Discover more from Too Much TV Newsletter
Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Tuesday, June 14th, 2022
21 things to know about the Apple deal with Major League Soccer
Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Tuesday, June 14th, 2022.
21 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE APPLE TV+ DEAL WITH MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
Apple and MLS announced a huge new rights deal on Tuesday that will start next year and run for 10 seasons.
But a number of the details are confusing and you've no doubt seen a bunch of "Apple TV+ Pays $250 Million For MLS Rights," which at best is misleading.
After speaking with representatives from both Apple TV+ and MLS, here are 21 things you should know about the deal:
1) You won't be able to watch "every MLS game" on Apple TV+. Instead, Apple has the exclusive rights to sell a still undefined MLS service/app, that will offer every single MLS regular season match.
2) Even the games that have previously been considered "in-market" games.
3) The offering will include the new Leagues Cup between teams from MLS and Mexico’s Liga MX.
4) You'll also be able to watch a still-undefined number of games from MLS’s reserve and youth leagues.
5) An Apple TV+ subscription won't get you access to the full service. But there will be some number of games available for free to Apple TV+ subscribers.
6) Some small selection of games will also be available to everyone for free through the Apple TV+ app.
7) While the current MLS season had 63 different start times/days, most games under this deal will talk place on Wednesday and Saturday nights.
8) Apple TV+ will offer pre and post-game coverage, as well as highlight reels and other behind-the-scenes coverage.
9) Because there will be multiple games taking place at the same time, there will also be a new live whip-around show.
10) The $250 million figure is a minimum fee guarantee Apple is pledged to pay MLS. The figure could be higher, depending on how many people subscribe to the MLS service.
11) Apple TV+ will have global rights to the MLS service and/or streaming rights, although it's not clear what the global streaming offerings will look like.
12) There may some linear rights available in other countries, but no deals are yet in place.
13) No, we have no idea what the service will be called or how much it will cost.
14) All local television games will disappear.
15) But teams will still retain audio rights with local radio announcer teams. Subscribers will be able to listen to those local announcers integrated with the video coverage.
16) Although details are a bit sketchy, there is apparently a national U.S. linear television package that will be available for a limited number of games.
17) Those games won't be exclusive, but will also be available on the new Apple TV+/MLS service.
18) Every regular-season and Leagues Cup game will be broadcast in English and Spanish. Games involving a Canadian team will also offer a French language audio version.
19) The games will be produced from a central location, and most - but not all - games will have a broadcast team on site for the game.
20) The MLS package will be given free to every season ticket-holder of an MLS team. It's not known if that is just for the first year or if this deal will be available over all ten years of the deal.
21) With its current $1 billion a day revenue stream, Apple can pay the minimum price for this deal with six hours of revenue.
WARNER BROS DISCOVERY TO CUT AD SALES STAFF
According to a piece in The Information, Warner Bros. Discovery will this week offer buyouts to members of its U.S. ad sales team, as part of a plan to shrink the global sales force by as much as 30%, according to people familiar with the situation. The buyouts are one of the first big cost-cutting steps taken since the formation of the company from Discovery’s acquisition of WarnerMedia in April.
The company has a global ad sales force of about 3,000, about half of whom are in the U.S. Warner’s goal of cutting up to 30% implies it wants to eliminate nearly 1,000 jobs over time, including through the buyouts, layoffs and natural attrition, the people said.
Variety's Brian Steinberg is reporting that some buyers believe Warner ad-sales executives with deep knowledge of CNN and other assets aren’t being given room to put expertise into practice. And buyers are also complaining about the company's hard-nosed negotiating tactics, as it tries to use its new combined size to leverage above market increases in the upfront markets:
Warner Bros. Discovery is making what media buyers and other executives say are severe demands on advertisers in the course of discussions around the industry’s annual “upfront” market, when TV networks try to sell the bulk of their advertising inventory. Two media-buying executives say Warner Bros. Discovery is insisting that advertisers commit to high levels of volume and outsize rate hikes in order to gain access to top-rated programming. They also say the company is even threatening to withhold ad inventory on HGTV and Warner’s sports portfolio if they will not.
“They are packaging different products for the upfront, and I think there has been an initial shot of shock to the market,” says one buyer. With most TV companies seeking increases of between 8% to 12% in the cost of reaching 1,000 viewers, a measure known as a CPM that is central to upfront discussions, Warner Bros. Discovery is pushing for hikes that are more than double those figures, according to one of the buyers.
This was one of the reasons I had argued the Warner Bros/Discovery merger was a bad idea. The logical pathway for the combined company after the merger was to use its size to squeeze competitors and customers. And go figure, that's precisely what the company plans to do.
TWEET OF THE DAY
PACKAGE OF LIONSGATE FILMS HEADED TO TUBI
Just weeks after announcing an exclusive deal to bring its first-run movies to the Roku Channel, Lionsgate has signed a separate deal with the AVOD Tubi, which will send a package of 200 different films to that service, with 30 of the titles newer films that will be exclusive to Tubi.
Those films include Shattered, starring John Malkovich, Frank Grillo, Cameron Monaghan, and Lily Krug; Pursuit, starring John Cusack and Emile Hirsch; and Wolf Hound, starring Trevor Donavan and James Maslow.
Lionsgate now has several output deals in place that carry its films through several pay windows. Following their theatrical releases, theatrically released Lionsgate films will first go to Starz, but then will have an exclusive window on the Roku Channel, followed by a non-exclusive run. The films under the Tubi deal aren't covered under the Starz/Roku output agreement and seem to primarily be movies with recognizable names but lesser theatrical prospects.
PHILO'S WEEKLY STREAMING ROUND-UP
Here is a rundown of the most popular titles on the vMVPD for the week ending Sunday, June 14th:
Top Ten TV Shows
Tyler Perry’s Sistas (BET)
Basketball Wives (VH1)
90 Day Fiance (TLC)
Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars (WE tv)
The First 48 (A&E)
VH1 Couples Retreat (VH1)
SpongeBob Squarepants (Nickelodeon)
Love and Marriage: Huntsville (OWN)
Fatal Attraction (TV One)
Top Five Movies
Caribbean Summer (Hallmark Channel)
Next Friday (A&E)
Friday (A&E and BET)
Happily Never After (LMN)
Hidden Gems (Hallmark Channel)
'FIRST LOOK' DEALS MAY OR MAY NOT MEAN ANYTHING
Bill Prady, co-creator of The Big Bang Theory has signed a new multiple-year, first-look deal with Warner Bros. Television. While it's interesting piece of info, it's also worth noting that when he left Warner Bros. Television in 2020, he signed a two-year first look deal with Netflix, which doesn't seem to have led to much of anything during his time working with the streamer.
ODDS AND SODS
* While no date for the transition has been announced, NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said on Tuesday the company will eventually get rid of the deal that currently gives Comcast TV subscribers a free Peacock Premium account.
* Netflix has been renewed The Lincoln Lawyer for season two. The new season will consist of 10 new episodes and will be based on the fourth book in Connelly’s Lincoln Lawyer series, The Fifth Witness.
* Hallmark Channel has greenlit Ride, a new original prime-time drama that centers on a dynastic rodeo family. The series will premiere on Hallmark Channel in 2023.
WHAT'S NEW FOR TUESDAY
Here's a quick rundown of all the new stuff premiering today on TV and streaming:
American Masters: Brian Wilson-Long Promised Road (PBS)
Dark Side Of The 90s Season Premiere (Vice)
Dateline: The Last Day Series Premiere (Peacock)
Jane Fonda & Lily Tomlin: Ladies Night Live (Netflix)
Click Here to see the list of all of the upcoming premiere dates for the next few months.
SEE YOU WEDNESDAY!
If you have any feedback, send it along to Rick@AllYourScreens.com and follow me on Twitter @aysrick.