Jeff Zucker is a media lifer. He was named the Executive Producer of the Today Show at 26, and his trajectory has continued apace ever since. Today, he's Chairman of WarnerMedia New and Sports while maintaining his role leading CNN.
From that perch, Zucker has had been forced to confront the titanic forces shaping the sports media landscape. In his #5Tweets, Zucker considers the role of OTT, warns big tech, and explains why sports is essential to WarnerMedia's future.
“The future of the traditional legacy broadcast networks and large cable networks — that’s news and sports. That’s why it’s exciting that we’ve grouped what we’ve grouped together, and that’s why sports will continue to play such an important role.”
“Live programming will drive the legacy Turner networks: CNN, TBS and TNT. That’s the future of much of legacy television for broadcast and cable networks. It’s live programming that’s going to differentiate them from all of the streaming services.”
"Live programming, live news, live sports is not part of the first phase of HBO Max, which launches next May. But it is something that will be part of HBO Max down the road. I don’t know when yet, but it’ll be the second or third phase of HBO Max."
"[Regarding] tech companies, you’ve got to be careful. You’ve got to make sure that the broadest amount of the audience knows how to find your product. Going for every last dollar, creating too many carved-up packages in too many places that aren’t as accessible, is a mistake.” [Ed. Note: We agree.]
"Do I think that one or two of the leagues might divvy up a package [between legacy broadcasters and tech companies]? It could happen, but I just don’t believe that’s going to change the fortunes of those tech companies. I just don’t think that there’s going to be a big move.”