Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A quick take on FOX Sports GO & MWC secondary packages

* I think its interesting that FOX announced that FOX Sports 1 would be in 90 million homes at launch.  Just so happens that 90 million is the magic number that the Mountain West defined as a "national network" for bonuses in their TV package.  I believe its a cue to the conference that any other package of MWC football or basketball has more than one option on cable.  If those rights haven't been sold off to ESPN or ESPN2 yet, I believe the MWC and FOX owe it to either other to have a chat.  Let's face it, the goal of being able to sell these packages is to get extra revenue for all members to fund these bonus packages.  In some ways, its to keep Boise St. happy too, since its widely assumed that the Broncos will be the ones benefiting the most from the sale of these rights.  If ESPN is the only bidder, or NBC says they pay for 2-3 home games, I think you have to knock on FOX's door & ask them for an offer.

* FOX Sports GO, the authenticated streaming service that FOX will make available to all providers, is a huge deal that a lot of folks missed on at the FOX upfront, not to mention that it was buried at the end of the press release touting FOX Sports 1.  Its in the same vein as WatchESPN, ESPN's streaming service for its cable networks, including its RSNs.  One difference will be that FOX intends to allow all events on its broadcast network to be shown via the service, where national events on ABC like the NBA and full national college football are not shown to protect their affiliates.

FOX could be using this service to stream their NFL games as well as they'll have the some digital rights to the games they broadcast in 2014 (there has been some conjecture that this could start in 2013).  I believe those rights are online only rights, so they would not extend to mobile phones as the NFL sells those rights separately.

I would suspect that blackout rules will apply with RSN content.

NBC also has their Live Extra mobile/table app which streams events on the broadcast network like the PGA and Notre Dame football.  They have shown their NFL Sunday night football games online (again, only on laptops, not on mobile devices).  The app also has the ability to authenticate to a service provider to watch NBC Sports Network content, but it only has 3-4 companies signed up at this time (Xfinity, Verizon FIOS, Optimum & Suddenlink).  It doesn't yet appear that NBC Sports Network content is available via a web solution.

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