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Spotlight: Walavalkar, Burton help SBJ analyze the latest big stories

In today’s "SBJ Spotlight" Roundtable, our Abe Madkour and John Ourand are joined by LiveLike CEO MIHEER WALAVALKAR and Syracuse sports management professor RICK BURTON to talk about big news in sports business. Topics included the ratings strength of the NFL and the Cowboys; confusion in college sports and the CFP; tech advances and the metaverse; and how NBC is just trying to get through the Beijing Games on the way to Paris and L.A.

QUICK HITS:

  • Ourand on NFL viewership: “One thing that I always point to is Week 18. On Saturday night, there were two meaningless games: one involving the Dallas Cowboys -- that's always the big ratings getter -- one involving Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. The Cowboys were the biggest audience of that week. And the Chiefs were in the top three or four. Just phenomenal.”
  • Walavalkar on the Australian Open’s selling NFTs based on its line-judging technology: “It was a really interesting use case, the way they put it out there. In fact, market has spoken as well, right? They were sold out within three minutes. So clearly there was demand for it. … If NFTs end up becoming a repackaged hospitality experience, I don't see, I'm not bullish on that trend, but if you are creating new use cases and new utilities … I definitely see that trend growing.”

Hear the audio-only version.

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SBJ Spotlight: TikTok’s threat to traditional sports media

While tech companies are consumed with finding ways to compete with TikTok, almost no one in conventional media “spends any time talking about it,” said Recode senior correspondent Peter Kafka in an Spotlight interview with SBJ’s John Ourand. “To me, that’s just an obvious disconnect.” Kafka authored a recent column headlined, “It’s TikTok’s world. Can TV live in it?” He said the main response to TikTok’s growth from traditional media execs has been to “punt and hope it’s someone else’s problem a quarter from now or two years from now.” But Kafka said that ignores the trend of conventional broadcast audiences growing older while a billion younger consumers spend most of their media time watching short video after short video. “If you’re in the business of getting anyone under the age of 30 to look at what you’re putting on a screen, you have to think about the fact that you’re probably asking them to put down TikTok and watch your thing instead,” said Kafka. “That’s a very difficult ask. … [TikTok] is insanely addictive.”

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