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NFL's $250 million/year from Verizon grows to $500 million/year in new deal

And there's no mobile exclusive in the new deal! I think that's good news for the NFL and the TV networks. John Ourand & Daniel Kaplan at SBJ have the details.

As I noted on Twitter I find these deal announcements a much better finger in the wind assessment of how the NFL is perceived as a business than folks getting blasted on gin and calculating on the back of their cocktail napkins that the NFL will lose a half a billion this year.

But NFL ratings a mixed bag:

Fox up, sees best metered market rating for an NFL game this season, but CBS and NBC were down big vs. last year

Fox Regional
: 10.4 overnight, up 11% vs 2015

Fox National: 16.0, up 2% versus last year's 15.7 and the best metered market rating for any NFL telecast this season on any networks. Fox also saw season highs in NY (14.5), LA (12.2) and Philadelphia (36.2)

Now the bad news:

CBS's single regional window averaged an 8.6 overnight, down 24% from 2016.

Sunday Night Football saw a dramatic 30 percent year over year decline for Ravens-Steelers. Ravens-Steelers drew an 11.6 overnight rating. In fairness, last year's matchup was Cowboys-Giants that drew a 16.5 overnight rating.

Sports rights bubble?

Ad Age's Anthony Crupi has a story on PwC's 2017 Sports Outlook report. Per Crupi:

Of the aforementioned four buckets, media rights are expected to swell at the most accelerated rate, growing to $22.7 billion in 2021 from $19.1 billion this year. On average, media rights revenues are on pace to grow 4 percent each year, or as much as 19 percent between now and 2021.

College football down except for Fox/Big Ten

No surprise for anyone who listened to my podcast with SBJ's Austin Karp & Matt Roberts, but updated numbers via Austin via Richard Deitsch:

CBS: 4.951 million viewers, down 10% from 5.489 million in 2016.

ABC: 4.203 million, down 18% from 5.097 million.

Fox: 3.625 million, up 23% from 2.951 million.

NBC: 2.742, down 3% from 2.814 million.

ESPN: 2.155 million, down 6% from 2.300 million.

FS1: 819,000, up 4% from 743,000.

But the Army/Navy Game saw its best ratings since 1994 with a 5.9 overnight rating.

The 5.9 was up 5% from last year's 5.6 and the best since a 6.5 overnight rating for the game played on December 3, 1994.

Saturday's game peaked between 6-6:15P ET with an 8.5 metered market rating.

Louisville = SoccerTown USA? 

The MLS cup drew a 0.7 overnight rating on ESPN on Saturday afternoon. Down from the 1.0 last year on Fox's broadcast network (which was in primetime) but the best on cable since 2012 and up 75% since 2015, the last time the MLS Cup was on cable.

My mentions were a lot of fun on Sunday because of the local ratings. Columbus, which is reportedly losing their team to Austin had the 3rd-best local market ratings for the telecast. But Austin was in the top 10 too. So there was both back and forth between Columbus and Austin fans of the Crew and many Columbus fans took their venom out on MLS commish Don Garber and Columbus Crew owner Anthony Precourt.

But after Seattle (which played in the MLS Cup) it was Louisville, LOUISVILLE that was the 2nd-best local market. Lousville's 3.2 local bettered Columbus' 1.7 by 88 percent.

Louisville's standing here to me was much more interesting to me than Columbus or Austin.

The soccer had more juice on my Twitter feed but...

ESPN making PR hay with Top Rank Boxing

The Top Rank boxing bout between Vasiliy Lomachenko and Guillermo Rigondeaux delivered a 1.0 overnight. That might not sound like much but it was more than the soccer and, per ESPN the second highest-rated boxing telecast on cable in 2017.
eSports follow-up

I got a bit of feedback on my eSports blurb on Friday. About half agreed that even the good actors in eSports are usually too drunk on eSports to bother with.

The other half was: ~ "how can you discount league licensing and in-game sponsorship. That stuff is a real business."

I don't discount that and I agree. That stuff is a real business. But, that's a real business that's been chugging along for 30+ years. I don't cover the videogame sector either, but when I said even the good actors were drunk, this thing where you glom onto something that's existed for 30+ years and call it your own?

That seems pretty drunken to me. Maybe I'm the one who's drunk. We'll see.
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