Best in Sports Media

CBS Sports

CBS Sports

CBS identified its NFL renewal as the network’s top priority last season, and it’s easy to see why. Last season, NFL games on CBS posted their biggest audiences in six years. The year was about more than just the linear broadcast network for CBS. It solidified several streaming deals for Paramount+, including soccer rights with Serie A, UEFA Champions League and Concacaf national team properties. CBS also made moves internally, hiring its first workplace culture and diversity initiatives officer to foster a more inclusive working environment.


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ESPN not only renewed its NFL deal at a smaller percentage increase than its broadcast rivals, it added a wild-card playoff game and became part of the Super Bowl rotation for the first time since 2005. ESPN also renewed its MLB deal and brought the NHL back to its schedule for the first time since 2004. Its streaming service, ESPN+, posted impressive growth with 21.3 million subscribers. Plus the ESPN brand has been strong on social, including TikTok, where it is one of the most popular brands.


Fox Sports

Fox Sports

Fox Sports took a risk when it put its best college football games in the Saturday noon window. But it paid off, as its Big Noon Saturday drew college football’s biggest audience last year for the first time. Fox Sports found success with its MLB Field of Dreams game in Iowa — MLB’s highest rated regular-season game in 16 years. Fox renewed its NFL deal, poached the Belmont Stakes from NBC, launched the USFL and hired prominent sports voices like Tim Rinaldi, Greg Olsen and Mark Sanchez.


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NBC Sports Group

No sports media company had a busier year than NBC Sports Group. The network produced two Olympics — the COVID-delayed Tokyo Games and the COVID-affected Beijing Games. In between, it produced the first Super Bowl in Los Angeles since 1993. Still, network executives found time to renew rights deals for the NFL and Premier League. NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” extended its record as TV’s top prime-time show for 11 straight years. And NBC set USA Network and Peacock as places for fans to watch live sports.


Turner Sports

Turner Sports

The year for Turner Sports was marked by its entry into the NHL market, as it carried hockey games — including the Winter Classic — for the first time. Led by Turner Sports President Lenny Daniels, Turner renewed its MLB deal and produced another edition of Capital One’s “The Match.” As Discovery completed its acquisition of WarnerMedia, Turner Sports continued to be a leader in social media, posting gaudy engagement rates with its brands like Bleacher Report, House of Highlights and the NBA on TNT.

SBJ Morning Buzzcast: August 9, 2022

The end of the Bowlen era in Denver; Big Ten media deal close? Also, Jake Paul's venture in sports betting and Eck's walk-off.

SBJ I Factor: Jed York

SBJ I Factor: Jed York, presented by Allied Sports SBJ I Factor presented by Allied Sports features an interview with San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York. York is in his 17th year with the organization and his 12th as CEO. He is a two-time SBJ Forty Under 40 honoree as a member of the classes of 2012 and 2013. York talks with SBJ’s Abe Madkour about what he learned from growing up in the sports business, working in multiple departments at the team, the challenges of building Levi’s Stadium, and how his leadership style has evolved through the years. SBJ I Factor is a monthly podcast offering interviews with sports executives who have been recipients of one of the magazine’s awards, such as Forty Under 40, Game Changers and others.

SBJ Spotlight: Warner Bros. Discovery

CNBC media reporter Alex Sherman joins SBJ’s John Ourand to discuss Warner Bros. Discovery’s streaming strategy. The two talk about the company’s interest in sports rights, with Sherman noting that the company is in a cost-cutting mode, which is one reason why it has not been active in media rights negotiations over the past several months.

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