Future Of RSNs May Look Much Different Than Present Construction
The future of RSNs may depend on incorporating sports gambling-related data, next-gen stats and creating more unique, original content, according to execs on a panel discussion during Day 1 of the Endeavor Streaming Sports Media & Technology conference. Monumental Sports & Entertainment Senior VP/Strategic Initiatives Zach Leonsis, who also serves as GM of Monumental Sports Network, said his goal is to provide viewers with programming that steadily increases anticipation throughout the day for that night’s live game. "What we really try to focus on is making the entire day one giant drumbeat," he said. "Our team, via our social channels ... are constantly pushing out two- to three-minute clips. A candid video with our players. Our own radio play-by-play and color analysts doing a pregame preview of what’s to come. … We’re certainly wanting to integrate our on-air talent from NBC Sports Washington into our videos as well."
STILL WORK TO DO: SNY’s bread and butter remains Mets games, and RSN President Steve Raab talked about the generation gap -- particularly between his 12-year-old son and 86-year-old father -- in becoming accepting of next-gen stats on TV broadcasts. Raab: "They were talking about exit velocity and launch angle. My dad kept saying, 'Who cares? It’s still a home run.' My son didn’t understand why my dad didn’t care." Raab added that one thing that is missing is an understanding of what these numbers represent. "Exit velocity, the number by itself, people have to get comfortable with it," he said. "Somehow we’ve gotten comfortable with what’s a good time in the 40-yard dash or that 43 inches is a great vertical leap. But the context hasn’t come yet for the general fan for what those measurements in baseball mean. But I guess if history says anything, it says that they will eventually."
KEEPING PACE: Sticking with baseball, Lindsay Amstutz, who is Senior VP & GM of FS West, FS San Diego and FS Prime Ticket, noted one persistent challenge is the concept of "time poverty," even as the quality of the baseball broadcast experience has improved. "How do you make those big games even bigger?" she asked. "How do you make the storylines that much more compelling, to really compete against all of the other distractions that people have going on in their lives, be it kids, be it jobs, be it social media?"