Thursday, January 20 2022

On the latest Sporticast episode, hosts Scott Soshnick and Eben Novy-Williams discuss some of the biggest sports business stories of the week, including the latest in the sale of MLS club Real Salt Lake. A group that includes David Blitzer, co-owner of the New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia 76ers, is nearing a deal for the team, which has been on the market for more than a year.

If a deal is reached, Blitzer would be just the latest owner from another league to buy into MLS. In addition to his NBA and NHL assets, Blitzer has also invested in a handful of European soccer teams, including England’s Crystal Palace and Germany’s FC Augsburg.

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The negotiations come at a time of rapid MLS valuation growth, and a busy time on the U.S. soccer calendar. The country is hosting the bulk of the men’s World Cup in 2026, the Summer Olympics in 2028 and will likely be bidding for the women’s World Cup in 2031. That has many investors expecting new commercial opportunities for all levels of the sport in America.

The hosts also talk about the English Premier League’s next U.S. TV deal. Currently out for bid, the league will almost certainly eclipse LaLiga for the largest U.S. TV contract for a European soccer league. The EPL is the second-most watched league in the U.S., trailing only Mexico’s LigaMX.

The hosts close with a discussion about the future of sports streaming, and a brief conversation about Jon Gruden’s new NFL lawsuit. The disgraced former Las Vegas Raiders coach believes the NFL unlawfully leaked emails from a private investigation to intentionally harm his career.

(You can subscribe to Sporticast through Apple, Google, Spotify or wherever else you get your podcasts.)

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