Charlie Ebersol, founder of the Alliance of American Football (AAF) was making the rounds last week after their debut. With the ratings seemingly a success, we’ve since learned some new information about the type of TV deals the AAF has acquired. While speaking with the Alternative Press, Ebersol said “The league is not receiving rights fees from networks. Ebersol described the league’s relationships not as time-buys but as “partnerships that extend beyond just broadcasts.”
At its core, the league is equal parts sports and technology startup. Its app, which is the second-most downloaded sports app on Apple’s App Store, features real-time visualization of plays along with users trying to predict plays. As more states begin to legalize sports gambling, that technology could be marketed to other platforms.
“What we are looking to do is create a structure that is equitable for the network,” Ebersol said. “People paying for media rights are losing money. In the modern tech world, you want to get people engaged in the product, and there is an enterprise value. CBS has been buying into technology companies, and Turner bought Bleacher Report a couple years ago.”
We’re still waiting on word from the XFL on who their broadcast partners will be and what type of deal that have in place. If the rumors are true and the XFL signs with both ABC and Fox, then we could see at least two a week on network television and 2 others on cable. I would also be under the impression that Vince McMahon is not going to give anything away for “free”. We should know more soon, during Super Bowl week, Oliver Luck mentioned that announcements would be coming in the coming weeks. As always, we’ll keep you posted as we learn more.