Happy New Year, sports media lovers!
The funny thing about media and sports is you don’t know what’s going to happen. This is especially true in the chaos created by the digital age.
This affects networks, the biggest corporations and athletes. The world of sports media is constantly evolving. By the end of the year, what we’re talking about might not even be here in the first place.
Having said that, here are five headlines for 2023 that interest me.
1. Will Tom Brady join Fox Sports?
It’s a $375 million question, and more money is in…not this year.Brady can continue playing, feels more likely after his divorce Gisele BundchenHe could also retire and decide he just wants to take a year off and notify Fox Sports to keep his No. 1 spot on the senior team for a little longer. And there are some very important people who believe — even though they don’t know it — that Brady will never be on the Fox Sports booth. The theory from these guys is that Fox Sports makes so much money that Brady is just using it as a hedge against other things he might do if he stops playing.
No matter what Brady does — just because he’s Brady — it’s going to be a big story, which is why Fox wants him in the next booth so badly Kevin Burkhart.
2. How is the NBA moving forward?
The next NBA rights deal probably won’t be decided until 2023, but by the time it’s over, we’ll likely have a clearer picture of what the NBA will do after the 2024-25 season when its deals with ABC/ESPN and TNT expire.
What’s clear is that the new deal will be different and likely involve streaming — like Amazon, Apple, or Google/YouTube. ABC/ESPN will want to keep the Finals and Big Game, but will likely accept a smaller price increase and less tonnage.Meanwhile, Turner’s future at Warner Bros. Discovery is an interesting story in itself, because david zaslav, the president of WBD, has said his firm only wants to make a deal for the future, not the past. (More on that below.)
Others are likely to be involved too – NBC. With broadcast television making a comeback, can NBC and Peacock team up with the NBA? By this time next year, that may be gaining even more attention.
3. What plans does Apple have for sports?
We don’t like compromises, which Apple has offered so far. Sports broadcasting is still in its infancy and fairness cannot be fully judged until there is time for more action, so this is an observation, not a criticism.
Last year’s MLB Friday night doubles game didn’t make a lot of money in Apple’s world, but, while Apple and MLB chose not to release any figures, it’s hard to believe it would be very successful.
Most recently, they turned down the NFL’s Sunday Ticket, which would have been their entry into top sports entertainment, but it’s hard to imagine how those numbers add up to more than $200 million a year. So Apple may have been smart enough to pass.
This year, a potentially game-changing 10-year, $2.5 billion deal with the MLS went into effect. Some in the industry thought it would be a disaster, but a global subscription might make sense for a league with global goals. If successful, this could serve as a template for Apple to try and land more games.
However, rights deals occasionally come up. For example, while Apple could get involved with the NBA, they almost certainly couldn’t recreate a full-game subscription platform like MLS.
4. When will ESPN make all its programming direct-to-consumer?
This is happening. It’s a matter of when, not if. If it’s 2023, it will likely be at the end of the year. By the end of 2024, I’d be very surprised if it doesn’t.
What does it mean? ESPN will still air on cable, but it will be available directly to consumers without cable.Not just ESPN+, but a service that lets you receive all of ESPN’s great programming
ESPN DTC will likely start between $19.99 and $29.99. And, more importantly: It opens the door to a bigger move, using all of Disney’s assets to reinvent its own portfolio of news, sports, and entertainment.
5. What is the future of Turner Sports?
I think the answer right now is: who knows? The new boss is everywhere, from the top of its parent company Warner Bros. Discovery — Zaslav — to the head of Turner Sports — Louis SilberwasserSo at this point, acting as if this new Turner executive team is going to go about business as usual is too much of an assumption. can you? It has the potential to be, and will be, a major player in the NBA, MLB, NHL, March Madness, and golf for years to come. However, with the need to update the protocol, it is unclear how it will develop?
Could it work with CBS in the NBA like it does with college basketball? Can it back out of a new deal, starting with the NBA? Zaslav makes it clear he can live without basketball if he doesn’t like what he hears from commissioners Adam Silver.
something wrong. Turner has always been an understated powerhouse in the sports media. That probably won’t be the case anytime soon.