ESPN Profit Plummets As Network Turns Left

LouderVol

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Of course but my overall point is that an average regular season baseball still beats a sold out NBA arena and they double the games. There’s maybe 3-4 baseball teams that have legitimate attendance issues
This is like using the Orange and White game attendance as a measure for how badly the MLB is doing. Bet there were more people in Neyland than there will be for the World Series.

It's almost literally apples and oranges.
 

zjcvols

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This is like using the Orange and White game attendance as a measure for how badly the MLB is doing. Bet there were more people in Neyland than there will be for the World Series.

It's almost literally apples and oranges.
But I’m not saying the NBA is in trouble or that the NBA is doing badly.

My point is baseball still draws. That’s the overall point. I’m not making the argument the NBA is in trouble, I’m arguing baseball is not in trouble.
 

LouderVol

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But I’m not saying the NBA is in trouble or that the NBA is doing badly.

My point is baseball still draws. That’s the overall point. I’m not making the argument the NBA is in trouble, I’m arguing baseball is not in trouble.
but you are doing so by comparing it favoritively to another sport.
 

05_never_again

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NBA free agency is over and they're STILL talking about it on ESPN and Fox. They were breaking down Vegas odds on NBA Finals favorites as of this morning.
You also have to remember a big part of that is ESPN defending a massive over-investment in NBA television rights. IMO, if you watched ESPN 24-7, you'd think the NBA was more popular than the NFL, college football, and MLB combined but it just isn't. The NBA also has figured out social media, and the TV networks are obsessed with talking about social media because they are threatened by it, and I think that also leads to a sense that it is more popular than it actually is.

The NBA has a variety of teams (Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Orlando Magic, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota T'wolves, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, etc.) that are basically irrelevant on a national scale, just like MLB does. If those teams went away tomorrow, would anybody outside of some of the hardcore fans they have in those cities care, or even notice? The NBA is only different in that it is able to create "buzz" on a national scale that MLB does not.

What's interesting though is that despite that, the regional TV deals MLB has with distributors collectively get better ratings than the regional NBA deals. Finals ratings cratered this year because LeBron isn't involved. The NBA isn't on as lofty a perch above MLB as you think, even thought it might seem like they are.
 

volfanbill

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Yes. He made a direct comparison to another sport to validate his stance on the MLB. I pointed out it's an apples and oranges comparison and here we are.
Not all comparisons invalidate one variable for the other. Anyone, with any level of reading comprehension should have grasped he didn't invalidate the NBA with that post.
 

LouderVol

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Not all comparisons invalidate one variable for the other. Anyone, with any level of reading comprehension should have grasped he didn't invalidate the NBA with that post.
I dont think I ever argued he said the NBA was doing bad, except to say you cant use one as a standard for the other.

Anyway this is a weird argument so I am just going to stop.
 

volfanbill

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I dont think I ever argued he said the NBA was doing bad, except to say you cant use one as a standard for the other.

Anyway this is a weird argument so I am just going to stop.
The argument is baseball is dying. If it’s “dying” why is it still the #2 sport in the US? That’s where Z was going. This isn’t that hard
 

n_huffhines

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Oh baseball brought in $3B more than the NBA last year BTW. Anyone that says baseball is dying just simply doesn’t have a clue, is an NBA fanboy, or hates baseball.
Idk if baseball is in trouble or not, but revenue is one half of what you have to consider. The cost structure is totally different. You have to put on twice as many events to get what, 40% more revenue? You also have more salary costs (50% more on average?). I imagine the farm system is a lot more costly than the G league. I've seen data that baseball fan demographics are getting much older.

Baseball will live on, of course.
 

n_huffhines

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You also have to remember a big part of that is ESPN defending a massive over-investment in NBA television rights. IMO, if you watched ESPN 24-7, you'd think the NBA was more popular than the NFL, college football, and MLB combined but it just isn't. The NBA also has figured out social media, and the TV networks are obsessed with talking about social media because they are threatened by it, and I think that also leads to a sense that it is more popular than it actually is.

The NBA has a variety of teams (Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Orlando Magic, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota T'wolves, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, etc.) that are basically irrelevant on a national scale, just like MLB does. If those teams went away tomorrow, would anybody outside of some of the hardcore fans they have in those cities care, or even notice? The NBA is only different in that it is able to create "buzz" on a national scale that MLB does not.

What's interesting though is that despite that, the regional TV deals MLB has with distributors collectively get better ratings than the regional NBA deals. Finals ratings cratered this year because LeBron isn't involved. The NBA isn't on as lofty a perch above MLB as you think, even thought it might seem like they are.
Didn't ESPN pay more for NFL than NBA?
 

05_never_again

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Didn't ESPN pay more for NFL than NBA?
Not per year, no. The total value of the NFL deal is more (more years), but they are paying way more per year for the NBA. The NBA deal also came with an agreement that, more or less, ESPN would turn itself into a near-year-round NBA channel (really had to up the number of hours they talk about the league).
 

n_huffhines

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Not per year, no. The total value of the NFL deal is more (more years), but they are paying way more per year for the NBA. The NBA deal also came with an agreement that, more or less, ESPN would turn itself into a near-year-round NBA channel (really had to up the number of hours they talk about the league).
What about per game? Per game broadcasted?

ESPN wanted this, too. They might've overpaid, but it's cause it was their best option for filling their broadcast schedule
 

05_never_again

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What about per game? Per game broadcasted?

ESPN wanted this, too. They might've overpaid, but it's cause it was their best option for filling their broadcast schedule
■ As part of the new agreement, ESPN will substantially increase its NBA-focused programming with 750 new hours of NBA content on linear and digital platforms for a significant year-round presence for the league on ESPN;
NBA extends television deals with ESPN, TNT

I don't know what it comes out to per game, but part of the contract was a general agreement that ESPN would significantly up their NBA programming outside of just airing the games. That works out well for both sides; NBA gets more exposure, and ESPN gets to defend their massive investment in the deal. Because of that particular contract the NBA has with ESPN and because the NBA is good at social media, I think there's a perception out there that the NBA is more popular than it actually is.

Back in the day, watching SportsCenter or ESPN generally was a great barometer of the relative popularity of all sports because SportsCenter was a one-stop-shop for sports coverage. In the 90s, for example, ESPN didn't air any NBA games at all, yet they still covered it, showed highlights, etc. because basketball fans, hockey fans, baseball fans, etc. all tuned into SportsCenter to see what happened in the sports they followed. They had a vested interest in proportionally covering a variety of sports, even if ESPN didn't air games from those sports themselves.

Because the media environment has changed, ESPN has much more of a vested interest than they used to in covering just the sports they have TV rights with, which can create kind of a false impression of the relative popularity of different sports. Take when the X Games are going on, for example. If you watch ESPN while those are going on, you'd think the X Games was as popular as the NBA. If all you did was watch ESPN, you'd think the NHL had borderline-folded and had 6 teams left in it or something. They just have different incentives than they used to.
 

n_huffhines

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NBA extends television deals with ESPN, TNT

I don't know what it comes out to per game, but part of the contract was a general agreement that ESPN would significantly up their NBA programming outside of just airing the games. That works out well for both sides; NBA gets more exposure, and ESPN gets to defend their massive investment in the deal. Because of that particular contract the NBA has with ESPN and because the NBA is good at social media, I think there's a perception out there that the NBA is more popular than it actually is.

Back in the day, watching SportsCenter or ESPN generally was a great barometer of the relative popularity of all sports because SportsCenter was a one-stop-shop for sports coverage. In the 90s, for example, ESPN didn't air any NBA games at all, yet they still covered it, showed highlights, etc. because basketball fans, hockey fans, baseball fans, etc. all tuned into SportsCenter to see what happened in the sports they followed. They had a vested interest in proportionally covering a variety of sports, even if ESPN didn't air games from those sports themselves.

Because the media environment has changed, ESPN has much more of a vested interest than they used to in covering just the sports they have TV rights with, which can create kind of a false impression of the relative popularity of different sports. Take when the X Games are going on, for example. If you watch ESPN while those are going on, you'd think the X Games was as popular as the NBA. If all you did was watch ESPN, you'd think the NHL had borderline-folded and had 6 teams left in it or something. They just have different incentives than they used to.
Uhhh, no i wouldn't. The NBA paid all this money and agreed to cover it because it was already super popular
 

05_never_again

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Uhhh, no i wouldn't. The NBA paid all this money and agreed to cover it because it was already super popular
All of those X Games events are aired live and promoed heavily across their family of networks, even during things like NFL and big time college football games. If you knew nothing about sports, you'd be led to believe it was very popular even though nobody really cares.
 

n_huffhines

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All of those X Games events are aired live and promoed heavily across their family of networks, even during things like NFL and big time college football games. If you knew nothing about sports, you'd be led to believe it was very popular even though nobody really cares.
Ok, but we know stuff about sports. What's the point?
 

volfanbill

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Uhhh, no i wouldn't. The NBA paid all this money and agreed to cover it because it was already super popular
if it's "super popular", why can't it overtake a dying sport like baseball?

Let's face it, there's only super popular US sport. And it's not baseball or basketball. It's not hockey or European kickball either.
 

95 Vol Alum

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My point is that unlike 20 years ago, simply watching ESPN and seeing what they talk about isn't the best barometer for what's popular and what isn't. Today, it's a great barometer for figuring out what ESPN has broadcast rights to and what they don't.
That’s not unique to ESPN. NBC sports has more hockey and racing segments. Fox has more racing and soccer stuff. They also had more UFC until ESPN got it. It’s just good business.
 

Burger

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The NBA has been trying to focus on one issue for a very long time. They want to convert people who play basketball, as it is the most played sport in the country, into viewers and merchandise buyers.
 

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