1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

The Ringer is Live

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by HappyCurmudgeon, Jun 1, 2016.

  1. Big Circus

    Big Circus Well-Known Member

    What an appropriate day for this thread to pop up! I'm sure it will be controversial, but I loved this piece:

    The 2017-18 Lakers, a Drama in Three Acts
  2. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    For fans of Friday Night Lights - today is Tim Riggins Day on The The Ringer. Some quality stuff on there.
    Dog8Cats likes this.
  3. poindexter

    poindexter Well-Known Member

    Did it end up being controversial?
  4. Big Circus

    Big Circus Well-Known Member

    Ron Howard voiceover: It wasn't controversial.
  5. LanceyHoward

    LanceyHoward Well-Known Member

    How does the Ringer turn a profit? They have a least 19 people writing on the NBA and I would think Simmons is making seven figures. They don't run many ads. They have ton of podcasts but I don't know how many are sponsored. "One Shining Moment', the college basketball podcast, struggles to find sponsors.

    I would think the site is bleeding money.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
  6. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    The Ringer could be turning a profit. If it is, it would be entirely from podcasts. They might be bringing in more from ad revenue than a lot of people would imagine.

    At the same time, subtract out costs from revenue, and I doubt the business is a huge money maker. If it is profitable (it is an if, not a definite), it likely isn't throwing off much of a dividend to anyone. I thought this at the time Simmons left ESPN, and I strongly suspect it is true. Simmons wasn't going to do any better financially for himself than what he was getting from ESPN -- not from another website and not from anything he started up on his own. I'd imagine he is doing worse in terms of take-home pay on his own, putting aside the ill-conceived deal HBO gave him and whatever he took from it before the contract was scratched. The Ringer is dependent on his name, so in essence anything he pays himself is still akin to him being a hired hand and collecting a salary for the worth of his name. The tradeoff for collecting less personally (if I am right about that), is that he gets whatever satisfaction comes from doing his own thing and being his own boss. Maybe the trade off is worth it to him. But when he left ESPN, I was pretty sure he was never going to get more money from another website than he was able to earn working for ESPN, and I strongly suspect it has played out that way for him.

    I wish it wasn't a private company and we could see a balance sheet, because I am curious about how it does. Subscription-based things are in favor right now, but it is a more difficult way to succeed, because there is a direct link between what you are supplying in terms of content and whether the demand is there. Produce something people will pay for, or you don't have a business. The Ringer relies on ad revenue. If it is like most online content, it isn't earning bubkus -- except for podcasts for which there are ad dollars if you have listeners, and that is a big thing for his site. The podcasts are probably carrying the site, but is it enough to make for a profit, and if so, much of a profit?
  7. clintrichardson

    clintrichardson Active Member

    The most insightful thing I ever heard said about HBO—which owns the Ringer—was in a podcast interview years ago with Bob Odenkirk. He said that HBO doesn't just want shows that are popular, it wants shows that are cool. They would rather make something like Mr. Show, which wasn't popular but was revered by the cognoscenti, than something like, say, a Tim Allen sitcom that would attract more people but wouldn't project the image they want.

    I think of the Ringer in this context—it's as much about the kind of branding HBO wants for ventures like this, as for the thing itself.
  8. CD Boogie

    CD Boogie Well-Known Member

    Is The Ringer considered cool? Their guys aren't starting up podcasts with A-Rod; that's Barstool.

    Simmons had his moment (and then some). No shame in no longer being relevant.
  9. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    HBO was an original investor in The Ringer. That made it a partial owner, not the owner. My question. ... I never saw anything laying out their interest, so does anyone know exactly what their stake is? And does anyone know if HBO unloaded that stake after it cancelled Simmons' show? i.e. -- do they still have a stake, and if so, how big is it exactly?
  10. justgladtobehere

    justgladtobehere Well-Known Member

    I'm pretty sure the website and HBO show were different deals. And he had a production deal with HBO, which is still in effect, I believe.
  11. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    So I can see the show and an investment in the website not being connected. I guess there is no way to know how big their stake is. If they have sold it (or if they sell it in the future), there would be no way to really know unless they said it publicly.
  12. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    I actually can't find anything via Google about 1) What kind of stake HBO has. I mean, I assumed in my earlier post it is an equity stake, but is that true? No specifics were ever disclosed that I can see. 2) Is HBO the only investor? If they are, I would have been wrong. They might actually own the site. I may have spoken out of school. If they aren't the only investor, who are the other investors? I am assuming that Simmons wouldn't have done it without having an ownership stake. But there is no way to know for sure.

    Does anyone know anything more?
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page