Sports Business Journal and The New York Post today released the second episode of a new podcast hosted by the top sports media reporters in the business, SBJ’s John Ourand and The Post’s Andrew Marchand. ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro joins as the featured guest on the podcast.
Quick hits from today’s episode:
- Pitaro, on when the main ESPN channel will be available directly to consumers: “We’re just not there yet. There’s no science. We are not sitting in a conference room saying, ‘If we fall below this number [of cable subscriptions], we then flip the switch and move over.’ What I will tell you is that we are regularly following the customer, and as the customer moves over to direct-to-consumer platforms, we are moving content over. And, yes, we have secured the ability to do that through these deals that we’ve closed.”
- On who’s up and who’s down after MLB commissioner Rob Manfred publicly criticized Sinclair Broadcast Group at the CAA World Congress of Sports in New York.
Marchand: “Who’s up is Rob Manfred. Yes. At SBJ’s conference, he went all-in on Sinclair about how they’re managing the regional sports networks. And how, if they have rights, they want to go direct-to-consumer. And he’s saying, yeah, not so fast. They want to have gambling. He’s saying, not so fast. I love when commissioners are outspoken. So, Rob Manfred, you get my ‘on the way up.’”
Ourand: “That’s so funny, cause my ‘on the way down’ is Chris Ripley, the CEO of Sinclair. I mean, the problem is, he has been telling anybody that will listen … that he’s going to launch a direct-to-consumer streaming service with the 14 MLB teams that he had. Well, yesterday, Rob Manfred said [Ripley] doesn’t have the rights to do that. He only has 14 teams, so he doesn’t have enough teams. And not only that, he doesn’t even have gambling rights that they’ve predicated their entire business off of. I’ve never seen a league commissioner go against a league partner so hard. There obviously is a lot of bad blood there.”
New episodes of “The Marchand & Ourand Sports Media Podcast” will debut each Wednesday. The audio podcast is available on Spotify, Apple and other podcast platforms. The video version will be offered through SBJ.TV and on the Post website.
Each episode will include Marchand and Ourand’s takes on the biggest news in the sports media, as well as their picks for best calls of the week, and who’s up and down in the media business. They’ll also welcome prominent guests from across the industry.