The tip-off point: Sports are getting too pricey for traditional TV
As the gap between ad revenue and broadcasting fees for US sports continues to grow, traditional TV networks may get priced out of the game.
Case-in-point: the MLB is estimated to bring in about $500m in ad revenue this year — $1.1B short of the league’s $1.6B distribution costs.
And, as more and more viewers opt for digital streaming options, it’s making it less and less sustainable for cable networks to support your Sunday afternoon football naps.
Not to mention broadcast networks, which don’t even collect subscription revenue from viewers and rely solely on viewer ratings and viewership to sell ad space.
And those viewers are falling farther and farther outside the lucrative 25-54 age bracket for marketers.
That’s what we love about wrestling fans; they keep getting older…
We stay the same age…
The median age of live TV audiences by sport has gone through the roof: wrestling’s median viewer has aged 26 years (from 28 to 54) since 2000.
Picture your average horse racing fan: visor-wearing, stogie-smoking old guy coming to mind? Well, Seabiscuit’s median fan is 63, and at 57, the MLB’s viewership isn’t far behind.
This is all to say: network sports are adding less and less fresh blood to their fandom every year.
So what are the youths watching?
The internet, mostly. Young people are relying more on online highlight reels rather than live events — because who wants to sit through a 4-hour football game when you can see all the goods in less than 8 minutes?
They’re also watching professional internetters, AKA gamers, AKA esports. It sounds crazy, but it’s true. In fact, a recent study shows that, when it comes to online viewing, men ages 18-25 prefer esports over real (life) sports — at a time when the NFL’s week 1 live viewership dropped 16% from last year. In other words… might be time for networks to punt.
4th and long
Hey, what ever happened with…
We’ve touched on some pretty big headlines in the past few weeks — some good, some bad, some straight-up ugly. So, let’s loop back around and take a look at some updates.
Equifax somehow screws things up even more
After hackers broke into Equifax’s servers and stole 143m customers’ personal info, the company responded in the worst way imaginable: they set up a website where victims had to enter even more personal info.
Now, it turns out, things have gotten worse. On Twitter, the company has been accidentally directing people to a phishing site instead of their own site, thanks to a hyperlink typo.
The good news? A good-guy engineer saw that the incorrect domain was up for grabs, purchased it, and reminded Equifax that they suck at security.
The Apple Watch has fallen a bit too far from the tree…
And the reception is terrible. Recently, Apple held its big Fall event, where it introduced the world to the first $1k iPhone (which, according to their marketing team, “DAZZLES THE EYE.”)
They also debuted the Apple Watch 3 — the first of its watches with standalone cell service. Justttt one problem: turns out, reviewers are experiencing “LTE connectivity problems,” and they can’t make phone calls or access data as promised.
A few weeks back, Amazon announced its intention to open a second, $5B campus dubbed “HQ2” that could house as many as 50k workers, and they urged cities to send in their applications.
Meanwhile, reports are surfacing that McDonald’s intends to leave its corporate office in Oak Brook, IL (30 min west of Chicago) in 2018 — and they’re looking to sell the 700k-square-foot space to Amazon.
Amazon’s got its pick of the litter at this point, but Bezos has gotta be hard-pressed to pass up the actual, real-life home of “Hamburger University.”
Third time’s the charm… Amazon is the latest to take a stab at “smart glasses”
After the colossal consumer failure that was Google Glass and the 35% slowdown in Snapchat’s Spectacle sales just 6 months after hitting the market, Amazon is looking to put out its own pair of smart glasses. It marks the company’s first foray into wearables.
It’s an unforgiving market, but Amazon’s got a Midas touch lately — and if anyone can pull off glasses, it’s them.
According to the Financial Times, the glasses will link to Amazon’s voice assistant, plus any Echo connected devices, via “bone-conduction” audio technology.
I’m sorry, bone conduction?
Bone conduction, the same audio tech used in Google Glass, lets a device send sound vibrations straight to the top of your jaw where it hinges near your ear.
This would allow the wearer to hear Alexa’s voice without in-ear headphones. (Fun fact: it’s also the reason our voices sound deeper in our heads than they do in real life.)
It’s all part of the master plan *mwah-ha-ha*
The specs are part of Amazon’s attempt to piggyback on the success of their Echo speaker (they’re set to sell 10m of them this year) and to further infiltrate every aspect of our lives.
Unlike the geeky-looking predecessors of their competitors, Amazon says their version of smart specs will leave out camera functionality in favor of a more streamlined look.
And who have they hired to avoid another flop? None other than Babak Parviz, founder of Google Glass.
Don’t be a dick to your Webmaster, because he/she might be someone like Tavis Tso — an Arizona IT guy who was sentenced Monday to four years of federal probation after pleading guilty to holding a corporate website hostage and redirecting it to a gay porn site.
According to Tso’s plea deal, he set up the company’s account with GoDaddy back in 2011. Nearly four years later, after Tso had left, the company decided to update its contact information — but Tso was still the only one with the login.
Tso denied he had the info, and instead told the company that he could help fix the issue for $10k. When they declined, he unleashed the porn — and was eventually hit with a federal charge under the Computer Fraud Abuse Act.
This isn’t the first time something like this has happened
Apparently, webmasters are quite aware of their power — and they’ve been staging hostage crises for years. (Google “webmasters holding websites hostage,” and you’ll find a potpourri of horror stories.)
Take, for instance, Gregory Alexander, a “web dude” of a widely known chess discussion forum who was indicted by a federal grand jury back in ‘09 for accessing a board member’s email account on 34 different occasions.
In another case, the small town of Easton, CT had their website held hostage after the webmaster they hired claimed to own the site.
Boy, we really trust these guys
Trusting one person with the entire online infrastructure of a company is a huge risk, but also a necessary evil: these guys are knowledge pillars of HTML, and can easily bury nuggets of code in their work. To avoid a nightmare situation, you should always maintain master access to your usernames and passwords.
Generally, though, there’s no need to be afraid of Webmasters — unless you insult Battlestar Galactica.
Polaroids are cool again and (sorry, Grandpas) unlike the days of old, the OneStep 2 is decked out — with features like a fixed high-grade lens shooting from a range of 2ft to infinity, plus you can recharge the instant development feature which means you can shoot all day long.
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Whenever something menial needs to get done, bottlenecks form in the handoff process — based on who has the “monkey” on their back. Execs should pass monkeys downwards, so they can save their time for more valuable uses.
Only one problem — when you’re at a small company, you can’t really “pass the monkeys.”
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