If you read our most recent newsletter, you’d know that Regional Sports Networks have been in quite a lot of trouble financially recently. This has created a lot of opportunities for major TV stations to create deals with professional sports teams to air games on regular broadcast/over-the-air TV.
Both new virtual pay TV providers and traditional pay TV companies don’t want to carry the expensive RSNs. Local TV stations’ advertising revenue has also been on the decline due to the slow but consistent trend of cord-cutting. Bringing live sports onto TV stations will bring in advertisers, since a major type of content that performs well on broadcast TV networks is sports.
The Tight Competition
TV stations such as Nexstar Media, Sinclair, and Gray Television have been making deals with the NBA, MLB, and NFL to run live games on their stations. However, heavyweights like Disney/ESPN, Apple, Amazon, and Google are also jumping into the local sports broadcasting arena. The competition won’t be easy when it comes to high-rated live content.
Benefits of Live Sports on Over The Air TV
TV stations hope that by bringing live sports onto their stations, it will help boost their overall deals with pay TV providers. By integrating sports content with other staples like news and syndicated shows during prime-time programming, TV stations are aiming to enhance the attractiveness of their packages to both viewers and advertisers. Cable providers can now craft cheaper TV station and broadcast network bundles, hoping to keep consumers hooked onto the traditional "bundle" concept.
It's a win-win game that promises to keep viewers entertained and local TV stations' ad revenues bouncing back.
The author, Cate Bender, is Project Coordinator of Marketing Keys