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 start of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The U.S. Men’s National Team made its tournament debut on Monday, a 1-1 tie against Wales.
The team’s results will impact basically every business with soccer interests here in America, including U.S. Soccer, MLS, media partners and sponsors. Many expect the next four years—a span that ends with the 2026 men’s World Cup hosted the U.S., Mexico and Canada—to spur a massive rise in soccer interest for fans in the States. The success of the men’s national team, which failed to qualify for the 2018 event in Russia, is paramount to that growth. The team next plays Friday in a much-anticipated showdown against England.
The hosts also discuss a media shocker. Bob Iger is returning as CEO of Disney (NYSE: DIS), two years after leaving the position. The decision comes two weeks after the company reported its lowest closing price in more than two years, and likely means changes for Disney-owned ESPN as it continues to confront rising rights costs and difficult streaming economics.
Lastly, the hosts talk about the business benefits of the New Jersey Devils’ 12-game winning streak, and a near-milestone in professional tennis’ gender pay gap.