Amazon Executive Predicts Tech Giants Will Cause Next Round Of Conference Realignment

first_imgAn interior view of the stadium before the start of Texas A&M Aggies Maroon & White spring football game at Kyle Field.COLLEGE STATION, TX – APRIL 13: An interior view of the stadium before the start of Texas A&M Aggies Maroon & White spring football game at Kyle Field on April 13, 2013 in College Station, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)When we think of college football conference realignment, it is easiest to think of things through the terms of how the sport currently works. To the point, big money deals with ESPN, FOX, CBS, and other networks have driven realignment. We’ve already seen a big blow to geography’s role in the sport.Live sports are among the only things that are currently propping up the cable model. While there are more scripted television shows than ever, few outside of your stray HBO Sunday night hit like Game of Thrones are live appointment viewing. A big sporting event, like tonight’s NBA Finals Game 1, will still draw a substantial live viewership.Even with dipping NFL ratings, college football has thrived, and Division I college football has a massive inventory of games every year, thanks to 130 teams, and at least a few dozen that can draw neutral fans in big numbers. It only makes sense that once conference media rights deals expire between 2023 and 2026, that tech companies like Amazon and Netflix could look to get into the game.Those two alone are already producing billions of dollars worth of content. The ability to show college football and drive more subscriptions would be huge.At the Big 12 meetings this week, West Virginia president E. Gordon Gee already floated the idea of the Big 12 looking to those streaming giants as potential partners after the Grant of Rights for the league is up in 2025. However, things could go way farther than that. 247Sports‘ Brian Bishop spoke to an unnamed Amazon executive and college football fan who thinks his company and its competitors could effectively blow up the current conference model.“Conference realignment will come,” he said, “but probably not in the way you’re thinking.”He explained that Amazon, Netflix and perhaps even Apple, Google and Facebook, (aka ‘FAANG’), will be more instrumental than current TV networks in reshaping what we know now as conference affiliations.Naturally, I doubted this statement, until he explained why.“We already have more cash than ABC/ESPN, NBC or CBS” he said. “And, In another five or six years, it won’t even be close. And too, ”the tech companies are far more advanced than the networks when it comes to knowing how to use the future broadcast technologies, (streaming) and that gap is growing too.”With billions in the coffers to spend on content, a company like Amazon could double what even the Big Ten is receiving with its current $2.6 billion media deal. However, the executive thinks the target will be schools, and not conferences.Again, back to my friend at Amazon. “We’re still seven or eight years away,” he said, “but if we had to restructure the landscape today, we would not start by negotiating with a conference. We don’t care about the SEC, Big 12 of Big 10 as a whole. In our opinion, those entities are not our focus.“Instead, we would want to identify 30 or 40 teams that command the biggest audience. That may be by reputation or location, but generally we all know that there are members in every one of these conferences that frankly don’t move the needle.This projects a future where rather than a set of conferences, you have teams under the umbrellas of different streaming companies that will determine where their games will be available. The Big Ten and SEC are certainly brands, but Alabama, Ohio State, and the other big programs have far more utility by themselves to a place like Amazon.This remains pretty hypothetical, and obviously this type of huge change could be a few cycles away. Still, the entire piece is fascinating, and absolutely feels like the direction in which things could move sooner than we think.[247Sports]last_img read more

Hundreds of babies dying needlessly because of unhealthy lifestyle of mothers study

Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The study authors are calling for population-wide programmes to help improve health and the socioeconomic circumstances of women before and during pregnancy.Co-author of the study, Professor Anders Hjern, Karolinska Institute, Sweden, said: “This study shows that the main explanations for the differences in child mortality rates between England and Sweden are systemic, and beyond the reach of healthcare services alone.“The key factors here are likely to include Sweden’s broader welfare programs that have provided families with an economic safety net for over 50 years, the free and accessible educational system, including early child care, and public health policies for many lifestyle issues such as obesity, smoking and alcohol use.” These records included information on the mother’s age, family’s socioeconomic position, as well as length of pregnancy, the child’s birth weight, gender, and whether they had any birth anomalies.Overall, the study included more than 3.9 million English births, including 11392 deaths, and more than 1 million Swedish births and 1927 deaths.Between the ages of two days to four years old, the child mortality rate for England was 50 per cent higher than for Sweden – 29 deaths per 10000 children in England, vs 19 deaths per 10000 children in SwedenIf the child mortality rate was the same in England as in Sweden 607 fewer child deaths per year would have occurred in England, equivalent to 6073 fewer child deaths in total from 2003-2012.The authors said women in Sweden were better at maintaining a healthy weight, eating well, avoiding drugs, alcohol and smoking and keeping their weight down in pregnancy.They pointed out that England the most deprived people have a seven-fold lower income than the least deprived, while the gap is only four times in Sweden, suggesting that many more people in England are socioeconomically disadvantaged.Commenting on the study, Dr Ronny Cheung, of The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), said: “We know that deprivation plays a major part and this can lead to higher rates of poor mental health, increased chance of alcohol or substance misuse, and obesity.   The study used medical data from the NHS and Swedish health services to compare births from 2003 to 2012, and track the children’s health and death records up to their fifth birthday. “Babies of the most deprived families are more likely to be born premature or with low weight than the most affluent ones, and twice as likely to die in the first year of life.“As the gap between rich and poor continues to widen, we have little chance of catching up with our European neighbours without social inequalities being addressed.” Hundreds of babies are dying needlessly in England every year because their mothers smoke, drink, use drugs, or are obese, a new study suggests.Researchers from UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health compared death rates of under-5s to those in Sweden, a country with similar levels of economic development and healthcare. They found that deaths occur one and half times more often in England, equating to 600 extra deaths a year.Writing in The Lancet, the study authors said that poorer maternal health during pregnancy caused babies to be born prematurely and with a low birth weight. Children in England are also more likely to have more birth anomalies such as congenital heart defects than in Sweden.“While child deaths are still rare, the UK has one of the highest child mortality rates in western Europe,” said lead author Dr Ania Zylbersztejn.“Babies born prematurely or with low birth weight have an increased risk of early death, and those who survive are more likely to have chronic ill health or disability.“Families need to be better supported before and during pregnancy to improve maternal health, and in turn to give all children a healthy start in life.” read more