Best in Digital Sports Media
This was the year that Amazon made its first move into sports, picking up the NFL’s “Thursday Night Football” streaming package (and increasing online viewership), the AVP Tour and the ATP’s British and Irish rights.
ESPN Digital Media
The country’s biggest sports media brand, ESPN saw enormous growth in its ESPN App and fantasy business. ESPN video streamed to 14 total platforms last year, including the extension of its “SportsCenter” brand to social media sites like Snapchat.
The social media giant increasingly dabbled in sports last year, cutting streaming deals with top leagues such as MLB and MLS, in addition to the World Surf League, CrossFit amd LigaMX.
NBC Sports Group
NBC Sports Digital streamed more than 20,000 hours of live content last year, 33 percent higher than the previous year. It was also the first year NBC Sports’ RSNs streamed local MLB games.
The growth of Bleacher Report; the pending launch of a direct-to-consumer service; and programming deals with digital media companies like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat show Turner’s ability to adapt to changing sports media consumptions patterns.
Twitter bet big on live sports through deals with MLB, MLS and the PGA Tour. All told, Twitter streamed 1,140 live events in the fourth quarter and cut several deals with networks and leagues for shoulder programming to continue the conversation.