Tonight in Unpacks: Bob Iger’s comments from Sun Valley immediately sparked a parlor game in sports media -- identifying the most likely companies to take a stake in ESPN. SBJ's John Ourand spoke to a half-dozen high-ranking media execs to see if he could find a consensus on the type of company that would do this deal.
You’re reading the Lite version of SBJ Unpacks. Subscribe to SBJ All Access for the full version of this newsletter, plus daily email alerts, executive transactions, virtual SBJ Event access and dozens of other subscriber-only benefits. Here are the stories you’re missing in tonight’s full newsletter:
WNBA metrics trending up at All-Star break
Gray Television wins Suns, WNBA Mercury media rights
Delaware North tests 'Fan Fare Council' with Tigers
How will Microsoft-Activision deal impact esports leagues?
MLB ticket demand on StubHub soaring
Learfield brings on General Motors as Army sponsor
In this morning's Buzzcast, SBJ’s Abe Madkour gets us to the midpoint of July talking about:
Bob Iger saying Disney may look for an equity partner for ESPN
Roger Goodell not ruling out sovereign wealth funds as potential owners
Major League Cricket getting off the ground in Texas
ACC football, hoops being the latest sports addition for The CW
The WNBA All-Star Game serving as an incubator for the league
Fanatics getting into the difficult live events business
Gillette Stadium getting a massive new video board
Dionna Widder lands CRO role with the NHL's Predators.
Who could take a stake in ESPN?
Disney CEO Bob Iger told CNBC this week that he already has had talks with companies about becoming strategic partners in ESPN -- companies that could help the network with content, distribution or capital. Iger’s comments immediately sparked a parlor game in sports media, identifying the most likely companies to take a stake in ESPN.
SBJ's John Ourand spoke to a half-dozen high-ranking media execs to see if he could find a consensus on the type of company that would do this deal. Several of these execs are familiar with Iger’s thinking. The most popular answer centered on private equity investors.
In today’s FOX Sports Insider with Martin Rogers: The USWNT has dominated for a prolonged stretch that puts them among the all-time dynasties … The Chicago Bears' offensive line needs improvement and the OL Mastermind summit gave them the tools to deliver results this season … and more!
Dynasty is one of those vague words in sports, the sort of thing that isn't defined by any detailed or specific criteria, but which instead falls into the category of "you know it when you see it."
In relatively modern times, everyone sees it, knows it and accepts it about Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls, and about the New England Patriots of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, and you'll find no argument there, here, or basically anywhere.
Further back into athletic yesteryear, even more jaw-dropping dynastic achievements abound, compiled by the likes of John Wooden's iconic UCLA teams, Bill Russell's Boston Celtics, Vince Lombardi's Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh's Steel Curtain/Terry Bradshaw combo, the ‘50s Yankees, the ’70s Montreal Canadiens, and so on.
Dynasties don't come around all the time. That's kind of the point – they're rare and special. But one of the most remarkable fables of sporting excellence continues to play out before our very eyes, and it still doesn't get the level of reverence that it should.
The United States women's soccer team will defend not only its World Cup title when the tournament kicks off on July 20 but will be seeking to extend a stretch of outrageous domination that is now into its fourth decade.
The two signature events in women's soccer that matter above all others are the World Cup and the Olympic Games, the former having been first played in 1991 and the latter making its Games debut in 1996.
Since then, there have been eight total World Cups on the women's side and seven Olympic tournaments. That's 15 opportunities for glory in total, and the United States has won eight of them, meaning the team has prevailed in 53.3 percent of all major events it has ever entered.
Houston Astros at Los Angeles Angels (MLBN, 9:38 p.m. ET) Shohei Ohtani takes the mound for the Angels as they look to begin the second part of the season with a win against the division rival Astros.
Cleveland Guardians at Texas Rangers (Saturday, FS1, 4:05 p.m. ET) Two of the division leaders in the American League clash when the Guardians face the Rangers in Texas.
Los Angeles Dodgers at New York Mets (Saturday, FOX, 7:15 p.m. ET) In a battle of two of the highest spending teams in baseball, the Mets and Dodgers collide with New York aiming to begin the second half strong.
WNBA All-Star Game (Saturday, ABC, 8:30 p.m. ET) The WNBA’s best and brightest take the court looking to put on a show and deliver epic highlights.
Houston Astros at Los Angeles Angels (Sunday, ESPN, 7 p.m. ET) The division rivals look to wrap up the series in positive fashion when the Angels meet the Astros on Sunday Night Baseball.
Odds provided by FOX Bet New Orleans Saints to win the NFC in 2023-24 (+1300)
From FOX Sports Betting Expert: Jason McIntyre
Derek Carr finally gets on a winning team. The Saints have a pretty damn good roster with a lot of veterans. They know how to win. Last year, at this time, no one had the Eagles going to the Super Bowl. They came out of nowhere. That Saints' division, they could easily go 6-0.