The Exploding Cost of Streaming Live Sports

Traditional media companies are watching the new arrivals warily. Sky says the latest 70 percent increase in the cost of Premier League matches—it has the rights to 126 games a year—caused a 6.2 percent drop in operating profit. In the U.S., ESPN Inc. has seen rights for the NFL rise to $1.9 billion annually from $600 million two decades ago, spurring it to cut staff and launch a digital push as its subscriber numbers decline. Fox, CBS, and NBC each pay about $1 billion annually to show NFL games, about double what they paid two decades ago, researcher IHS Markit says. – Joe Mayes, Bloomberg Businessweek