I know I’m preaching to the choir at this point, but let’s just say it would be utter madness by both Comcast and Marquee not to get a deal done before Friday’s opener.
Consider the latest data point. Advertisers are betting BIG and early that ratings for baseball are going to be huge:
MLB advertisers are betting that there's a pent-up demand of viewers that want to see baseball. Fox's regular season is 90% sold before the first pitch is even thrown. https://t.co/BeXsRuxBlT
— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) July 22, 2020
That marks a 50% higher fill of ad space by the time a normal season is about to open. There’s a lot less inventory to go around with just 60 games, of course, but it’s also simply a calculated gamble by advertisers. So for us, and for Comcast/Marquee, it’s a big data point.
Per the SBJ report, the demand for local regional sports network inventory has been even more absurd, as local and regional advertisers have had no options for live content:
On a local level, RSN inventory will be virtually sold out by next week, according to an executive with Home Team Sports, which sells national ads across the regional networks. Several teams, including the Dodgers, Braves and Tigers, already are “oversold,” said HTS Exec VP Craig Sloan. “It’s been the most interested and highest demand that I’ve felt, and I’ve been in this business a long time,” Sloan said. “That pent-up frustration is not just from fans. It’s also from brands that have not been able to get out with this type of content.”
The most interested and highest demand he’s ever felt.
And at present, the Cubs’ new RSN cannot reach half of the team’s fans in the Chicago area. That means that pent-up advertiser demand? It’s probably being held in abeyance. That’s more of a problem for Marquee than for Comcast, which makes its money not on the ads but on monthly fees paid by its subscribers. Of course, the pent-up advertiser demand is a proxy for the pent-up fan demand, which you would think would matter to a service provider in the Chicago area?
The season opens in two days. Get. The. Deal. Done. To. Serve. Your. Fans. And. Customers.