Ted Leonsis and his Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE) bought the rest of NBC Sports Washington from Comcast Corporation and is reported to be among the few allowed to see the National’s financial data in anticipation of bidding on the DC based MLB franchise. Comcast agreed to sell the remaining 67% stake of NBC Sports Washington controlled by NBCUniversal giving MSE 100% equity ownership of the media business. MSE bought 33% of the shares in 2016. This transaction adds to MSE’s portfolio of sports teams and properties under their control, including the Washington Wizards (NBA), Capitals (NHL) and Mystics (WNBA). With the acquisition, MSE adds exclusive local television rights for Wizards and Capitals games. The network reaches throughout the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia, as well as parts of Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia. In April, 1984, Home Team Sports network launched and has been the NHL’s Caps and Wiz regional TV partner ever since. Fast forward to 2022 and Leonsis has reportedly been exploring purchasing the Nats from Ted Lerner since April with a possible deal to be consummated by years end. The Sports Techie community blog asks the obvious question to our readers and followers. Can a bid by MSE for the Commanders owned by Daniel Snyder be far behind since nearly all fans around the DC area, as well as NFL fans around the nation and world want his 23-year ownership reign to end, yesterday. It appears, Ted, his son Zach, and MSE, self-proclaimed to be America’s leading sports and entertainment family, would the perfect suitors for both the Nats and Commanders, should and when the latter become available for sale. The District’s fandom would probably love to see that happen.
“We at Monumental Sports & Entertainment are incredibly excited to have reached an agreement to acquire NBC Sports Washington, an important business for our current and future core business operations,” said Zach Leonsis, President of Media & New Enterprises, Monumental Sports & Entertainment. “Comcast NBCUniversal has built a strong regional sports network in NBC Sports Washington. We look forward to further enhancing and innovating on the already best-in-class experience that our fanbase enjoys of watching live sports, for years to come.”
Comcast’s DC Sports Content Run Is Over And That’s OK
NBCUniversal plans to continue assisting in the operation of the network alongside MSE by providing corporate and shared services, to include distribution, technical resources and production facilities, for up to an 18 months period as part of the transaction requirements. NBC Sports Regional Networks, part of NBCUniversal Local, operates a portfolio of six regional sports networks. LionTree acted as Monumental’s exclusive financial advisor during the friendly sales process.
“Monumental Sports & Entertainment’s interest in full ownership of the network is a unique opportunity,” said Bill Bridgen, President, NBC Sports Regional Networks. “Their leaders have been engaged and collaborative partners in NBC Sports Washington who, like us, value local sports media and are committed to serving fans now and investing in the future. We look forward to continuing our work with them during the transition to support the network’s continued growth and success.”
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is still alive and kicking because the global media and technology company connects people to moments that matter. Their principal focus is connectivity, aggregation, and streaming for the 57 million customer relationships spread throughout the United States and Europe. Customers have access to broadband, wireless, and video through Xfinity, Comcast Business, and Sky brands; who create, distribute, and stream leading entertainment, sports, and news through Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, Universal Studio Group, Sky Studios, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, multiple cable networks, Peacock, NBCUniversal News Group, NBC Sports, Sky News, and Sky Sports; as well as providing memorable experiences at Universal Parks and Resorts in the United States and Asia.
Learn more at www.comcastcorporation.com.
MSE Super-Regional Empire
MSE’s platform powers five professional sports teams as rightsholders: the Capitals, Wizards and Mystics, in addition to the NBA G League’s Capital City Go-Go and the NBA 2K League’s Wizards District Gaming.
The firm also owns and operates Capital One Arena and manages the MedStar Capitals Iceplex (practice facility for the Capitals), MedStar Health Performance Center (practice facility for the Wizards, Mystics and Go-Go), and EagleBank Arena (live performance venue on the campus of George Mason University in Virginia).
MSE is seen as a first mover in the sports betting space, opening with Caesars Entertainment the first ever in-arena retail location in North America at Capital One Arena in 2020. Sportradar is a Swiss company providing service to more than 500 sportsbooks. Sportradar hauled in a $44 million round of investment in 2015 led by among others, Mark Cuban, Michael Jordan and Monumental Sports & Entertainment.
The sport property also launched a first-of-its kind regional sports streaming service for local and high school sports and exclusive Capitals, Wizards and Mystics content with Monumental Sports Network in 2016.
MSE’s broad media and cultural reach includes the social media channels of its sports teams and corporate properties – not only in English but also Japanese, Hebrew and Mandarin and coming soon in Spanish and Arabic – as well as native content web articles, video productions and streaming shows, radio broadcasts, podcasts, in-arena signage, and out-of-home video boards.
MSE’s acquisition of NBC Sports Washington is subject to regulatory approval and other customary conditions. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
The company’s people, players, teams and events bring excitement and joy to millions. They invest and innovate to consistently raise the game to deliver extraordinary experiences that will inspire and unite the community, fans and business partners. See www.monumentalsports.com.
Sports Techie, on Ted’s Twitter handle @TedLeonis, his profile says, “Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, Venture Capitalist | Sports Team, Venue, Media Network Partner | WNBA Champion | Stanley Cup Champion | 2x NBA 2K League Champion.”
What is missing?
That is a question for the future.
For now, he, his family and MSE are DC’s shiny, digital sport light and deservedly so.
See you later sportstechie in Seattle, Atlanta and around the world!
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