The news of ongoing drama with the NASL and the New York Cosmos may also have a media angle, as ONE World Sports (which broadcasts Cosmos and NASL games) seems to have put a lot of its employees on furlough. (Update: As Jonathan Tannenwald notes, ONE World Sports chairman Seamus O’Brien is also the owner and chairman of the Cosmos. Also, see our follow-up piece on this with responses from ONE World Sports CEO Sandy Brown.) A source told Awful Announcing “One World Sports has furloughed much of its staff,” and at least one person who used to work there has tweeted about it:
@davisjsn I was told yesterday that my @ONEWorldSports work wouldn't continue and that staff on furlough. Not surprising nobody there.
— Graham Ruthven (@grahamruthven) November 29, 2016
It may also be notable that the ONEWorldSports account hasn’t tweeted since a retweet of Taylor Twellman about Bruce Arena’s contract details on Nov. 22, and that one soccer media observer sees their fate as linked to that of the Cosmos:
soccer pundits missing story: fate of @NYCosmos inextricably linked to fate of @ONEWorldSports
— Timhanlon (@Timhanlon) November 29, 2016
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ONE World Sports is owned by the Dallas-based One Media Corporation Inc., which was formed in 2010 from the merger of the America One network and broadcasting technology company B2 Broadcasting (America One was later sold off in 2014 to Center Post Networks, owner of Yootoo TV). One Media seems to still be heavily involved on the technology front, as they own ONE CONNXT, “an end-to-end Ultra HD/HD/SD content distribution service utilizing proprietary IP solutions that provide high-quality live and recorded video programming virtually anywhere in the world.” However, the ONE World Sports channel hasn’t taken off too well; it is available on some providers, but not many. (In the Bay Area, for example, their channel locator says they’re only available on Dish.) Their list of content doesn’t seem all that must-have, either:
The network exclusively telecasts England National Cricket Team’s international home matches, the Yomiuri Giants, Kontinental Hockey League, Champions Hockey League, Chinese Basketball Association, China Arena Football League, OneAsia Golf Tour, the New York Cosmos, and competitions in table tennis and badminton from around the world.
The NASL and the Cosmos might have more appeal to many U.S. viewers than a lot of the rest of that, and so it does seem that their future may be closely linked to ONE World Sports’ own future, even before you account for O’Brien’s involvement with both. It’s also notable that the channel has come up recently in the Wall Street Journal report about Amazon pushing for sports rights, which said Amazon “they approached Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN and ONE World Sports, which airs offbeat sports like Russian hockey league matches, to seek leftover, unproduced live games.” If ONE World Sports is in fact running into issues, they may have more incentive to sell some of those rights to Amazon, and it’s possible we could even see a larger deal there (if Amazon wants rights, even to obscure things, it might make sense for them to buy ONE World Sports altogether.) We’ll see what happens.
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