“There is so much choice out there that has never existed (before),” said Keith Pelley, a longtime Canadian sports media executive who’s now CEO of golf’s European Tour. “That’s the reason why (1970s variety show) Donny & Marie had a 60 share. It was because there was very limited choice.”
Many sports consumers still pay for traditional cable while others pick and choose online packages — direct-to-consumer, or over-the-top (OTT) — and subscribe by the year, month, week, or even the day, depending on the event and the outlet. Broadcasts are available on laptops, digital media players, desktops, smartphones, and of course, old-school television.
The game has changed over the last few years and more developments can be expected as the domestic sports broadcasting scene evolves.
“I always say A, B, C: Always be changing. If you’re not, then you definitely run the risk of falling behind,” Pelley said from Surrey, England. “But there’s no question that you know what (viewers) want, they want unlimited choice. But also you have to understand that different demographics want different things.”
Former Sportsnet president Scott Moore, the CEO of media company Uninterrupted Canada, predicts that direct-to-consumer options and sports betting will be the two biggest developments that will impact sports broadcasts over the next five years.
Moore, speaking at the recent PrimeTime sports management conference in Toronto, said direct-to-consumer is a game-changer with its “ultimate bandwidth.”
“Every sport, every game, every contest can be broadcast and broadcast in multiple ways to multiple different end points,” he said. “So if you’re a consumer, you can watch on your big-screen TV, you can watch on your tablet, you can watch on your phone. You can watch the English broadcast, you can watch the Punjabi broadcast, you can watch the Japanese broadcast.
“Soon you’ll be able to watch a broadcast that is brought to you by regular commentators, you’ll be able to watch a broadcast that’s all about sports betting, you may be able to watch a broadcast that is specifically targeted to high-end stats geeks.”
Moore added that in traditional prime time there can be limited shelf space, but an unlimited schedule really opens things up.
“So that’s the one area that I think is just going to have an explosion effect on sports media,” he said. “The other is sports betting. Sports betting, as it becomes legal in Canada — and I believe it will be legal in Canada in the next two years — will impact every part of the sports ecosystem.”
Moore’s successor at Sportsnet, Bart Yabsley, said the live nature of sports is tough for other forms of entertainment to match.
“It has the ability to draw millions and millions and millions,” Yabsley said in a recent interview. “We all saw what happened during the Blue Jays’ run (in ’15 and ’16). We all saw what happened during the Raptors’ run (last spring). There’s almost nothing else like it.”
Sportsnet landed the national hockey rights in 2013 with a monster $5.23-billion, 12-year deal with the NHL. The network also has rights to the Toronto Blue Jays, Grand Slam curling, Rogers Cup tennis, IndyCar and the Canadian Hockey League.
The Toronto Raptors’ rights are split between Sportsnet and TSN, which also boasts a solid lineup with regional NHL rights, the world juniors, CFL, Season of Champions curling, golf and tennis majors along with Formula One and NASCAR.
Moore, who like Pelley has worked at both Sportsnet/Rogers and TSN, said when it comes to evolution, smart legacy players with strong brands have the best chance to succeed.
“They’re the ones who not only have the brand, who have the audience, who have the following, but if they’re on top of the evolutionary technological changes, they can still win. It’s not going to be just the upstarts,” he said. “And I think if you look at some of the upstarts that have come out in the business as it relates to sports — Twitter, Facebook, Amazon — have been abject failures at revolutionizing the way traditional sports are broadcast.
“They’ve all tried to do traditional broadcasts and they’ve all failed at them. And the legacy players are back doing most of the broadcasts and using those other platforms as additions to their broadcasts.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 20, 2019.
Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.
Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press
'We're the same as everyone else, just smaller': Local student promoting dwarfism awareness on social media – CTV News Kitchener
Isabella Lamanna is using the power of social media to raise awareness about dwarfism.
The first-year University of Guelph student was born with a form of dwarfism called diastrophic dysplasia.
“I’m trying to raise awareness and educate people who may not know about it,” said Lammana, who’s originally from Markham.
She joined TikTok at the start of the pandemic and began posting videos about what it’s like to live as a little person.
“There’s also the fun ones, the dancing ones, singing ones … the past year, I’ve gained almost a million followers, it’s pretty crazy,” said Lammana.
Lammana said her goal is to promote a better understanding of people with dwarfism.
“We prefer to be called our names … but if anything ‘little person,’ ‘dwarf’ is OK too as long as it’s not used in a harmful way,” she said. “But one word that is not tolerable in the community is the m-word.”
In some of her TikTok videos, Lammana debunks misconceptions like not being able to drive or have kids, hoping to remove barriers for others.
“We’re the same as everyone else, just smaller,” said Lammana.
Lammana’s work goes beyond the screen. She is a patient ambassador for Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto and a volunteer with Little People of Ontario, a non-profit advocacy group for those with dwarfism and their families.
The group’s president, Allan Redford, said Lammana is helping share their key message that “we’re not a character, we’re a real person. We would like to be treated the way you would like to be treated.”
Lamanna and Redford both said while there are still those who are ignorant, pointing and laughing or telling insensitive jokes about little people, they’re hopeful for more acceptance.
“With a little bit of accommodation, a little bit of help, a little bit of equitable treatment and kindness and inclusion … we can get there and that’s where we want to go,” said Redford.
National Dwarfism Awareness Day is Oct. 25, a day to wear green, the official colour of support.
Trump's Truth Social media platform is a perfect mess – MSNBC
Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced the launch of a media company and a social media platform designed, in his words, to “stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech.” And so far the platform, called Truth Social (of course!), has been as true to form as one could’ve imagined: a ramshackle, derivative project that expresses Trump’s desperate thirst for power and profit.
Trump isn’t trying to win over the market by creating a unique media experience.
The janky and rushed nature of Truth Social was immediately apparent. While in his announcement Trump said a beta version is meant to be available to invited guests in November and a national rollout is expected in early 2022, pranksters and curious journalists found what appeared to be an unreleased test version of the site within hours and proceeded to flood it.
Immediately people snatched up VIP handles like “donaldtrump” and “mikepence.” The person who grabbed “donaldjtrump” swiftly pinned a photo of a pig defecating on their profile. That site has been pulled offline, but at least one other test version has been circulating, as well, suggesting striking technical vulnerabilities.
As Washington Post tech reporter Drew Harwell notes in his analysis, the website is a crude, uncreative knockoff of Trump’s favorite social media platform — and it is also somehow already violating licensing codes:
The site looks almost entirely like a Twitter clone: A user can post Truths, which are like tweets, or Re-Truths, which are retweets. There’s also a news feed, called the Truth Feed, a notification system so users can know “who’s interacting with your TRUTH’s,” the social network’s App Store profile states.
The site’s code shows it runs a mostly unmodified version of Mastodon, the free, open-source software launched in 2016 that anyone can use to run a self-made social networking site.
Mastodon founder Eugen Rochko told The Post Thursday that Trump’s site may violate Mastodon’s licensing rules, which require developers to share any modifications and link to the original source code. Rochko said he has contacted the company’s legal counsel to make a determination.
Using a link to what appeared to be another test site that hasn’t been taken down, I was easily able to create a profile. Given its extreme similarity to Twitter (although with a strikingly drab color scheme) it wasn’t hard to navigate. But when you publish posts you don’t hit “Tweet” — you hit a button that says “TRUTH!”
Every post from every user is a “Truth,” not because of the substance of what someone is saying, but by virtue of where they are saying it.
In addition to the vapid design, it was easy to sense the next step in Trump’s project to lay waste to the idea of shared reality. Every post from every user is a “Truth,” not because of the substance of what someone is saying, but by virtue of where they are saying it: Trump’s social media space. This principle is key to Trump’s authoritarian paradigm, in which truth is not tethered to reality or reason, but instead to the will to power and tribalism — something is true because my tribe and I want it to be true.
The site’s technical woes and uninspired design might not deter new users, because Trump isn’t trying to win over the market by creating a unique media experience. Instead he’s looking to create a unique ideological space. Trump’s media group claims it wants to create a “non-cancellable global community,” by which it means a social media platform that is populated solely by people on the right, and establishes little to no regulation surrounding abuse, disinformation, calls to violence and bigotry.
The crux of the matter, however, is to create a forum where Trump has free rein to speak as he wishes to and be adulated for it. “We live in a world where the Taliban has a huge presence on Twitter, yet your favorite American President has been silenced,” he wrote in his announcement. “This is unacceptable.”
Trump’s new media venture ticks all the classic Trump boxes: money, power, ego. If it’s successful, it could be an asset in keeping his potential 2024 aspirations alive. But whether his base finds the site to be a tolerable experience remains an open question.
Media Advisory: Premier Furey to Provide Details on Period Products in Schools – News Releases – Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
The Honourable Andrew Furey, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador will join the Honourable Pam Parsons, Minister Responsible for the Office of Women and Gender Equality and the Honourable Tom Osborne, Minister of Education to provide an update on plans for providing free period products in K-12 schools.
The event will take place Monday, October 25 at 10:30 a.m. at Brother Rice Junior High, 75 Bonaventure Avenue, St. John’s.
Physical distancing and other public health guidelines will be in place.
– 30 –
Office of the Premier
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