Have post-game interviews with press outlived usefulness?
Irwin A. Kishner, co-chair of Herrick's Sports Law Group, was featured in Sports Business Journal's media newsletter discussing changes to post-game press conferences in the aftermath of Naomi Osaka's withdrawal from the French Open after declining to participate in post-match media citing mental health concerns. Kishner discussed that any changes to the conferences will be a central part of negotiations in future collective bargaining agreements and media rights deals, noting that "[t]here will have to be further refinements of what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. Kishner predicted that athletes' interactions with the media, and any related mental health concerns, will be spelled out as part of any new CBAs or rights deals.
Kishner noted that post-match pressers have "probably outlived their usefulness," but that it is important for athletes to grant access to traditional media. He further explained that, "[o]ne could make the argument that there is less need for traditional media than there was in the past because players have these other outlets. I think, though, that that’s a gross over-simplification. I don’t think (social media) substitutes for the traditional media. Traditional media and professional sports is a very symbiotic relationship that sort of feed off each other in a very positive way.”
The segment noted that Kishner "has represented multiple NBA, MLB and MLS teams in media rights negotiations[.]"
Read the full newsletter on SBJ Media here. Access may require a subscription.