Weekly Column: Post-Pandemic, More Streaming, Gambling, and Theater-Going

In his capacity as a Columnist for California Sports Lawyer®, Founder Jeremy Evans has written a column about the increase of streaming entertainment, media, and sports content, sports betting, experiential and theater-going in a post-pandemic environment.

You can read the full column below.

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In a post-pandemic world, there seems to be more of the same. People continue to consume more content with increasing numbers on streaming platforms. As people continue to consume more content, particularly of the live sports variety, there is an increase of interest sports betting (mobile and sportsbooks, depending on state law). As theaters are hoping for and expecting the masses this summer, AMC is investing in new technology through laser projectors.

AMC’s technology update is the first since the move to digital years ago. The move also signals that Sony’s recent box office success is reason for joy and more people in seats. With Netflix losing 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2022, which caused its stock to drop by more than 35% ($45 billion dollars), the National Association of Theatre Owners has open arms to accept films from Netflix if their strategy goes beyond streaming and gets some of its films into theaters for a traditional theatrical distribution. As it was Netflix’s first quarterly loss of subscribers in ten years, the streamer put a hold on purchasing live sports rights, but it will still pursue sports documentaries. Sports documentaries and sports in general likely being the most untapped market in content, but waiting to burst at the seams.

More streaming platforms means more consumer choice, competition, and decisions to subscribe or not. The competition means more subscribers overall, but less for one platform as the wealth spreads across the industry. Theater’s might provide a balance to the strategy to not be so reliant on one pathway to success. The experiential side of entertainment will only continue to grow as people feel safe to explore again—pent-up desire to see more things and people. MGM’s new sphere in Las Vegas is betting on just that—20,000 fans to enjoy life outside the home again.

One streaming strategy is increasing the amount of live sports on streaming platforms. This is important for two reasons. First, more people are streaming in increasing numbers. Second, streamers want to attract and keep people on their platforms. This is why Apple is pursuing NFL Sunday Ticket for its streamer and Amazon is trying to land the new post-Thanksgiving Friday NFL and WNBA games for its platform. On the international front, TelevisaUnivision has benefitted significantly from its merger and the purchasing of live sports rights across multiple leagues and sports.

The combination of more live sports on streaming platforms (e.g., broader public access) and favorable state laws that are allowing sports betting, the result has been a significant increase in spending on sports betting. This has led to the first-ever authorized sports betting endorsement for an active professional athlete between Colorado Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon and MaximBet, which is now allowed under the new MLB-MLBPA collective bargaining agreement. Speaking of betting, Las Vegas is also expecting a significant increase in spending and attendance to its city because of sports—and so are the Oakland Athletics.

As the world opens up, physically and mentally, streaming will continue make its mark along with an increase in sports betting and theater attendance.

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About Jeremy M. Evans:  

Jeremy M. Evans is the Chief Entrepreneur Officer, Founder & Managing Attorney at California Sports Lawyer®, representing entertainment, media, and sports clientele in contractual, intellectual property, and dealmaking matters. Evans is an award-winning attorney and industry leader based in Los Angeles. He can be reached at Jeremy@CSLlegal.com. www.CSLlegal.com.

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Jeremy M. Evans is the CEO, Founder & Managing Attorney at California Sports Lawyer®, representing entertainment, media, and sports clientele and is licensed to practice law in California.