Fox Sports announced Wednesday that it would pay $50 million in a deal to digital marketing firm Zacks Media to create digital content for the network’s network of NFL and college football games, with the money being divided among the firms’ digital teams.
The deal comes as the sports networks face growing pressure from digital platforms to better deliver its games to viewers and more importantly to advertisers.
In its announcement, Fox Sports said it was targeting $100 million in new digital revenues.
The network said it would invest $2.3 billion in digital content over the next five years, with $1 billion of that going toward new platforms like Facebook and Google.
In 2018, Fox reported $17.4 billion in revenue, with more than half of that coming from television advertising.
That figure was down from $20.9 billion in 2018, the year before, according to Sports Business Daily.
The digital revenues will be divided between Zacks and its digital marketing team.
Zacks will provide editorial support to the networks digital content teams and provide expertise on digital strategy, branding and digital business development.
“The Fox Sports Digital Teams are the backbone of Fox Sports’ content and it is critical to our ability to deliver the highest-quality content on a global basis,” Scott Peltz, FoxSports.com president, said in a statement.
“Zacks is an outstanding partner who brings unparalleled expertise and vision to this important work.
We are proud to continue this partnership and look forward to growing this relationship as we move forward with our new NFL and College Football game schedule.”
The network has been heavily criticized by advertisers for failing to deliver quality games.
The ratings for Fox’s NFL games, including the season finale, fell significantly, and many advertisers left.
The networks season finale on Nov. 16 drew a 3.2 rating and 17.5 million viewers.
Fox Sports has been struggling to bring in new viewers in recent years as viewership for its network of college football programs has declined.
But the network has maintained that it has been able to do so because of its digital teams and the increased exposure it provides to viewers on mobile devices.
The deals will see Zacks’ digital team contribute $10 million to Fox’s 2017-18 broadcast schedule, $10.5 and $12 million to 2018-19 broadcast schedules, $5.3 million for the 2019-20 broadcast season and $3.5 to 2020-21.