SBJ Morning Buzzcast

SBJ Morning Buzzcast: August 31, 2022

Episode Summary

SeatGeek raises a new financing round, the NBA announces its Covid testing policy and the Magic unveil a state-of-the-art practice facility.

Episode Transcription

We'll start off this morning with a quick public service announcement for those listening in the New York City area between the Dodgers Mets game at City Field with the first pitch at 7:10 PM Eastern and the night session of the US Open begins at the same time and features Serena Williams' second round match at Arthur Ash Stadium. Not to mention those trying to catch a night flight out of nearby LaGuardia Airport, avoiding the Grand Central Parkway and seeking out public transportation may be the way to go on this final day of the month. Good morning. It's Wednesday, August 31st. This is your SBJ Morning Buzzcast. I'm David Albright filling in for Abe Madkour.

Speaking of the US Open, ESPN averaged 2.7 million viewers for Serena Williams's first round win on Monday night. The one hour and 45 minute portion of a five hour window, notes are Austin Carp. The audience peaked at 3.2 million from 9:00 to 9:15 PM Eastern. The match led ESPN to an average of 1.7 million viewers from 7:00 PM to midnight marking a first day record audience for the network. Monday also was the most trafficked US Open opening day ever for ESPN digital properties.

The return of the tour championship to a Pre-labor Day weekend slot led to a 5% boost for the PGA tours event final round compared to 2021 when it aired on Labor Day weekend. The final round on Sunday from Atlanta averaged 3.62 million viewers on NBC as Rory McElroy came from behind to win the season championship. That's up from 3.4 million for Patrick Cantlay's win last year, but below the 4 million mark for Dustin Johnson's win in 2020. That event aired on a Monday in September due to a shifted schedule around COVID. In 2019, McElroy's win in late August averaged 3.7 million viewers.

A final ratings note Fox sports got off to a strong start on Saturday. The broadcast network averaged 4.42 million viewers for Northwestern's win over Nebraska from Ireland. That's up 35% from Nebraska, Illinois in week zero last year. In case you were wondering why sports media rights continue to command top dollars, there are some quick examples.

SeatGeek announced this morning that it's raised a 238 million series E financing round nearly three months after the ticketing technology company SPAC deal with RedBall Acquisition Corp fell through. The round was led by Excel and included Wellington Management, Arctos Sports Partners, and Ryan Smith, founder of Smith Entertainment Group, which includes the Utah jazz and founder and executive chairman of Qualtrics. The investment values the business at $1 billion on a basis. SeatGeek says it exceeded all 2021 public financial forecasts and is on track to more than double revenue in 2022. Q2 net revenue grew 89% year over year and net revenue is up 196% in the first six months of 2022 with gross profit up 238%.

The NBA in a memo to team said that unvaccinated players and team personnel must submit to weekly COVID-19 testing this season. There will be certain exceptions to that mandate such as when the unvaccinated person is considered to have been recently recovered from COVID-19. Testing will not be required for all others, except when directed by their team physician or a league physician or a government authority. The policy for the coming season agreed to by the NBPA has been developed over the last several weeks and is consistent with what commissioner Adam Silver said last month. He would expect all players and team personnel will be required to get tested when exhibiting any symptoms. The overwhelming majority of NBA players and staff were vaccinated last season.

The Orlando Magic and Advent Health today are unveiling their state-of-the-art 70 million Advent Health Training Center, which team executives believe will serve as a best in class standard for practice facilities across the NBA. The 130,000 square foot center is located one block from Amway Center. Player amenities include a sensory deprivation pod, altitude chamber, full body cryotherapy and hydrotherapy offerings, a treadmill pool, massage suites, hot and cold plunge pools, and a 6,000 square foot team living room that acts as the facility's hub. The center is funded by the Magic and DeVos family and supported by the naming rights partnership with Advent Health, a partner with the magic for 30 plus years. Partners featured in and around the building include Verizon, Altitude International, Violet Defense, Volta Charging, and Jani-King.

Fox Sports today will roll out its new slate of FS1 studio shows for the fall set to begin after Labor Day, highlighted by the debut of the Carton Show. Craig Carton's new program will begin the daily lineup starting September 6th with a 7:00 AM Eastern show leading into Skip and Shannon Undisputed at 9:30. Undisputed also has a new host for its sixth season in Jen Hale. The Herd with Colin Coward remains in the 12:00 PM window with Jason McIntyre now aboard as co-host. First Things First will be in a new time slot at 3:00 PM and in a new studio this season. The 4:30 PM show Speak will continue to be anchored by Emmanuel Acho who will be joined by a newcomer and former NFL LaShaun McCoy, long time Undisputed and Herd host Joy Taylor also will be part of that program. And NASCAR Race Hub will finish off the cable networks lineup of studio shows at 6:00 PM Eastern.

Jackson State football coach Deion Sanders on Tuesday set in an Instagram video that his program and players are now in a crisis mode when it comes to grappling with the multiple water problems that have afflicted Mississippi's capital city in the past week. Parts of Jackson were without running water Tuesday because of flooding has exacerbated longstanding problems in one of the two water treatment plants. The university brought in temporary restrooms for students and Sanders said the water crisis has left his players without drinking water and unable to flush toilets or take showers at their practice facility. Jackson State is scheduled to open the season on Sunday afternoon versus Florida A&M down in Miami.

We'll close on a quick programming note. ESPN's new Monday Night Football announcers Joe Buck and Troy Aikman joined The Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast to talk about how and why they moved from Fox to ESPN during the off season. Andrew and John also discuss Amazon's exclusive NFL preseason game, the stunning strength of NFL TV ratings, the future of Sinclair's RSNs, Apple's Friday night MLB telecast, ESPN's ACC contract and Pat McAfee's exit from Sirius XM. You can download the new episode 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.