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John Kosner is best known as the leader who built ESPN into the world’s leading digital sports destination from 2003–17. Https://

Is Gonzaga an NFT?

By John Kosner & J Moses

March 14, 2021

Is Gonzaga an NFT?

Not yet, but soon.

Gonzaga is the undefeated #1 seed in men’s college basketball as tonight millions of us fill out our March Madness brackets. A year from now, we will probably use blockchain technology for our brackets — opening up prizes, experiences and recognition not possible today; the winning one would become March 13, 2022’s biggest “NFT.”

Perhaps you live under a rock … or your eyes glaze over when confronted with the latest complicated and speculative idea.

By John Kosner and J Moses

Last month, we watched the Academy Awards and were not surprised by the historically low TV viewership.

Were you?

Oscar’s 9.85 million viewers (down from 43.7M in 2014)?

No Mojo.

Today, we live in the Adrenaline Economy. Fans want action, involvement, real-time engagement. Entertainment options providing that electrical current are thriving; those that don’t are falling behind. Many, like the once mighty TV, music and movie awards programs, are suffering mightily.

The pandemic is a driving force here and has changed culture. During COVID, Taylor Swift recorded and released three albums. She engaged her…

by John Kosner & J Moses

Tonight, again, will be the Tale of Two Rooms.

In our living rooms, we will watch the Super Bowl, while jury rigging together a Twitter/Zoom solution (laptop in front of the couch) so each of us can interact with our friends during the game. Given latency issues for sports broadcasts offered by multiple distributors, we will not all be watching the same feed at the same time. Some of us will see, say, Patrick Mahomes’ TD pass as much as 30-seconds in advance of others. …

In the five years since Ed wrote “Handicapping the Netflix of sports” (SBJ, 3/2/28/1/16), streaming has boomed: Disney+, HBO Max and Apple TV+ have joined Netflix and Amazon and “over-the-top” is now materially affecting traditional cable. As predicted for sports, BAM and Disney combined to launch ESPN+; Amazon bought NFL and EPL rights; and new sports-only streamers launched, including FloSports and DAZN. However, a single “Netflix of sports” has not emerged. In fact, we now anticipate there will not be one sports aggregator. Therefore, every property must now rethink its key source of non-gate revenue and exposure.

Based on incumbent…

Original Article: Sportico, by Ed Desser and John Kosner, January 15th, 2021

Last week, we wrote about electronic sports media heading into its “fourth quarter”-a new streaming epoch driven by developments in tech and entertainment. Today, we examine how the business will further evolve this decade.

We expect the incumbent sports networks to lock in historical advantages (existing rights, relationships, distribution, revenue and brand names) with expensive new NFL agreements, in time for a 17-game regular season.

However, sports will also start to make sense for entertainment streamers, because it offers compelling, day-to-day, original content that provides continuity to help…

Original Article: John Wall Street, by Ed Desser and John Kosner, January 8th, 2021

The advent of electronic sports media’s “first quarter” started a century ago, first as radio game recreations from press reports in 1920, and then as live on-site play-by-play (boxing and Pirates-Phillies baseball) in 1921 on KDKA in Pittsburgh. In the second quarter, broadcast TV ascended, with live sports becoming national weekend daytime and local primetime TV staples in the 1960s and ’70s. …

by John Kosner & J Moses

Both of us are big NFL fans and fathers of 13-year-old boys. But on Sunday, when we watch our favorite teams — the Steelers and the Giants — play on CBS and Fox respectively, our boys will be in their bedrooms with mobile devices on their laps, connected to friends and playing Minecraft, Fortnite or TikTok while they track the NFL scores in real time on a gamecast app.

Yes, playing TikTok. It is the fastest growing game in the world, and our boys are part of an entire generation expecting game mechanics to power their preferred entertainment.

Considered by…

By Ed Desser and John Kosner

Back in March, the NBA led a series of “postponements” and the sports industry hunkered down with the hope that play could resume over the summer. Sports has experienced a lost (NHL) season and shortened (NBA, NFL and MLB) ones before, but had never been entirely “on hiatus.” Now, we’re mid-summer, and the re-starts have begun (motorsports, golf, MLB and, last week, the NBA and NHL, so far successfully in their respective bubbles). Amidst the progress, however, the nationwide spike in COVID-19 infections is feeding a new crisis. On July 23 in “Bloomberg” Opinion, Joe Nocera wrote under the headline…

Prepared for Post-COVID Sports?

By Ed Desser and John Kosner

“Crisis” derives from the Greek word “krisis,” which means “turning point in a disease.” While all of us hope for medical breakthroughs signaling the end to the COVID-19 scourge, we have no assurances right now. What we do have is time and with summer finally here, our recommendation is that all of us make the best use of that once in a career opportunity to put ourselves and our properties on firmer ground. From a rights/property holder perspective, we think you should focus on the following:

Phase One: Re-Think. Have…

Ed Desser, president of Desser Sports Media and I originally published this piece,“Making your Media Rights More Valuable” in the Sports Business Journal in April, 2018. We plan to update it periodically here.


NBA Commissioner David Stern (our boss for 23/8 years) often said that no one is going to treat you as well as you treat yourself. The NBA had to be the best property it could possibly be, not rely solely on its media partners to grow audience and value. That attitude helped propel the league’s ascension to its current place in the sports hierarchy.

Naturally, everyone…

John Kosner

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