Is Sports Driving the Paid TV Ecosystem?

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July 7 (Bloomberg) -- Bevilacqua Helfant Ventures Co-Founder Chris Bevilacqua discusses networks riding high on World Cup rights and the success of streaming sports. He speaks with Betty Liu on “In The Loop.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Thanks for having me.

What do you think has changed with soccer?

Why this year?

The whole sport has been invested in by mls.

U.s. soccer.

They have invested hundreds of millions of dollars over the last generation.

Now, with the way technology is shaping the world and allowing people to see soccer worldwide, the sport itself is lifted up.

It is a growing sport.

We were just joking with john skipper about the serious fact that they will not have the world cup rights.

That speaks to the bigger issue for espn.

They have more competition now.

They have fox going into this space.

They have cbssports.

It shows a big the category of sports is.

In general, if espn is the leading brand in sports and i don't think anybody would argue that they are not, the rising tide will lift all boats.

The more investment that goes into sports and that is what is driving the pay-tv ecosystem in the advertising industry in the u.s., the fact that more companies are investing in sports, that only helps espn.

Does that mean that these sports rights and we saw the whole saga around the l.a. dodgers, does that mean that the sports rights will continue to go up or we also at a tipping point where there will be more and more pushback?

It is a market-based economy.

At some point, the market will sort out what everything should be valued at.

I think in general, sports will continue to accelerate in value.

Skipper said he was outbid basically.

Because it is a very robust business for sports rights.

They are very unique and they are scarce intellectual property rights.


Sports is going to stay right at the center.

However, the streaming.

Streaming is great.

They are saying tons of people going online.

Doesn't that eventually undermine what they are doing on cable?


i think it may be the opposite.

What john is referencing is just portability.

Portability inside of the media ecosystem, especially with a live programming like sports, is really what is driving all of this growth.

The big companies like disney and espn are working with distributors to create the tv everywhere product that you hear him referencing quite a bit, where you have to be an authenticated subscriber to pay television and order to get access.

Does that mean that you can still charge $5.5 per month to your cable tv subscriber?

So far it has meant that and then some.

Where do you think espn is going to take this world cup success, the streaming success?

I think they have to continue to work with his two beaters.

-- distributors.

About 50% of consumers know what tv everywhere is.

Is that good or bad?

They will say that that is a win.

Not long ago, it was 10% or 15%. once people know that it is seamless and you can watch on any device -- what is the biggest obstacle?

It is a marketing challenge.

There is still friction and how the behind the scenes authentication works.

The more the distributors and programmers can simplify it so that consumers know that they can watch what they want to watch when the want to watch it on whatever device, that will take a little bit of friction out of it and it will be much better over time.

Thank you so much.

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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