I’m desperate enough for sports content that I even watch preseason football, a competition so meaningless that everyone from coaches to commentators regularly reminds you of its insignificance. Last night the game I watched did make some news, mostly because it’s part of a trend. The 49ers/Texans game was broadcast on Amazon Prime. Live sports was once seen as the last hope for struggling cable operators. Now live sports content, like so much other material, is being spread across a menagerie of apps. You don’t just need multiple apps to keep up with multiple sports, you often need several apps just to keep up with your favorite team. You’ve long needed a PhD in TV to figure out what’s on and where to watch it, but there’s something more worrisome about the paywalling and dividing of the sports audience since its one of the few cultural areas that still cuts across our other increasingly stark divides. The Atlantic: Sports Streaming Makes Losers of Us All. “Starting this fall, the league will put Thursday Night Football exclusively on Amazon Prime Video, the first time the NFL has pulled a game off TV to put it somewhere else. The Big Ten, the richest conference in college athletics, will soon air eight football games and dozens of men’s and women’s basketball games on Peacock exclusively each year. Other sports leagues are already there. This year, MLB started showing a Friday game on Apple TV (for free, with a login required), and another Sunday-morning game is paywalled on Peacock.”

+ Axios: Big tech crashes big sports.