In N.Y., Kosman & Morgan cite a source as saying that the Justice Department is "poised to allow Disney to spin out the control" of Fox' 22 RSNs to complete its $71B deal for Fox, as "opposed to finding an actual buyer." Disney would "have to relinquish operational control of the new entity." In June, the DOJ said that Disney "needed to find a 'buyer' for the RSNs with no mention of a spinout." Disney needs to "sell the RSNs within 90 days of the Fox deal closing, which is expected to happen in February or March." Disney "might have until May or June to spin off the RSNs" (N.Y. POST, 1/15).
TOP OF THE GAME: The AP's Joe Reedy noted NBC Sports and Topgolf Entertainment are "unveiling a new partnership," and the multiyear agreement "includes the expansion of Toptracer as the network's ball-tracking technology" for PGA Tour telecasts on NBC and Golf Channel. Toptracer "tracks the golf ball's flight and can provide information such as ball speed, apex, curve and carry." NBC will have "exclusive use of Toptracer on all 18 holes," beginning with the Waste Management Phoenix Open Jan. 31-Feb. 3. The technology will be "used mainly during tee shots via a live shot or a trace over a graphic of the hole." Toptracer will also be "used on NBC and Golf Channel's coverage of other events, including the KPMG Women's PGA Championship in June" and the Senior PGA Championship in May (AP, 1/14).
UPDATES PENDING: ENGADGET's Jon Fingas wrote ESPN is "making some welcome (and arguably overdue) improvements to its ESPN+ service." The updated app now "includes personalized recommendations for ESPN+, starting with on-demand videos." ESPN is also "borrowing a page from Netflix and other services by introducing offline viewing." Subscribers will be able to watch original content "without a constant internet connection." Users will also "see a host of subtler but still useful improvements, including a few for non-subscribers" (ENGADGET.com, 1/14).