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NFL Network, Red Zone Back On Dish & Sling

“For those 11 million subscribers who were without NFL media for almost three months, it came right down to the wire before both networks were restored for the season.”

Brandon Contes

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Just in time for fans to watch the 2020 football season kickoff, NFL Media and Dish Network reached a new agreement. The deal, which was announced Sunday, saw NFL Network and NFL RedZone both get restored on Dish TV and Sling TV for the season’s opening week. 

“We join millions of NFL fans who are thrilled to see NFL Network and NFL RedZone back on Dish and Sling TV in time for the 2020 NFL season,” Hans Schroeder, EVP and chief operating officer of NFL Media said in the press release. “Our goal is to provide NFL fans everywhere the opportunity to view award-winning coverage of America’s favorite sport and Dish and Sling TV are important partners in that mission.”

Their previous deal ended in June, with NFL Network and Redzone channel being pulled from Dish and Sling as both sides continued negotiations. For those 11 million subscribers who were without NFL media for almost three months, it came right down to the wire before both networks were restored for the season. While the RedZone channel doesn’t provide much of a service during the months of July and August, NFL Network continued producing a stacked lineup of content and studio shows throughout the summer. 

“We’re excited to have reached an agreement that benefits all parties, most importantly our customers and NFL fans,” said Andy LeCuyer, Dish’s senior vice president of programming. “Thank you for your patience and understanding as we worked through the negotiations.”

Sports TV News

Fox Charging $250,000 For Field of Dreams Game Ads

The revelation from Ourand comes a day after Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch said the network was planning “record pricing” for its upcoming Super Bowl in February of 2023.

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For the second consecutive year, Major League Baseball is playing a regular season game at the Field of Dreams movie site in Dyersville, Iowa. And the 2022 edition has proved to be a lucrative one for Fox.

John Ourand of Sports Business Journal reports Fox has secured more revenue for this year’s game between the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds than any other regular season game on the network. Ourand also revealed commercials sold for $250,000 each.

The revelation from Ourand comes a day after Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch said the network was planning “record pricing” for its upcoming Super Bowl in February of 2023. NBC sold commercials for $7 million during Super Bowl LVI.

Also, per a report from the Des Moines Register, the game will not be held in 2023, as the site develops a complex for youth baseball and softball fields. Baseball Hall of Famer Frank Thomas is part of the ownership group of the site and said “It’s a lot going on. They don’t want to come back if the stadium’s not prepared.”

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Sports TV News

Disney CEO Bob Chapek: ESPN Viewers Under 30 ‘Absolutely Require’ Betting Content

“Our sports fans that are under 30 absolutely require this type of (sports betting) utility,” Chapek said. 

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Disney CEO Bob Chapek alluded to an upcoming partnership with a sportsbook during a second-quarter earnings call.

“Our sports fans that are under 30 absolutely require this type of (sports betting) utility,” Chapek said. 

Disney reported a revenue increase of 26% year-over-year, bringing in $21.5 billion in the quarter. ESPN+ now features 22.8 million subscribers, while Disney+ is at 152.1 million. Hulu, which Disney owns 67% of, now has 46.2 million subscribers.

Also during the call, Chapek discussed what a direct-to-consumer future looks like for ESPN, saying “we’ve negotiated flexibility into our new rights agreements”.

ESPN has continued to invest in the sports betting space, offering shows like Daily Wager, while also announcing the addition of sports betting expert Liz Loza earlier this week.

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Sports TV News

Potential Big Ten/ESPN Deal Did Not Include ESPN Plus Option

“I’ve been told ESPN’s deal did not include direct-to-consumer on ESPN+, it was a strict linear television deal.”

Jordan Bondurant

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ESPN, BIG TEN

A shockwave went thru the sports media landscape on Tuesday when reports surfaced that the Big Ten would not be awarding a media rights deal with longtime partner ESPN. Since then, more details have come out about why the two might not be in business together after this season.

On The Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast, John Ourand added another piece of the puzzle that could offer some illumination. According to his reporting and sources, ESPN wanted to be able to offer Big Ten games on their direct-to-consumer streaming option, ESPN+ and the Big Ten didn’t receive that well.

“I’ve been told ESPN’s deal did not include direct-to-consumer on ESPN+, it was a strict linear television deal.”

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