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Episode 2 with ESPN’s Jimmy Pitaro


Sports Business Journal and The New York Post today released the second episode of a new podcast hosted by top sports media journalists in the business, John Ourand of SBJ and Andrew Marchand of The Post. ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro joins the podcast’s featured guest.

Quick shots from today’s episode:

  • Pitaro on when the main ESPN channel will be available direct to consumers: “We’re just not there yet. There is no science. We are not sitting in a conference room saying, “If we fall below this number [of cable subscriptions], we then flip the switch and move on. ‘ What I’m going to tell you is that we are tracking the customer on a regular basis, and as the customer moves into direct-to-consumer platforms, we move the content. And, yes, we have gained the ability to do that through these agreements that we have made. “

  • Who’s up and who’s down after MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred publicly criticized the Sinclair Broadcast Group at the CAA World Sports Congress in New York.

    Trader: “Who is standing is Rob Manfred. Yes. At the SBJ conference, he looked at Sinclair on how they run regional sports networks. And how, if they have rights, they want to go directly to the consumer. And he says, yeah, not so fast. They want to play. He says, not so fast. I like it when the commissioners are frank. So, Rob Manfred, you get my ‘on the way’. “

    Ourand: “It’s so funny, because my ‘on the way down’ is Chris Ripley, the CEO of Sinclair. I mean, the problem was, he told anyone who wanted to listen to him… that he was going to launch a direct-to-consumer streaming service with the 14 MLB teams he had. Well, yesterday Rob Manfred said [Ripley] does not have the right to do so. He only has 14 teams, so he doesn’t have enough teams. And not only that, he doesn’t even have the gaming rights that they’ve based their entire business on. I have never seen a league commissioner take on such a strong league partner. There is obviously a lot of bad blood out there. “

New episodes of “The Marchand & Ourand Sports Media Podcast” will begin every Wednesday. The audio podcast is available on Spotify, Apple, and other podcast platforms. The video version will be available on SBJ.TV and on the Swiss Post website.

Each episode will feature Marchand and Ourand’s comments on the biggest news in sports media, along with their picks for the top calls of the week, and who’s up and down in the media business. They will also welcome distinguished guests from across the industry.