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Paul Pierce Bashes ESPN In Crypto Tweet

Former NBA All-Star Paul Pierce took to Twitter to both slam ESPN as well as hype up one specific cryptocurrency.

MIchael Quirk

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Future Basketball Hall of Famer and current “wait, I did what in front of the whole world?” hall of Famer Paul Pierce took to Twitter Wednesday to put down his former employer.

To quote the great Stefon of SNL fame, this tweet has everything: cryptocurrency, dropping his own nickname in a pun, spelling errors, the works. Pierce appears to still hold a considerable amount of animosity for his former employer who parted ways with him following an Instagram Live that showed the ex-hooper partying with exotic dancers.

The tweet may be a bit confusing. Pierce is not referencing the popular crypto Ethereum, which started May at 2751.87 but is now down to 2691.54 as of Wednesday, reaching an apex of 4132.76 on May 12. His tweet is about the $eMax crypto, which was up to 0.00000018 on May 18 at 7:02 p.m. and as of May 27 at 12:34 a.m. was down to 0.00000000151, despite seeing a 137.39 percent rise perhaps in part to Pierce’s tweet.

It has not been said definitively, but this certainly looks like some sort of paid partnership.

While it is unclear how much Pierce made at ESPN, he did earn over $195 million from his contracts in the NBA.

Sports TV News

NCAA Tournament Delivers Highest-Rated Round of 64 Ever

“ For the first round on Thursday and Friday of last week, games accomplished a total audience delivery of 9.2 million viewers.”

Jordan Bondurant

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The first two rounds of the 2023 NCAA tournament are in the books, and the TV ratings indicate historic viewership.

For the first round on Thursday and Friday of last week, games accomplished a total audience delivery of 9.2 million viewers. This was for contests on TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV in addition to streaming on March Madness Live.

Action on Thursday averaged 8.4 million, up 2% compared to 2022.

On Friday, game broadcasts averaged 9.3 million, making it the most-watched first round ever.

The Sweet 16 tips off on Thursday this week.

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Sports TV News

John Skipper: All Rights Deals Look Terrible at Beginning, Great by End

“ I always love the people who lost always released statements that said, ‘We refused to do a financially irresponsible deal.’”

Jordan Bondurant

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The NBA will be heading to the negotiating table soon for a new media rights agreement, and it appears almost certain the league will incorporate a streaming element into the deal.

Amazon is believed to be looking to add the NBA to its lineup of live sports offerings. The tech giant is entering the second year of a $1 billion per season deal to be the exclusive home of Thursday Night Football.

The NBA is looking to earn anywhere from $50-75 billion in the next rights deal, almost triple the value of the current deal expiring in 2025.

Talking to David Samson on the podcast Sports Business, Meadowlark Media CEO and former ESPN president John Skipper was asked if he believed the existing packages with ESPN/ABC and Warner Bros. Discovery would triple in value without an Apple or Amazon. Skipper explained that the answer is a bit nuanced.

“No, but they don’t have to for the NBA to triple their national broadcasting revenue,” he said. “I think it’s not a crazy sum to think that they may approach it or they may actually reach it. They’re not going to have two packages when this is over. They’re gonna have at least three. So you don’t have to triple all the packages to triple the money.”

Skipper added that in terms of Warner Bros. Discovery seeming to take the stance of not wanting to overpay for NBA rights, it’s sort of a losing mindset for the competitors out there in the media rights space.

“I don’t think you can get out a spreadsheet and kind of go, ‘OK I don’t need the NBA anymore,'” he said. “Because somebody else is going to pay an exorbitant number. I’m like OK great I hope you continue that practice, because then we’ll have all the rights someday.”

“Rights go up. They look terrible in the beginning, by the end they look great,” Skipper added. “That’s why broadcasters should do long-term deals. I think the NBA will get somewhere between 200-350% more money in this round of deals than they did last time.”

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Sports TV News

Diamond Sports Group Says MLB Streaming Rights Caused Bankruptcy

“The (MLB) Commissioner’s office has made it clear that they want to take back the rights and go it alone, which will effectively drive us out of the market if they are successful.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Diamond Sports Group, the owner of the Bally Sports regional sports networks, told a Texas bankruptcy judge that Major League Baseball’s unwillingness to cut a deal to allow for increased streaming rights was a contributing factor in the company’s bankruptcy.

According to Reuters, Diamond Sports Group’s attorney Andrew Goldman told U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Lopez that the additional streaming rights to bolster Bally Sports+ is pivotal in the company’s business model moving forward. But MLB has made it difficult to gain traction.

“The (MLB) Commissioner’s office has made it clear that they want to take back the rights and go it alone, which will effectively drive us out of the market if they are successful,” Goldman said.

In the eyes of the league, it isn’t on MLB to sort out the issues in RSNs.

“We are dealing with a broken model, and it is not the responsibility of MLB to fix that model,” league attorney James Bromley said.

Bally Sports RSNs will carry on as usual while the bankruptcy process plays out.

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