A new trend in sports programming finds media companies and leagues shifting coverage from cable to broadcast TV, according to a report by Sports Business Daily.
“The reason comes down to simple math,” the story reports. “While the number of homes that subscribe to pay TV gets smaller, the reach of broadcast networks essentially remains the same. That has caused leagues and media companies to embrace broadcast time slots like they used to a decade ago.”
A key player in the trend is the NFL, which is said to be focusing on broadcast in its current negotiations for “Thursday Night Football” — “leaving ESPN and Turner Sports as long shots to claim the package, according to several sources,” the story reports.
ESPN content has increasingly found its way to corporate cousin ABC, which carried a simulcast of ESPN’s recent NFL wild card coverage and will roll out a schedule of eight Saturday night NBA games starting Jan. 23.