Time Inc. to Launch Sports Illustrated TV Without Live Sports Programming
Time Inc. (TIME) is launching a subscription ($4.99/mo.) streaming service, built around the Sports Illustrated franchise, to help offset declining revenues from their legacy print business. Sports Illustrated TV will launch on Amazon Channels (AMZN) with 130 hours of programming (documentaries, studio shows, sports movies etc.), but no live sports. The company is working to increase distribution and is also exploring a D-T-C model. TIME hopes a large portion of the 2.8 million who subscribe to Sports Illustrated in print, will sign up for the service.
Howie Long-Short: CEO Rich Battista has been aggressive with the company’s digital (advertising, content licensing and syndication, digital-only subs etc.) and video (including television) efforts, and that focus has begun to pay off; recently telling investors he expects the company to generate $1 billion in non-print revenue in 2017. That growth hasn’t been fast enough to offset the company’s rapidly declining print revenues though. TIME just reported Q3 revenue declined 9% YOY (to $679 million).
Fan Marino: Sports Illustrated TV programming will include; a basketball lifestyle show hosted by SI.com writers Matt Dollinger and Rohan Nadkarni, a documentary series focused on athletes that were once featured in the print magazine, a gambling and daily fantasy show and sports films. I really like the concept of an archive full of sports movies; but at a time when there are 204 video streaming offerings (including subscription services) available within the U.S., I’m certain I can find comparable programming elsewhere (and likely for free).
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