SBJ Morning Buzzcast

SBJ Morning Buzzcast: February 12, 2024

Episode Summary

The NFL wins; Vegas wins; Chiefs win; Talk from the Strip; Tennis Channel in play?

Episode Transcription

Abe Madkour:
Let's look ahead. The NFL's 2024 season will kick off in Kansas City next September because congratulations to the Hunt family, Chiefs President, Mark Donovan, and the entire Kansas City Chiefs organization for winning back to back Super Bowls, a tense overtime game that should draw massive viewership. And while Chiefs Nation celebrates, Niner Nation has another very, very tough loss to live with. And this is your Morning Buzzcast for Monday, February 12. Good morning. I'm Abe Madkour. Thanks for listening to the Buzzcast. Thanks to Austin Karp and Joe Lemire, who brought you the Buzzcast late last week. Well, I'm going to bring in my producer, Reggie Walker, who knows his football. Reggie, what'd you think?

Reggie Walker:
I thought it was a well played game. There was a lot of different things that happened, but a little bit of everything, which I think is always enjoyable. Talking about the game on the field specifically Brock Purdy was good. Patrick Mahomes took it to another level, and shout out to Tony Romo. I thought for the most part, he was really, really good, pointing out a lot of intricacies on plays that had a lot more impact than maybe the average viewer would've realized.

Abe Madkour:
Yeah, I thought Romo was good too. And we'll dive deeper into CBS's performance later in the week on the Buzzcast. But I agree, a pretty intense game, especially later in the game in that second half, it really got going. And like you said earlier, at the end, you weren't going to bet against Patrick Mahomes.

And also Reggie, you never get consensus on Super Bowl ads. My favorite, because I'm a New England homer was the Dunkin spot with Tom Brady, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. I enjoy reading Fortune's Alan Murray and he wrote this morning that at $7 million for a 30 second spot, he felt advertisers mostly played it safe. He wrote, "There was no crypto businesses trying to break through, no edgy controversies, no social messaging, just lots of nostalgia and a lot of celebrities." There'll be a lot on the advertising later in the week.

But for the NFL, what a week, I will say this Las Vegas delivered and the city and the League have to be very, very pleased with Super Bowl weekend. Yes, it was crowded on the strip, particularly Saturday, but you could get around for most of the week and I left Sunday morning, so I don't know how game day went. But you had the media center at Mandalay Bay at the top of the strip. You had most NFL owners at the Wynn, you had the NFL, and its contingent largely at Caesar's Palace and many others spread out along the strip. But the Super Bowl will come back to Las Vegas. It was a financial and box office hit, and it calls into question the future rotation of how many cities will be in that Super Bowl rotation.

You know that the NFL wants to be in Los Angeles. They do like Houston, you have Phoenix, and of course Miami. Next year you have a lot of people's favorite with the NFL heading back to the in New Orleans, next year's Super Bowl, February 9th, 2025 as Super Bowl 59 will be the 11th held in the city of New Orleans, tying it with Miami. Remember the last time it was played in NOLA, it was 2013, that was the Blackout Bowl because of the lost half hour or so of play when the lights went out in half of the Superdome.

So New Orleans will have a tough act to follow in Las Vegas. And in New Orleans, they're completing the $500 million renovation of the Superdome, a project that started in 2019. After New Orleans, the game returns to the Bay Area and Levi Stadium. But a big win in Las Vegas for the NFL.

So where else is the NFL going? Well, we know they are playing their first game in Brazil the night after the Chiefs host the season opener. And that is a smart move by the league. In 2024 the NFL will have three games in London, one in Germany, and the first game ever in Brazil. The NFL is also heading to Spain in 2025. That'll be the first regular season game ever in that country. So it'll be a game at Real Madrid's stadium, the Dolphins appear likely to be the home team in Madrid as they are the only AFC team with marketing rights in Spain and the league said it will be an AFC team hosting it. Now the Dolphins already have a connection with Real Madrid as the Dolphins arranged a preseason friendly soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona at Hard Rock Stadium. So that connection could lead to the Dolphins playing in Spain. But the bottom line, you're seeing real energy, real momentum, and real ambition in the NFL's global expansion.

What else was talked about a little in Vegas? Well, there were a ton of events in the city going on throughout the weekend. Friday night, Dana White's Power Slap League sold out ticket packages for its event at the Durango. So why is this noteworthy? Well, I just think it's interesting how Dana White's really trying to grow this property. He wanted to leverage Super Bowl week, the company worked with Endeavors on location and sold tickets to its event for the first time. The events previously only hosted VIPs and were free. But on Friday night, tickets ranged from $500 to $3,000. Yes, there were only about a thousand seats in capacity, but it was full. And you had heavy hitters like Michael Rubin, Tom Brady, Charles Barkley in the first row. There's some definite buzz in what Dana White is building around Power Slap.

What else was talked a lot about in Vegas with my sources? Well, the situation around the Oakland A's and the possible move to that city. And let's just say there were plenty of questions and there are plenty of questions left hanging about the team's future. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said late last week he would be disappointed if the A's don't open their ballpark in Las Vegas for the start of the 28th season.

But there is still a lot to do. The A's haven't even released renderings for their planned ballpark. The A's lease of Oakland Coliseum extends through the '24 season, but it's also unclear where the A's will play in 2025. Now, Rob Manfred said there was no rush for the '25 location to be announced, and he said they'll certainly be playing someplace in the West, but obviously a lot of work left to do on the Oakland A's front and a possible move to Vegas.

Some other news of interest, Sinclair Broadcasting Group is exploring options for The Tennis Channel. There has been interest from potential buyers to buy The Tennis Channel. Sinclair acquired The Tennis Channel for $350 million in 2016. That would be an interesting possible transaction if they do decide to sell The Tennis Channel.

Also, the US Soccer Federation agreed over the weekend at its annual meeting in Dallas to make the position of US Soccer {resident a paid position for the first time in its history. It has always been served as a volunteer position. The current US Soccer President is Cindy Parlow Cone and the change now means that the president will receive a stipend of $150,000 per year. This move has long been pushed for within the US Soccer membership, and I think it's a smart move. I think they'll get more interesting candidates and the position is certainly a full-time job and therefore should not be a volunteer position.

And finally, good news for golf fans. SBJ's Josh Carpenter is reporting that Netflix will return with season three of Full Swing in 2025. Netflix began filming this week in Phoenix at the Waste Management Open. Season two of Full Swing makes its debut on March 6th and they're already planning season three, so golf fans will continue to get their fix on Netflix.

And that is your Morning Buzzcast for Monday, February 12th, the day after Super Bowl 58. I'm Abe Madkour for Reggie Walker. Thanks for listening to the Buzzcast. Stay healthy, be good to each other. I'll speak to you tomorrow.