Sports Business Daily

Why Sports on TV Is Migrating From Cable to Broadcast

Jan 15, 2016  •  Post A Comment

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.

abc sports


  1. I would love to see this trend expand to other sports. There are plenty of NHL, MLS, PGA, APT, LFL, NLWS, WNBA and other sports games that could fill days, nights and weekends for TV stations that now fill time with infomercials. Even minor and summer leagues could find homes on local TV stations near the markets where they play. What someone should really do is package a bunch of lower tier sports together and make a 24-hour channel that can run on station’s secondary channels instead of the endless stream of old TV shows and movies that everyone has now. I would LOVE to see that!

    • Uhhhh, infomercials MAKE money for stations. The rights to televise even minor sports as you describe, even considering advertisers are interested in chipping in, would still be considerably costly.


  2. Nice vintage ABC logo! They haven’t used that since the late 1990s/early 2000s, right?


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