SBJ Morning Buzzcast

SBJ Morning Buzzcast: January 12, 2023

Episode Summary

The Cowboys, again, top most-watched NFL games; USL delays women's Super League; MLB makes key media hire and Netlix set to drop two new sports series.

Episode Notes

The Cowboys, again, top most-watched NFL games; USL delays women's Super League; MLB makes key media hire and Netlix set to drop two new sports series.





Episode Transcription

As a reminder, we have launched SBJ Tech, the New Home of Sport Techy, where you'll find the industry's leading daily content dedicated to the intersection of sports and technology. Check it out slash technology while the Miami Heat will now search for a new naming rights partner for its downtown arena. As a bankruptcy judge ended Ft X's naming rights deal with Miami Dade County and that ended a two year stretch of the heat playing at FTX Arena and now means the arena naming rights are back on the marketplace. So long FTX Arena. And this is your morning Buzz cast for Thursday, January 12th. Good morning. I made mad cor. Thanks for listening to the Buzz Cast. Well this first one falls under The more things change the more they stay the same as the N NFL does have some new teams in the mix for the playoffs.

There is one constant. The Dallas Cowboys remain a viewership magnet and draw an audience unlike any team in sports. S BJ's Austin car broke down the numbers for the season and reported that the Cowboys again lead the way in terms of the most watched NFL games. This season they played in seven of the 15 most watched games. That figure is up one from last season and continues the Cowboys just consistent run of being the most popular team in sports. The number two team in the N F L in terms of the most watched games, probably not a surprise, the Green Bay Packers who have always been popular and have a great national following. They had five games in the top 15 even with last year. Now the surprise to many will be who is number three? It's the Minnesota Vikings with three games in the top 15.

But I believe it's more because of who the Vikings played. Yes, one was against the Cowboys, one was against the Packers and the third one against the Patriots on Thanksgiving evening. So a really interesting breakdown. So for your edification, the top five most popular games during the regular season. Here we go. Cowboys giants on Thanksgiving was number one. Bill's Lions on Thanksgiving was number two. Cowboys packers. Number three, Eagles Cowboys on Christmas Eve number four and Cowboys Vikings. Number five, I think you see a trend, but great data by SB J'S Austin Carp. I love how this shows the viewership attraction of some of the marquee teams in the N F nfl. Let's move on. The s l, the United Soccer League has huge growth ambitions over the next few years, but it's putting some of those on hold as it has delayed the launch of its professional Women's League.

It's called the US L Super League. They are delaying it from its initial start date of this August, August of 23 until August of 24. The Super League is run by former player and former MLS executive Amanda Van Devor. She's president of the superleague. They said the delay is to allow more time to finalize stadiums and infrastructure and even to further develop the commercial platform. It's not a surprise, uh, for the delay, honestly, because the cost of stadium development has increased dramatically with inflation and supply chain issues. And I know that has impacted the business model and the startup costs around the launch of the Women's League. It also needs to start announcing its initial clubs and the Super League hopes to do that within the next few months. The Super League, the Women's League is just one part of the major drive of the US L'S ambitious growth plans.

The US L plans to operate two men's leagues and a women's league in 70 to 80 markets in the United States by the 2026 FIFA World Cup here in the us, Mexico and Canada. So you see that's huge growth plans, a big footprint and that also includes a number of new facilities. So you can see how big the US L is thinking, but right now they have decided to delay plans to launch the Women's Superleague. It's on hold until 2024. So while one League is being delayed into 2024, there's another league launching in the United States this year. Major League Cricket is coming to America and they are very bullish about growing the game in the United States, which leaders in Cricket believe is the world's largest untapped market for the sport. So Major League cricket's. First competition will be in July outside of Dallas and there are plans to grow the league and build more facilities.

Major League Cricket and its parent company, American Cricket Enterprises has retained architectural firm H K S to build out a portfolio of venues. HKS has looked at roughly 30 opportunities for these cricket facilities across the United States. They envision these facilities, uh, seating 8,000 fans, but with the flexibility to expand to as many as 15,000 seats. So there are many investors bullish on cricket's potential in the United States and Major League Cricket is just one of many sports looking at growing its facility footprint in the US over the next few years. Speaking of growth companies, a company to keep your eye on as North Carolina base sports tech firm, Teamworks, which was founded in 2006 by former Duke football player, Zach Marita out of his dorm room. And it is all about solving problems in sports through new tech and software. Remember, Teamworks acquired Jim Al's Influencer company a few years ago now.

This week teamworks announced more acquisitions as it's really looking to become a major source for athletic and academic performance. The acquisition of four companies, smarter, base, retain, grafted, and next play will take teamworks to more than 300 employees across 10 countries and really build a, I would say an operating system for sports. So these new four businesses provide teamworks with expertise in athletic performance, academic performance. Uh, there's also data. There's also networking, much of it around college sports and the building of communities. But the Durham, North Carolina based company, Teamworks continues to grow and it's really becoming a significant player in the sports tech and software space. I will be hitting on this a lot over the next few days and weeks and I'm excited about it. So if my excitement shows through my voice, you'll have to forgive me. But Netflix, new tennis series breakpoint at debuts on Friday.

They drop the first five episodes and let's just say there are a lot of people in the tennis world who hope that this series will boost tennis, like Drive to Survive boosted Formula One as a tennis guy, I'll be watching and some early reviews are dropping of the first five episodes. And let's just say they're mixed reviews. SISs John Worth, Heim, who is a noted tennis follower and observer called the Show Slick, a briskly paced defly shot defly edited series that overall succeeds in what it sets out to do. He writes, he says that it's turning tennis into compelling programming and shows real fondness and empathy for the players. Meanwhile, the London Telegraph writes the first few episodes, we're a bit of a letdown and writes that there's no sign of the viciousness that turned drive to survive into such a juggernaut. They write that the biggest challenge for the show is the politeness around the sport of tennis and it's just too nice.

So those are some of the early reviews of breakpoint, but remember this is a series that will develop over time. So like I said, breakpoint launches Friday with the first episodes being dropped and this is just one of two Netflix series cuz Netflix dropped its first trailer for full swing. That's its golf documentary that will be released on February 15th and features storytelling around the PGA Tour and the live golf tour. The first trailer, I'll just say it's pretty intense. It's in yesterday's closing bell. And I will say that the p g A tour versus Live Golf, that storyline is a key focus for the show. So two high profile new docu-series from Netflix Breakpoint and Full Swing. And that continues Netflix Deep dive into sports storytelling. And finally, a big executive hire by Major League Baseball s BJ's, John Aran reporting exclusively today on Thursday that baseball has hired one of the top executives around regional sports networks to help it figure out what to do with their R S N Rights Baseball has hired former Fox Sports Net executive, Billy Chambers to the newly created position of executive vice president of local media.

Chambers has unbelievable knowledge and experience around regional sports networks. He was C F O overseeing the 21 Fox sports branded regional sports networks. When Fox sold to Sinclair, he stayed with Sinclair for a little while. Now at baseball, his job is pretty clear. Baseball wants him to figure out what to do with some of these rights in their local markets. Remember, baseball has already started looking at creating a national product that would combine with its out of market extra innings package to provide a direct to consumer service from the league. So this is a big, big initiative. This has all the attention of the league and the teams and a big hire of Billy Chambers to this executive vice president of local media at Major League Baseball. In addition, major League baseball also promoted the very well respected Kenny Gersh to Executive Vice President of Media and Business Development. So Commissioner Rob Manfred rounding out his executive leadership team around media with two big moves. So that is your morning buzz, cast a lot of news today, Thursday, January 12th, I may. Matt Gore, thanks for listening to the Buzz Cast. Thanks for spreading the word on the buzz cast. Stay healthy, be good to each other. I will speak to you Tomorrow.