Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Major sports leagues are experimenting with airing single games on multiple TV, digital and social channels at the same time, giving rise to sports "multicasts" or different ways for the consumers to experience the same game.

Why it matters: In a traditional TV world, almost all sports coverage was delivered through one live, linear feed, with one set of announcers and analysts.

  • But now that media consumption is distributed across dozens of different feeds, coverage of a game on one platform could look and sound much different than coverage on another.
  • "It's just the new reality of how challenged legacy media is," says Rich Greenfield, Media Analyst and Partner at LightShed Partners.

Driving the news: In a new interview with Front Office Sports, NFL EVP of media Brian Rolapp said the league is considering expanding the multicast approach further from Thursday nights, because splitting the rights is leading to higher overall viewership.

  • Thursday Night games are currently simulcast on broadcast (Fox), cable (NFL Network) and Spanish-Language TV (Fox Deportes) plus streaming video (Amazon Prime Video).
  • Each rights-holder will air the game differently, with a different set of hosts, announcers, and analysts. Radio announcers and coverage on Amazon-owned Twitch also featured different coverage perspectives.

Other notable examples:

  • ESPN has already been experimenting with a “MegaCast”-like coverage of the College Football Playoff’s National Championship and would like to expand it to Monday Night Football.
  • The NBA inked a deal with the Amazon-owned Twitch to live-stream minor league games through last season. The deal allowed Twitch personalities to co-stream the games for their audience and provide their commentary.
  • Twitter and Turner Sports struck a deal with the NBA that will let users vote to choose a player to watch for part of the game via an isolated camera feed displayed on Twitter.

What's next: Betting has also created an opportunity for leagues and networks to multicast the same game. NBC Sports Washington, for example, experimented with some alternate broadcasts focused on live in-game betting this year.

Be smart: The price tags of the digital rights at this point are still much cheaper than traditional TV, because traditional TV is still the leagues' best bet for a reliable live audience.

Yes, but: A slew of upcoming TV rights expiration deals will pressure big leagues to think about making big changes to their TV contracts sooner rather than later.

  • And distributors are going to have to decide whether it's worth it to shell out big dollars for live rights when their live TV audiences keep shrinking.
  • Case-in-point: AT&T's COO said last week that it is considering dropping DirecTV's exclusive NFL Sunday Ticket deal.

Go deeper: Axios' Deep Dive into the business of sports

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Louisville police declare state of emergency as Breonna Taylor decision looms

A demonstrator holds up a sign of Breonna Taylor during a protest in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

The Louisville police chief declared in a memo obtained by news outlets a "state of emergency" for the department on Monday to prepare for Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron's expected announcement on the Breonna Taylor case.

Of note: Louisville has witnessed more than 115 days of protests over the police killing of Taylor, an unarmed Black woman, with calls for all the officers involved to be charged.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 31,1833,800 — Total deaths: 962,793— Total recoveries: 21,348,410Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,833,800 — Total deaths: 199,818 — Total recoveries: 2,615,949 — Total tests: 95,841,281Map.
  3. Health: CDC says it mistakenly published guidance about COVID-19 spreading through air.
  4. Media: Conservative blogger who spread COVID-19 misinformation worked for Fauci's agency.
  5. Politics: House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11.
  6. World: U.K. upgrades COVID alert level as Europe sees worrying rise in infections — "The Wake-Up Call" warns the West about the consequences of mishandling a pandemic.

Sen. Cory Gardner on vacant Supreme Court seat: "I will vote to confirm"

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) will vote to confirm President Trump's nominee to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, he announced in a statement Monday.

Why it matters: The development is a win for President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). It should mean Republicans are all but assured to have enough support to hold hearings for Trump's potential nominee.

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