Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Former ESPN boss John Skipper made waves last year when he joined relatively unknown sports streaming network DAZN (pronounced "Da Zone").

Why it matters: Skipper is hoping to build a subscription service akin to the "Netflix of sports" by wooing leagues that already have a line of digital and TV companies waiting anxiously for existing contracts to expire.

The big picture: Sports is one of the few types of content that is still watched live, but consumers have shown a propensity to engage with digital sports content on a second screen while watching games live on television.

  • This is especially true for mega-fans who engage in sports betting and fantasy sports.

That's why legacy networks are also pushing into the sports streaming space, hoping to create new direct-to-consumer relationships. But their efforts are mostly focused on niche sports so far, not big-ticket events that could cannibalize their lucrative live TV viewers.

  • CBS Sports and CBS Interactive launched CBS Sports HQ last February, a free 24-hour streaming sports news network that provides news, highlights and analysis.
  • NBC Sports launched NBC Sports Gold in 2016, a subscription over-the-top service that has expanded and offers some live access to niche sports, like cycling, rugby, tennis and European soccer. NBC also launched a golf service with PGA Tour last year.
  • ESPN launched ESPN+, which includes original programming and news content, last year and recently announced that it's surpassed roughly 1.5 million subscribers.
  • Discovery launched GOLFTV, a video streaming platform with the PGA Tour this year to carry more than 2,000 hours of live golf tournaments.

The bottom line: If tech or streaming companies can eventually win over rights to stream more and bigger events, they can capitalize on the data they collect from consumers to offer people more choices in how they watch sports.

Go deeper

Pelosi, Schumer demand postmaster general reverse USPS cuts ahead of election

Schumer and Pelosi. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer sent a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on Thursday calling for the recent Trump appointee to reverse operational changes to the U.S. Postal Service that "threaten the timely delivery of mail" ahead of the 2020 election.

Why it matters: U.S. mail and election infrastructure are facing a test like no other this November, with a record-breaking number of mail-in ballots expected as Americans attempt to vote in the midst of a pandemic.

2 hours ago - Science

CRISPR co-discoverer on the gene editor's pandemic push

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Brian Ach/Getty Images for Wired and BSIP/UIG via Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic is accelerating the development of CRISPR-based tests for detecting disease — and highlighting how gene-editing tools might one day fight pandemics, one of its discoverers, Jennifer Doudna, tells Axios.

Why it matters: Testing shortages and backlogs underscore a need for improved mass testing for COVID-19. Diagnostic tests based on CRISPR — which Doudna and colleagues identified in 2012, ushering in the "CRISPR revolution" in genome editing — are being developed for dengue, Zika and other diseases, but a global pandemic is a proving ground for these tools that hold promise for speed and lower costs.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 18,912,947 — Total deaths: 710,318— Total recoveries — 11,403,473Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 4,867,916 — Total deaths: 159,841 — Total recoveries: 1,577,851 — Total tests: 58,920,975Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi rips GOP over stimulus negotiations: "Perhaps you mistook them for somebody who gives a damn" — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tests positive.
  4. Public health: Majority of Americans say states reopened too quicklyFauci says task force will examine aerosolized spread.
  5. Business: The health care sector imploded in Q2More farmers are declaring bankruptcyJuly's jobs report could be an inflection point for the recovery.
  6. Sports: Where college football's biggest conferences stand on playing.