Less than 24 hours to the Creator Economy Summit! Save 50% on a subscription and get a free ticket

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Breshad Perriman passing New York Giants cornerback James Bradberry an NFL game on Monday. Photo by AP.
The Briefing
Media/Telecom Facebook Entertainment

The True Size of Disney’s Sports Burden

Photo: Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Breshad Perriman passing New York Giants cornerback James Bradberry an NFL game on Monday. Photo by AP.

If there’s one number that sums up why Disney may decide to spin off ESPN sometime in the next couple of years, it’s contained in a securities filing the entertainment giant made tonight, as most folks were probably off drinking in anticipation of tomorrow’s Thanksgiving holiday. That number is $70.4 billion, representing what Disney has committed to pay for rights to sports programming in the future. 

That total has mushroomed by a startling 73% in the past year, Disney’s past securities filings show, almost certainly thanks to renewals of sports contracts Disney has struck this year with the NFL, among other leagues. The fact that Disney, and other broadcasters, agreed to hefty increases is old news, of course. What we didn’t know until tonight was just how much Disney is now on the hook to pay. Disney will be carrying this burden over the next decade or more, a period in which the cable TV universe, which historically supported these payments, will likely shrink drastically. 

Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
 
Creator Economy Startups
An Insider’s Guide to Our Upcoming Creator Economy Summit
Creator Josh Richards, LTK exec Reesa Lake, Pinterest chief content officer Malik Ducard and Duolingo’s global social media manager Zaria Parvez (from left to right). Photo: Mike Sullivan
The Information’s second Creator Economy Summit is happening this Wednesday. For the past two months, I’ve been preparing for our interviews with creators, startup leaders and executives at major tech companies including Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest. (You can still register here.) This prep work has come at a pivotal time for the industry. When we held our first summit in late October,...
Latest Briefs
 
Klarna to Cut 10% of Global Workforce
Mark Zuckerberg Sued by D.C. Attorney General Over Cambridge Analytica Scandal
Snap Warns That Q2 Performance Will be Worst Than Expected
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Apple's Tim Cook (clockwise from top left), Bob Iger, Al Gore and Mike Rockwell. Images by Bloomberg, Shutterstock. Art by Mike Sullivan.
Exclusive Facebook Apple
The Inside Story of Why Apple Bet Big on a Mixed-Reality Headset
In 2016, Apple’s board of directors gathered inside one of its buildings in Cupertino, Calif., for a glimpse into the company’s future.
(L-R) Jonathan Ive, Johny Srouji, Dan Riccio and Tim Cook. Photos by Bloomberg; Apple. Art by Mike Sullivan
Exclusive Apple AR/VR
Behind the Apple Design Decisions That Bogged Down Its Mixed-Reality Headset
Apple’s executives had a critical design decision to make about the company’s riskiest product in years.
Data Point Entertainment
Netflix Cancellations Rise Among Long-Standing Subscribers
Netflix is losing its grip on long-standing subscribers. New data show that people who have been subscribers to Netflix for more than three years accounted for a significantly greater share of cancellations in the first quarter than they did two years earlier.
(L-R) Cameo CEO and founder Steven Galanis, and Cameo co-founders Devon Townsend and Martin Blencowe. Photo by Getty. Art by Mike Sullivan.
Exclusive Venture Capital Startups
At Cameo, Boom Times Give Way to Sharp Sales Slowdown
By the beginning of last year, six-year-old startup Cameo was on a tear. Pandemic-induced lockdowns in 2020 had spurred demand for the personalized video messages celebrities sell on its website and app.
Art by Clark Miller
The Big Read Crypto
Panic at the Discord
The crypto party was as raucous as ever—and then someone turned on the lights. After a year of record-high token prices and newfound support from legacy financial institutions like Fidelity and BlackRock, reality bit hard the second week of May when the algorithmic stablecoin terraUSD (known as UST) crashed, taking down some $400 billion in crypto market cap with it.
Brian Armstrong, chief executive officer of Coinbase Global Inc. Photo by Bloomberg.
Exclusive Crypto
Coinbase Slashes Costs, Freezes Hiring Amid Crypto Crash
Cryptocurrency trading firm Coinbase, whose revenue has shrunk amid a downturn in the sector, is pausing new business projects, freezing hiring for two weeks and aiming to slash its cloud spending on Amazon Web Services, among other cost-cutting measures, according to a pair of internal emails sent to employees this week and viewed by The Information.