This week’s announcement of the WarnerMedia and Discovery Inc. merger could have ripple effects for sports streaming. AT&T is spinning off its entire media arm and selling it to Discovery in an industry-shaking move. The deal won’t go through until next year but analysts believe the merger could reshape sports streaming.
AT&T pulled the trigger on the deal to relieve debt and generate roughly $43 billion. The agreement includes TurnerSports assets.
“This deal has profound implications on the sports industry,” Bruin Capital founder George Pyne said on Twitter. “The new entity can invest in adding more global sports rights to its NHL, NBA, MLB, PGA Tour and NCAA [Division I Men’s Basketball] Tournament content and create a must-have sports streaming service.”
The merger likely means an eventual combination of Discovery+ and HBO Max into one app for all of Discovery’s subscribers. The question is whether WarnerMedia’s sports-media holdings are going to move to a Discovery-branded over-the-top service. Our neighbors across the pond are bullish on this path. Discovery is the owner of Eurosport, the continent’s exclusive broadcaster of the Olympics.
“With the news that AT&T and Discovery are to merge, the landscape for sports media rights and sports broadcasting in the largest media rights market on earth is changing significantly,” said Conrad Wiacek, head of sports analysis at the London-based data and analytics firm Global data. “With sports content at the forefront of the OTT revolution, Discovery and AT&T merging now will create a new ecosystem for sports, such as esports, to gain a foothold in the US.”
The board of directors for both companies have approved the deal, creating the second-largest media company in the country behind Disney. Discovery president and CEO David Zaslav and AT&T chief John Stankey didn’t go into much detail about sports programming in the announcement, but did say sports is one of the “true differentiators of the future.”
Russ Heltman is a daily news writer for BSM. He is the morning host and producer for 89.3 WMKV in Cincinnati, OH. He also works in gameday communications for FC Cincinnati and additionally contributes to the AllBengals blog for Sports Illustrated. Russ can be found on Twitter @RussHeltman11 or you can reach him by email at Heltmandm@yahoo.com.
CBS: Calling Meeting With Tony Romo ‘Intervention’ is ‘Complete Mischaracterization’
“We meet regularly with our on-air talent.”
An opening question in broadcasting circles is ‘What happened to Tony Romo?’, with even CBS reportedly pondering the issue.
During The Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast earlier this week, The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand claimed CBS attempted “an intervention” with its lead NFL analyst.
The intended mission of several alleged meetings with CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus and CBS NFL producer Jim Rikhoff was to return Romo to his previous heights, which were widely regarded as the best NFL analyst in the business.
CBS Sports has responded to the insinuation that the meetings would be classified as an “intervention” with a strong denial.
“To call this an intervention is a complete mischaracterization, we meet regularly with our on-air talent,” CBS Sports spokeswoman Jen Sabatelle told Marchand.
Marchand added that CBS Sports officials plan to attempt to rectify the issues it sees with Romo again this offseason. Romo — who signed a 10-year, $180 million contract with CBS Sports in 2020 — is slated to call Super Bowl LVIII in 2024 with Jim Nantz.
Cameron Maybin Joining Detroit Tigers TV Booth
“All of us at Bally Sports Detroit are energized about this upcoming season and watching all the excitement unfold.”
After being dropped from the New York Yankees booth on YES Network, Cameron Maybin has a new television home with the Detroit Tigers.
The 35-year-old Maybin had three separate one-year stints with the Tigers during his 15-season big league career. Maybin was drafted by the franchise with the 10th overall selection of the 2005 MLB Draft.
A report from the Detroit Free Press adds that the Tigers will rely on Craig Monroe as its primary color commentator alongside play-by-play announcer Matt Shepard. Monroe played six of his nine MLB seasons in Detroit and was a member of the team’s 2006 World Series club.
Additionally, former Tigers relief pitcher Todd Jones will also join the broadcast crew on Bally Sports Detroit as an analyst for the 2023 season. Jones pitched for Detroit from 1997 through 2001 and also from 2006 through 2008.
“Tigers baseball is always a winner,” Bally Sports Detroit Senior Vice President and General Manager Greg Hammaren said Thursday in a statement. “All of us at Bally Sports Detroit are energized about this upcoming season and watching all the excitement unfold.
“Our crew behind the scenes and our engaging talent on camera are the best in the business. Starting with spring training, we are committed to bringing Tigers fans the absolute best coverage all season long.”
The news of Maybin and Jones joining the Bally Sports Detroit booth comes on the heels of the network failing to reach an agreement with Hall of Fame pitcher Jack Morris to return to the network. The Free Press report claims Morris was offered a reduced role with the television broadcaster, but declined.
Ian Rapoport: I Have Never Thought It is Me vs Adam Schefter
“I don’t even think that, it’s just I report what I know, and he reports what he knows.”
In terms of NFL insiders, Ian Rapoport and Adam Schefter are the two biggest names out there. And sometimes it can be a race between the two to get the biggest scoops first. Especially now with the NFL coaching carousel in full swing.
This week two teams hired new head coaches – the Broncos traded two first round picks to the Saints to acquire the rights to Sean Payton and the Texans signed DeMeco Ryans.
Rapoport tweeted that Denver had pursued Ryans up until the day they announced the trade for Payton.
Not even 15 minutes later, Schefter appeared to clarify the information out there with the two teams.
On The Pat McAfee Show on Thursday, Pat McAfee referred to the conflicting information as a “source off.”
Ian said he stood behind what he put out there.
“I know it’s fun to call it a source off or whatever, but for me I reported what I had based on the best information I can get – based on talking to many, many people throughout the course of the last month,” Rapoport said from the Senior Bowl. “And then whatever happens as a result of this I don’t really mind.”
In terms of any sort of rivalry between him and Schefter, Rapoport doesn’t view it as a head-to-head matchup.
“I don’t even think that, it’s just I report what I know, and he reports what he knows,” he said. “And everyone can sort of judge for themselves whichever way to go.”
McAfee gave kudos to Rapoport for his reporting on the Ryans situation. He also said it’s a good thing Rapoport doesn’t worry himself too much about what other insiders are doing.
“I think you should feel good about it, but I do like a good source off,” McAfee said. “And I appreciate the fact that you don’t view it as you versus Schefter. But you two are at the top of the game. So that’s a compliment more so than anything.”
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He works full-time as a multimedia specialist at the Virginia State Corporation Commission, while also putting in part-time work for News Radio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond. Additionally, you can find Jordan contributing 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 and ABC 8News. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.