It’s already the biggest American sporting event of the year, but would the Super Bowl ever go for a pay-per-view system? One sports exec seems to think it should.
John Skipper, the former head of ESPN and DAZN who currently serves as upstart Meadowlark Media's CEO, appeared as a guest on “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” podcast and discussed the current landscape of media rights deals, then dropped a Super Bowl-sized bomb to Le Batard and executive producer Mike Ryan.
“Take that to pay-per-view,” Skipper says when discussing the chance of sports leagues ditching broadcast partners and doing it themselves.
“That’s how they’re going replace the money someday,” Skipper said, “there’s not going to be enough money in the advertising. If people are willing to pay big money to watch Floyd Mayweather fight a Paul brother…” Thankfully, Le Batard’s cast of characters react in such a way that Skipper can’t finish the thought — but the idea is already out in the ether: a Super Bowl on pay-per-view designed to recoup some cash.
We’ve seen instances of other entities taking broadcasting into their own hands and ditching traditional media companies in favor of a digitally-focused approach.
Recently, the Arizona Bowl and Barstool Sports agreed to a sponsorship/broadcasting deal that would see the game leave CBS for Barstool. Oklahoma has an annual PPV game that is available on SoonerSports TV.
Will the leagues ever decide to fully separate from traditional broadcasting companies and end up broadcasting games and matches themselves? We’re likely one or two media rights deals away from that materializing, but we’re already seeing signs that leagues are looking for different options when it comes to broadcasting their events.
But, when it comes to the Super Bowl, those rights are locked up through 2033 Super Bowl – so if it does, you might have to wait a while. By then though, maybe Skipper’s idea won’t end up being so far-fetched after all.
Upcoming Super Bowl Rights
The new deal will also see CBS, FOX, and NBC each get three Super Bowls over the course of the 11-year agreement, with ESPN/ABC joining the rotation with telecasts in 2026 and 2030.
- CBS: 2023, 2027, 2031
- FOX: 2024, 2028, 2032
- NBC: 2025, 2029, 2033
- ESPN/ABC: 2026, 2030