SBJ Morning Buzzcast

SBJ Morning Buzzcast: November 22, 2023

Episode Summary

Turkey Day nuggets; Amazon's big Friday play and early vibe on the NBA In Season Tournament.

Episode Notes

Turkey Day nuggets; Amazon's big Friday play and early vibe on the NBA In Season Tournament.

Episode Transcription

Abe Madkour:

This is the final Morning Buzzcast for the week. I want to wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am very thankful and grateful that you spend part of your busy morning or busy day listening to the Buzzcast. Thanks so much for your support.

This is your Morning Buzzcast for Wednesday, November 22nd. Good morning. I'm Abe Madkour. Thanksgiving means football, and we will have a lot of it. Three games on Thursday, Green Bay, Detroit, Washington, Dallas, San Francisco, Seattle, and then get ready for Black Friday, the Amazon game between the Jets and Dolphins on Friday, and get ready for Amazon's activations all around the game. Remember, Amazon paid the NFL about $100 million for exclusive streaming rights to this new game on the Friday after Thanksgiving. That's a big, big investment. It's just a little bit less than the league got from NBC for a wild card playoff game. So $100 million for this Black Friday game. Amazon is doing a full blitz to get a big return.

Here's what you can expect on Friday. Executives from Prime Video will open trading at the Nasdaq during the game. Amazon's core e-commerce business will promote specific brand deals on its site. Also, you will see a bunch of new creative during the game, and that shows the importance and the high profile nature of this game. As brands like Bose, Hasbro, State Farm and DraftKings all have campaigns that will debut during the Black Friday game.

Amazon sold out of ad slots early. The price for a 30 second spot within the game is in the range of $600,000 per 30 second spot, but the prices did vary. But bottom line, you will see a ton of promotion and identification with Amazon's e-commerce business, and you're seeing the start of a new tradition in the NFL on Friday.

Let's stay with the NFL. A very interesting survey in the athletic shows how players have changed their perception of NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell. The Athletic took an anonymous NFL player poll, and while only 85 players took part in the poll, it does show some interesting sentiment about player positions. It was noteworthy that nearly 60% of participating players approved of Goodell's leadership of the league, and that is a number we would not have seen a decade ago. Players appreciate how Goodell continues to grow the game globally and continues to grow revenue around the sport.

The survey also looked at the best and worst stadiums for the players to play in. The top venues listed, first, players love playing in the NFL's third oldest stadium, Arrowhead. That was number one. US Bank and Minneapolis was second. SoFi Stadium, Lambeau Field, and Lumen Field also scored quite well. But the ones that didn't score well, the ones the players don't love playing in, number one, MetLife Stadium. Number two, FedEx Field. Number three, Highmark Stadium. Some interesting sentiment shared by NFL players on the state of the league.

Finally, on the NFL, wow, ESPN drew a massive number for Monday Night Super Bowl rematch between the Eagles and the Chiefs. It looks to be the most watched Monday night football game in 27 years, drawing more than 29 million viewers across the Disney networks. That is the best number since 1996, a Green Bay at Dallas game that drew 31.5 million viewers. Again, this is the best number in 27 years. It shows how powerful the NFL is on a big matchup, and ESPN and Monday Night Football, ESPN has never seen a number like this for Monday Night Football, and again, the best number, the most watched Monday night football game in 27 years. Quite impressive.

Let's shift to the NBA because NBA fans, the relationship between the New York Knicks and the NBA is officially not good, and it reaches at the highest levels of the league and the Knicks. Here's what you need to know. The Knicks are seeking more than $10 million in their lawsuit against the Raptors. They claim that NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver, is not really suitable to make a decision on this lawsuit because he is so close to Raptors' owner, Larry Tannenbaum. That is according to a court filing. Remember, the Knicks filing focused on why this dispute over a former Knicks video coordinator who was hired by the Raptors and is accused of taking secrets and scouting reports, the Knicks believe this case should be decided by the courts rather than the NBA. They claim that Adam Silver is too conflicted to judge the Raptors because of Larry Tannenbaum's position as the league's chairman of the Board of Governors, a very powerful and influential position. But this is very rare, personal stuff becoming public.

You'd never see anybody question the integrity of Adam Silver and the NBA's constitution says that the commissioner has jurisdiction over dispute involving two or more members of the league. But the Knicks don't feel that way. Meanwhile, Knicks owner, Jim Dolan, has resigned his positions on the NBA's Board of Governor's Finance and Media Committees. He's also informed Silver and other owners that he will no longer attend Board of Governor meetings. So this relationship is really fractured, and we are getting a rare glimpse into a dispute between the league and one of its marquee franchises. Pretty fascinating stuff.

Moving on to baseball. If you're a Cubs fan and want in on season tickets, you're in luck as there is no longer a waiting list for Cubs season tickets. The team released new season ticket packages with seats available throughout Wrigley Field. This marks a rare, aggressive tactic that the Cubs have taken to sell season tickets. This marks a rare, aggressive tactic that the Cubs are taking to sell season tickets. We know they've been in a little bit of a rebuild over the last few years, and while season ticket renewal rate is in the mid 90% range, interest in the club has been a bit soft over the past few years, so you're seeing ticket inventory open up, and so there's opportunities in Chicago for season tickets for the Cubs for the first time in a long time, no longer having to be put on a waiting list.

Finally, I'll end with this. Give me your thoughts sometime over the weekend on the NBA's in-season tournament. It's early, but they're getting now closer and closer to these knockout rounds. But I'm sure so far the NBA, the teams, and media partners are very pleased. Ratings are up so far and there does seem to be more attention, media attention and fan attention, on the NBA in November than in previous years. This is going to get more interesting during the knockout rounds, but the early numbers are encouraging. ESPN has 55% more viewers than the ones in comparable NBA windows last year. Being up 55% in overall viewers is nothing to dismiss. Now, as the in-season tournament is starting to come down to the final rounds, I think we'll continue to see how these numbers shape up. But quietly, so far, pretty, pretty good for the NBA's in-season tournament.

That is your Morning Buzzcast for Wednesday, November 22nd. Again, I'm wishing everybody a great Thanksgiving. Stay healthy. Be good to each other. I'll speak to you next week.