By TERRY LYONS, Editor-in-Chief
CHICAGO – On Thursday, Sinclair Broadcasting, which owns traditional broadcast stations in a number of US markets, along with American Sports Network, owner of a few mid-major college sports deals, announced a merger of sorts with Chicago-based “all digital” platform Silver Chalice and its Campus Insiders and 120 Sports offerings, to create what was called a “multi-platform sports network, featuring a linear broadcast and comprehensive digital offerings.
Execs Discuss the Future of OTT sports entities
What exactly might that mean to the average sports fan?
When you peek under the covers of this new “who is in bed with whom” sports world, try to think of a sports network that targets more towards the future world of Millennials and cord cutters. Look at combination of newsworthy sports highlights and but one with the rights for several highly valuable sports properties. Silver Chalice has major sports partners, like MLB and the NHL, and potentially can show more games an, most importantly, deliver those highlights quickly, not just on any mobile device, but also to home consumers who have broadcast stations that they are getting not from cable, but from more traditional “over the air” technology in urban markets. The future is serving up OTT with the ability to reach both mobile and home for the future cord cutters who invest in a $25 antenna.
Surprisingly, the network doesn’t have a name, yet, and it doesn’t even have a launch date. But, it does have some fire-power because of those behind it and the marketplace that the two entities have already carved-out in an increasingly niche world, especially in the college space. There is evidence of a re-launch of the “ASN” which, until now, has little notoriety.
“With this incomparable set of strategic partners, we are evolving ASN into a vastly improved network with access to exclusive content and a combined linear and premium OTT offering that is the model for the future of television,” said Chris Ripley, President and CEO of Sinclair.
What ever this “it” is, it may sound like two platforms; one in broadcast and one all digital, both able to band together to grab scale for ad dollars.
When the vision becomes reality, it could very well be something more. It certainly is one to watch as the broadcast and content landscape evolves.
Keep your eyes, and your ears firmly focused on what this could be. And, while you’re at it, keep a close eye on the future sports “triangle” of Verizon-Yahoo-AOL as they plan their future in the new world of sports content and delivery.