Layoffs could be coming at ESPN, the NBA and NHL are looking at January start dates, Twitch stretches streaming dominance, and sneakers are a global sensation.
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
ESPN could be laying off hundreds of employees in the next few weeks, sources told FOS. Up to 700 employees could be let go, which will mostly hit behind-the-camera jobs — but could include some TV and radio talent as well.
Along with trimming staff, the network might ask high-earners to take a pay cut. ESPN’s parent company, Walt Disney Co., recently laid off 28,000 theme park employees.
Companies across sports media have dealt with layoffs in part to help offset the loss of revenue from the COVID-19 pandemic and sports shutdown.
Sports Media Pandemic Layoffs:
Fox Sports: 5-10% of its staff
Sports Illustrated: 6% of its staff
Vox Media (SB Nation): 9% of its staff in April, additional 6% in July
Happy New Seasons
Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
The NHL and NBA won’t be returning to action in 2020. Both leagues are looking at January 2021 start dates for their upcoming seasons.
A late January start date is being discussed by NBA decision makers — with the goal to play games in-market without a bubble. The NBPA will need to agree to next season’s start date, with players getting an eight-week notice before play begins.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said Jan. 1, 2021, is the new target date for the league and NHLPA. Both leagues had originally targeted early December, but have gradually pushed back to ensure uninterrupted seasons, ideally with fans in attendance.
Approximate Revenue Share From Fan Attendance:
NHL — 50%
NBA — 40%
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Twitch Increases Dominance
Bryon Houlgrave-The Register
Following Microsoft’s shuttering of its video game streaming service Mixer, Amazon-owned Twitch extended its domination of the market. In the third quarter of 2020, Twitch controlled 91% of live video game streaming.
More than 206 million hours of content was livestreamed on Twitch during the quarter. While that was only a 1% increase from the previous quarter, Twitch had 185 million more hours streamed than Facebook and YouTube combined.
It’s the highest livestreaming market share for Twitch since early 2018, as competitors from Google, Facebook and Microsoft emerged. Mixer had 14% of the live video game streaming market in the second quarter, which Twitch absorbed when it shut down.
With transactions outside the U.S. up 260% year-over-year, StockX sees a big market opportunity in the projected $30 billion global sneaker resale market in 2030. Of that projected total, $19 billion is expected to be outside the U.S.
There were 3.2-times as many collectible purchases on the app compared to the same quarter last year and 62% of users outside the U.S. are under the age of 25.
Hot Brands in Big Markets:
France and the U.K.: Air Jordan 1 Mid
Italy: Travis Scott streetwear
Germany: Adidas ZX 8000
Japan: New Balance
How The NFL Is Using IT Solutions During A Unique Season
Aaron Amendolia is the NFL’s Vice President of Information Technology Services. For many of the league’s IT and network management needs, the NFL partners with Extreme Networks. Amendolia spoke to Front Office Sports about rising to meet new challenges in the wake of the pandemic.
Organizers for the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics estimate they have found simplification measures that will save about $280 million from the Games’ budget. Tokyo is already the most expensive Summer Olympics in history.
FBS conferences eventually all decided to play football this fall. FBS independent programs, who faced their own unique challenges, have reached diverging decisions.
Question Of The Day
Do you believe the NHL and NBA will start in January?