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Power Play: BCCI consider $5 Billion Saudi IPL Investment 🏏
Plus, IOC follows in the footsteps of FIFA, and the opportunities facing us following OpenAI's GPT launch.
Welcome to Sports Pundit, the sports business newsletter delivering news as fast as [insert favourite F1 driver] tearing down the Las Vegas strip 🏎 💨
In today’s email;
Staying on cricket’s top table 🏏
OpenAI launch their own ‘app’ store 🚀
IOC embraces a gaming streamer 🎮
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Power Play: BCCI consider $5 Billion Saudi IPL Investment 🏏
The Indian Premier League (IPL) has witnessed staggering growth.
In 2009, just a year post-launch, Forbes valued the average franchise at $67 million. Fast forward to 2022, and the average IPL team has skyrocketed to $1.04 billion, thanks to the expectations around the next media contract (a subsequent $6 billion deal was sealed).
This is all for good reason. The IPL attracts an incredible amount of attention; IPL 2023, for instance, was watched by over 500 million viewers on broadcast television and almost as many on digital platforms.
Consequently, private equity has flooded in, including from the likes of RedBird, CVC Capital. Now, it appears that Saudi Arabia wants to get involved, too.
Recently, Bloomberg revealed discussions between Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's advisors and Indian government officials, exploring a $5 billion investment in the IPL and potentially elevating the league into a holding company valued at up to $30 billion.
Sports Pundit says
🤔 Capturing this widespread attention, it's evident why the Kingdom seeks alignment with the IPL.
For the Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) in India, which already has well over $1 billion in surplus funds, the interest in this investment extends beyond a mere cash infusion.
With dozens of T20 franchise leagues popping up in recent years — from South Africa to the USA, a core motivator for the BCCI and its franchises is likely around fortifying their grip on the sport.
Currently, India's cricketing dominance hinges on their colossal domestic viewership, and a devotion to local cricket stars, who are barred from participating in these other leagues.
Saudi Arabia possesses the financial prowess to disrupt this status quo, exemplified by the likes of LIV Golf and the Saudi Pro League (to PGA Tour and European football, respectively).
By aligning with the Kingdom's interests, the BCCI strategically shields itself from similar potential disruptions, ensuring its continued control at the summit of the cricketing landscape.
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So far, it has achieved that goal. We’ve had 40+ attendees at the past three events in London and expanded the concept to New York 😀🗽
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What could the launch of GPTs mean for content creators? 🤔
On Monday, ChatGPT creator OpenAI unveiled a marketplace that enables users to create and access personalised AI apps, otherwise known as GPTs.
This means that anyone will now be able to build their own version of the popular conversational AI system, based on their own specific datasets or instructions. For consumers, this also significantly increases the ease of access to information, providing an army of chatbot ‘experts’ to compliment the more general approach taken by ChatGPT.
The possibility to create these AI chatbots has been around for a while, as I wrote about back in April, however, this new release makes it easier than ever before, and creates a new way for content creators to monetise any existing set of intellectual property that they may own…
You would struggle to charge consumers for access to the back catalogue of [a podcast like] Are You Not Entertained? (AYNE), as it is a freely available podcast.
However, if it was reformatted into a chatbot, which could instantly answer questions around the sports industry, there’s a good chance people would pay a fee or subscription.
In the hands of someone asking the right questions, AYNE could become their very own sports business MBA, or even a virtual advisor for their business.
The same is true for so many other podcasts, newsletters, and vlogs across a whole spectrum of other content topics, too.
The NWSL has announced a massive multi-platform media deal with CBS, ESPN, Amazon ⚽️
Commissioner of the NFL, Roger Goodell, confirms that either Spain or Brazil will host a regular season match in 2024 🏈
Tiger Woods’ TGR Ventures and David Blitzer partner on the TGL’s sixth team ownership group, Jupiter Links Golf Club ⛳️
Seattle Sounders ownership group nearing deal to purchase NWSL's OL Reign from Lyon's OL Groupe ⚽️
NBA G League and Tubi announce streaming partnership, including new FAST Channel 🏀
DAZN set to stream the majority of Women’s Champions League group stages for free, reversing plan to go behind paywall 📺
THE LATEST CRAZÉ?
Watch and Learn: IOC look to FIFA to score in Brazil 🇧🇷
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) appears to be following FIFA's example by embracing digital influencers.
They have recently struck a deal with LiveMode agency to ensure live coverage of Paris 2024 in Brazil on CazéTV.
CazéTV, a channel run by Brazilian influencer Casimiro, is set to stream 500 hours of live action from next year’s Olympics. This agreement complements the existing coverage on Globo, which includes linear free-to-air, pay-television, and digital platforms.
Interestingly, ahead of the men's World Cup in Qatar, FIFA also inked a similar arrangement with the Brazilian gaming streamer. This allowed Casimiro to broadcast one live match per day to his followers, totalling 3.4 million on Twitch and 5 million on YouTube.
According to Streams Charts, his broadcast of Brazil’s penalty loss to Croatia was the most-watched YouTube live stream of 2022, with a peak audience of over 6m people. This content also helped propel him to the top of the Twitch charts, making him the most popular account in the world for the first week of December.
Sports Pundit says
🤔 For LiveMode and CazéTV, this deal further builds on their live streaming portfolio, which also includes coverage of other events, such as the 2023 Pan American Games and the Bundesliga.
It’s likely that the traction gained by CazéTV’s coverage of these events - particularly of the men’s FIFA World Cup - will have played a key role in shaping the IOC’s strategy in Brazil as they aim to connect with a younger demographic.
This is the IOC’s first major move into the influencer space. However, during the previous winter Olympics, the IOC streamed Olympic artistic gymnast Nile Wilson playing the official Beijing 2022 game and chatting with Twitch streamer 'Captain Puffy,' with relative success. This stream was available in most global markets and garnered 720,000 live views.
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