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 news that NHL players won’t be going to the Winter Olympics in Beijing. The league and its players’ union were originally planning to allow athletes to represent their countries in February, but the pandemic’s resurgence has changed those plans.
Though the NHL regular season has a two-week break built in for the Olympics, the league has maintained that it might need that space to make up games that were postponed due to COVID-19. The spread of the omicron variant has already disrupted more than 50 games, and the league announced earlier this week that it would put the entire season on pause through at least Saturday to try to halt the spread.
The hosts discuss how the NHL, NBA and NFL are all making changes now that positive tests are on the rise. The NFL, for example, has said it will do less testing of players who are asymptomatic. The NHL, which has the added complication of seven Canadian franchises, is under pressure to do the same.
Lastly, the hosts discuss another potential private equity deal in the NBA. Dyal HomeCourt Partners, a division of Blue Owl Capital (NYSE: OWL), is nearing an agreement to acquire a sizable stake in the Atlanta Hawks, in a deal that values the NBA team at roughly $2 billion. Dyal HomeCourt already has minority interests in the Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns.