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MASN Solvency?

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Hello all, I have been thinking about how this world crisis would affect sports programming and specifically the Orioles. 
 Firstly, without live sports, I have to believe people are cutting the cable cord at and extremely high rate. Sports were the only thing anchoring MANY people from cutting the cord.  Less disposable income for many many people and the exorbitant costs for cable don’t bode well for them. 
 

Secondly, without cable subscribers en masse, where do MASN and frankly all of the other MLB networks get their revenues?  MASN gets huge $ for every subscriber.  
 

Cable as we knew it was already dying. I predict the nail in the coffin of the golden goose it near, especially if Live sports continue to be shut down.  People will learn to live without it, will enjoy having a smaller bill, and may not have the financial ability to pay for it anyway. 
 

How does that affect MLB’s willingness to continue with guaranteed contracts?  Nobody knew that an economy could be turned this upside down in a matter of weeks. Long term liabilities just became a whole lot riskier. 

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7 minutes ago, atomic said:

MASN should doing pretty well. Still getting money from cable subscribers but not having to pay teams or broadcast live games. 

How do we know that A. MASN is still being paid by cable despite not carrying intended content or that B. MASN doesn’t have to pay the teams their rights fees despite the work stoppage?  Both seem like assumptions unless you know the contract language. 
 

There may be some carryover to keep MASN solvent for now but I have little doubt that the trend is not in their favor long term.  I think they’ll have to eventually move to streaming baseball and it’ll be sooner than expected.  I believe cable cutting over the next month will accelerate. 

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1 hour ago, Eric-OH said:

I’ve also had similar thoughts and I believe that we’ll see advertisers of companies who simply can’t afford to promote themselves slow to a halt and also affect the circle of revenue tied into broadcast rights.  Tony Romo getting 17 mil to talk football may be a thing of the past and broadcasters getting 7 figure salaries to sit in a studio or a desk will get canned.  ESPN specifically was benefiting less and less like you outlined and live sports was the only connector between frustrated sports package paying customers and the college hoops, NBA, NFL games they crave watching live.

My main wonder is ‘will this be the event that convinces billionaire owners to shop their assets in an attempt to move them instead of just gauging their value?  Will it make the younger Angelos’ hold tighter or think sell?  These long term liabilities that you see as a larger risk may just stop being worth it.  I’m afraid of this process occurring and before I was confident it wouldn’t.  Very good talking point 

ESPN was tossing major big bucks at Peyton to join the Monday night football crew, and he turned it down.

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1 minute ago, Eric-OH said:

Let’s see how their advertisers hang on and how many of them can.  Who knows how the heads of companies like Outdoor World or Progressive or Gilette see the future of their names/logos needing to be on TV.  Consider the massive purge of subscribers and it may be a doomsday scenario for them.  Will it trickle down to talent?  My guess is it has to.

Peyton Manning can also claim the ability to move attention towards a product much better than a highly paid broadcaster who never took a snap.  How many games have you watched because Mike Tirico is calling it?  

Personally, I would rather watch with my own eyes the sporting event, and require less talk from the dudes in the booth that are rambling about everything but what we just seen.

 

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8 minutes ago, Eric-OH said:

Let’s see how their advertisers hang on and how many of them can.  Who knows how the heads of companies like Outdoor World or Progressive or Gilette see the future of their names/logos needing to be on TV.  Consider the massive purge of subscribers and it may be a doomsday scenario for them.  Will it trickle down to talent?  My guess is it has to.

Peyton Manning can also claim the ability to move attention towards a product much better than a highly paid broadcaster who never took a snap.  How many games have you watched because Mike Tirico is calling it?  

 

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3 hours ago, Eric-OH said:

I’ve also had similar thoughts and I believe that we’ll see advertisers of companies who simply can’t afford to promote themselves slow to a halt and also affect the circle of revenue tied into broadcast rights.  Tony Romo getting 17 mil to talk football may be a thing of the past and broadcasters getting 7 figure salaries to sit in a studio or a desk will get canned.  ESPN specifically was benefiting less and less like you outlined and live sports was the only connector between frustrated sports package paying customers and the college hoops, NBA, NFL games they crave watching live.

My main wonder is ‘will this be the event that convinces billionaire owners to shop their assets in an attempt to move them instead of just gauging their value?  Will it make the younger Angelos’ hold tighter or think sell?  These long term liabilities that you see as a larger risk may just stop being worth it.  I’m afraid of this process occurring and before I was confident it wouldn’t.  Very good talking point 

Rich people don't sell during an economic downturn. They buy.

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40 minutes ago, Mr. Chewbacca Jr. said:

Rich people don't sell during an economic downturn. They buy.

Barbara Corcoran said as much, she said there are some high end properties that have been reduced by 25% because their owners are hurting and need the money.

She said its a buyers market for those with money.

 

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11 hours ago, esmd said:

Or they could always just get their stuff together and offer a streaming service.

I think most O’s fans would like that option. There is a reason though that they haven’t yet gone that route; it’s not as profitable as the current situation.  It also would make situations like this even more economically devastating because they would lose all of their subscriber money. At least with cable they diversify by getting money from subscribers that stay on despite no sports. 
 

This could go the other way too, where many people cancel Cable because there is no baseball and cable gets to see how many people really were only having cable for the baseball.  But will the casual fan realize they can live without it and not miss it. To be honest, it’s not really at the forefront of my mind these days. I’ve kind of just moved on to other things to occupy my time. Easier to do too when the O’s are going to be terrible too. 

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19 hours ago, Eric-OH said:

I’ve also had similar thoughts and I believe that we’ll see advertisers of companies who simply can’t afford to promote themselves slow to a halt and also affect the circle of revenue tied into broadcast rights.  Tony Romo getting 17 mil to talk football may be a thing of the past and broadcasters getting 7 figure salaries to sit in a studio or a desk will get canned.  ESPN specifically was benefiting less and less like you outlined and live sports was the only connector between frustrated sports package paying customers and the college hoops, NBA, NFL games they crave watching live.

My main wonder is ‘will this be the event that convinces billionaire owners to shop their assets in an attempt to move them instead of just gauging their value?  Will it make the younger Angelos’ hold tighter or think sell?  These long term liabilities that you see as a larger risk may just stop being worth it.  I’m afraid of this process occurring and before I was confident it wouldn’t.  Very good talking point 

There will be many new norms learned from this by businesses.  I was reading about how workflows have streamlined in some industries because they’ve been forced to move everything between depts electronically. The article was specifically about tv show production (writers, producers, editors, graphics, animators, etc). It noted how much cheaper and time efficient things are now without the need for physical space. 

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38 minutes ago, Eric-OH said:

I like the Dan LeBatard show and they’ve barely missed a beat being quarantined at their own houses.  Is that the new way?  
Fancy, expensive studios are always a waste of resources to me, regardless of who fits the bill, network or sponsors.  
I forgot where I read it, but ESPN/Disney has already had to convince itself that there’s no content coming around the corner and they’ve strategized by emptying out their 1980’s/1990’s half assed sports movies file.  The next step down will be downsizing and or job loss.  It’s around the corner. 

 

Fancy, expensive studios allow for many highly sophisticated technical things to happen in real time - especially important for live programming.  They also allow people to work together face-to-face which is something qualitatively very different and more exciting than any electronic quasi-conversation.  Perhaps more importantly, I don't think Disney, ESPN, Fox Sports and others of that caliber want their look (brand) to be confused with 20-something YouTubers "broadcasting" from mom's basement, so looked at that way, the fancy, expensive studio is worth many multiples of the purchase price.

No doubt current norms will evolve over time.  They always do and the current pandemic will add enough spin so that nobody can predict where the new normal will end up.  But I think it's safe to say that in entertainment, those with the resources to rise above the pack will alway spend them to do just that.

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