Latest business news in the media and entertainment sector: Raiders’ Vegas Stadium deal in jeopardy, CBS Radio and Entercom set to merge and much more.
Vevo nearing 100M active users
According to recent numbers, 43% of all YouTube users also watched a video on Vevo within the last month. Nielsen research confirms that Vevo reaches up to 25 million viewers per day, a number that is comparable to a top 5 television network. This comes as great news for the shareholders of the platform, which include Universal Music Group, Sony Music, and Alphabet/Google.
Andrea Zapata, VP of Research at Vevo, was not surprised by the results, citing an increase in mobile device usage as the main driver behind the success of the service. The majority of Vevo users, nearly 60%, access the platform exclusively from their phones or tablets. As consumers tend to stray away from their computers and begin to rely more and more on their mobile devices, it follows accordingly that Vevo’s number of users continues to rise.
Grammy performers announced
This week, the recording academy announced the final five artists that will be taking the stage at this year’s Grammy Awards. The list includes Chance the Rapper, Sturgill Simpson, Little Big Town, William Bell, and Gary Clark Jr. It will be the first appearance at the Grammys for both Chance and Sturgill Simpson as they celebrate their first year of recognition by the academy. The artists join the previously announced performers of Daft Punk, The Weeknd, Alicia Keys, Bruno Mars, and Adele, among others, bringing the total number of performances to eighteen. The 59th Grammy Awards will air live from Los Angeles on CBS on Sunday, February 12.
Raiders’ Vegas Stadium deal in jeopardy
Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis has made his intentions very clear over the last week. He plans to move the Raiders to Las Vegas, and he doesn’t really care what anyone else thinks about the idea. However, his plan may have hit a snag on Monday, as billionaire Sheldon Adelson backed out of a proposed deal with the Raiders to help fund the construction of their future Las Vegas home. Shortly after the announcement, it was reported that Goldman Sachs would also be backing out of the deal, as their involvement was contingent on the involvement of Adelson.
Now, the Raiders find themselves scrambling to secure $650 million in funding in the next few weeks if they hope to keep their Vegas dream alive. The Raiders need 24 votes at the NFL Spring Meeting in March to make the move official, but it’s likely that Davis will not receive the necessary votes and the move will fall through if he cannot find a new source of funding.
Red Bulls seek naming rights deal
The New York Red Bulls are looking to sell the naming rights to Red Bull Arena. The Red Bulls have hired both Leverage Agency and MP & Silva to sell the naming rights. The two agencies will work together to obtain bids from global corporations. The club has been exploring a potential naming-rights deal for the last several years, though they were never able to reach an agreement.
The arena has never had an outside naming-rights partner since it opened in 2010. Red Bull owns both the club and the stadium. The firm is apparently seeking at least a 10-year deal with a value in seven figures annually. Most MLS stadium naming-rights deals average between $1.5-$2 million annually, however, LAFC recently signed a 15-year deal with Banc of California that is worth approximately $6.7 million per year.
MLS receives formal expansion applications
MLS received formal expansion applications from 12 markets as they look to add new teams to the league. The cities that put forward bids include Charlotte, Cincinnati, Detroit, Indianapolis, Nashville, Phoenix, Raleigh, Sacramento, St. Louis, San Antonio, San Diego and Tampa. The hope is that MLS will be able to add four spots to the league, bringing the total number of teams to 28. The league has already created an expansion committee, led by New England Revolution Investor Jonathan Kraft, that will begin reviewing applications later this month. MLS officials anticipate that the first two new franchises will be ready to play in time for the 2020 season.
NFLPA rules out CBA renewal
At their annual Super Bowl news conference on Thursday, the NFL Players Association made it clear they would not be extending the 10-year labor agreement they signed in 2011. They did mention that they would be open to a renegotiation before the deal expires, however. The players’ union will be making a push for improved equipment and more consistent compliance with the concussion protocol in the next labor agreement, two issues they greatly emphasized on Thursday. Cincinnati Bengal Eric Winston, union president, said he believes there’s a “need to up research and what sort of equipment we can look at.”
He also noted that the NFLPA has to “work with the teams because there has to be better adherence to the concussion protocol.” Commissioner Roger Goodell and owners have expressed interest in extending the current 10-year labor agreement, but it appears that there’s going to be some issues to sort out before a deal can get done. Luckily, the NFLPA and the owners have plenty of time for discussion before the two parties need to devise a long-term agreement.
Phoenix open boasts eight headliners
The Phoenix Open, hosted at the TPC at Scottsdale, is typically more well known for its hospitality and entertainment than it is for its golfing. This year, the tournament decided to double down on entertainment by booking two headliners per night of the event, producing a total of eight headline acts. The musical lineup features Jake Owen, Toby Keith, Kaskade, Flo Rida, Blink 182, Steve Aoki, The Band Perry, and Chase Rice. The concerts will take place at the Coors Light Birds Nest nightclub venue.
Dubbed “The Greatest Show On Grass,” the Phoenix Open is the PGA Tour’s latest effort to ramp up entertainment options in hopes of drawing greater crowds at PGA events. “We are turning it into a music festival,” said Phoenix Open tournament chairman Andy Markham. Last year, the tournament drew 618,000 people. The hope is that the additional concerts will drive even more interest, reaching fans of all different types and even those who may not be heavily interested in golf.
Fox sees increase in NASCAR ad sales
Despite a drop in last season’s ratings, Fox Sports has seen increased interest from NASCAR advertisers. Currently, ad sales are 15% ahead of where they were at this time last year. Fox Sports’ vice president of ad sales gives credit to their sales team, stating that they “have done a good job thinking differently and figuring out a way to make NASCAR unique to advertisers again.”
Part of the increase can be attributed to the innovative advertising opportunities currently being offered, such as the “all-out package” that allows a brand to run custom content for the length of an entire commercial break. The content runs on Fox’s “double box,” which shows advertisements on a split screen next to live race action. Fox has been using the format for five seasons, and it has proven incredibly effective in increasing the number of impressions made by the advertisement while also increasing the amount of race action coverage.
CBS Radio and Entercom set to merge
US-based radio companies CBS Radio and Entercom announced a merger this week. After the deal is completed, the two companies will combine to create the second largest radio station owner in the US. Under the name of Entercom, the joint company will provide 244 radio stations in 23 of the top 25 national markets. The firm will also be hosting more than 4,500 live events per year, ranging from music festivals to intimate private performances from big-name artists. The company will be headquartered in Philadelphia once the deal officially closes, which is expected in the latter half of 2017.
New England Patriots win Super Bowl LI
The New England Patriots were crowned Super Bowl champions on Sunday night, topping the Atlanta Falcons in what will surely be remembered as one of the greatest Super Bowls of all time. The Falcons jumped out to an early 21 point lead after multiple turnovers by the Patriots offense, but New England was able to fight back behind quarterback Tom Brady’s Super Bowl record 466 passing yards.
In a Super Bowl first, the game headed to overtime tied 28-28 after 60 minutes. From that point on, it was all Patriots as it took one drive for them to score the game-winning touchdown on a two-yard run by James White. Tom Brady was named MVP of the game, marking the fourth time in his career he has won the award to go along with his five super bowl victories.
*SET is an industry term and trademarked acronym owned by Simkins, standing for “Sports Entertainment Talent”
DISCLAIMER: This article expresses my own ideas and opinions. Any information I have shared are from sources that I believe to be reliable and accurate. I did not receive any financial compensation in writing this post, nor do I own any shares in any company I’ve mentioned. I encourage any reader to do their own diligent research first before making any investment decisions.
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