Is The Future of Sports on Broadcast TV in Peril?

Apr 17, 2024 3:15:00 PM / by Bill Witsik


Where does this leave broadcast television? It depends. The advantage right now for broadcasters is that the streaming landscape is a confusing mess (to put it mildly). Sports fans must piece together different apps to find the event or league they enjoy watching. For example, MLB airs on the Fox Sports app, Apple+, and even has its own MLB app for the hardcore baseball fan. Are you a fan of the NFL? If you want to watch Thursday Night Football, you need an Amazon Prime subscription to do so.

The good news for broadcast TV? NFL is king, as evidenced by minutes viewed in 2023:

League/Minutes watched in 2023 (in billions):

🏈NFL - 974.7
⚾MLB - 329.7
🏀NBA - 285.2
🏒NHL - 181.3
⚽MLS - 3.1


_Aug Blog -MarkNFL broadcast rights have been secured on FOX, CBS, and NBC through the 2033 season. This isn’t just a ratings and financial windfall for TV stations; it’s a vehicle for networks to promote prime programming, specials, and news—making it more valuable than airing live games.

Also, in broadcasters' favor, Fox has MLB rights (which include the All-Star Game, championship series, and World Series) through 2028. In addition, the NBA on ABC has rights to regular season games, playoffs, and NBA Finals through 2025.

The most positive trend in broadcast ties to sports is the erosion of regional sports networks on cable TV. Due to their expense, RSNs have had a difficult time staying afloat, and it's causing some teams in the NBA and NHL to move back to broadcast TV (where I fondly remember watching Knicks and Mets games back in NYC as a child). Scripps Sports created a new division to capitalize on the opportunity - and now the Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Dallas Mavericks are among some of the teams with games available on local TV.

As long as networks remain in business with the NFL and continue to capitalize on the erosion of RSNs, broadcast TV will remain a top choice in the fight for sports viewership.

Tags: ShareBuilders, Industry News, TV

Bill Witsik

Written by Bill Witsik

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