Brett Yormark begins year two at the Big 12, Pac-12 schools hear some media rights options and Box to Box Films looks for minority investment to fuel growth.
As Michael Smith noted in this week's SBJ College Newsletter, it's difficult to imagine a conference commissioner having a more eventful first year in office than Brett Yormark at the Big 12. Yormark's first official day on the job was August 1st, 2022. Yormark might have rubbed some in college athletics the wrong way when he announced that the Big 12 was open for business, meaning that the conference was looking to grow. Colorado is the first school to jump from the Pac-12 to the Big 12, that happened last week. Among the more notable accomplishments in the past 12 months, game-changing media rights agreements with ESPN and Fox through 2031, the accelerated exit for Texas and Oklahoma to the SEC. Commercial multimedia rights being brought in-house, BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF joining the conference, and new events scheduled for Mexico. As Yormark begins his second year on the job, it will be interesting to watch what's in store for an encore.
Good morning, it's Wednesday, August 2nd. This is your SBJ Morning Buzzcast. I'm David Albright filling in for Abe Madkour. After months of negotiations and uncertainty, Pac-12, commissioner George Kliavkoff on Tuesday presented the conference's presidents and chancellors with a potential primarily subscription-based Apple streaming deal for its television contract that expires after the upcoming school year. While several options were presented in the meeting, the Apple streaming deal emerged as the likely leader at this point bringing some clarity to a lengthy process that has frustrated many within the league and ultimately played a role in Colorado's decision last week to join the Big 12. Monetary and exposure questions still loom though and outside pressure from the Big 12 remains. There are not expected to be any imminent decisions on whether this TV deal is enough to appease Arizona, Arizona State, and Utah, which are being heavily courted by the Big 12.
Box to box Films, the UK based production company behind a number of Netflix sports documentaries wants to raise roughly $30 million as the company is looking to bring on a minority investor to help fuel its next stage of growth. The company co-founded in 2016 by Paul Martin and James Gay-Rees is projecting roughly $11 million in revenue this year and is profitable. Netflix has renewed Formula 1: Drive to Survive for a sixth season, which is set to debut early next year and the golf docuseries Full Swing for a second season. The firm has expanded its portfolio to new sports series, including the tennis docuseries Make or Break, a surfing documentary on Apple TV Plus and a new Netflix series on the Tour de France.
OC-Vibe announced a multi-year deal yesterday with global insurance brokerage risk management and consulting firm Gallagher to become the first founding partner of the mixed use district being built around the Honda Center in downtown Anaheim. Gallagher will secure naming rights to the 300 person capacity Gallagher Club within the 5,700 seat entertainment venue being built. The company will have a strong presence throughout the Oc-Vibes campus digital signage and other onsite channels, and will host events in the planned $4 billion development, which was approved to move forward by the Anaheim City Council in the fall of 2022. The first phase, including the market, six restaurants, the concert venue featuring the Gallagher Club and a plaza, is scheduled for completion by 2026. The deal further cements Gallagher's Affinity for sports venue adjacent mixed use development sponsorships, a strategy spearheaded by Gallagher CMO, Chris Mead. The company's name is already on Gallagher Way outside of Wrigley Field as well as Gallagher Square outside Petco Park in San Diego. W Partners represented Gallagher in the deal.
SI Tickets is introducing single game post-season seat licenses, which enables fans to reserve a ticket for the college football's Power Five Conference Championships, New Year's Six Bowls, the College Football Playoff as well as NFL playoffs and Super Bowl. Formerly called Post-Season Reservations, SI Tickets rolled out this offering upon its launch in June of 2021 and it remains the only ticketing marketplace to feature it. At sitickets.com/psl, fans can select their team, post-season game and seating zone, then pay the non-refundable PSL fee, and when their team makes the game, they pay the ticket price locked in the day they purchase. PSLs, which are essentially a futures bet by fans on their team season, start as low as $10 and can be resold all year long on the SI Tickets Marketplace. Consumers can save up to 80% on post-season tickets compared to the game week price for the same ticket SI Tickets also offers single game PSLs for MLB, NHL, NBA and the Final Four, and it covers the cost difference for any successful PSL purchase by fans.
Sports Media podcast co-host Andrew Marchand broke all the news about ESPN's new NBA booth next season and on this week's podcast, he explains why ESPN let go of Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy. Co-host John Ourand broke news of NASCAR signing a rights deal with the CW, and on this week's podcast, he breaks down what the deal means for both the CW and NASCAR. Other topics on this week's pod include the frightening subscriber numbers sports channels are posting this year, the state of negotiations around the Pac-12's media deal, an update on the MLS Apple deal and the status of ESPN Radio now that the company has outsourced the group's operations and sales to Craig Karmazin's Good Karma Brands. You can download the Marchand and Ourand Sports Media podcast on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. And that's your SBJ Morning Buzzcast for Wednesday. Hope everyone has a great day and we'll see you back here tomorrow morning.