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Chernin: Sports more profitable online

There is more money to be made by distributing sports events online than through traditional broadcast deals, according to former News Corp boss and Chernin Group CEO, Peter Chernin.

Peter CherninSpeaking at tech website Re/Code’s conference Code/Media in Dana Point, California, Chernin predicted an “inevitable evolution” in the distribution of live sports, pointing out that “15 years ago, people said that sports would never be on cable”.

“I’m not sure what the timeline is, but there’s clearly more money to be made online than there is out of those broadcast deals,” said Chernin.

He claimed that on a online subscription basis, sports leagues will be able to target a global audience with “almost zero distribution friction”.

Last April, the Chernin Group said that, along with US telco partner AT&T, it would invest US$500 million in over-the-top TV services, after the pair launched a joint but unsuccessful bid to buy out Hulu in 2013.

The first of these investments came in July when Chernin and AT&T’s joint venture Otter Media bought online arts and crafts video site Creativebug. In September Otter added leading multichannel operator Fullscreen to its growing media empire.