Desser Sports Media, Inc.

Sports Media Specialists: Leveling The Playing Field

Founded in 2005, Desser Sports Media, Inc. advises premiere sports and media organizations on some of the most important parts of their business: Media Rights, M&A, Litigation/Arbitration, and Business Development.

A primary focus for DSM is media rights transactions, which are highly technical, infrequently negotiated, and ultimately hugely important to a team’s or league’s bottom line and brand.  Teams and leagues contend with the savvy of Fortune 500 media companies that routinely acquire rights, have dedicated specialized staff, and have developed myriad of defenses to thwart owners from achieving fair value.  

We have specific and unique experience in this area, which permits us to “level the playing field.” Our clients get the benefit of our collective 100+ years of sports and media experience, our extensive relationships, our deep understanding of the operations and perspectives of networks, distributors, teams and leagues, plus our up to the minute knowledge of the sports media marketplace. 

We provide this range of services to the full spectrum of sports media participants ranging from content owners to networks/intermediaries, and distributors/retailers.  We are independent and we supply comprehensive and detailed analysis, advice and negotiation services, as well as dispute resolution support. 

We encourage you to explore this site, to learn more about our services and approach, and contact us to determine if we can be of assistance.  

Case Studies


LOS ANGELES LAKERS

DSM guided the Lakers through a three year planning and negotiation process for a new English radio flagship, radio network, a Spanish radio flagship and the signing of a new landmark TV agreement - each at a substantial revenue increase.  

The Lakers' 20-year agreement with Time Warner Cable has dramatically changed the Southern California TV landscape, resulting in the launch of two new RSNs, including the first ever Spanish-language RSN.


OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER

On July 5, 2008, the Seattle Supersonics received permission to relocate to Oklahoma City for the 2008-09 NBA season, just 4 months later. DSM was called upon to:

  • Negotiate a new cable agreement
  • Negotiate a new OTA agreement
  • Negotiate a new radio flagship agreement
  • Assemble a new statewide radio network
  • Staff a new broadcasting department, hire new talent, producer, director
  • Re-launch the team website and migrate to a new publishing platform
  • Assist in the Upgrade of the arena technical infrastructure
  • Optimize the production of in-arena, radio and TV operations

MAPLE LEAF SPORTS + ENTERTAINMENT (MLSE)

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DSM led a team of senior Maple Leaf Sports + Entertainment executives through multiple assessments of media options for the four teams and three networks to select strategies for game allocation, media partners, and key deal points over a five year period.

The strategy created substantial leverage for MLSE, resulting in a five fold overall increase in team rights fees, achieving wide distribution and dramatic license fee growth for the company-owned TV networks and generating a major increase in enterprise value.

Ultimately, the media strategy led the major cable/satellite operators Rogers and Bell to form a joint venture which acquired MLSE in 2013.


CANADIAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE (CFL)

Over a two year period, DSM worked with the Commissioner's office, its broadcast committee and the Board of Governors to:

  • Perform a market place analysis of the CFL's value and media partnership options.
  • Educate the teams on the media business environment.
  • Negotiate a new media rights agreement with Bell Media which will nationally televise every CFL regular season and playoff game over a multi-year period.
  • Assist the league in negotiation of a US distribution arrangement with NBC Sports and ESPN.
  • Perform an analysis of a potential alternate approach for the CFL to purchase an existing sports network.

Our work with the CFL led to major improvements in the presentation of CFL football on television as well as a three-fold increase in media revenues.

 


NATIONAL hOT ROD ASSOCIATION(NHRA)

DSM overhauled the NHRA's multi-media approach and negotiated a new Fox deal to address major business/brand issues:

  • NHRA Content Control: NHRA now produces the TV content with improved announcers, graphics, cameras, new personality-driven presentation which appeals to non-core audience, plus new NHRA branded services to better serve core fans.  More promotion of ticket and coverage of entire track experience via new NHRA content factory strategy.
  • Improved Viewership: Programming benefits include Most Finals Live; Fox Broadcast Network events, improved qualifying schedule; multiple re-telecasts; added promotion combined to boost total audiences 3x.
  • Better Economics: Fox pays a rights fee, provides commercial time plus retained international rights.  In-house content factory created multi-use content and production savings.  
  • Ed Desser was elected to the NHRA Board of Directors in July 2017.
  • Peter Clifford, NHRA President: “The plan is working incredibly well.  It absolutely blows me away that this was accomplished in less than a year. The viewership numbers are staggering!  I'm so pleased with the results. Thanks for all of your help.”

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