Out-of-market sports package

In North America, an out-of-market sports package is a form of subscription television that broadcasts sporting events to areas where the events are unable to be seen by viewers on other broadcast and cable television networks due to the games not being broadcast in their local market.

Many leagues with major television contracts establish elaborate rules regarding which games are broadcast in different regions (with local teams usually getting preference). For viewers who prefer to see a game other than the one being locally broadcast in their designated market area, the out-of market package provides additional options.

Rationales

While such a thing may not appear necessary to the average sports fan who lives in the market of their team, many circumstances may be in place that generate the desire to view teams out of market. Some include:

  • Fans moving from the market of their favorite team – while that team could be viewed nationally on broadcast or cable television, or when the team plays the local sports franchise, those opportunities are few and far between;
  • Simply being a fan of an out of market team;[1]
  • Better competition – such as in the case of college football and basketball. For example, the option to watch a few of the most competitive or most interesting national games each week, in addition to one's home team's games. Except for the Southeastern Conference, for example, no conference is assured of a national game of the week at the same time slot every week;
  • Additional opportunities to watch one sport – such as when a home team may not have a game to play, or creating one's own doubleheader; watching an early game, then a late game;
  • Rivalries – having the desire to watch a rival team's games, or games of teams in the same athletic conference or division as one's favorite teams, which may not be regularly available in one's market;
  • Living in an area without an in-market team at the highest level in a sport – this usually means availability only of nationally televised games. Though these will often show a regional game, it may be the "most interesting" regional game, resulting in many missed games even when following the geographically closest team. Leagues will often designate "secondary markets" to prevent this from happening;
  • Involvement in a fantasy sports league – a sports fan who is "managing" a fantasy team may have the desire to watch the performance of players in several games that are being played simultaneously and thus has the ability to switch back and forth between games.
  • Blackouts – most major sports leagues have a blackout policy that prevents viewers of a particular television channel (usually a regional sports network) from seeing games on that channel outside of a certain geographic area (specifically to direct out of town viewers to the package).[2]

Packages

Cable and satellite

* NFL Sunday Ticket is exclusive to DirecTV in the United States, but in other countries (most notably Canada) it is available more broadly, on several cable providers.

Internet

With the exception of ESPN3, Internet sports packages are primarily marketed directly to consumers and not through cable or satellite providers. Current Internet television and radio subscription or pay-per-view services include:

Major League Baseball and the National Football League are the only professional sports leagues to black out local affiliates' internet radio feeds. Ironically, while the NFL charges money for radio feeds, it sells the Internet television rights to other networks that make those games available online for free, the opposite model of the other U.S cities major sports leagues.

See also

References

  1. ^ Dewitt, Burton (2009-01-10). "The Trouble with Being An Out of Market Sports Fan". Rice Standard. Rice University. Retrieved 2011-02-14.
  2. ^ "Sports Blackout Rules [PDF 183 KB] - US Government Publishing Office" (PDF).
Barker channel

A barker channel is a form of digital signage, operating in the form of a television channel that is entirely composed of sales promotion and advertising, usually marketing various features of the service carrying the channel. The name is derived from the circus barker, who stood outside a circus and shouted to passers-by to encourage them to enter to view the entertainment being provided by the attraction.

The systems are similar to character generators (CG), incorporating features such as motion graphics and have the ability to play video clips controlled by broadcast automation systems.

Braves TBS Baseball

Braves TBS Baseball (or Braves Baseball on TBS) was a presentation of regular season Major League Baseball game telecasts featuring the Atlanta Braves National League franchise that aired on the American cable and satellite network TBS. The games were produced by Turner Sports, the sports division of the Turner Broadcasting System subsidiary of Time Warner, TBS's corporate parent. The program, which made its debut in 1973, ended national broadcasts in 2007.

TBS phased out its national coverage of Braves baseball after it was awarded an MLB-wide national broadcast contract effective in 2008. WPCH-TV, the rebranded former originating signal of the TBS superstation feed, retained Atlanta-market rights to a partial schedule of Braves games through 2013, but primary rights moved to cable regional sports networks, eventually settling with Fox Sports South. TBS may select Braves games for national broadcast on equal grounds with other MLB clubs, but their national broadcast would be blacked out in the Braves' MLB-designated territory if the regional rights-holder carries the game as well.

DAZN

DAZN (pronounced "Da Zone"; də-ZOHN) is a subscription video streaming service owned by Perform Group. The service is dedicated to sports, offering live and on-demand streaming of events from various properties. It first launched in Austria, Germany, Japan, and Switzerland in August 2016, and in Canada the following year. It was launched in the United States and Italy in 2018, and in Spain and Brazil in 2019.

ESPN College Extra

ESPN College Extra is an American out-of-market sports package owned by ESPN, Inc.. It was launched on September 5, 2015 as a merger of the existing ESPN Full Court and ESPN GamePlan, each of which offered college basketball and college football broadcasts respectively.

ESPN College Extra broadcasts are drawn from the available live games from ESPN3. ESPN College Extra broadcasts college sports from NCAA FBS and FCS conferences, including football, basketball, baseball, softball. The programming is across eight channels.

ESPN Full Court

ESPN Full Court was an out-of-market sports package in the United States that carried college basketball games. The package consisted of about 150 games annually, from the season tipoff in November to the first two rounds of the NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Championship in mid- to late-March. The suggested retail price was $109 for the entire season, $75 for a half-season (only available in late January), and $19.95 for a single day. The season package was renewable. Full-season packages were not available for the online version.

On August 28, 2015, the channel was replaced by ESPN College Extra and the package was much less promoted or available than it has been in the past with the drawing down of pay-per-view to select special events; all of Full Court's events are available through WatchESPN via various ESPN3 streams without cost through TV Everywhere authentication.

ESPN GamePlan

ESPN GamePlan was an out-of-market sports package offering college football games to viewers throughout the United States.

GamePlan began on Labor Day weekend, and continued through the first Saturday in December. It included all regional telecasts on ABC, as well as games from various syndicators like ESPN Plus, Raycom Sports and SportsWest, and some local stations like Allentown, Pennsylvania's WFMZ-TV which broadcast locally-produced college football games. Viewers could watch games from their cable or satellite provider or on the ESPN3 broadband Internet service.

Eventually, with carriage of ESPN3 moving from computers only to smartphones, tablets and digital media players allowing access without any additional fees, GamePlan became a superfluous package, with only the few providers who refused to offer ESPN3 or where ESPN3 access was limited (for instance, rural areas) really able to compel viewers to use the service.

On August 28, 2015, the package was discontinued, along with ESPN Full Court, to make way for ESPN College Extra, which will offer a select bundle of games that would previously have been broadcast by GamePlan and Full Court.

Fox Sports West and Prime Ticket

Fox Sports West and Prime Ticket are American regional sports networks owned by The Walt Disney Company, and operate as Fox Sports Networks affiliates. The channels broadcast regional coverage of professional and collegiate sports events in California, focusing primarily on professional sports teams based in the Greater Los Angeles area. Fox Sports West and Prime Ticket maintain general offices and studios based at the Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles.

Both Fox Sports West and Prime Ticket are available on cable providers throughout Southern California, the Las Vegas Valley and Hawaii; it is also available nationwide on satellite via DirecTV, Dish Network, and via IPTV providers Sling TV and PlayStation Vue.

Free preview

A free preview (also called a free preview weekend and sometimes referred to under the portmanteau "freeview") is an extended period – typically ranging anywhere from two days to one month on average – in which a pay television service is offered to customers of a cable, IPTV or satellite television provider at no cost, mainly as an incentive for subscribers to purchase the service.

MLB Extra Innings

MLB Extra Innings is an Out-of-Market Sports Package distributed in North America by satellite provider DirecTV since 1996 and by most cable providers since 2001. The package allows its subscribers to see up to 80 out-of-market Major League Baseball games a week using local over the air stations and regional sports networks.

As of the 2008 season, the feeds from both teams' broadcasts are available for each game on DirecTV, even if a team is showing the game locally on a broadcast station. Even though the package relies on satellite uplink paths, DirecTV also carries feeds from local broadcast and even cable-only networks as well, such as NBC Sports Philadelphia for the Philadelphia Phillies. Feeds that are not included on the DirecTV version of Extra Innings include KCAL (Dodgers), KCOP-TV (Angels), KNTV (Giants), and WCIU (Cubs and White Sox) unless that is your local area.The iN DEMAND version of Extra Innings added the "dual feed" system for select broadcasts after the 2008 MLB All-Star Game. Along with this, the iN DEMAND version of MLB Extra Innings has been able to add broadcast television stations, WKYC (Indians), WJZ-TV (Orioles), WUSA (Nationals), WPIX (Mets, Yankees), WPHL-TV (Phillies), and in addition, one Canadian RSN, the Toronto Blue Jays' Rogers Sports Net feed. Previously, only one feed was available, usually the home team's. For the 2017 season, Comcast X1 customers could get all MLB EI games in HDTV, using the Beta IN DEMAND platform. DirecTV has offered all MLB EI (Most with dual HD feeds) games in HDTV for years.

Free previews of MLB Extra Innings are shown during the first week of the season, and the week after the All Star Game.

MLS Direct Kick

MLS Direct Kick is an Out-of-Market Sports Package distributed by most cable and satellite providers in North America. As of the 2011 season, package subscribers will be able to watch up to 221 Major League Soccer regular season games as well as some MLS Cup playoff matches. The target market for this package (based on advertisements) is soccer fans who are unable to see games because they have moved out of that team's market.

Mega March Madness

Mega March Madness was a pay-per-view out-of-market sports package covering games in the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship which was exclusive to DirecTV from 2002 until 2010 and supplemented the coverage from CBS Sports. The charge for the package was a one-time $69 charge per year.

NBA League Pass

The NBA League Pass is a sports television service that features all National Basketball Association games. The service is operated by Turner Broadcasting System on behalf of the NBA. It was made available prior to the start of the 1995-1996 NBA season. It is available to viewers in the United States and as an international package for all other countries. The pricing structure and services on offer are different, depending on where the viewer is located. The 2013-14 season was the 20th year of League Pass. Full League Pass access for the 2014-15 season was priced at $199 for US customers, for comparison the premium service was £169.99 for UK viewers (these prices are for access to the full season prior to the first game and before any discounts, in previous seasons prices have dropped as the season moves closer towards the play-offs).

NBA TV

NBA TV is an American sports-oriented pay television network that is owned by the National Basketball Association (NBA) and operated by Turner Sports. Dedicated to basketball, the network features exhibition, regular season and playoff game broadcasts from the NBA and related professional basketball leagues, as well as NBA-related content including analysis programs, specials and documentaries. The network also serves as the national broadcaster of the NBA G League and WNBA games. NBA TV is the oldest subscription network in North America to be owned or controlled by a professional sports league, having launched on March 17, 1999.

As of January 2016, NBA TV is available to approximately 53.8 million pay television households in America. The highest measured audience was a Golden State Warriors vs San Antonio Spurs regular season game on April 10, 2016 with an average 2.6 million viewers.

NFL Game Pass

NFL Game Pass is a subscription based audio and video service which allows users to hear and watch live and archived National Football League (NFL) games via an Internet connection. For users in North America, only out-of-market preseason games can be viewed live; full replays of all the games become available on demand after their original live broadcasts end. Live preseason, regular season, and postseason games are available to international users.

The NFL originally offered different subscription packages. NFL Audio Pass, formerly NFL Field Pass, was an Internet radio out-of-market sports package that provided live and archived audio broadcasts of NFL games. NFL Game Rewind provided archived games for users in North America to watch. And the original NFL Game Pass package offered live and archived preseason, regular season, and postseason games to international users. All of these packages were integrated into a single NFL Game Pass platform prior to the 2015 season.

NFL Sunday Ticket

NFL Sunday Ticket is an out-of-market sports package that broadcasts National Football League (NFL) regular season games unavailable on local affiliates. It carries all regional Sunday afternoon games produced by Fox and CBS. The ideal customer of this package is presumed (based on advertisements) to be a fan of a team who is unable to see their team on local television because they do not reside in one of that team's markets, or sports bars who want to increase business by attracting fans of out of town teams. The package is distributed in the United States exclusively by AT&T Inc. under its DirecTV unit (which also offers it on the Internet, on certain tablets and smartphones, and JetBlue flights); in Canada on streaming service DAZN, in Mexico and Latin America on SKY México, in South America and the Caribbean on Vrio, and several cable providers in The Bahamas and Bermuda.

NHL Center Ice

For the Canadian service, see NHL Centre Ice.NHL Center Ice is an out-of-market sports package distributed by most cable and satellite providers in the United States and Canada. The package allows its subscribers to see up to forty out-of-market National Hockey League games a week using local and national television networks.

NHL Center Ice includes Canadian broadcasts, such as NHL on Sportsnet and CBC's Hockey Night in Canada. It also has included out-of-region games broadcast on NBC. Occasionally, French-language feeds from TVA Sports may be used if no English-language broadcast is available. Pay-per-view games (e.g. Edmonton Oilers) are included as well. For some cable viewers and those subscribing via Dish Network or DirecTV, both teams' feeds are available for most games. Other cable subscribers may be limited to only one feed and also have a smaller selection of high-definition games.

Some providers offer high definition broadcasts when available. A number of providers put Center Ice on the same channels as MLB Extra Innings; hockey often gets priority because the conflict occurs during April, at the end of the regular season and beginning of the playoffs.

A free preview is usually shown during the first three weeks of the NHL season and right after (or a few weeks after) the All Star Game (or, until 2014, the Olympic break in years when the Winter Olympics occur).

NHL Centre Ice

For the American service, see NHL Center Ice.

NHL Centre Ice is a Canadian digital cable subscription out-of-market sports package controlled and distributed by Rogers Communications through Rogers Cable as of 2014. It is offered by three national satellite television service providers, Bell TV, TELUS Optik TV, Telus Satellite TV, and Shaw Direct and many digital cable television providers such as Eastlink, Shaw, Cogeco and more.

It offers NHL regular season and select playoff games that are played outside the local viewing area using American local and national television networks such as Fox Sports Net and other sports networks like NBC. It offers both standard and high definition games.

Pay television

Pay television or subscription television are subscription-based television services, usually provided by both analog and digital cable and satellite television, but also increasingly via digital terrestrial, IPTV and internet television. Subscription television began in the multi-channel transition and transitioned into the post-network era. Some parts of the world, notably in France, Latin America and the United States, have also offered encrypted analog terrestrial signals available for subscription.

Sports broadcasting contracts in Canada

This article refers to Sports broadcasting contracts in Canada. For broadcasting rights lists of other countries, see Sports television broadcast contracts.

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