CBS, Turner deals look savvy

Seven years ago, CBS and Turner Sports agreed to an eight-year media rights extension to continue broadcasting March Madness games through 2032. Five years ago, the US Supreme Court shot down PASPA.

Since you’re here, you probably have a pretty good idea that these events have a synergistic relationship. In fact, the latter may have made the former one of the greatest sportsbooks of all time.

The station’s original contract with the NCAA, signed in 2010, was scheduled to expire in 2024. March Madness games will air exclusively on CBS, TBS, TNT and TruTV for 22 consecutive seasons through the end of the current contract. This means that these media companies are not only the focus of one of the top events on the US sports calendar, but probably also The Top event for legal sports betting all year round.

Unlike the Super Bowl, which takes place over about four hours, this one lasts three weeks.

CBS will air the Final Four this year and Turner will get it next season as the companies act as part of the contract renewal. The original deal cost $10.8 billion, with the 2016 renewal costing the companies an additional $8.8 billion.

This is where sports betting comes in and could make those numbers look like loose change over the long run. While media companies have been complaining about the decline in advertising revenue for years, sports betting offers a bulwark. Studies have shown that sports bettors spend about twice as much time watching televised sports as non-bettors.

A survey by the American Gaming Association found that approximately 68 million American adults plan to wager approximately $15.5 billion on this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament. The sheer number of bettors is expected to eclipse the Super Bowl by nearly 20 million, although the tournament’s prize is expected to be about $500 million below Super Bowl levels. Either way, they’re both massive media events, and they’re both backed up in a massive way with the addition of legal sports betting.

Given that the vast majority of viewers now have legal sports betting where they live — including 36 states and the District of Columbia — CBS and Turner have huge audiences of highly invested customers. That makes her decision to fork out all those extra dollars seven years ago seem not only a wise decision, but a well-timed one.

Diamond Sports files for bankruptcy

The moment teams have been worrying about and leagues planning for has arrived.

Diamond Sports Group, the largest owner of regional sports networks, filed for bankruptcy Tuesday under the burden of more than $8 billion in debt. The Sinclair Broadcast Group subsidiary announced in a press release that it is entering into a restructuring support agreement with a majority of its creditors.

The group has already missed interest payments and the rights fees it pays to leagues and teams. Diamond said it plans to continue broadcasting local games from its portfolio of 19 networks under the Bally Sports brand, but Major League Baseball has quietly explored taking over the broadcasts itself. The league said in a statement this week that it expects Diamond to continue broadcasting games during the bankruptcy.

Although Diamond has received streaming rights for all of its NBA and NHL teams, it’s still working team after team to get similar rights for MLB games. It had better hurry because the opening day is March 30th.

“Major League Baseball stands ready to produce and distribute games to fans and their local markets should Diamond or another regional sports network be unable to do so as per their agreement with the clubs,” MLB said in a statement.

For now, you can plan to watch your favorite teams across the same channels, but keep that remote with a nimble hand.

Aaron Rodgers spreads the love

If you’re reading this, you might already know where Rodgers will be taking his next snap. The longtime Green Bay Packers quarterback was scheduled for an appearance The Pat McAfee Show on YouTube on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. ET, just after this column’s editorial deadline, and many people were hoping he’d reveal where he’s going as heavy speculation continues to mount that he’ll be a New York jet.

Regardless of where he ends up, Rodgers seems to have carefully curated his words and appearances to help media enthusiasts. McAfee, a player, was an eight-year NFL veteran. Rodgers’ previous statements, which amount to little, came in an interview with former NFL wide receiver Brandon Marshall over the weekend.

Rodgers, 39, met with Jets officials in Malibu last week. While the NFL’s free agency didn’t start until Wednesday, teams had been negotiating since Monday, and the Jets have been pushing for clarity for some time.

Rodgers has hinted at a penchant for “dark retreats” in the past. Maybe he’ll shed some light by finally presenting his decision to one of his media friends one day. CBS, Turner deals look savvy

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