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What Investors Need To Know About The Future Of Streaming Sports

Welcome to the fourth episode of Full-Court Finance, the new podcast from Zacks Investment Research focused on the intersection of sports, business, and the stock market. This week, we dive into how the rise of streaming content might impact live sports as well their linear TV partners.

TV networks are currently fighting for their lives to adapt to the shifting live content landscape as more and more people cut their cable television cords. This year, 22.2 million people in the U.S. will stop their cable television services, marking a 33% year-over-year jump, according to an eMarketer report.

Even live sports have taken a hit, as the NFL’s TV ratings were down 5.5% through week seven of the 2017 season. Part of the NFL’s weak numbers can be blamed on the many controversies surrounding the league, but TV networks and sports leagues need to begin to figure out how they will fight against the overall decline in TV ratings that has dragged live sports down as well.

The good news for investors with ties to companies that are heavily invested in the NFL and other sports such as ESPN parent Disney DIS, CBS CBS, NBC owner Comcast CMCSA, and Fox owner Twenty-First Century FOXA, is that live sports are currently the only events people really want or need to watch live.

Awards shows, presidential debates, and the news also fall into this vital live niche. But people simply don’t need to watch most other TV programs and shows live, and in fact, on-demand, non-appointment viewing is often preferable.

On top of that, streaming sports have not yet become widely popular, with Twitter (TWTR) and Amazon’s (AMZN) poor Thursday Night Football ratings offering strong supporting evidence.

As streaming services such as Hulu Live and YouTube Live start to pair live TV options along with their on-demand streaming content, TV giants like ESPN and CBS need to prepare—and they have.

Make sure you listen to the entire episode of Full-Court Finance if you want to learn more about the future of live sports on TV as the streaming revolution heats up.

If you have any questions about the fourth episode of Full-Court Finance please feel free to shoot us an email over at Please also make sure to check out all of our other podcasts at and remember to subscribe and leave a rating in iTunes.

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