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NBC Hoping Big Super Bowl Audience Helps Olympics Ratings Dip

“We’re excited about the impact the Super Bowl will have as we move into the weekend, and as I like to say to the team, boomerang into next week.”

Jordan Bondurant

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It’s been much-hyped, but the day finally came. NBC was home to both the Winter Olympics and Super Bowl on Sunday.

Touted as a very rare instance, NBC was optimistic Feb. 13 would be a monumental day for the network. It was the culmination of a deal NBC and CBS struck in order to avoid CBS having to go head-to-head against the Olympics for audiences.

But so far, the Beijing games have not drawn the numbers NBC wanted. As of Feb. 8, Olympics coverage was averaging 12.3 million viewers per day, down from 23 million in 2018 for the games in PyeongChang, South Korea.

“We’re excited about the impact the Super Bowl will have as we move into the weekend,” NBC Sports Group chairman Pete Bevacqua told the Boston Globe‘s Chad Finn, “and as I like to say to the team, boomerang into next week.”

“We think the Super Bowl is going to provide an unbelievably powerful platform, to have that 100 million-plus audience where we can obviously cover the game and every aspect of what’s been a wonderful NFL season, but also promote the Olympics and promote Week 2 of these Beijing Games,” he added.

An estimated 100 million will tune in for the Super Bowl. It will be interesting to see how much of that audience sticks around when the network transitions into Olympics coverage after the Lombardi Trophy is raised Sunday night.

Sports TV News

Netflix CEO: ‘We’re Not Anti-Sports, We’re Just Pro-Profit’

“He characterized expensive media rights as a “loss leader” in the streaming world and noted that Netflix doesn’t view sports as a necessity to grow.”

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Netflix will not join Apple and Amazon in the rush to gobble up live sports rights. Co-CEO Ted Sarandos addressed the streaming giant’s disinterest at the UBS Global Technology, Media & Telecom Conference on Wednesday.

He characterized expensive media rights as a “loss leader” in the streaming world and noted that Netflix doesn’t view sports as a necessity to grow.

“We’re not anti-sports,” Sarandos said according to Deadline. “We’re just pro-profit. We have yet to figure out how to do it. But I’m very confident we can get twice as big as we are without sports.” 

Questions about the interest the company has in carrying live sports have come up several times in the past. Sarandon made similar comments last year when asked about it.

Reed Hastings, Sarandos’s co-CEO at Netflix, has a slightly different view. In 2021, he indicated that Netflix could be interested in F1 rights someday thanks to the success of its documentary series Drive to Survive, but that would be a special case. Any league interested in doing business with Netflix, he said, would have to allow Netflix to control all of its content.

Ted Sarandos echoed that sentiment in his most recent comments. He said that the company does not see a way to profit by “renting big-league sports.”

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Sports TV News

FOX Sued for Patent Infringement Over NFL Scheduling

“Recentive Analytics filed suit against FOX in a Delaware federal court on November 29 according to Yahoo Sports.”

Jordan Bondurant

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An analytics company is suing FOX over claims that the network developed a mapping tool using their patented technology to create a season slate of NFL games.

Recentive Analytics filed suit against FOX in a Delaware federal court on November 29 according to Yahoo Sports.

The lawsuit claims FOX used access to Recentive’s predictive analytics tools to develop a resource of their own that would create optimal schedules for its 1 and 4 p.m. NFLwindows.

The company is seeking a declaration that FOX infringed on two of its patents. Recentive is also suing for damages and wants an injunction keeping FOX from using Recentive tech and preventing the network from “selling, offering for sale, marketing or using any internal network and mapping analytics tool for the scheduling and regionalization of events covered by the patents.”

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Sports TV News

FOX Will Use Chris Fallica On Belmont Stakes Coverage

“While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.”

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The Bear will be more than just a college football presence when he moves to FOX. Chris Fallica wrapped his final duties for ESPN last week and is now headed to a new network and will tackle some new responsibilities.

Fallica’s new role at FOX will involve plenty of sports gambling content. Richard Deitsch of The Athletic reports that content will include horse racing.

“One Fox Sports source said look for him to appear on the Belmont Stakes coverage,” Deitsch wrote in his weekly media column.

Starting in 2023, horse racing’s Triple Crown will not be seen all in one place. While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.

How the network intends to use Chris Fallica on the broadcast is not clear. Given that he is coming to the network to contribute to gambling conversations, it is likely he would either be making picks or at least reviewing odds right up to the start of the race.

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