Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 25 No. 151
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.

Sports Media Execs Dish On Rapid Growth Of Streaming Options

Top sports media execs believe this is only the very beginning of the digital revolution in the sports business industry. Sports Media Advisors Founder & CEO Doug Perlmanspeaking on Day 2 of the Learfield Intercollegiate Athletics Forum, said, “Our kids won’t even understand the distinction between TV and streaming platforms much in the same way today that if we talked about broadcast versus cable, their eyes sort of glaze. To them, it’s all just going to be about content on a screen.” Endeavor Exec VP/Content Strategy & Partnerships Karen Brodkin noted kids are "growing up watching digital platforms, they’re growing up watching Twitch and Facebook and YouTube.” Brodkin feels international markets are “significantly ahead” of the U.S. in terms of digital platforms and OTT services. She said consuming sports digitally is the “norm in a number of markets,” and the U.S. is “just getting caught up.”

SNAP STORY: ESPN VP/Programming & Acquisitions Nick Dawson shed some light on the company’s move to put "SportsCenter" on SnapChat. He said, “There’s just so much evidence that that’s the right thing to do. I don’t think it’s a hard decision for the company to make.” He emphasized the intention to extend the property’s brand with the hope it will encourage users to engage in other content. Perlman said, “You want to be on a platform like Snapchat … but you want to keep some stuff for the mothership. It’s just a very interesting balancing act.”

LOOKING AHEAD: On the question of whether powerful digital players like Amazon will be a part of the next rounds of bidding on media rights, Wasserman Managing Executive of Properties Dean Jordan said, “You have to plan for it, but I’m not 100% sold that ... everyone will be in in a big level.” Stadium TV Network CEO Jason Coyle: “Somebody is going to be in them pretty significantly.” Perlman: “Unequivocally, yes.” However, he said all the digital companies are “very different,” with differing objectives and ways to monetize content. Perlman: “Each of them will have different strategies and different levels of interests. If the question is will at least one of them be in in a major way with a major property, then the answer is yes.”

QUICK HIT:

  • Brodkin, on the speed with which the media landscape has changed: “Change has happened much faster in the last 18-24 months than it happened in the prior 10 years. … You’ve seen really, really seismic, rapid movement, and nobody’s anticipating that that’s going to slow down.”