At the latest SVB MoffettNathanson media conference, Nexstar’s CEO Perry Sook revealed the company is “willing to program sports on the weekends” and plans to expand its live sports portfolio, starting with college football and motorsports.
This is a great time to do so as multiple sports leagues’ contracts are readying for negotiations or are set to expire before the end of this year. A lot of leagues and networks are fully looking into all available options in order to secure the best possible deal to get the most exposure for their teams and advertisers.
The CW is under the Nexstar Media Group umbrella and ventured into live sports recently by broadcasting LIV Golf events. “We had to go get it and we had to do a lot of selling but we did get it. They were willing to take a chance with us. We were willing to take a chance with them. I think both parties are pleased,” said Sook.
Despite a slew of controversies surrounding that acquisition and low viewership, Nexstar said it is looking for a Power 5 college conferences and motorsports groups to its broadcasting lineup, ideally this fall. (The Pac-12 is the only Power 5 conference looking for a TV deal right now.)
Regarding sales improvements with LIV Golf, Sook said:
“We have proved that it’s a quality product, it’s investable, there are sponsorship opportunities. So, we’re very pleased at taking this from signing the contract two weeks before we went on the air, not a lot of promotion, to steady growth. That’s really what the CW is all about from this point forward, steady growth.”
Sources speculate that since The CW recently premiered 100 Days to Indy, a docu-series about the Indianapolis 500, it is likely to veer off in that direction while shopping for media rights deals. IndyCar is currently in a multi-year contract with NBC Sports.
Check back with Cord Cutters News as more information about future bids and negotiations comes out.