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https://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/09/the-athletic-hits-1-million-subscribers-after-enduring-sports-shutdown.html

 

Some highlights

 

  • The Athletic now has 1 million subscribers. For context, the WSJ just got to 2 million digital subscribers earlier this year.
  • The Athletic's newsroom is profitable, but they are in the red when you factor in non-news employees and costs (Sales, marketing, HR etc.,)
  • The Athletic will be adding "Front Page" and "Breaking News" sections.

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“A lot of people will look at Netflix or Spotify and ask ‘are these just anomalies?’” Stromberg said. “Or actually, are we seeing an emergence of a powerful new business model? They’re proof that subscription can scale just like transaction and ad-based models.”

 

Well, there's a difference between the actual content -- all the content that has ever been recorded, in Spotify's case -- and the sort of meta-content, which is kind of the central problem of paying for media, no?

 

Quote

Eric Jackson, founder of EMJ Capital, a hedge fund that specializes in media and technology investments, is curious about how many customers are churning and the distribution of how many people are paying full price as opposed to promotional offers.

 

This is my thought too. Then again, maybe the best business model we've got is lure people in with a promo offer, and hope that like most Americans, they're too bad with money and don't pay attention to the credit card statements to notice the 400% increase when renewal rolls around.

 

To their credit -- the Athletic writes a lot of stories I want to read! Both breaking news and features. I'm happy to pay a reasonable price for that, especially since their website is actually functional and pleasant to read, which is rare for news sites. Every time I read the tire-pumping articles like this, though, I actually feel more skeptical about the enterprise; why are their founder-bros so eager to fly at the sun?

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https://awfulannouncing.com/nhl/your-2019-20-local-nhl-announcer-rankings.html

 

Announcer ranking listicles always catch my eye, especially for the NHL, where I used to have the out-of-market package. For a long time it was just sort of the received wisdom that Ralph Strangis and Daryl Reaugh were the best broadcasting team in the league. Then Dave Strader replaced Strangis, but not for long, because he got sick and died. They replaced Strader with their AHL guy a few years ago, but wouldn't you know it, Dallas is still #1, baby. While I'll certainly allow that Ralph & Razor had a good thing going for a long time, how do you turn over 50% of a broadcasting team with an AHL talent and still remain at the top among other broadcasters who have also had good things going for a long time? Is Daryl Reaugh really that great*? If so, why hasn't NBC blown their budget to make him their lead analyst? Or is it just that Dallas Stars fans have made The Best Broadcast In Hockey* sort of their personal identity, which they relentlessly patrol online whenever they have the opportunity to do so?

 

 

Daryl Reaugh is not that great; he and Eddie Olczyk are essentially the same person except you're not sick of one of them yet: catchphrase, catchphrase, telestrator, catchphrase, some sort of ah-geez-lookit-that wonder.

 

 

I'd argue, pace our dear sweet Rick Jeanneret, that no modern simulcast can be the best broadcast in the league because the responsibilities and workloads vary so much between television and radio. TV leans more on the color guy, while the rat-a-tat auctioneer play-by-play of radio hockey is superfluous to a good telecast. Dallas, of course, is a simulcast. I always thought Buffalo's simulcast was a little sweaty for TV, but no one's dropping in on Sabres games for technical excellence, nor, on the other hand, is anyone accusing them of such.

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I clicked just to confirm that Jack Edwards was at the bottom of the list. I might actually be more of a Bruins fan but having to listen to those guys stands in my way.

 

Is fans caring about having the Best Broadcast Team really a thing? Feels like one of those wallpaper things; it's best when it's not attracting all the attention.

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Lots of fans like their announcers and vouch for them to others, it's only for a small handful of fanbases that it becomes about asserting their dominance and insisting upon some sort of consensus. It's been a Stars thing for years now, the Hurricanes seem to be getting in on it but we'll see where that goes if Forslund bolts (possibly for the Bolts). You sort of see it with the San Francisco Giants where their guys always end up #1 in these things year after year, but at least it's been the same pros doing games for years now and not some dude up from AAA who just also happens to be better than everyone else in the league. The Mets have been associated with having really good broadcasts from day one, especially vis-a-vis the Yankee Pravda, but their fans aren't so evangelical about it.

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Coming from this tough guy:

 

It's all falling apart, my friends. Can't even react to a global pandemic like a human lest Skeletor calls you a LOLcat.

 

EDIT: Guess what "LOLcat" is an autocorrect for!

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7 minutes ago, CS85 said:

 

I lost my older  brother to suicide a little over 2 years ago. I can relate to almost everything that Dak said he has gone through, especially when he said he experienced feelings that he had never felt before. 

 

I am appalled at what Skip Bayless said. I know that he loves to play the heel but it was still shocking that someone can be so insensitive and downright crass. Dak's brother died tragically and basically Bayless told him to rub some dirt on it.

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11 minutes ago, JayMac said:

I lost my older  brother to suicide a little over 2 years ago. I can relate to almost everything that Dak said he has gone through, especially when he said he experienced feelings that he had never felt before. 

 

I am appalled at what Skip Bayless said. I know that he loves to play the heel but it was still shocking that someone can be so insensitive and downright crass. Dak's brother died tragically and basically Bayless told him to rub some dirt on it.


I mean c'mon, JayMac.  It's America's Team we're talking about here!  Man up!  This isn't some trivial crap...this is Dallas Cowboys football, and we can't have a sissy leading the squad. 

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Skip Bayless is an outdated, stick-up-his-ass, moron whose entire schtick is "what if internet trolling, but on TV 🙃". The sooner he goes away, the sooner literally everyone's life will improve.

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Defector wasn't live yesterday when I signed up, but is live today.

 

There's "Why your team sucks" and Drew Magary. It's like going back in time, but on a website platform that isn't actively hostile to its users.

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6 hours ago, DG_ThenNowForever said:

Coming from this tough guy:

 

It's all falling apart, my friends. Can't even react to a global pandemic like a human lest Skeletor calls you a LOLcat.

 

EDIT: Guess what "LOLcat" is an autocorrect for!

 

Is that... a microwave behind the trashcan?

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8 hours ago, the admiral said:

Is Daryl Reaugh really that great*? If so, why hasn't NBC blown their budget to make him their lead analyst? Or is it just that Dallas Stars fans have made The Best Broadcast In Hockey* sort of their personal identity, which they relentlessly patrol online whenever they have the opportunity to do so?

 

I realize your question is rhetorical as it is, but it's worth noting that Razor was, at one point, a pretty prominently used color analyst for Versus and the early days of NBCSN, and then he started getting phased out somewhere around 2013 or so. These days, about the only time I've heard him on NBCSN has been when the Stars are involved and they're doing one of their "grab one team's play-by-play and the other's color commentator" broadcasts. Now, there's always a chance part of that is his own decision as well. I mean, Brian Engblom used to be all over NBC(SN) broadcasts along with regional work with the Avs (and Jets!) but these days only really does NBC(SN) games the same way Razor does, just switch "Stars" for "LIghtning". Maybe he doesn't care for the extra travel. Plenty of things we really have no way of knowing about.

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True, but if Awful Announcing, The Athletic, Sports Illustrated, and whoever else churns these out keeps declaring year after year that Daryl Reaugh + Literally Any Warm Body is the best announcing duo in the entire league, someone -- agent? family? financial advisor? -- would have been able to sell him on working a lighter schedule with higher exposure for more money, like Doc Emrick letting go of the Devils and just doing national games. That this has failed to happen leads me to believe these annual exercises are just Stars fans juicing the polls because they've decided having the best regional sports network coverage is the hallmark of their franchise. It's the "please like my sport" thing that hockey fans are accused of but on an internecine level.

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Skip Bayless is a horse's ass but his brother makes fantastic Mexican food. So it's a mixed bag for the Bayless boys. 

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10 hours ago, the admiral said:

True, but if Awful Announcing, The Athletic, Sports Illustrated, and whoever else churns these out keeps declaring year after year that Daryl Reaugh + Literally Any Warm Body is the best announcing duo in the entire league, someone -- agent? family? financial advisor? -- would have been able to sell him on working a lighter schedule with higher exposure for more money, like Doc Emrick letting go of the Devils and just doing national games. That this has failed to happen leads me to believe these annual exercises are just Stars fans juicing the polls because they've decided having the best regional sports network coverage is the hallmark of their franchise. It's the "please like my sport" thing that hockey fans are accused of but on an internecine level.

 

Just to be clear, since I didn't say it in the other post, I'm not disagreeing with your general assertion and I wouldn't agree that Dallas has the top broadcast crew, either. Their play-by-play guy doesn't really do it for me, but he's also only ("only") 35-years-old so got plenty of time to improve. I think Reaugh is fine enough on his own merits, but his long-lasting popularity no doubt has some effect even on the supposed "neutrals" as well, I would imagine. I would probably say that his penchant for using, you know, "unique vocabulary" (for utter lack of a better phrase) can make a broadcast more enjoyable, and that does have to count for something. I like to think of myself as someone who likes the color analyst to have useful on-ice observations to make, but I would take a mid-tier "analyst" who has a good personality over a top-tier analyst with a droll personality every time. 

 

As far as the question of which booth is the best...I'm actually not sure who I would say, but I'll also just say that the Awful Announcing one is extremely simplistic and doesn't appear to take into account anything else that goes into the broadcasts beyond the commentators. Like, NESN gets a lot of flak for Jack Edwards, but I also find their overall production to be among the very best around. MSG for the Rangers in particular is also a very well-run broadcast. I guess neither of those are too surprising given their markets. 

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12 hours ago, See Red said:

 

Is that... a microwave behind the trashcan?

 

I have never seen a microwave UNDER a countertop. 

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1 hour ago, Kramerica Industries said:

As far as the question of which booth is the best...I'm actually not sure who I would say, but I'll also just say that the Awful Announcing one is extremely simplistic and doesn't appear to take into account anything else that goes into the broadcasts beyond the commentators. Like, NESN gets a lot of flak for Jack Edwards, but I also find their overall production to be among the very best around. MSG for the Rangers in particular is also a very well-run broadcast. I guess neither of those are too surprising given their markets. 

 

It's a fool's errand; any baseball/hockey telecast done right will be somewhat unwelcoming to outsiders. But it's fun to read people getting wound up about Hawk Harrelson or Jack Edwards or whoever else turns up around the bottom.

 

  

50 minutes ago, DEAD! said:

 

I have never seen a microwave UNDER a countertop. 

I think it's weird when stoves are separate from ovens. I've seen it on McMansion Hell but never in real life. We're talking like across the kitchen from each other, how do you, what the, how can, I, ah!

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There was a period when the Stars thought Strader might come back and they had a holding pattern broadcast team of Razor on play-by-play and noted shot-blocker Craig Ludwig on color, and that broadcast was actually terrible. Hiring an actual play-by-play guy was such a massive improvement that it almost didn't matter who it was.

 

(the Texas Rangers and Mavs regional broadcasts being awful probably helps lower the standards too)

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TIL Defector content doesn't show if you have Ublock active. They also don't have the crazy ads Deadspin (or, ahem, other sites) had, so it's fine.

 

The Defector commenting community is very busy -- that's lots of $100 bills they received this month. I wonder what months 2-12 look like for them.

 

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