Brace for the Amazon effect on live sport

IN 1993 FOX, a nascent cable network owned by Rupert Murdoch, an Australian-born tycoon, paid a fortune to scoop the rights to National Football League (NFL) games from under the nose of CBS, a veteran broadcaster. It caused a tremor in American television history. As one CBS reporter put it, “The NFL was ingrained in the walls of CBS like Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite.” With cable, the cost of sports rights took off. So did the cash cow of modern broadcasting—the TV “bundle” of sports and other stuff, most of it barely watchable. At the peak in 2012, almost 90% of American homes

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