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Disney inks deal with MLB and LaLiga to ESPN+ as streaming revenue slows

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Disney is expanding its presence in the wide world of sports.

Disney has signed on a new seven-year agreement with Major League Baseball and an eight-year pact with Spain’s LaLiga soccer league.

This is latest in a series of sports-programming deals by the entertainment giant of the world.

It’s already the parent of ESPN and now set to broadcast 30 regular MLB games per season.

The soccer deal gives ESPN+ rights to the English and Spanish-language coverage of LaLiga.

It’s all part of ESPN sports-rights renewal binge that’s been happening this year.

Is this a bid to boost subscribers to Disney affiliated networks? The two sports deals represent a big financial commitment. 

“ESPN’s longstanding relationship with Major League Baseball has been a driver of innovation for three decades,” ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro said in a statement.

“This agreement solidifies baseball’s ubiquitous presence across ESPN platforms, including ESPN+.”

According to Bloomberg, Disney will pay $175 million a year for soccer, according to a person familiar with the matter, which would be more than the Premier League’s deal with Comcast Corp.’s NBC.

“For the baseball deal, the sports news site the Athletic reported earlier this year that Disney could be paying as much as $150 million a year less for the package,” Bloomberg said.

It previously had an eight-year deal worth $5.8 billion for considerably more games.

This follows Walt Disney Co missing analysts’ estimates for quarterly revenue.

The slump is being blamed on a decrease in new subscribers to Dinsey Plus and operations at its theme parks remaining restricted.

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Streaming service shift and the award season snubs

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Netflix Introduces Changes to Subscription Model, Academy Award Nominations Spark Cinematic Buzz, and the Doomsday Clock Continues its Ominous Ticking.

Netflix is set to discontinue its ad-free Basic subscription in select countries, commencing with Canada and the UK in Q2 2024.

This strategic shift introduces a significant price increase for the baseline entry, signalling potential adjustments to Netflix’s global pricing structure.

Simultaneously, the 96th edition of the Academy Award nominations has stirred cinematic debates, with the prevailing question being whether the upcoming season will be dominated by “Barbie” or “Oppenheimer.” These contrasting narratives set the stage for a fierce competition, highlighting the diverse and compelling offerings in this year’s film industry.

Beyond the realm of entertainment, the Doomsday Clock, a symbolic representation of the likelihood of a human-made global catastrophe, continues its ominous countdown.

Maintained since 1947 by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the clock serves as a metaphor for threats arising from unchecked scientific and technological advances. As global tensions, environmental challenges, and technological risks persist, the ticking of the Doomsday Clock serves as a poignant reminder of the urgent need to address multifaceted threats to humanity.

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Adidas faces potential $320M Yeezy shoe write-off post-Kanye split

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Adidas is contemplating a significant financial blow as it considers writing off $320 million worth of Yeezy shoes following its separation from music and fashion icon Kanye West.

The sportswear giant’s decision to sever ties with West’s Yeezy brand has left a mountain of unsold merchandise, threatening to dent the company’s balance sheet.

The partnership between Adidas and Kanye West, which began in 2013, had been immensely successful, with Yeezy shoes becoming a highly sought-after fashion statement.

However, recent controversies and disagreements between West and Adidas prompted the sportswear company to distance itself from the celebrity designer.

The massive inventory of Yeezy shoes now presents a dilemma for Adidas, as it grapples with finding a solution to deal with the surplus stock. A $320 million write-off could significantly impact the company’s financial performance in the short term.

Adidas is currently exploring various options, including discounting, donating, or repurposing the unsold inventory to mitigate the financial hit.

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Warner Bros discovery warns of Hollywood’s ‘real risk’ post-strikes’

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Warner Bros Discovery, has issued a stark warning regarding the ‘real risk’ that Hollywood faces in the aftermath of the recent strikes that have taken a considerable toll on the industry’s financial health.

The strikes, which disrupted film and television production for several weeks, resulted in substantial financial losses for studios, production companies, and countless industry professionals.

Warner Bros Discovery emphasised the necessity for a resilient and adaptable approach to navigate the ongoing challenges and uncertainties facing the film and television sector.

The conglomerate stressed the importance of implementing measures to mitigate such risks in the future, which include fostering better labour relations and contingency planning to safeguard against potential disruptions.

The message underlined the need for the industry to adapt to the evolving landscape of content creation and distribution, particularly in the digital era.

This warning from Warner Bros Discovery highlights the need for the entertainment industry to recognise the ever-changing dynamics and economic challenges, and the importance of preparedness to maintain its prominent position in the global market.

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