#Sportsbiz Recap — August 28, 2016

NBC Moves to Trump CBS’ Ad Prices for ‘Thursday Night Football’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Excerpts:

  • CBS and NBC each have rights to air five games each, for which they are each believed to be paying $225 million.
  • Both networks (NBC & CBS) seeking between $550,000 and $590,000 for a 30-second spot
  • “It was important for us to get the games at the beginning to have the opportunity to launch our primetime schedule,” said Sean McManus
  • A 30-second spot in CBS’ package of games in 2015 went for an average of $462,222.
  • NBC will seek premium for their Thursday night package due to ‘holiday season’

CBS had an exclusive 8-game package last year, this year the NFL has split a 10-game package between CBS and NBC. NBC now has a piece of two primetime NFL windows with Sunday Night Football and this Thursday Night Football package. NBC may be able to command a premium for their commercial inventory, but it is interesting to see the difference in strategy between the two. The increase in the value of the 30-second spot by approximately $100,000 over a year ago is also very interesting.

This College Football Team Doesn’t Want to Join the Big Leagues

Excerpts:

  • Matt Larsen, the North Dakota State University’s athletic director, who was hired to make this decision, says he’s torn: “Our teams can compete at that level, but we need to ask, ‘Can we afford to make the jump?’ A lot of programs have moved up, looking for glitz, glamour, and glory, and sometimes it’s not there.”
  • Each home game contributes about $1.5 million to the local economy
  • Larsen’s budget is $22 million. The nation’s top programs have kitties in excess of $120 million.
  • NDSU’s new $50 million athletic complex was privately funded, as was a $5.5 million indoor track-and-field venue.
  • Would need to upgrade their football stadium in order to accommodate FBS crowd’s. Houston recently spent $120m on a new stadium.

I had been unfamiliar with Matt Larsen prior to reading this article. I was aware of North Dakota State due to their continued success at the FCS level, and agree with Larsen’s sentiments on the matter. While fans, boosters and some familiar with the program may feel that they have eclipsed the level of others at the FCS level; we’ve seen programs such as UMass falter at the next level. At this time of instability in the FBS, with the recent introduction of the College Football playoff and the never-ending realignment within the conferences (especially the Group of 5 schools), I don’t see a situation that would financially make sense for North Dakota State. I look forward to seeing how Matt Larsen continues to grow the Bison, with their continued success at the FCS level.

PGA Tour Streaming OTT Coverage on Facebook, Twitter For Start Of FedExCup by John Lombardo

Excerpts:

  • The Tour’s OTT Service is powered through a partnership with BAM Tech. The Tour has a distribution deal with Perform Group.
  • PGA Tour will provide new digital offerings on Twitter and Facebook Live offering coverage from both tournaments.
  • The deal with Perform Group offers the live streaming service DAZN in Japan more than 30 events annually through 2018
  • The Tour will also offer a trial run to allow players to stream live video during practice rounds and pro-am days on Tour-approved social media outlets.

Great to see that The Tour is adapting to 2016 by allowing additional access and further accessibility to their product in new digital platforms. Twitter and Facebook Live at this time are non-authenticated platforms that do not allow for easy integration of sponsorship, but through a presenting sponsorship allow for additional opportunities for revenue and exposure for the sports. The additional access to the players is the key to this in my mind. Golf has a reputation as ‘exclusive’ and ‘expensive’. In order for casual viewers to feel engaged they need to be able to identify with professional golfers. Golf’s popularity continues to dwindle in the aftermath of the Tiger Woods’ downfall. There are tons of marketable young stars that continue to benefit themselves but none has stepped in to the gap left by Tiger to fill  the sports void. Engaging with viewers on these social platforms will give these players additional opportunities to showcase their personalities and build fan loyalty.

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