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Alex Mather: The Athletic May Have To Offer Free Samples

“These next few months are critical for The Athletic.”

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The Athletic has always been a subscription based sports journalism outlet, however its founders have now realized that only goes so far.

“When everything is paywalled, you’re limiting the audience you can reach every single day,” co-founder Alex Mather said in an interview with Bloomberg last week. “For us to reach 5 million or 10 million subscribers, we’re going to have to reach more sports fans, give them a taste of our product, find ways to bring then into our universe and engage them and hopefully get them to become a paid subscriber.”

The Athletic is seeking any way to reach new subscribers ahead of a potential sale of the company.

Jacob Donnelly, an employee at the newsletter company Morning Brew says that The Athletic‘s growth has slowed quite considerably and is losing subscribers as fast as they are bringing in new ones. “These next few months are critical for The Athletic.” Donnelly said.

The Athletic has been under growing pressure from investors to deliver a return for the company, as their process of selling has been slow. Fanduel has said that they are not interested in the entity and The New York Times backed out of their talks on a purchase due to The Athletic valuing themselves far higher than the Times did.

It appears that The Athletic may have reached a saturation point for their product. While the company is growing in revenue, big publications that are subscription based often see about 20 percent of subscribers cancel by the end of the year.

Mather does not seem concerned however, as he said that with the sports world back in action following lockdowns in 2020 that he believes that The Athletic is poised to grow.

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Peacock Will Stream July 3rd Royals-Tigers Game Without Announcers

Instead or traditional play-by-play and color analysis, the broadcast will feature something “completely different,” as Sam Flood, NBC Sports executive producer puts it. The broadcast will show reporters that will take fans around the ballpark and view the game from different vantage points.

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Tiger, Royals, Peacock
Peter Aiken-USA Today Sports

On July 3rd, the Detroit Tigers will play host to the Kansas City Royals. That division battle will air on NBC’s streaming service, Peacock. That game will also air without any announcers.

Instead or traditional play-by-play and color analysis, the broadcast will feature something “completely different,” as Sam Flood, NBC Sports executive producer puts it. The broadcast will show reporters that will take fans around the ballpark and view the game from different vantage points.

“The whole idea of this is treating a game completely different. We’re going to take you out to the ballpark,” said Flood. “We just want to be the ultimate fan’s experience and spend it like anyone else. It’s an American holiday celebration weekend. We’re going to lean in and treat baseball like fans do.”

Ahmed Fareed, MLB Sunday Leadoff host and in-game reporter will be part of the game. He will be joined by Bally Sports Detroit analyst Craig Monroe and NBC Sports’ Britney Eurton.

It’s not the first time that networks have attempted to do a game telecast without traditional announcers. TNT attempted “players-only” broadcasts a few years ago, but stopped doing them shortly after due to the lack of interest in the format, to be kind.

“One of our goals for the Peacock game has been to celebrate the game and the players and everything that makes the sport special. So for this game that kind of gives us an opportunity to celebrate everything that makes baseball special off the field,” Fareed said.

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BetMGM Agrees to Become Exclusive Sportsbook of the The BetQL Network

The partnership is an exclusive multi-year agreement that significantly expands the current relationship between BetMGM and Audacy. The BetQL Network launched in June of 2021 and has expanded from two markets to 31 markets.

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BetMGM and BetQL

On Monday, a partnership between BetMGM and The BetQL Network was made official. It was announced that BetMGM will become the exclusive sportsbook of the network, owned by Audacy.

The partnership is an exclusive multi-year agreement that significantly expands the current relationship between BetMGM and Audacy. The BetQL Network launched in June of 2021 and has expanded from two markets to 31 markets.

“We are delighted to expand our strategic partnership with BetMGM, highlighted by their new exclusive position with the BetQL Network,” said David Field, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Audacy. “Barely a year old, the BetQL Network has a bright future ahead of it as legalized sports betting continues to expand over the next decade.”

BetMGM will have category exclusivity of the network’s full slate of programming, including flagship program You Better You Bet, commencing in September.

BetQL Network’s weekly lineup will distribute approximately 100 hours of original content per week on the Audacy and BetQL digital platforms. Audacy will also produce content for live audiences at various MGM Resorts across the country who will host the network inside of BetMGM sportsbooks.

“We’re excited to further our strategic partnership with Audacy and to bring our market-leading sports betting and gaming entertainment content to millions of listeners nationwide across the entire BetQL Network platform,” said Matt Prevost, Chief Revenue Officer, BetMGM.

BetMGM hasn’t been shy in attempting to increase their market share. They announced earlier this month that they have partnered with Carnival to offer sports betting on select cruises ships.

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Aqib Talib, Andrew Whitworth Expected To Join Amazon’s Thursday Night Football

Talib and Whitworth are expected to be a part of the studio team but will not be analysts as the desk. They will contribute in other portions of the Amazon studio and produce other NFL content.

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Aqib Talib and Andrew Whitworth

The roster is continuing to load up for Amazon’s Thursday Night Football broadcasts. Two more recent retirees are expected to be a part of the games’ coverage. Aqib Talib and Andrew Whitworth are the two former players expected to sign on soon.

Talib and Whitworth are expected to be a part of the studio team but will not be analysts as the desk. They will contribute in other portions of the Amazon studio and produce other NFL content.

An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment.

Talib retired in 2019 after his last season with the Los Angeles Rams. Whitworth retired after this past season after winning the Super Bowl with the Los Angeles Rams.

So far, the reported crew is Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit in the booth, Charissa Thompson (reported, not confirmed) to host the “studio” desk, Tony Gonzalez will be on the desk as well as will Richard Sherman and Ryan Fitzpatrick.

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