Fan Fact According to Parks Associates’ latest research, annual sports OTT subscription revenue in the United States was $13.1 billion in 2022 and will almost double to approximately $22.6 billion in 2027.
After a rocky rollout, the LIV Golf tour is closing in on its first U.S. national TV deal.
What's the deal?
A source familiar with the talks tells The Hollywood Reporter that the Saudi Arabia-backed golf tour is “very close” to a TV deal with The CW, the broadcast network now owned by local TV giant Nexstar. Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount also have small stakes in the network.
Specific details of the deal are not yet known (after initially asking for rights fees like other leagues and tours such as the PGA, NBA, and NFL receive, LIV is said to have been open to more of a revenue-sharing model), but would nonetheless mark a significant move for the tour, which has waged a bitter public battle with the PGA over the last year or so.
The bottom line:
For The CW, LIV offers a taste of live sports, a genre the network had lacked. However, it will be a controversial entry into the space for the network given the league’s bare-knuckled brawl with the PGA and its backers at the Saudi Public Investment Fund.
The National Basketball Association has signed a multiyear deal with consumer data firm StellarAlgo, with the league’s investment arm taking an ownership stake in the firm as it looks to grow its portfolio.
The partnership was signed on behalf of the league’s franchises, which will have access to fan data services for matters such as e-commerce, venues, ticketing, and social media. Financial terms were not disclosed, though the league said its involvement in the company is “meaningful.”
When the news broke on Monday that Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) had jointly bid for Olympics media rights, it was a surprise to much of the industry. Not least because in 2015, (a pre-merger) Discovery Communications caused an upset when they swooped in and nabbed the broadcasting rights from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for €1.3 billion ($1.5 million), right from under the noses of both the EBU, which represents public service broadcasters across Europe, and agency SportFive, who had previously held the rights.
During the Tokyo games, Discovery’s president of sports Andrew Georgiou (now president of Warner Bros. Discovery Sports Europe) and EBU’s director of sport Glen Killane met for lunch to explore a joint bid. “That was really the first serious conversation we had about looking at the Olympics,” Killane tells Variety.
Hear from digital leaders across the NFL, NBA, and NHL on how the Judo platform empowers them to create personalized content that enhances the fan experience, generates partnership inventory, and increases ticket sales and shop promotions.
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Starting in April, Pac-12 Conference football players will be able to commentate on and earn money from their game highlights through Curastory, a media technology company that helps athletes monetize the videos they post to social media platforms.
Curastory is partnering with Tempus Ex Machina, Inc., a data and video technology company that struck a deal with the Pac-12 last year. Tempus Ex this past summer partnered with Twitter and name, image and likeness (NIL) marketplace Opendorse, allowing Pac-12 football players to share their highlights via Twitter and make money through pre-roll advertising.
Instead of running a Super Bowl ad this year, FedEx is leaning into TikTok during the NFL playoffs. The company is tapping six TikTok musicians to perform on the social platform during halftime of the wild-card games this weekend. Six other artists will perform in other playoff games leading up to the Super Bowl.
The FedEx NFL Playoffs Concert Series campaign is meant to highlight the company's new picture proof of delivery feature. Each of the artists, many of whom are unsigned, will each get their own TikTok Live performance during the six games this weekend. Artists include Henry Jacob Platt, Sheyna Gee, Blake Rouse, Sophie Truax, Keilam, and metal rock band New Haven.
PLATFORMS: Elon Musk's leadership style has caused many advertisers to flee, but media companies, newsrooms, and sports leagues are reaping too much revenue and marketing advantage to quit the platform.
MEDIA: Main Event Media is moving to Religion of Sports with an exclusive production deal.
MSC Cruises becomes the first official global rights partner of the Knicks
Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. announced a multi-year marketing partnership with MSC Cruises, naming one of the world's largest cruise brands the Official Cruise Line Partner of the New York Knicks. Through the partnership, MSC Cruises will receive significant brand promotion during all Knicks games at The Garden including LED Signage and Virtual On-Court Signage. MSC Cruises will serve as the Presenting Partner of the Knicks in-game T-Shirt Toss. As the Knicks first global rights marketing partner, the organization will work with MSC Cruises to create new activations in overseas markets, which could include Italy, Germany, England, and Brazil. They will work together to provide unique content and brand promotion to continue growing the game of basketball.