Apple, Google, Netflix, the Olympics and the NFL
But first, TheStreet's Chris Ciaccia is absolutely right: Apple
Why wouldn't professional sports leagues look to big tech? There's no reason not to. Companies such as Apple have more money to blow than the big media establishment. While a deal with an Apple or Google doesn't necessarily broaden distribution, it certainly could enhance it.
However, the leagues will have to be sure not to burn bridges with partners such as DirecTV
So, again, it's just a matter of time before a non-traditional player meaningfully enters the picture.
But the key is cash, which makes it funny to read through Ben Elowitz's OpEd, where the tech entrepreneur argues Netflix should get into live events.
First, Elowitz didn't break any ground. Here's a January 2012 Seeking Alpha piece where I work in the Canadian sports media landscape to highlight the importance of premium content.
So, yes, Elowitz is correct. Netflix absolutely must diversify itself to stay relevant. That's what original programming is all about after all. However, Elowitz dismisses Netflix's precarious cash situation when he makes horribly misguided statements such as:
With TV network ratings shrinking these days, at what point does Netflix surpass NBC in viewership and become a credible bidder for streaming rights to the Olympics? NBC has those rights locked down through 2020, but if the audience continues to shift online, we could be just two more Summer Olympics away from the first completely cordless Games.
I won't even get into the context-less statement about "shrinking" ratings.
More to the point, the idea that Netflix will ever be able to afford the Olympics -- if the company continues on its present trajectory -- is absurd. We're talking billions of dollars for a company that has had to raise cash twice in the last two years and likely will end up going to market again.