Super Regional Schedule

Saturday: 5:30 p.m., ESPN2

Sunday: 2 p.m., ESPN

Monday: 6 p.m., ESPN (if necessary) … -saturday/

An actual Hog TV event, priceless…

I understand what you are saying and I know there is ease for some in the game being on traditional cable and satellite, but I have had no problem watching any Razorback baseball game this year when it is streamed. The $45 Roku (or FireStick or Apple TV, etc.) investment is integral to every sports fan’s viewing experience moving forward. This is the way of the future as more and more games are streamed.

My friend Steve Dittmore is a professor of sports management at the University of Arkansas. He recently authored a piece that touches on the changing landscape of sports on TV: … drops-btn/

This was the excerpt that I thought was most telling:

The value in controlling access to live sports rights, it seems, may no longer be the panacea it once was for networks. If anything, the enormous fees it paid to acquire those rights may weigh down a network’s ability to be distributed as it seeks to recoup those costs through subscriber fees. Comcast’s recent decision to dump the Big Ten Network from its non-Big Ten market systems illustrates how this power dynamic has shifted from networks to the distributors who deliver the networks to consumers through carriage agreements. Traditional, large multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) had long enjoyed monopoly power in a given market.

Now that monopoly advantage is being challenged by the growing cord-cutting trend and the rise of virtual MVPDs such as YouTube TV, which bought time as presenting sponsor of the 2017 World Series. As evidence of this transition, Shalini Ramachandran reported in last Friday’s Wall Street Journal that Charter lost 122,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2018, triple the 40,000 analysts anticipated. Additionally, Apptopia reported last week that DirecTV Now, fuboTV and Hulu Live all recorded more than 160% increase in monthly active users (MAU) from March 2017 to March 2018. YouTubeTV was launched in April 2017 and was excluded from the report. While Playstation Vue remained flat, Sling TV lost 34% of its MAUs.

Collectively, the vMVPD customer base now exceeds more than 4.6 million users, representing one-third of the 13 million people who have cut the cord since 2010. Ramachandran reported a MoffettNathanson estimate pegging the number at nine million cord cutters since 2015. And more alternatives to the traditional cable bundle seem to appear monthly, all attempting to differentiate themselves in some fashion, such as the upstart AT&T Watch which is eschewing sports altogether in an attempt to capture a share of the market that does not wish to pay for sports.

Last September I wrote about cord-cutting in this space. I suggested at that time “The future of sports media consumption, and television consumption in general, certainly seems destined to be controlled from a consumer’s tablet or phone, rather than a set top box.”

There is an entire generation that sees the cable box the way the VCR or home phone are viewed - outdated, relics of the past. As that generation makes up the majority of the target consumer base, the providers are going to shift more toward their preferred style of consumption. I’m convinced that at some point there will not be a cable or satellite cord in any household and that all programming will be web-based. People have to get with the times while the technology is still emerging, lest they be left behind when it is the only way of doing business. I was apprehensive about cutting my cable cord but I have not missed it one bit. In fact, I prefer the setup I have now to the one I used to have, not only because of the cost but because of the ease of navigation.