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The king of TV? Sports!
Landscape unlikely to change anytime soon
Good morning, all. I hope you had a restful, holiday break. Happy New Year!
The sports world never takes a break, with much of what unfolds on the field chronicled by television. Whether you are talking about cable-TV, over-the-air (antenna) television or the ever-growing streaming services, sports on the screen is king.
Don’t believe me? Then how about this quote from new Disney CEO Bob Chapek:
“Live sports are a key element and a key differentiator of our Disney ecosystem. Ninety percent of the most-watched telecasts last year were sports.”
Disney, parent-company of ESPN, holds rights to the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and so much more. In other words, Disney is all in on sports. Why? For many broadcast entities, that’s where the money is. Reliant on a revenue stream from traditional cable television outlets to streaming services, Disney and the companies that own NBC, FOX and CBS, still view sports as a moneymaker. Heightened by legalized betting in many states, these outlets view the current paradigm as one that may need tweaking but does not require building from the ground floor. In other words, the foundation is stable, as the money flow continues unabated; inflation or the pandemic be damned.
The year 2022 ought to be interesting in many ways, including the ever-expanding ways we consume our sports.
As a New York Giants fan who wants the franchise to be sold, I thought for sure, GM David Gettleman would be ousted but that second-year coach Joe Judge would survive, despite the team’s horrendous showing in his two seasons as coach. Now I am not so sure.
After numerous reports in recent weeks that Gettleman was a goner but Judge would be permitted to fulfill the third year of his five-year contract, I am now having my doubts, after Judge’s ludicrous 10-minute tirade, following Sunday’s embarrasing loss (29-3) to the lowly Chicago Bears. In his rant, Judge expounded on how the coaching staff has turned around the losing culture in the clubhouse to the extent where players on other teams are calling him wanting to play for the Giants. Did I miss something? Have they legalized pot in the NFL?
The Giants are a joke. Judge is in over his head as a head coach (How did his decision to can OC Jason Garrett work out?). The club needs a new quarterback and a general house cleaning.
Think about it? In my neck of the woods, once New York Giants country, on Sunday the Giants-Bears game was not televised. When I watched the SNF pregame show on NBC, I did not see any highlights from the game, etc. Now their coach goes on a rant? It’s time to relieve Judge of his misery, along with the GM. They need not worry. They will be handsomely compensated.
Remembering John Madden
As has been written and stated in numerous quarters, we lost an icon over the holidays with the passing of John Madden. You knew it was a big game, when Madden and Pat Summerall were on the call. I never crossed paths with Madden but had the chance to interview Summerall on a couple of occasions, once over the phone and once, when he appeared at a breakfast in Hartford.
Summerall was very open about his problems with alcohol and visit to the Betty Ford Clinic.
By the way, how many know that Summerall and Mickey Mantle were close friends? Or that on Mickey Mantle Day at Yankee Stadium on June 9, 1969, Summerall was the host on WPIX-TV in between games of the doubleheader, setting the TV stage for the ceremonies honoring Mantle?
Madden and Summerall. Watching an NFL game with those two on the call was nirvana.
49 Years ago
Forty-nine years ago today, people awoke to this story in the New York Times and other media.
George Steinbrenner was the leader of a syndicate purchasing the Yankees for a reported $10M. Depending on various reports over the years, Steinbrenner actually paid $8M for the franchise, using only $800,000 of his own money or none of his money. It does not matter. Today the Yankees are worth billions and the Steinbrenner family still owns the ballclub, along with other business interests.
Sadly, the day may come when family-owned clubs will no longer be able to compete on an even playing field, even Steinbrenner’s Yankees. Hedge funds, conglomorates, etc. will be the only entities able to purchase and operate a MLB franchise. Case in point; as much as the Yankees are worth, the Steinbrenner’s are not in the same money class as multi-billionaire owner Steve Cohen of the Mets (whose art collection alone is worth billions) or the hedge fund that owns the Dodgers. In other words, the Steinbrenner-franchise blueprint may be an anomaly by the middle of this decade.
That is it for today. As always, thank you for your support and have a terrific first week of 2022.