Aaron Rodgers may have drawn an audience of nearly half a million, but very little substance was offered.
“Does anybody in the audience, in sports fandom, or even, at this point, in sports media companies, care in a real and legitimate way whether the interview is done well or not?”
He added that the standard has changed for these interviews because the goal has changed. They are no longer about journalism as much as they are about branding, particularly in the case of ESPN’s exclusive interview with Ja Morant.
“An exclusive interview with Ja Morant, who hasn’t talked to anybody after his controversy, is going to get eyeballs, so it doesn’t matter how good it actually is,” Le Batard concluded. “All you need, if you’re the media partner, is please get me the famous guy to sit down.”
Jomboy, Aaron Boone Partner For Weekly Podcast Appearance
“I thought it was a really interesting opportunity, and a cool idea. These guys have been innovators in this business and they’ve built a massive, young following.”
It isn’t unusual for a professional sports team to partner with a local radio station for weekly interviews with team personnel. Even though Jomboy Media is a digital outlet, it didn’t stop the company from inking a deal to have Yankees manager Aaron Boone on one of its signature podcasts.
In a move announced Thursday, Jomboy Media has signed a deal for Boone to appear on its popular Talkin’ Yanks podcast — hosted by founder Jimmy O’Brien and Jake Storiale — once a week throughout the baseball season.
“I thought it was a really interesting opportunity, and a cool idea. These guys have been innovators in this business and they’ve built a massive, young following,” Boone told The New York Post. “I think Jimmy and Jake are both really good guys. And they’re passionate about what they do, and they love the Yankees. And, sometimes they’re a little misguided and it’s my chance to set the record straight every now and then.”
Previously, Boone had a weekly spot on 98.7 ESPN New York’s The Michael Kay Show, which reportedly paid him six figures.
“It’s going to be really fun and it kind of goes with the changing landscape of media,” O’Brien said. “The fact that two fans can create a show and in five years get to the point where they get to ask questions to the manager of the Yankees and bring whatever insight we can get out of that to our audience — it is pretty wild, a little surreal.”