Universities have $4 billion riding on this football season, the Premier League will pay back broadcasters, sidelined sports gamblers have turned to the stock market, and ‘The Last Dance’ has inspired ESPN.
As many as 20 FBS athletic departments have announced pay cuts and furloughs to staff as schools have endured heavy losses without spring sports and March Madness. Conferences, meanwhile, are announcing scheduling changes and eliminating tournaments to help shave costs.
Approximately 50% of FBS athletic departments are self-sustaining, meaning expenses don’t exceed revenue and require student fees or university support to fill gaps. Without football revenue, only two schools – Georgia and Texas A&M – would meet that definition.
Implications of No Football Season
At least $1.2 billion in lost ticket sales
An average loss of $62 million for each Power Five School
Football revenue accounts for nearly 50% of Power Five athletic budgets
Premier League Paybacks
Photo Credit: Cameron Pollack/Detroit Free Press via USA TODAY Sports
Even if the Premier League returns to action this season, its clubs will have to refund millions of dollars to broadcast partners like Sky, BT Sport and Amazon after Manchester United confirmed it expects to pay a $24.5 million rebate on broadcast rights.
The EPL’s 20 teams, depending on how often they play on television, owe a collective $367 million. That figure could double if the Premier League can’t play out the season’s remaining 92 games.
The Premier League largely takes broadcast rights fees up front, and the league’s current domestic partners paid a combined $6.1 billion for the rights last year. Overseas broadcasters spent an additional $5.1 billion, including $250 million from NBC Sports to show games in the U.S.
Returning broadcast money represents by far the largest effect of the pandemic on clubs; United said rebates will account for 87% of negative impact, with another $3.7 million lost in merchandise and ticket revenues.
Grow Your Skills While Social Distancing
While live sports take a pause for the moment, industry professionals have some time to expand on their existing knowledge and talents. Yellowbrick offers a variety of online courses created by some of the most prestigious universities and taught by some of sports’ biggest thought leaders.
Without sports to wager on, it appears bettors are heading to the U.S. stock market. Three of the four largest U.S. online brokers- Charles Schwab, ETrade, and Interactive Brokers – have combined to add 780,000 new customer accounts in March and April.
March is normally a hot time for sports bettors, but with no NCAA basketball tournament, the shift to cheap online accounts helped the market recoup a third of its value from the pandemic-caused selloff. Google Trends data shows search volume for “buy stock” was four times higher in March 2020 than October 2008, when the last recession started.
Without sports, betting handles took a dive as the shutdown commenced. Indiana reported a take of $26.3 million in April, down 64% from March, while West Virginia managed $3 million in wagers, a decline of 79.8%.
Meanwhile, Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy put $3 million into an ETrade account in March while documenting the journey online. That move came two months after Barstool sold a third of itself to Penn National Gaming, which is currently developing a Barstool-branded sportsbook in the hope that normal days return.
Last Dance Legacy
ESPN Films/Netflix/Mandalay Sports Media
Success of ‘The Last Dance’ may be enough to fuel ESPN in the absence of live sports. The Michael Jordan docuseries is now the network’s most-watched documentary and the positive numbers have led ESPN to move up the release dates of three other ‘30 for 30’ documentaries. The network has also ordered a nine-part series on Tom Brady that will air next year.
‘The Last Dance’ By The Numbers
Averaged 5.6 million U.S. viewers across the 10 episodes.
23.8 million households have watched it outside the U.S.
Ranks as 10 of the 11 most-watched telecasts among the key 18-34 demo since mid-March.
No. 1 trending topic on Twitter for five straight Sundays.
More social conversation on a per-episode basis than any TV series this year.
Prior to ‘The Last Dance,’ ESPN’s linear TV audience had plummeted 60% year-over-year without live sports. ESPN web traffic was down 50% from February to April.
The series, co-produced by Netflix and ESPN, will begin a five-week re-broadcast on ABC on Saturday. The U.S. rights will belong to Netflix starting mid-July and will head to ESPN+ in July 2021.
TikTok Social Measurement Strategy
TikTok is no longer the new kid on the block. The platform has become an essential tool for any organization hoping to attract fans of generation z and beyond. But how do you measure your success on the platform like you would Twitter or Instagram? Conviva‘s newly launched TikTok Analytics is the first product that allows users to measure organic TikTok account performance in the same fashion as other social platforms. Conviva’s software allows you to track your TikTok views, engagement, and audience all in one place and brands are already jumping on board.
Also, join us for a webinar on May 27th at 1 PM ET as Miami Dolphins Sr. Manager of Social, Stuart Drew and Nick Cicero, VP of Strategy at Conviva sit down with Joe Londergan of Front Office Sports to walk through how they are incorporating TikTok into their overall social measurement strategy for a comprehensive picture of their social success.