Will Apple bid for sports right? More from Levy, Skipper and Stern

Photo by Marc Bryan-Brown
From left, Levy, Skipper, Stern and moderator John Ourand.
More quick hits and hot topics from today’s opening panel:

Skipper, on the shift of sports to cable TV: “The notion that the NBA gave up anything to come to ESPN and TNT is laughable. Look at the position of the league now. You’re not giving up audience by moving into what’s happening next. You actually lose audience by trying to hold onto what happened before.”

Stern, on new media companies like Apple, Google, etc.: “Ultimately, I think that they all are going to conclude that content is going to drive them because content is what has prevailed.”

Insights on Sports Media


David Levy, Turner Broadcasting System
John Skipper, ESPN
David Stern, NBA

Levy, on new media companies becoming bidders for rights: “At some point, someone like a Google, a Microsoft or an Apple will step up and try to buy some rights. I don’t know it will be the NBA or the NFL, but I believe it will be something they’ll try to get.”

Skipper, on relationships with new media companies: “I don’t see Apple as a competitor. We’re growing our business by creating applications and content for tablets and iPhones.Last time I checked, ESPN had the No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 sports apps on Apple devices. We’re putting ads on those and making money. And we have the same conversations with Microsoft. We were on the Surface (launch). We had a built-in application. And we’ll do the same thing with Samsung and Android.”

Stern, on cord cutting: “It has to be a concern, for those of us who study the industry, that people may not be watching cable or satellite. Even if it’s only 1% to worry about. But that’s why it’s good to have a partner with an over-the-air network. That’s why it’s good to have a social media presence, in some shape or form.”

Levy, on cord cutting: “What we’re more concerned about are what we call the ‘nevers.’ Those that are never going to get on cable. And we do believe that’s going to start happening with the younger generations. I’m not worried about the cord cutting, I’m worried about the ‘nevers.’”

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Related Topics:

NBA, ESPN, Audi, Media, Microsoft, NFL

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