SBJ Morning Buzzcast

SBJ Morning Buzzcast: August 9, 2022

Episode Summary

The end of the Bowlen era in Denver; Big Ten media deal close? Also, Jake Paul's venture in sports betting and Eck's walk-off.

Episode Transcription

If you listened to yesterday's Buzzcast, I said it was a quiet August Monday. Well, I should have held my words. Today is a very busy Tuesday. We have a LIV Golf versus PGA Tour hearing, a new era for the Denver Broncos, Jake Paul's big venture into sports betting, the Bengals are announcing a new naming rights partner, but first the Big Ten. This is your Morning Buzzcast for Tuesday, August 9th. Good morning. I'm Abe Madkour. Hope you're doing well. Let's get right to it.

The Big Ten's media deal could be announced very soon. We have a couple of reports shedding more light on the details. The New York Post's Andrew Marchand cited sources who say CBS is set to pay $350 million per year for that Big Ten Saturday football slot at 3:30. This comes as SBJ's John Ourand reported that it's looking like ESPN may not carry a Big Ten package for the first time in 40 years.

John Ourand reported that CBS and NBC have emerged as the clear front runners to pick up the Big Ten rights alongside, of course, Fox Sports. Now, ESPN is still said to be negotiating with the conference, and there is a possibility ESPN could wind up with part of the package. Remember, Disney's CEO, Bob Chapek, attended Big Ten schools. But right now, ESPN is on the outside looking in. Ourand reports that, of course, Fox has already agreed to the A package months ago. It'll carry a football game on Fox's broadcast network at noon, plus have games on FS1 and the Big Ten Network.

Now, the conference's deals with CBS and NBC, yet to be finalized, but, like we noted, it looks like CBS will pick up games for that 3:30 window. NBC will carry games in prime time. So still some more details to be worked out. But don't overlook the fact that if ESPN does not get a package, it would end one of the longest-standing sports media relationships in the business. ABC started carrying Big Ten games in 1966, and ESPN cut its first deal with the Big Ten in 1982. So it would be an end to an era. The Big Ten media deal coming closer to fruition, and it will have massive implications.

Speaking of a new era, a new era for the Denver Broncos begins today as the team is expected to have new ownership in place by this afternoon, Tuesday afternoon. An NFL owners' meeting will be held in Minneapolis where the Rob Walton-led group to buy the team will be likely approved by the other NFL owners. At least 24 teams must approve the deal. It's seen as a formality. It would finalize the purchase of the Broncos for $4.65 billion, which, of course, is a record price tag for any sports franchise.

Once approved, this is a group that is led by Rob Walton, Greg Penner, Carrie Walton Penner, and includes limited partners like Mellody Hobson, Condoleezza Rice, and Lewis Hamilton. It will be the Bronco's first new owners in 38 years. It's unclear which members of the ownership group will be present in Minneapolis for the meeting. Once approved, everyone in the sports business will be actively watching what changes the team makes particularly on the business side. Everybody's trying to figure out who will run the team as longtime CEO, Joe Ellis, is widely expected to move on and retire. Again, the era of the Bowlen family ownership of the Broncos, nearly four decades, will end today.

Another topic on the Buzzcast we talk a lot about, all the sports insiders keeping their eye on all the jersey deals across sports that are available. You have jersey deals available in the NBA, starting in the NHL, next season in MLB. So a ton of supply, more than demand. So people are looking at the deal terms and the brands involved. While the Minnesota Wild have signed a jersey sponsorship agreement with HealthPartners. That is a nonprofit health care provider and insurer based in Minnesota that will see the logo for the firm's orthopedics practice appear on the club's both home and away jerseys beginning with this coming season. SBJ's Alex Silverman is reporting that the five-year deal is worth about $28 million, so $5.65 million a year. That is a solid deal for a club like the Wild.

Now, this is not a new sponsor for the team, but an up-sell as HealthPartners had been a sponsor of the Wild since the club joined the NHL in 2000, so a longtime sponsor of the team. The Wild are the sixth NHL team to announce a jersey deal for this upcoming season. Remember, this is the first season the NHL has allowed teams to sell these patches. Oak View Group's Global Partnerships assisted the Wild in the deal.

Speaking of new revenue, we have talked about the Cincinnati Bengals looking for a naming rights sponsor for Paul Brown Stadium. There is an announcement scheduled for Tuesday morning where they are expected to announce a new naming rights partner. This will be a very surprising change of heart for the team that for years refused to sell naming rights. Well, we have them selling naming rights to the stadium. In addition, they sold for the first time ever a gate naming rights sponsorship. That was to telecom company, Altafiber.

Team president, Mike Brown, said it best. He said it earlier in the week, saying the team needed the revenue that will help them improve their facilities and will also help the team handle the increase in the salary cap. Remember, the Bengals are seen as a Super Bowl contender. They are in a challenging market, so they are now looking to leverage every and all revenue streams possible, which is a very new and very aggressive way of thinking for this organization. So it's an interesting change of heart and an interesting sales approach taking place in Cincinnati around the Bengals.

One of the most read stories on yesterday was our report of the launch of Betr. What is Betr? Betr is an app that will allow real money micro betting and develop digital media around it. It's being launched by Joey Levy, who is the founder or co-founder of Simplebet, and also being launched by Jake Paul, who, of course, is a social media star in his own right. In addition, Betr is backed by $50 million in financing. It includes investments from a number of heavy hitters and current and former NFL players, including Ezekiel Elliott, Richard Sherman and Dez Bryant and DeSean Jackson, among others.

Betr will launch nationally as a free-to-play site with plans to begin taking bets in states as it secures licenses. The company will be headquartered in Miami. They are adding staff and hiring people. They will venture into content first, and their first media franchise will be called BS with Jake Paul which will feature Jake Paul talking sports and betting with athletes and celebrities. So the company will launch Betr first with its new media investments as a way to generate awareness for the sports micro betting app. The app will be launched in beta in the next coming week. So interesting story, big investors on board. They're clearly betting on Jake Paul and the experience of Simplebet's Joey Levy. So that's a company to keep your eye on.

Finally, those that have been lucky enough to listen to Dennis Eckersley over the years in New England will miss him as he is retiring from the NESN booth at the end of this season having served as a Red Sox analyst since 2003. Eckersley and his wife are moving to his native California so he can spend more time with his grandchildren. As a personal aside, I have loved listening to Dennis Eckersley over the years. His voice has been the sound of summer in my family home in Vermont. He has always stood out for his outspoken and colorful analysis on the Red Sox broadcast, his unique language, his style. He was so refreshing. If you ever get a chance, watch the MLB Network production of the documentary of Dennis Eckersley. You will learn so much about him. This guy had his warts, and he was never, ever afraid to talk about them on air and with the viewers and with the listeners. The Eck was the real deal. He will be moving on, and he will be missed.

That is your Morning Buzzcast for Tuesday, August 9th. I'm Abe Madkour. Hope everybody has a great day. Stay healthy. Be good to each other. I'll speak to you tomorrow.