But First, A Reader Response to Last Week’s Mailings

parqor fubotv Sports Streaming

A quick note

It took me about 48 hours to write this mailing because the pieces are moving quickly in sports streaming, and they are not easy to follow. I finished the mailing at 7pm. As you will see, a big part of the mailing is thinking through the implications of fuboTV’s deal with Disney for ESPN channels.

At 10:45pm last night, this story emerged:

Just a week after filling in a major gap in its network portfolio by signing a carriage deal with Disney, FuboTV is about to lose 11 WarnerMedia channels, including TNT, CNN and Cartoon Network.

Effectively, everything I had just written three hours before was already outdated. Except for my last takeaway from the mailing:

…the market is filled with so much uncertainty around so many key details for these emerging new streaming business models. So it is worth taking notes on a wild week like the past week, and then preparing for the next one.

It looks like a wild week is going to extend itself the closer we get to September.

Summary of Newsletter #219

But First, A Reader Response to Last Week’s Mailings

I wanted to share feedback from reader Scott Porch to my mailings last week, as it offers a helpful alternative to the “Curse of the Mogul” lens on Viacom (and, by implication, Discovery).

Scott argues that, effectively, the question for ViacomCBS is: without its “House of Brands” SVOD service on the market (yet), just how far behind the streaming marketplace is ViacomCBS? It is “very last to the party” in terms of bargaining for distribution of its “House of Brands” app as a default service for accessing all ViacomCBS library content (including Showtime) across distribution platforms, as AT&T already has accomplished with HBO Max for WarnerMedia content; Disney has accomplished with Disney+ for Disney content and Hulu for FX content; and, Comcast/NBCU is accomplishing with Peacock.

Click here to read the rest of Scott’s counterargument.

A Wild Week in Sports Streaming

I have written before about how RSNs are navigating the cord-cutting environment, and how digital live-streaming rights might play out.

At the end of March, I asked:

In an effectively zero audiences, zero revenues, post-cord-cutting, and digital consumption-mostly world, where will the audiences and revenues come from?

I answered that question with four predictions, one of which was “broadcast media is and will continue to be fine because of its ability to reach audiences nationally, as the NFL has learned”. With sports like golf and European football returning to action, the NBA gearing up for a three-month “bubble” in Disney in Orlando, and the NFL planning on starting its season in October (?), the supply of live sports broadcasts is slowly returning.

So, as I predicted, broadcast (linear) media should be fine, but all signs suggest that it is not. In the last week alone, Turner prematurely opted out of its UEFA Champions League deal, and Fox ended its distribution deal with the U.S. Golf Association, transferring it to NBCU. On top of that, fuboTV announced it is adding ESPN (and other Disney Channels) this summer, and DAZN picked up Bundesliga rights in Austria, Switzerland, and Germany.

Effectively, broadcast media re-evaluated its business models with the return of sports and began to question what it was capable of delivering. This suggests we are emerging into a post-cord cutting, digital consumption-mostly world.

The two questions worth asking are:

  1. why is this all happening in one week?
  2. what does it portend for the sports streaming marketplace?

Click here to read the rest of the mailing.

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