VARIETY's Cynthia Littleton noted ESPN has "shed about 2 million domestic subscribers over the past 12 months." According to Disney's report for FY '18, the total U.S. subscriber base "stands at about 86 million." That number "compares to 88 million" in the FY '17 report. The decline indicates the "growth of virtual MVPDs" such as YouTube TV and Hulu’s package are "still not enough to offset a net decline in the subscribers from the traditional pay-TV world" (VARIETY.com, 11/21).
TEAM ASSEMBLED: BLOOMBERG NEWS' Scott Soshnick cited sources as saying that the Yankees have lined up Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, RedBird Capital Partners and Mubadala Investment for the team’s "plan to buy back control" of YES Network. Sources said that the Yankees are also in talks with "potential strategic partners" including Amazon to "provide digital streaming services and participate financially in the deal." The team and Fox are in discussions about the "fair-market value" the RSN (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 11/21).
MOVING ON: Sportsnet analyst Don Cherry said his film "Rock'em Sock'em Hockey 30" will be the "final" edition of the series. Cherry: "It’s our 30th video and we have decided it’s time to hang it up." In Toronto, Joe Warmington noted Cherry and his son Tim have "produced all 30 of these classic videos of incredible on-ice highlights combined with Don’s narrative over some fast-moving techno music." This is "not a signal that Cherry is thinking of packing it on Saturday nights as well" (TORONTO SUN, 11/24).