Big tech collides with big sports

After years of watching traditional media dominate live sports, tech giants have decided it’s time to get in the game by paying for live sports rights.

Why is this important: The value of sports rights has been in the stratosphere and the inclusion of trillion-dollar tech giants will only drive those numbers up.

Status report : Disney, Comcast, Paramount and Fox will pay a combined $24.2 billion for sports rights in 2024 alone, according to data from MoffettNathanson.

  • Apple has quickly established itself as a major player in sports rights with deals for Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer that could total more than $3 billion.
  • Amazon has a sports empire alone with regional deals for US teams, including the New York Yankees through a minority stake in New York’s RSN YES Network, in a $3.47 billion deal.
  • Overseas, Amazon owns the regional rights to the French Premier League, Ligue 1 and 2 and the UEFA Champions League, the latter of which it owns the rights in Italy and Germany, and will now have the rights in the Kingdom. UK in 2024. The total value of these deals is unknown, but Amazon’s deal with UEFA in the UK will cost $1.8 trillion a year.
  • Amazon has purchased the rights to the NFL’s “Thursday Night Football” franchise for $1 billion a year through 2023.

Yes and: Apple and Amazon are vying for the NFL’s Sunday Ticket package, a deal that is expected to include participation in the league’s media activities, with Apple seen as the clear favourite.

Yes, but: Most sports rights are still owned by established media giants who now have their own streaming services.

Between the lines: Traditional media companies love sports for its ability to generate huge audiences that turn into huge sums of advertising dollars. Big tech has a different purpose.

  • Apple and Amazon are more concerned with their ability to attract new subscribers that they can convert into the higher-margin parts of their business.
  • ” I am on [Amazon has] algorithms that show how many people who subscribe to the NFL will turn around and buy music or merchandise,” LHB Sports CEO Lee Berke told Axios. “So it gives you a totally different perspective. »

Next: The next renewal of NBA rights will be closely watched next year.

  • The NBA’s current deal covers the 2024-25 season, but it attracts a younger audience compared to other sports and has a reputation for being forward-thinking under commissioner Adam Silver.
  • “As for the NBA … they’re not going to ignore broadcast or cable, but a variety of content will be offered on a variety of platforms,” says Berke.

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