Early Entrants Vol. 2 – Formula One For Sale, Again

F1

Formula One For Sale, Again

Less than 3 years after Liberty Media acquired Formula One, the company is reportedly exploring scenarios that would decrease their stake in the international racing circuit; everything from an exit to the introduction of new equity partners in on the table. Liberty has failed to add races (see: Miami) and/or major sponsors, attract younger fans (fact: just 14% are < 25 years old) or drive digital revenues (.06% of total revenue in ‘18); issues that collectively indicate the C-suite is in over their heads and taking direction from the wrong places. Keep an eye on former owner Bernie Ecclestone, the British business magnate has the capital, know-how and can likely reclaim the asset back for a fraction of the $8 billion he sold it for. 

DAZN Looking to Unload Perform Content

Sources indicate that UK-based DAZN Group, rich in fight sports broadcasts rights (in U.S.), is piling up the losses on its P&L and is considering selling off the company’s B2B play – Perform Content (think: data, news, game prod.) – to fund additional rights acquisitions. The initial plan was to use Perform Content’s cash flow to cross-finance the company’s D2C sports-centric streaming service, but skyrocketing rights fees for live sports content (see: $1 billion commitment for Matchroom Boxing, $350 million for Canelo Alvarez, $300 million for MLB) has created the need for some short-term financing; look for the company to add some long-tail content in the near-term to complement the cyclical nature of its live MMA/boxing events.

Ticketmaster on the Market

A decade after acquiring the ticketing giant, there are rumors that Live Nation could be looking to shed Ticketmaster at a profit. Ticketmaster wants to be in the marketplace business, but a decision by eBay to spinoff Stubhub (see: activist investors urging split) would force the company to become a market maker. By cutting ties with Ticketmaster, Live Nation – a content rights holder – would be able to take advantage of a more robust ticketing engine (note: TM technology is dated) and open distribution (see: sell as many as many tickets as possible); Ticketmaster wants all sales to go through Ticketmaster.

Fox Sports’ Home for Gambling Content

5 years after the launch of FS2, Fox Sports may finally have a programming solution (besides NASCAR and UFC repeats) for the supplemental cable sports channel; gambling content. The talk is certainly preliminary, but it’s not difficult to imagine a future where New Fox looks to marry live rights with sports betting; the company has already introduced its first daily gambling show – “Lock It In” with Rachel Bonnetta, Cousin Sal and Clay Travis (on FS1). Could ESPN (with ESPN2) be far behind?

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Author: John Wall Street

At the intersection of sports & finance.

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