Not that there was any doubt, but the National Football League asserted itself as the dominant TV force for years to come with its new media rights deals with CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN and ABC valued at a mind-blowing $105 billion from 2023 to 2033. The networks, along with Amazon, are paying up because there still is nothing remotely close to live football for drawing mass audiences that advertisers covet. The NFL doesn’t just run television, “the NFL right now is television,” The Ringer’s Bryan Curtis said on the latest edition of “The Press Box” podcast.
Ascential, the owner of MediaLink, reported steep financial losses for 2020, stung by the 2020 cancelation of marquee in-person events it runs, including Cannes Lions. The results—which included a revenue drop of 31% last year—could put more pressure on the firm to figure out a way to salvage some form of in-person Cannes this year.
The latest buzz is that organizers are working on some sort of hybrid of digital and in-person, with the latter component significantly scaled down and perhaps dispersed geographically, as Ad Age recently reported. During Ascential’s earnings call earlier this week, Ascential CEO Duncan Painter indicated that the company was waiting on the French government “to set out a clear timetable for their exit from the pandemic” before finalizing its plans, which he said he does not expect until mid-April, according to a transcript of the call. The COVID news out of Europe of late has not been good, with a new wave of infections forcing more lockdowns.
Singing for sales
Stellantis Chief Marketing Officer Olivier Francois, known for music marketing deals (see: Bruce Springsteen), has signed another hot talent. A new campaign for Ram features a custom track called “I’m A Ram” from country music star Chris Stapleton. Ads will run during March Madness.