future of

sports rights

in streaming

is drama

Andrew Rosen

Andrew Rosen is the founder of PARQOR LLC. He authors Medium Shift, a monthly column on The Information tracking the transformations underway in the media business.

There is an uneasy tension in the sports rights model across cable, broadcast, and streaming.

On the one hand, cord-cutting is eating away at the extraordinary scale of linear, which counted more than 105 million cable TV households in the US over a decade ago. The pricing of past sports rights deals reflected that, and not so much the promise of streaming.

Today, there are around 60 million homes with cable access, and over 75 million if we include virtual cable distributors like YouTube TV and Fubo TV.

On the other hand, new sports rights deals must assume both the declining scale of cable network distribution and the growth of streaming. The recent NFL deal has Paramount’s CBS, Comcast’s NBC, and Disney’s ABC and ESPN all distributing games across both linear and streaming platforms (Fox will distribute via linear, only). Deals struck in the past few years by the NHL, the PGA Tour, and WWE also have versions of the linear plus streaming business logic built in.

There are growing questions emerging about the business model of streaming. Legacy media streaming services are struggling to scale and to turn a profit. The worry is that some may not be around in a few years. In some cases, like with Paramount Global, their negative free cash flow and junk-rated debt are legitimate reasons for partners like the NFL to be worried.

This is member only content.

To keep reading this post, apply to join our Member Waitlist. Learn more about the benefits of becoming an ON_Discourse member here.

Already a member? Login




ON_Discourse is a private membership community for business leaders to participate in the Discipline of Discourse to cultivate perspectives, decision-making, and meaningful relationships.

Why does business
need discourse?

Business culture and the media ultimately drive groupthink.

Discourse overcomes fake ideas, fake news, and fake experts.

Discourse fights against conventional thinking and decision-making paralysis.

Discourse exposes a business' isolated beliefs.

At the heart of ON_Discourse is our dedication to the idea that the best decisions in business are made when you bring smart people with different perspectives together.

Actions backed
by values.

…with trust and empathy by asking questions and challenging each other.

…with curiosity and intellectual honesty by being receptive to other points of view.

…with an openness and a commitment to diverse perspectives.

Our members are made up of a community of experts that have…

Published best-selling books on business, technology, culture, politics, etc.

Run digital at the highest level for one of the world’s largest fashion brands

Lead innovation for the world’s largest SaaS company

Run the technology group for the largest US multinational telecommunications and media conglomerate

Built and exited one of the world’s biggest e-commerce sites in the mobile consumer technology space

Launched a billion-dollar digital business for Europe's most important governing bodies in football

Built the developer ecosystems for two of the most influential technology companies

Launched a $100 million venture fund in the climate tech industry with over 100 investments and multiple exits to date

What is a
Living Issue?

Living Issues are deep dives into specific business verticals, focused on the most urgent and important topics in business and technology.

We create Living Issues that are important, current, and relevant.

We look for different perspectives and insist on opposing points of view.

We uncover perspectives that evolve into provocations.

We provide these provocations through content that provides education, context, and framing.

We introduce these new ideas back to our community to keep the discourse flowing.

Join the discourse.


and more.

Join our growing community of business leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs to access new perspectives, better decision-making, and more meaningful relationships.

Applications for 2023 close on December 22.


Only members can access Living Issues, events, and the community. You can apply for membership here.

No, we operate a hybrid approach to events, which we host online and in person.