TV Sports Programming Is A Bargain? Plus, McManus On the Second Screen

Here are two key topics from today’s “Sports Media” panel:

THE VALUE OF SPORTS ON TELEVISION:
McManus and Randy Freer, co-president and COO of Fox Sports Media Group, talked about the rising importance and value of sports on television and defended the quantity of content, along with the cost to consumers.

“In the marketplace, big events matter more than ever,” Freer said. “Over the last decade, sports continues to hold its value and be something that consumers and advertisers love.”

On subscriber fees, Freer said, “We don’t do a good enough job of touting the value of your pay-TV bill.”

McManus replied, “It’s a pretty darn good value for what you’re getting on your cable bill. I agree with Randy that we’re not doing enough to talk about the good value we provide. When you look at movie tickets costing $12 dollars and the other entertainment opportunities out there, sports is providing great value.”THE SECOND-SCREEN EXPERIENCE:
McManus was asked how much time he personally spends on the second screen. “Not an enormous amount of time,” McManus said. “Not that we minimize the value of technology and the second screen, because I think it’s important. But the revenue and the priority is not on that right now.” McManus said the priority remains the sporting event on television.

Freer agreed that the second screen is extremely useful to sports networks, but only when utilized with a purpose. “Social media is a tool,” Freer said. “Are you doing it for the sake of doing it, or are you doing it to engage?  It’s about how you are using those tools.”

McManus joked, “If you want to read Twitter to see what viewers think about your broadcast, you’re not going to be happy with the feedback. People usually don’t write to say you’re doing well. “

McManus said that if social media was around when CBS used to switch from game to game during the NCAA tournament and fans were often displeased, “Twitter would explode.”

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Here's a slide show from the panel. Click any photo to launch:

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