Michigan College Sports May Be Unavailable at Sports Bars After TV Deal Shake-Up
A sports bar is a way many fans enjoy watching their team - particularly if that game is not on a standard cable or broadcast network as the television landscape has splintered due to streaming.
An interesting wrinkle in tv rights has caused college football games on Peacock to be too prohibitively costly for some sports bars.
With Ohio State playing this weekend (October 14) on Peacock, sports bars in Ohio has been telling patrons they will not have the game available. With NBC/Peacock having a recently negotiated rights deal with the Big 10, Michigan and Michigan State games will certainly become Peacock-exclusives in the seasons to come.
Why Are College Football Games Not Available in Some Sports Bars?
Considering that sports bars are a great alternative to watching a game that may not be available to you at home based on needing a full panoply of, say, ESPN+, Peacock, Amazon Prime, and YouTube's Sunday Ticket to see a full slate of college and pro football games.
That same math you're calculating, the value of all of the add-on services where games have landed, is the same math sports bars are forced into doing.
An article from sports-media site AwfulAnnouncing, they report that Peacock streaming in particular has become a cost-benefit calculation many sports bars are not willing to make.
Unlike the less-than-$10/month you would pay to watch Peacock at home, bars being public venues are covered under a different agreement and provider:
commercial establishments must purchase a “Peacock Sports Pass” through EverPass Media, a new company that reached an agreement to distribute Peacock’s sports package to bars and restaurants earlier this year.
And while the pricing for such plans isn’t readily available, this much we know: they aren’t cheap.
Not cheap is an understatement. Check this math, which was provided by a central Ohio area bar:
customers must purchase Peacock via a 12-month commitment for every TV in the establishment (Everpass Media has reached out saying that the every television provision is not required) which is not ideal given Peacock’s sports programming can be very thin during certain months of the year and most likely only a fraction of televisions would not actually be tuned into the service at a time.
The post, which detailed an annual cost north of $20,000, is now deleted and replaced by a post saying they will be able to carry the Ohio State game, but not without a bundle of "NCAA basketball, NFL playoff games, Boxing, MMA, Soccer and Rugby."
Still without the splintering of media rights, such a negotiation would not have been necessary.
It makes you wonder the math going through the heads of bar owners in Michigan and elsewhere in the (growing) Big 10 territory. Games headed to Peacock only and not on NBC, Fox or a traditional broadcast or cable outlet may mean your favorite team won't be seen at your favorite bar.
As they say, check local listings.
What is certain is that spots is big business. Consider these ballers who have cashed in over the years.