Going through what Dan Snyder's decision means; Amazon's latest sports play; the Eagles lead in NFL social value and is Ryan Reynolds eyeing 'Welcome to Ottawa'?
While the World Series is setting up nicely for Major League Baseball and Fox, a game five tonight, while it goes up against the NFL, it still positions the series to go at least six and possibly seven games, which is what the network and the league wants. I'll be at the Breeder's Cup tomorrow, Friday and Saturday at Keeneland. If you're attending, please let me know, love to say hi. This is your Morning Buzzcast for Thursday, November 3rd. Good morning, I'm Abe Madkour. Thank you for listening to the Buzzcast. Big news in the NFL. While Commanders owner Dan Snyder enlisted Bank of America to explore options of selling the team, it's still not clear whether the Snyders are considering the sale of the entire franchise or just a minority share. The team admitted they are exploring all options, but the key news is that Snyder is at least weighing the possibility of selling the team he has owned for the past 23 years.
We know all the controversy surrounding the Commanders and the lack of fan support that the Snyder's are experiencing, especially at the team's most recent home game during which fans booed a video of Tonya Snyder and chanted "Sell the team." But as SBJ's Ben Fisher reported last night, even considering a sale of a controlling stake is an extraordinary development. It's the first indication that Dan Snyder may leave voluntarily rather than forced out of the NFL. But it's still a complex story. It's not set in stone that a transaction will occur. Let's go through a couple of the possible scenarios. Maybe Dan Snyder wants to find limited partners to help him finance a new stadium. Maybe economic conditions have compelled Dan Snyder to push for a minority ownership transaction, because he wants to lower his exposure to rising interest rates. But remember, if he sells any limited partnership stake, that would be incredibly difficult to sell without a path to a control stake eventually. The person would, of course, want to eventually take over the team. Maybe Dan Snyder still intends to fight league action, but is educating himself on his options.
Another suggestion is that Dan Snyder is choosing this route because he wants to choose his own eventual successor of the franchise. Finally, this could indicate that Dan Snyder has received some indication that the League Commission Mary Joe White report into misconduct and other allegations at the franchise will not be a positive result for him, and that he has begun the sale process because of that insight. Any transaction involving the Commanders would require approval of 24 of the 32 owners. There are a lot of options out here. No action on Dan Snyder is expected before that Mary Jo White Report is issued, and there's no timeline for that. Let's take it back for a second. In 1999, Dan Snyder purchased the team and it's stadium for 800 million from the estate of Jack Kent Cook. In August, Forbes estimated that the Commanders are worth $5.6 billion. This sale will easily eclipse records set by Chelsea and the Denver Bronco's recent $4.65 billion transaction. A good source told me yesterday "Do not be surprised for a deal in the $6 billion or $7 billion range."
Finally, does this complicate other deals? If someone was looking at buying the Phoenix Suns or the Angels or the Nationals, do they now pivot to the Commanders? We'll have to wait and see. But all in all, a dramatic and significant action by the 57 year old Dan Snyder to even begin considering options for a sale of Washington's football team. That news received headline treatment that few sports team sales do, and that's indicative of the interest around this story.
Let's move on. I know everyone will speculate that Amazon's Jeff Bezos will be a bidder for the Commanders and he might be. But one thing is clear, his company is moving deeper and deeper into sports. The latest deal is Amazon Prime Video investing in Overtime Elite and signing a three year rights deal with the company to live stream 20 games per season. This is a big deal for Overtime. Now, the games will start this Friday, tomorrow night, and that's around Overtime's League of 16 to 20 year old players. The 20 games will stream on Friday and Saturday nights from that Overtime arena, which is based in Atlanta. Prime Video will also stream a season long unscripted series that will launch in the middle of next year.
The size of Prime's investment in Overtime was not disclosed, but this is a, again, big deal for Overtime in terms of getting funding and getting distribution, because this marks Overtime's first rights deal. They broadcast their own games on YouTube during their inaugural 21-22 season. Overtime Elite will continue to produce the broadcast in partnership with Prime, but this is again, a significant step for Dan Porter, Zach Wiener at Overtime to get investment from the likes of Amazon and a media rights deal and distribution through Amazon.
Let's shift to college sports. I talked to a source last night who talked a lot about conference stability, and the source was hoping that each college conference would maybe do their media rights deal and then just sit tight on any realignment. But we know that conversations are still taking place. ESPN reported that Gonzaga's athletic director met with Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark last week as part of a broader discussion about the school potentially joining the Big 12.
Now, we know that the Big 12 does feel strongly about basketball. It likes its basketball footprint, but certainly the Big 12 would be much stronger if Gonzaga left the West Coast Conference for the Big 12 and for basketball. Now very early, but it shows that conferences are still looking to strengthen its base of schools. That's a story we're definitely going to want to keep an eye on.
Shifting to the NFL, now that Philadelphia Eagles have generated more social media value through this point of the season than any other NFL team, that's according to data from Zoomph, which is exclusively on sportsbusinessjournal.com. Through week eight, the Eagles, who are of course the NFL's only remaining unbeaten team, has led the league in total engagements at more than 21 million, which have accounted for an estimated nearly $27 million in social media value. Now, there's always a question about the social value figure, but when looking at total engagement, it gives you an idea of which franchises are really resonating on social media.
Like I said, the full list is on sportsbusinessjournal.com, but the top five in terms of social value are through week eight: the Philadelphia Eagles, probably not surprising, the Dallas Cowboys, certainly not surprising the Buffalo Bills, again, I'm not surprised, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the New York Giants. I'll give you a hint of number six. Well, I'll just tell you number six: the Seattle Seahawks, which may be a little bit of a surprise, but those are NFL teams social media social value through week eight.
We will end with this People magazine reports, and yes, I don't often cite People on the Buzzcast, but People is reporting that actor Ryan Reynolds is very interested in buying the Ottawa Senators, should the NHL team ultimately be sold. It seems Ryan Reynolds has got the sports team ownership bug with Wrexham, and we all know how much we've enjoyed "Welcome to Wrexham." Maybe Ryan Reynolds wants to do another show about his foray in Ottawa. I know I'll watch that, but we will see if Ryan Reynolds decides to pursue the Ottawa Senators. So that is your morning Buzzcast for Thursday, November 3rd. I am Abe Madkour. Thanks for listening. I won't be on the Buzzcast tomorrow, but our talented managing editor, David Albright, will present Friday's Buzzcast. But until I speak to you on Monday, stay healthy, be good to each other. I'll speak to you down the road.