Former executives from the NBA and the NFL say that teams and leagues should encourage players to use Twitter — even if some foreseeable headaches occur. The marketing benefits are worth it and the number of gaffes may subside as players get used to the medium.
The steep prices of the NFL’s new broadcast rights deals are likely to put pressure on rapidly growing fault lines within the pay-TV industry that could, ironically, accelerate the breakup of the broad bundle of channels at the core of the current business model — something competition from over-the-top video providers has thus far been unable to achieve.
Cracks are beginning to show within the cable TV business over programming costs. With the NFL putting the final touches on a new network TV deal that will pay the league a record $3.2 billion a year, executives at other networks are grumbling about the impact of high-priced sports programming on the rest of the pay-TV ecosystem. Much of the ire is being directed at ESPN, which squeezes an estimated $4.69 per subscriber out of cable and satellite operators, which other network owners worry is coming at their expense. As Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman noted at yesterday’s UBS Media and Communications conference, that’s more than twice what Viacom collects for all its networks combined, which include MTV, VH-1, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central. So much for being thick as thieves.