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MSG Networks Aims to Launch In-Market Streaming Service By End of 2022

The announcement follows news of plans by Sinclair, NBC Sports, and Marquee Sports Network to launch their own streaming services.

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MSG Networks is the latest regional sports network aiming to launch a direct-to-consumer streaming service.

According to The Streamable, MSG Networks announced the plans during an earnings call with investors. The intention is to launch before the end of 2022. Executives said they expect to reach an agreement with the NBA and NHL for rights to their local telecasts.

The streaming service would be for in-market customers, serving not only metro New York, but outer regions of New York in addition to parts of New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania.

MSG Networks’ announcement follows news of plans by Sinclair, NBC Sports, and Marquee Sports Network (owned by the Chicago Cubs and Sinclair) to launch their own direct-to-consumer streaming services.

As The Streamable’s Jason Gurwin points out, MSG Networks has been in a carriage dispute with Comcast since last fall. So a DTC service would allow viewers in the New York market and nearby regions to get MSG and MSG+ outside of a cable provider.

MSG also currently offers MSG GO as a streaming option, but viewers need a TV provider account to access the service. Right now, customers can get MSG Networks through fuboTV and DIRECTV STREAM, but have to sign up for those full services.

MSG Network executives would not divulge on what the monthly fee would be for a streaming service. Sinclair is reportedly eyeing a $20 price for a monthly subscription and Marquee is looking at an $18 fee, while NBC Sports hasn’t determined a fee as it’s still in the very early stages of planning.

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Sunday Night Baseball Viewership Up On ESPN

“Telecasts are averaging 1.73 million viewers.”

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The first month of the 2022 MLB regular season has concluded and ESPN is celebrating an uptick in viewership for Sunday Night Baseball.

The network announced on Tuesday that viewership for Sunday Night Baseball is up 4% compared to this time last year. In addition to that, compared to the 2020 full season average, ratings are up 40%.

Telecasts are averaging 1.73 million viewers. The Dodgers/Cubs game on May 8 averaged 1.781 million and peaked at over 2.1 million viewers during the 8-8:15 p.m. window.

Karl Ravech, Eduardo Perez and David Cone comprise the Sunday Night Baseball broadcast booth, with Buster Olney contributing reports.

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Nickelodeon Gets Christmas Day NFL Game

“This will be the network’s first regular season game.”

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The NFL’s Christmas triple header will include a little slime this year. The afternoon game between the Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams and Denver Broncos will be simulcast on CBS and Nickelodeon.

Nickelodeon has ramped up its NFL presence each year since 2020. The network has aired a kid-friendly broadcast of a Wild Card Round playoff game each of the last two seasons. Last year’s tile between the 49ers and Cowboys drew an audience of 41 million.

Before the start of last season, the studio show NFL Slimetime debuted. This will be the network’s first regular season game.

Kickoff is set for 4:30 pm Eastern on Christmas Day. No details of what Nickelodeon’s coverage may include are available yet. Nate Burleson, Noah Eagle and Nickelodeon star Gabrielle Nevaeh Green have been on the call of the network’s previous NFL broadcasts.

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Kentucky Derby Rebounds With 16 Million Viewers

“The Derby saw its best numbers since 2019 on Saturday. The audience peaked at 19 million.”

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The Kentucky Derby has now eclipsed 15 million viewers in each of the last eight years that the event was not effected by the Covid-19 Pandemic. An average audience of 16 million tuned in Saturday to see longshot Rich Strike win the first leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown.

The Derby saw its best numbers since 2019 on Saturday. The audience peaked at 19 million.

During the weekend, the event kept finding new life on social media. According to an NBC Sports press release, the overhead shot of the final call drew big audiences across a number of the network’s digital platforms, having been viewed in total more than 36 million times.

Peacock also cashed in on the event’s success. The streaming platform posted an average minute audience of over 247,000 viewers during the Kentucky Derby.

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