Broadcast, Digital & Media, Future Trends, Governance & Commercial Growth, Partnerships, Sport Business | Jun 24, 2020 | 8 min read

Charting the money, the moves, and the media across the global business of sport

By James Emmett


Hello to one and all, and welcome along to the Leaders Digest, a halftime orange of sports industry insight, delivered to your inbox each Wednesday.


5 Questions, Answered

1.) Are you bored of the Teams vs Zoom vs Google (vs Webex?) small talk yet?

I thought as much. Next time somebody asks you what platform you prefer, pull out this incredibly handy community tools map and make them wish they’d never asked.


2.) What should I think about the Bundesliga’s latest round of TV rights deals?

Much as it became the first major European sports league to return to play, the Bundesliga has gone first – among its football powerhouse peers – on a domestic media rights deal. And if it showed the way with its operational protocols, other major rights holders will surely be hoping it hasn’t with its new deals with Sky and DAZN for the next four-year cycle. It’s a good get for DAZN; but if MLB’s big expected uplift with Turner is a reason for confidence in the traditional rights model in the US, is a dip in revenue for the Bundesliga – from €4.6 billion four years ago to €4.3 billion today – not a reason for worry in Europe?


3.) Where is TikTok going next?

The parent company is advertising a bucketful of roles in ‘livestreaming ecommerce’. So I’d guess it’s there.


4.) Is it just me or is there more chatter about private equity in sport lately?

It’s not just you, and there is. And that may well be because there are suddenly a lot of troubled or distressed assets around; assets helmed by leaders who will – in most instances – be eager to find ways to plug Covid-shaped revenue gaps. As Advent Capital become the latest financiers to show interest in Serie A, we discuss the topic on the latest episode of the podcast, which features a conversation with Danny Sillman, a man with what some believe is a radical plan to plug some revenue gaps across European football.


5.) Anything creative, uplifting, and with tangible things to take away you could point me towards?

Indeed. LaLiga’s teams are taking an open-minded and varied approach to livening up their empty stadiums, and drive-ins may well be about to happen in a big way.

Villarreal CF have integrated photo replicas of their fans to display in the stands.


The Digest, Digested

Ex-Jockey Club bosses launch advisory firm, Global Venue Services (1 min)
The Sports Business Furlong: Carter Carnegie vs NBC Sports’ Jon Miller (7 mins)
Barcelona generate $1.3m from fan token sales (2 mins)
Hollywood heavyweights cut LA’s second-highest sale of 2020 (2 mins)
Saudi Arabian Football Federation writes to major sports bodies following WTO report (2 mins)
30 ways to bring the live game experience to fans at home (8 mins)
Pyramid scheme (10 mins)

What’s new?

–    Former Jockey Club and Jockey Club Racecourses CEOs Simon Bazalgette and Paul Fisher have launched their new advisory business, Global Venue Services.


What’s trending?

–    Interesting people talking to interesting people who are just as interested in talking to them – you get what I mean; it’s why Lance Armstrong’s podcast was/is so compelling: his guests are just as interested in quizzing him as he is them. Some new examples in the genre: Former inmate of the 10 Downing Street communications office and HMP Belmarsh Andy Coulson has a new podcast on navigating crises; and – shifting gears slightly – former Breeders’ Cup SVP Carter Carnegie has a new series of in-depth interviews with prominent sports executives attached – but not directly in – the racing industry.

–    Directories – A good one here on archive streaming content and where to find it; and here, an A-Z of sports restarts.

–    Grasping the nettle – now is not the time to go quiet.




–    Aneesh Madani has added to his remit at the IOC, having been promoted to the role of Head of Global Digital Partnerships and Social Media.

–    Sheila Ford Hamp has succeeded her mother, Martha Firestone Ford, as the principal owner and chair of the Detroit Lions.

–    Sunil Rayan has been appointed as the President of Disney Plus Hotstar.

–    Paul Mitchell has been appointed as the new Sporting Director at AS Monaco, having been successfully placed by Nolan Partners.


–    Are you Formula E’s new Strategy and Business Development Director?
–    Are you any number of new broadcast production executives at HBS?



Blockchain, block gain
FC Barcelona have generated $1.3 million through the sale of 600,000 ‘fan tokens’ in tandem with blockchain fintech provider Chiliz.

Mansion heights 
LA 2028 President Casey Wasserman has sold his beautiful Richard Meier-designed home in the Hollywood Hills for a cool $68 million.



–    231 – the number of new anti-piracy measures introduced by Saudi authorities following the WTO ruling against it last week.

–    30 – from the people who brought you 120 ways to engage with fans when there are no games, here are 30 ways to bring the live sports experience to fans at home.


Longer read

–    A comprehensive and, I’m afraid to say, dispiriting analysis of the challenge facing festival organisers.


Thanks for reading this edition of the Leaders Digest. We’ll have another for you next Wednesday; and if you haven’t subscribed yet, do remember to opt-in here.

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