Colonial Athletic Association becomes the first league to go OTT with its primary rights package.



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For $12.99/month:

>>More than 300 games will air annually across the FloSports network beginning in the 2019-20 season. The agreement calls for approximately 50 football games, 140 men’s and women’s basketball contests, and an additional 110 events, including the majority of conference championships to air on the network each year.<<

>>CAA fans will have the ability to access live and on-demand coverage of exclusive content and games by becoming a monthly or annual PRO subscriber. Either subscription unlocks access to premium content across the entire FloSports network and fans can watch across all screens by downloading the FloSports app on iOS, Roku, or Apple TV 4.<<

 
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Kind of pricey.

As someone who attended a CAA university, there is no way I would pay that to watch conference games. Too many other options out there as it is now.
 
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SBJ ($$) Article blurb:

>> SBJ's Smith reports the CAA also talked to ESPN+, Twitch, Stadium, Caffeine, Facebook Watch & CBS Sports Digital about its premium rights that just went to FloSports in a four-year deal. Smith: "Many of these offers would have paid little or nothing.

These companies, for the most part, have shown little willingness to spend real money on sports rights -- at least not yet. […] The main difference between FloSports and ESPN+ was that Mark Floreani's company permitted the Colonial’s schools to protect their local linear TV rights if they already had an RSN relationship. ESPN would not." Smith points to Twitch as the platform to watch, notes the Mountain West is next up. (link)
 

Purple Stein

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If the Mountain West ends up on Twitch, we’re gonna love that the AAC is on the Plus...
 
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The main difference between FloSports and ESPN+ was that Mark Floreani's company permitted the Colonial’s schools to protect their local linear TV rights if they already had an RSN relationship. ESPN would not."
This is key here.. the games that are attractive involving teams popular enough to have a RSN relationship already aren't going to be available to the provider to air in their home markets.
 
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This is a step into a wider world. No one knows if it cheap or pricey because there is no existing information. This does have to potential to completely disrupt the current structure of conference revenue. Or it could amount to nothing. Chances are a result somewhere in the middle. But who knows?

But I'm happy to see the CAA take this step. You can bet the ranch that every other conference is watching this closely.
 
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More details...
>>Over the next four years, FloSports, a digital sports media company, will pay the CAA about $4.5 million to broadcast 300 of the league’s sporting events, including football, men’s and women’s basketball games.<<

>>More than 300 games will air annually across the FloSports network beginning in the 2019-20 season. The agreement calls for approximately 50 football games, 90 men’s basketball games and 50 women’s basketball contests, and an additional 110 events, including the majority of conference championships to air on the network each year.<<

>>The conference will also use the revenue from FloSports to buy more games on CBS Sports Network. Instead of each school receiving between $50,000 and $75,0000 a year, the conference decided to invest that money to broadcast men’s basketball games on a national level with CBS Sports Network. The CAA will have eight nationally televised games on CBS Sports Network during the 2019-2020 season.<<
 

CL82

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More details...
>>Over the next four years, FloSports, a digital sports media company, will pay the CAA about $4.5 million to broadcast 300 of the league’s sporting events, including football, men’s and women’s basketball games.<<

>>More than 300 games will air annually across the FloSports network beginning in the 2019-20 season. The agreement calls for approximately 50 football games, 90 men’s basketball games and 50 women’s basketball contests, and an additional 110 events, including the majority of conference championships to air on the network each year.<<

>>The conference will also use the revenue from FloSports to buy more games on CBS Sports Network. Instead of each school receiving between $50,000 and $75,0000 a year, the conference decided to invest that money to broadcast men’s basketball games on a national level with CBS Sports Network. The CAA will have eight nationally televised games on CBS Sports Network during the 2019-2020 season.<<
Did I read that right? They pay to be on CBSSN?
 

zls44

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Did I read that right? They pay to be on CBSSN?
Yes. The schools are getting $0.00 from the TV deal, all the money is going into a time buy.

CAA is DOA
 

Purple Stein

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Yes. The schools are getting $0.00 from the TV deal, all the money is going into a time buy.

CAA is DOA
It's a pretty minimal investment on a per school basis. But, right, the return on that investment is also going to be minimal. Whoever does tune in for Northeastern at Delaware on a Saturday at 2 is going to tune out once the first Life Alert commercial comes on.
 

whaler11

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Yes. The schools are getting $0.00 from the TV deal, all the money is going into a time buy.

CAA is DOA
i love these commissioners. $25 a month paywall is ‘international exposure’.
 

whaler11

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It's a pretty minimal investment on a per school basis. But, right, the return on that investment is also going to be minimal. Whoever does tune in for Northeastern at Delaware on a Saturday at 2 is going to tune out once the first Life Alert commercial comes on.
I’d rather have the 75k.
 

Fishy

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I’d rather have the 75k.
There are ten CAA teams...the idea that FloSports is paying $750,000+ a year for rights that no one anywhere wants does not pass muster. My guess is that this like a Nike deal with a school. The deal is for $20M over 10 years, but $50,000 is cash and the rest is equipment where they're valuing every pair of shoes at $32,000.

I think the actual cash going from FloSports to the CAA is somewhere around nothing.
 

zls44

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i love these commissioners. $25 a month paywall is ‘international exposure’.
Yeah, but it's gonna be subsidized for season ticket holders. So $12.50 a month. Or, 3x what ESPN+ costs.

Cool! What a steal!
 

Fishy

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Yeah, but it's gonna be subsidized for season ticket holders. So $12.50 a month. Or, 3x what ESPN+ costs.

Cool! What a steal!
If you're a CAA sports fan and you have to watch your school, it's not a bad deal. That's the price of a turkey sandwich in Westchester and at least you know that your $12.50 isn't going into the pockets of the most malevolent sports media company on the planet.
 
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There are ten CAA teams...the idea that FloSports is paying $750,000+ a year for rights that no one anywhere wants does not pass muster. My guess is that this like a Nike deal with a school. The deal is for $20M over 10 years, but $50,000 is cash and the rest is equipment where they're valuing every pair of shoes at $32,000.

I think the actual cash going from FloSports to the CAA is somewhere around nothing.
I don't think you are correct. Here's the math.

First, the deal calls for 300 events to be broadcast which equals about $2.5k per event which doesn't seem like a big investment by FLO Sports.

Next, assume that 50% of subscription fees is the gross margin. That means that FLO Sports needs only 10k subs at $12.50 per month to pay the CAA $750k per year. Doesn't seem like a large number of subs to make adding the CAA a possible money maker for FLO Sports.

If you haven't already, take a look at the FLO Sports web site. They have ~25 different web sites that you can subscribe to for $12.50/month each. On the hockey web site, they have content from Hockey East, Big 10, WHCA, and NCHC. In other words, if you are an avid college hockey fan, you can get access to watch the games.

The trade-off for the CAA is exposure as if there are only 10k subs, you aren't getting much exposure, which is probably why they are going to buy time on CSBSN.
 

Fishy

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They’re not paying $750,000 per year in cash to the Colonial.
 
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They’re not paying $750,000 per year in cash to the Colonial.
Why wouldn't they be paying cash? They are paying cash to other rights holders. Do you think the Big 10, Big XII, Mountain West, and Hockey East are giving FLO Sports content for free?

The articles on the deal say it is cash. Based on numbers from FLO Sports, it seems like they have 300k+ subscribers for their 25+ channels which means over 10k subs per channel. If the CAA channel gets 10k subscribers, this is a good deal for FLO Sports. Remember, the CAA is still responsible for production costs like they are now.
 

CL82

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If you haven't already, take a look at the FLO Sports web site. They have ~25 different web sites that you can subscribe to for $12.50/month each. On the hockey web site, they have content from Hockey East, Big 10, WHCA, and NCHC. In other words, if you are an avid college hockey fan, you can get access to watch the games.
I actually took a look. I am surprised that there was Big 10 content given the BTN, but there are a ton of Big 10 baseball games and I guess hockey.

I guess they are looking to monetize the T3 inventory and FLO sports gives them a way to do it. Not a lot of cash, I'm sure, but apparently more than putting it on the BTN.

This is helpful in thinking about the ESPN+ part of our deal. Certainly it is more visible than FLO Sports. Of course they are getting that content essentially for free, if you figure our ESPN family games are worth the $6M net (give or take) that the schools get from our deal.
 
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I see that Disney will bundle Hulu with ESPN+ and more...can't but help ESPN+

With Disney now wielding full operational control over Hulu, it’s unclear how the Hulu and Disney+ symbiosis will play out. But, during Disney’s Investor Day briefing of Disney+ and its post-Fox plans, Kevin Mayer, chairman of the direct-to-consumer division, said the company will “likely” bundle together Hulu, ESPN+, and Disney+ for “a discounted price.”
 

Fishy

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Why wouldn't they be paying cash? They are paying cash to other rights holders. Do you think the Big 10, Big XII, Mountain West, and Hockey East are giving FLO Sports content for free?

The articles on the deal say it is cash. Based on numbers from FLO Sports, it seems like they have 300k+ subscribers for their 25+ channels which means over 10k subs per channel. If the CAA channel gets 10k subscribers, this is a good deal for FLO Sports. Remember, the CAA is still responsible for production costs like they are now.
If you think they’re paying cash for the Big 12 swimming and diving championships, (which is what they’re broadcasting), I don’t know what to tell you. Also, their Big 10 “deal” just allows them to sell you a subscription to BTN Plus for a few more dollars than the Big Ten would sell it to you. (EDIT: I am 99% certain that Hockey East gives away the broadcast rights for $0. @zls44 can confirm for me, I think.)

Also, they imply they have 300,000 subscribers and are growing at 30,000 per month. Two years ago, they claimed they were growing at 20,000 subscribers per month. These numbers cannot both be real, so a thinking man would come to the conclusion that neither of them are. I think they have a decent business model aiming for niche events, but they’re just spraying fertilizer for investors with these numbers.

But back to the CAA...their rights are not worth $750,000 per year. This isn’t even remnant inventory that ESPN would want to stick on + somewhere.

First, your assumption includes no costs whatsoever for FloSports. That simply is inaccurate. They’re churning through millions of investment dollars yearly.

Second, your assumption assumes that the CAA can muster 10,000 subscriptions. That seems like a fantasy given a low-major league where 2,000 people in the stands is a good night and where every student and local can see a decent selection of their games on whatever local cable channel carries them.

Currently, the CAA is at zero subscribers and FloSports doesn’t have a bank account with $750,000 to give the CAA. They’re not going to pay actual money for this content, but what they’ll do is create a charge for broadcasting fees or whatever and credit that back to the league so they can pretend they’re worth more than zero. And then they’ll promise them that they will give them x% if they hit x# of subscriptions, so the league can add up both fictitious numbers and pretend this is a seven-figure deal.

In the end, no real money will change hands, but right now, the CAA and FloSports get to make a little media splash and impress people who don’t spend more than ten seconds thinking about it.

And the tiny handful of CAA fans who can’t currently see the games will be able to if they have $12.50 a month in their pocket. This is really what makes it a good deal for the CAA - the money is a fiction for the press release.
 
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If you think they’re paying cash for the Big 12 swimming and diving championships, (which is what they’re broadcasting), I don’t know what to tell you. Also, their Big 10 “deal” just allows them to sell you a subscription to BTN Plus for a few more dollars than the Big Ten would sell it to you. (EDIT: I am 99% certain that Hockey East gives away the broadcast rights for $0. @zls44 can confirm for me, I think.)

Also, they imply they have 300,000 subscribers and are growing at 30,000 per month. Two years ago, they claimed they were growing at 20,000 subscribers per month. These numbers cannot both be real, so a thinking man would come to the conclusion that neither of them are. I think they have a decent business model aiming for niche events, but they’re just spraying fertilizer for investors with these numbers.

But back to the CAA...their rights are not worth $750,000 per year. This isn’t even remnant inventory that ESPN would want to stick on + somewhere.

First, your assumption includes no costs whatsoever for FloSports. That simply is inaccurate. They’re churning through millions of investment dollars yearly.

Second, your assumption assumes that the CAA can muster 10,000 subscriptions. That seems like a fantasy given a low-major league where 2,000 people in the stands is a good night and where every student and local can see a decent selection of their games on whatever local cable channel carries them.

Currently, the CAA is at zero subscribers and FloSports doesn’t have a bank account with $750,000 to give the CAA. They’re not going to pay actual money for this content, but what they’ll do is create a charge for broadcasting fees or whatever and credit that back to the league so they can pretend they’re worth more than zero. And then they’ll promise them that they will give them x% if they hit x# of subscriptions, so the league can add up both fictitious numbers and pretend this is a seven-figure deal.

In the end, no real money will change hands, but right now, the CAA and FloSports get to make a little media splash and impress people who don’t spend more than ten seconds thinking about it.

And the tiny handful of CAA fans who can’t currently see the games will be able to if they have $12.50 a month in their pocket. This is really what makes it a good deal for the CAA - the money is a fiction for the press release.
From a 2017 article on their relationship with USA Wrestling:

"We are also trying to build up the biggest economy around those events. So they get more cash up front as well as the media equity component. Our partnership with USA Wrestling is a perfect example of this and we’ve now totally flipped the economic model for a slew of these sports. They were paying for distribution and production. We now pay them an event rights fee, we take care of logistics and build equity in media rights for them."

FLO Sports is playing in niches. They can get small numbers of subscribers for many different channels. If FLO Sports gets 5k subs for the CAA channel, they pay for the media rights. These guys have raised >$30 million and have blue chip media investors including Discovery Communications, WWE, and Bertelsman.

Maybe this will turn out to be a bad deal for FLO Sports, but it's not a huge financial risk for them. Heck, there has to be a few thousand parents and grandparents of athletes playing in the CAA and they are natural subscribers. I looked at the cumulative average home attendance for the CAA in football, men's basketball, and women's basketball. The numbers are 110k (James Madison 22k, Delaware 16k,...), 25k, and 10k. I think it's possible to get to 10k subs.

By the way you ever looked at LiveBarn? They are doing live streaming for youth sports, primarily hockey. They are charging $14.99/month with premium at $24.95/month! In Massachusetts alone, there are 107 channels at various facilities across the state. They claim that the have broadcast almost 16 million hours of content to date. LiveBarn allows parents, grandma and grandpa, etc, to watch kids games. Coaches can use the videos of games on their websites, break down opponents (yes, youth sports has come to this), etc.
 

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