SBJ Morning Buzzcast

SBJ Morning Buzzcast: May 13, 2022

Episode Summary

Endeavor tops Wall St. expectations, a sponsor-filled PBR Finals starts tonight and the SEC Network has a new boss.

Episode Transcription

The NFL will open its 2022 campaign where it closed the final game of last season at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California as the Super Bowl champion, Los Angeles Rams host the Buffalo Bills on Thursday, September 8th. The Monday night football opener offers an intriguing storyline, Russell Wilson making his Denver Broncos debut against his old team, the Seattle Seahawks in Lumen Field. 13 NFL teams will have five primetime games. The Lions are the only team currently without a slot in that spotlight. Nine teams will enjoy three game home stands, while four must endure three game road trips and buys begin in week six.

In mid-May, one thing is for sure, hopes brings eternal even for this Bear's fan. Good morning. It's Friday, May 13th. This is your SBJ Morning Buzzcast. I'm David Albright filling in for Abe Madkour. Endeavor topped Wall Street expectations in Q1, beating on revenue and earnings per share, as the company's segments continue to see growth return in a world with significantly fewer COVID-19 restrictions.

The company's live events and experiences segment was up 53% from a year ago to nearly 826 million, driven by more full capacity events that the company had exposure to or ownership of, including Super Bowl LVI, the ATP WTA Miami Open and the Men's Final Four. Endeavors owned sports properties led by UFC and PBR were up 5% to 297 million, mostly due to improved sponsorship, licensing and attendance figures at UFC, as well as additional PBR events. Endeavor noted that UFC sold out all of its pay-per-view events in Q1, while PBR sold out seven shows. The Miami Open also posted its best ever attendance and Super Bowl LVI was the largest single hospitality event in terms of revenue and on location experiences history. Remember Endeavor is now the full owner of On Location.

Electronic Arts has been the center of attention, this weekend gaming. The studio announced that its FIFA deal, one of EEAs oldest partnerships will end in July of 2023. Since it's launch in 1993, the FIFA series has become the best selling sports video franchise in the world with more than 325 million copies sold as of 2021. But it wasn't all bad news for EA. While the publisher couldn't score a FIFA licensing renewal, its fiscal year earning showed a profit of 789 million with 7.52 billion in annual net bookings.

The FIFA franchise was one of the significant contributors, as the trailing 12 month period that ended March 31st was the biggest ever for FIFA games, with more than 150 million unique accounts and FIFA 22 having the best launch in franchise history. In total, EA games surpassed a player network of more than 580 million unique active accounts and grew by 16% year-over-year, driven by acquisitions, including British Developer Code Masters and its F1 Project Cars and Grid Motor Sports game series.

The PBR world finals begin tonight at Dickey's Arena in Fort Worth, Texas with a roster of 30 sponsors, according to our David Bruton. Nearly half of those brands have signed on with the League in the past three years, including non-endemic Audacious Wreck Relief and Next Grills. Pendleton Whiskey, a partner since 2021 will have one of the most visible fan facing activations as title sponsor to the Concert Series that will feature live music each weekend evening. The 40 riders will compete to earn the coveted gold buckle made by Montana Silversmith's, a partner since 2011.

CBS sports network will broadcast the first seven rounds live and the championship round will air live on CBS on Sunday, May 22nd. Texas A&M Deputy AD, Michael Thompson Jr, who has helped shape the SCC Network for almost a decade from Campus, is now going to be running the ESPN owned channel, reports our Michael Smith. The veteran college administrator will now oversee all aspects of programming and scheduling for SCC Network and Longhorn Network. Thompson replaces Stacy McCollum who joined Draft Kings in February to become its head of programming. Thompson whose title with ESPN will be VP, Programming and Acquisitions will report to Senior VP Ilan Ben-Hanan, and will be based at SCC Network headquarters in Charlotte.

In his new role, Thompson will serve as the point of contact for ESPN's business with the SCC and will work directly with commissioner Greg Sankey and Deputy Commissioner Charlie Hussey. Among his responsibilities will be profits and losses, programming strategy, content acquisitions, live event scheduling and setting the long term strategy for SCC Network. The conference's official website also sits under that umbrella.

We'll close on a weekend planning note. There are always great choices for your sports viewing pleasure, especially this time of year with the NBA and NHL Playoffs underway, not to mention Major League Baseball, golf, racing, even spring football, but tomorrow the hockey gods have graced us with three game sevens, Boston at Carolina, Tampa Bay at Toronto and LA at Edmonton with a possibility of three more on Sunday, depending on how tonight's game six's play out. And on Sunday in the NBA, there's already one game seven, Dallas at Phoenix with the possibility of Milwaukee at Boston, if the Celtics can win game six tonight at Fiserv Forum.

Everybody listening to this podcast may be focused on the business of sports, but there's still a fan in all of us, and a weekend like this one was made for the best unscripted reality entertainment you can find. So enjoy. That's your SBJ Morning Buzzcast for Friday. I hope everyone has a great day, an even better weekend and we'll see you back here Monday morning.