ESPN’s (DIS) long-running morning drive radio show Mike & Mike, is coming to an end; with the last show scheduled for Friday. Beginning Monday November 27th, Mike Golic will be joined in studio by new co-host Trey Wingo. Golic & Wingo will air weekdays from 6-10a EST, with simulcast on ESPN2 (moving to ESPNU in January). JohnWallStreet had the opportunity to catch up with the guys to discuss finance, the NFL and their new show. In part 2 of a 3-part series, Trey discuss his thoughts on some recent NFL finance-related headlines.
JWS: Reports have indicated that the Tennesse Titans are having difficulty selling a 33% share of their franchise at $2.05 billion valuation. Is it possible “there are no buyers” (as stated in the report)?
Trey: Buffalo has the longest playoff drought in the league (17 years) and they sold for $1.1 billion dollars, so you can’t tell me there isn’t interest in buying a team. The question is what are you selling? If you are going to put that kind of money in and have no say, I can understand why there wouldn’t be a lot of interest there.
JWS: Mark Cuban predicts that NBA broadcast rights will continue to skyrocket, do you foresee similar growth with future NFL media rights?
Trey: The NFL’s (media rights) will skyrocket too and I’ll tell you why, they still have not sold one of their biggest bargaining chips; streaming rights. Those will be available to somebody in the next round. The NFL is keeping television alive. Thursday night football exists because people will pay a significant amount of money to put it on television. If somebody were to walk away from that contract, 3 other networks would happily pick up that package. They may not make as much money as they would have 10 years ago, they’ll still make money on it; hand over fist.
JWS: Several leagues have started to broadcast games in virtual reality. Is it a gimmick or the future?
Trey: The best way to watch a sporting event is still in front of a big TV, with other people around (Golic chimed in “with some beverages”). It’s a communal event. The 3D thing isn’t going to work because you put on those glasses and suddenly you aren’t having the interaction. If you can find a way to do 3D without the glasses, money; until that happens, VR takes away from the communal spirit of watching the game.
Does ESPN need the NFL?
Trey: That’s a question for people above my pay grade. People will tell you though, that the most significant day in ESPN history was in 1986 when they got Sunday night rights.
Howie Long-Short: “There are no buyers” for Susie Adams Smith’s stake in the Titans franchise, because they’re asking for more than $665 million for minority interest with no path to control. Complicating matters, the buyer must also be willing to purchase the other assets within the KSA Industries conglomerate (which Smith owns); oil & energy businesses, a ranch and auto dealerships. The article insinuates that the 33% stake could be sold for less than the $2.05 billion Forbes valuation. No chance. There isn’t a single scenario in which an NFL franchise sells for at less than a $2 billion valuation. The Nets just sold for $2.3 billion, without the building!
Fan Marino: Did you know that the NFLPA has a startup accelerator? One Team Collective, which launched last December, invests in data analytics, wearables, consumer products and content that improve the lives of professional athletes, their fans and athletes everywhere. The company has invested in 2 start-ups to date; WHOOP (fitness wearing trackable) and StatMuse (Siri-like app with player voices).
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