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Sports, especially the National Football Federation, is instrumental in charting the future of internet entertainment.
Maybe you think that’s a bad thing. But Edmund Lee, a media correspondent for the New York Times, says we should pay attention to the current negotiations on where Americans will watch football games in the coming years. They can identify which TV companies thrive in the digital age and give a glimpse of what kind of shows will dominate our favorite websites.
For mainstream television companies like Disney and CBS, the NFL is essential to stop TV viewers from falling too fast and support their future in streaming. And internet stars like Amazon and Facebook can – maybe? – I want sports to have a big ticket for me.
Shira: Why is the NFL so important?
Ed: Fewer Americans watch sports, but football is by far the most popular television show. The NFL needs TV and the TV network owner needs the NFL And whether you watch football or not, the billions of dollars that TV networks pay for the NFL turn into a higher bill for cable or satellite TV or packages TV online like YouTube TV.
TV networks hate paying too much money to broadcast the NFL narrow audience. But you said they would pay twice as much on the next contract. Why?
It is a complicated dance. Disney, Fox, CBS, NBC and others are trying to be video streaming companies. But they still lose money streaming and make billions of dollars in profits from regular TV.
If television networks can offer NFL games to watch on TV and on their streaming services, they hope viewers will be glued to the TV. and be attracted to streaming services.
Are you saying that sport, and especially the NFL, is the key to entertainment companies living or dying?
Pretty much! I’ll give you a personal example. Football matches in the Premier League are one of the few things I regularly watch on Peacock, NBC’s online video service. Sports, especially direct sport and above all the NFL, remains a huge draw. Entertainment companies with must-see programs are those that make the transition to streaming.
There are billions of people on YouTube and Facebook. Why aren’t major sports like the Olympics, European football and the NFL not there?
There have been trials. Facebook has live-streamed some of India’s professional baseball and cricket matches. Amazon’s Prime Video streams a handful of NFL games on Thursdays, and it looks like Amazon is willing to pay for more.
But the reality is, the sports on those big sites are just part of the programming in an ocean. When games appeared on these major tech sites, fewer people watched.
Maybe people are not in the habit of watching sports there. When an NFL match is broadcast simultaneously on Amazon Prime Video and on cable TV, millions of people watch it on TV but only a few hundred thousand on Amazon.
I was surprised that sporting events on Amazon or Facebook are not the same as the internet. It is mostly like a TV show.
See what the National Basketball Association does. It has begun to incorporate digital features into the NBA app such as in-game stats and camera angle selection. The internetization of sports has not yet existed. But whatever the NBA does will likely be widely reproduced.
Who wins the Internet: professional or amateur?
One point Ed made in our conversation is that Facebook has changed its view of the wisdom of getting into the lane of Netflix or Disney and paying the most to host professional entertainment like games. NFL players are very popular.
As for Facebook, why pay billions of dollars a year for Martin Scorsese football or movies? The company made us spend hours surfing our news feed and Instagram, with posts and videos that we mainly create for free.
But I should mention that Facebook has been very eager to get live sports activities until recently. Maybe the company will change its mind. Again.
This is one of the early questions about leisure time on the internet: Will professionally practiced entertainment, including sports, wins, or will websites and apps be filled with amateurs?
It’s possible that the combination of the two will dominate the Internet, but it’s an interesting question to explore.
There are two basic paths to our favorite online video hangout. Some of them mostly draw people with things ordinary people do – think TikTok, Facebook, and YouTube.
Others like Netflix and streaming video services from major TV entertainment companies are offering programming like the manicured show you see on TV.
These two roads are blurred. Professional Internet stars create some of the most popular content on sites like YouTube. Facebook pays for its TV-like mall video show called Watch.
One big advantage of the amateur path is that it is cheap. TikTok and Facebook don’t pay for most videos or posts that we spend hours surfing. YouTube splits advertising money with many video creators, but they don’t transfer Scorsese money to make PewDiePie a star.
But at the same time, Ed said, internet companies are seeing the value of professionally created entertainment. Netflix and HBO Max are not worried about QAnon conspiracy theories going viral, because companies control everything that shows up on their streaming services. The downside is that it costs a lot. The advantage is that it produces fewer horror programs.
Before we go …
The ripple effect of Amazon’s payment methods: My colleagues, Ben Casselman and Jim Tankersley, say the company’s decision to increase employee starting salaries to $ 15 an hour seems to have pushed the salaries of other companies near Amazon locations up. high.
The coup’s online consequences: Reuters reported that Myanmar soldiers and police officers are using TikTok to threaten violence against protesters protesting the recent coup. App usage in Myanmar surged after the military blocked Facebook. And YouTube has followed Facebook in removing video channels operated by the Myanmar military, said my colleague Paul Mozur.
They want to share their wealth: My colleague, Taylor Lorenz, has written about a newly formed collective for people with great charisma on audio chat room apps like Clubhouse. They want to lobby the company to more aggressively monitor the apps and have more ways for them to turn popularity into income.
Related: Vulture has a compelling article about Trisha Paytas, a YouTube celebrity whose genius is basically alluring and attracting all the controversy. (Note that the article contains pictures that may not be safe for work or young children.)
Look at newborn gorilla at a zoo in Berlin!
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