While the Game of Thrones premiere didn't pass big NFL games or many Winter Olympics nights, it did come awfully close to MLB and NBA final-game ratings in 2018, and beat the Kentucky Derby, the Masters and more.
This deal likely wouldn't have worked for both sides without ESPN+. Gaining Big 12 streaming content for that service allowed ESPN to pay more for these championship games than they would have otherwise.
Those surveyed by Deloitte averaged three streaming service subscriptions, but many weren't thrilled with the numbers of services they had to subscribe to get what they want. That's worth noting for sports, considering the fragmentation in the sports streaming landscape.
"Just as we will disrupt the way that we acquire the ability to watch sports through an app, we will disrupt the way that advertising works. We really will follow the Facebook/Google model — we will understand things about you that will allow us to target ads."