In 2016, 44 of the 50 most watched programs on TV were sports.
The number of hours devoted to sports on TV has grown 160% since 2005.
Major questions moving forward:
1) Will streaming networks (Amazon, Facebook, etc.) aggressively bid on live sports content?
2) Can broadcast/cable networks continue to raise ad rates for sports to offset lost revenue from declining ratings?
3) Will individual sports/leagues go direct-to-consumer and cut out the middle man?
These are the same questions that league executives are asking.
Quote from Rob Manfred — Commissioner @ Major League Baseball.
“We are very aware of the need to preserve the cable model,” Manfred said. “The cable model is going to continue to exist. It’s not going to be the same size. It might not look exactly like it looks today. But it’s going to be there. We have tried to do things that we see as additive to our business without causing undue harm to that existing model.”
“We’re doing those games to try and deliver the product in a way that gets to people who have either never been in or who have opted out of that cable model,” he said. “Whether you can replicate your economics, it depends on where the mix settles between the core cable model that remains and some of these new media and how creative people are in terms of monetizing on those platforms.”
More on this topic. CBS Will Launch a Streaming Sports Network Later This Year