Record Sports TV Viewing Not From The NFL: Reason To Cheer - And For Alarm

Although there is s noticeable slowdown for some areas of the premium streaming world, don't believe for one minute that this means anything for those selling and controlling big-time sports TV rights.

For those legacy TV-media companies that have both linear, live TV networks and premium streaming services, there are indications that sports continues to rise to the occasion.

There is noticeable resilience when it comes to NFL games -- still on par or higher in terms of viewership versus a year ago, at least on legacy TV/streaming platforms.

Two recent events showed strong results for non-NFL programming: College football and soccer (otherwise known as European football).

On Saturday, Fox aired its most-watched college football game ever -- the Michigan-Ohio State game, the third- and second-ranked U.S. college football teams -- which earned 17 million Nielsen-measured viewers -- the most by any network since 2011.



A day earlier, Fox and Telemundo aired the USA/England World Cup match, drawing a collective 19.9 million viewers -- the highest results ever for a U.S. broadcast of a men's soccer game.

Other sports may offer somewhat lackluster results. But as TV networks know, this is not all bad news.

That's because big brand sports-minded marketers -- like automotive, communications and insurance companies -- don't bat an eyelash when it comes to paying premium pricing for live sports TV programming.

Now, the pressure on all media companies will be even greater -- especially to offer up highly viewed content for growing streaming platforms.

And the next round of big-time deals will be more like what is going on with NFL's NFL Sunday Ticket -- the out-of-market package of games could go for $5 billion a year or more. Currently, outgoing provider DirecTV pays around $1.5 billion.

But here is the difference: Almost all those bidding for the package will be newer digital media companies -- including Apple, Amazon, and Google.

The bottom line: NFL Sunday Ticket will virtually be exclusive to the premium streamer world.

All that would keep the pressure on ever-higher sports rights pricing for the next NFL contract -- surely eight to 10 years from now when the traditional live, linear TV networks come up again.

2 comments about "Record Sports TV Viewing Not From The NFL: Reason To Cheer - And For Alarm".
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  1. T Bo from Wordpress, November 30, 2022 at 12:29 p.m.

    Curious to hear thoughts on why insurance companies love sports programming.  Younger male customer base?

  2. Ben B from Retired, November 30, 2022 at 8:26 p.m.

    I loved every minute of the Michigan beatdown of OSU and finally winning in C-Bus since 2000. Very happy USA made it to the round of 16 in the World Cup.

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