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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

TV Companies Losing Subscribers As Sports Rights Deals Continue to Rise

  • Major providers lost more than one million customers in the first quarter.
  • Sports leagues continue to strike lucrative media-rights deals.
Journal Sentinel

Today’s media landscape in general is as uncertain as ever. But still, one thing remains constant: Sports leagues can almost always expect a rights-fee increase when negotiating new broadcast deals. That’s a particularly interesting wrinkle considering the continued decline of customers who pay for TV access.

Four major TV provider companies reported collective losses of roughly 1.35 million customers during their first fiscal quarters, according to Cord Cutters News. Here’s how many each lost between Jan. 1 and March 31:

  • Comcast: 487,000
  • Spectrum: 405,000
  • Dish TV: 348,000
  • YouTube TV: 150,000

Those lost customers will result in hundreds of millions of dollars in monthly fees no longer being allocated to the pay-TV business. 

Sports Still Selling

Despite the shift in viewing habits, live sports continue to generate more revenue than any other programming available. Leagues of all kinds are still seeing regular increases in new media-rights deals. Just look at some recent agreements and the percentage increases of the annual average values:

Media companies continue to shell out billions of dollars for live sports as traditional players look for new ways to attract fans. ESPN is still planning to offer a direct-to-consumer option, even as it partners with Fox Sports and Warner Bros. Discovery on a sports-only streaming service. Meanwhile, the NFL’s $110 billion media contracts run through 2033, but the league could cash in earlier by opting out at the end of this decade.

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