Tilting rules governing retrans negotiations in favor of cable and satellite could accelerate the migration of sports programming to the pay media, NBC affiliates say in visit to the FCC last week.
In the U.S. and around the world, fans’ passion for sports continues to grow. 2013 was no exception—over 33 billion hours of national sports programming were consumed by 255 million people in the U.S., up 27% from the 26 billion hours consumed in 2003.
In TV rights negotiations with Major League Baseball, Fox has told MLB officials that it not only wants to renew the rights it has now, but also those that Turner has, according to sources. Fox’s wants to use the super-sized package of games to undergird plans to convert Speed into an all-sports network. Fox would continue to put league championship games and World Series on its broadcast network. Fox is not alone in the bidding for rights. Turner and NBC are still in the game.
Over the past five years, sports programming has climbed sharply among U.S. viewers — with reality TV programming maintaining its position at the most dominant TV genre, according to a Nielsen report. Reality’s share of U.S. TV viewing is 56.4% for the 2010-2011 season. Sports programming commanded 20% of the 187 million U.S. viewers ages 2 years and older.
Over the past 10 years, DVR, online streaming, digital cable, video on-demand and increased programming options have fundamentally changed the way Americans watch television. Yet, the audience size for broadcast primetime remains strong at just shy of 200 million viewers. What has changed, however, is the makeup of the programming in the popular 8-11 p.m. time block, according to Nielsen’s analysis of the top 10 primetime broadcast TV shows.
Dick Ebersol, who has run NBC Sports for nearly 22 years, is wasting little time putting his personal stamp on the sports properties of Comcast, which include the Golf Channel and Versus, and 11 regional sports networks. NBC executives with long connections to Ebersol are adding new roles at the Comcast units five days after Comcast took control of NBC Universal. Some Versus officials lost their jobs.