Live sports still captures the most eyeballs across traditional content categories (certain video game title releases capture more eyeballs). If Apple (AAPL), Amazon (AMZN), Disney (DIS), Google (GOOGL), WarnerBrosDiscovery (WBD), Fox (FOXA), Comcast (CMCSA), Netflix (NFLX) or another large media player was to announce a deal that it was acquiring a sports franchise, I generally would be in favor.
Yes, I do believe reports that Apple is poking around Manchester United. Sports licensing rights are expensive and will only get more expensive over time, so better to own the asset as far as I am concerned. I am not sure why we have not seen the large content players regularly acquire sports franchises (note: John Malone’s Liberty Media owns F1 and the Atlanta Braves). Perhaps it is because it is still early days insofar as the large streaming platforms are concerned. It was only in 2020 that I got the sense that all of the large platform players (Google being the exception), finally got religion as it relates to heavily investing in streaming platforms from a content acquisition perspective. Some acquisition targets that could make sense for Apple, Amazon, Disney, etc.:
- Soccer/European football clubs make sense as acquisition targets for large prospective acquirers that wish to cater to a global audience given that European football is the world’s most popular sport.
- Certain NBA franchises also have large global audiences.
- The UFC/Endeavor Group (EDR) is broadcast in more than 160 countries and would also make sense for prospective acquirers that wish to serve a global audience.
- The NFL primarily caters to a U.S. audience. Certain teams draw more than others given the size of local markets and the fan base at large.