Moag & Company Sports Notes (09 Jun 2023)

Date: Jun 2023


What Major League Baseball pitcher has won the most CY Young Awards?

Last Week’s Answer: The Indianapolis 500 is held every year on Memorial Day.


The NFLPA has been "unable to collect" $41.8M of licensing and sponsorship revenue as of the close of its fiscal year. The figures "appear tied to the collapse of the crypto marketplace" and represent "roughly a quarter of the NFLPA’s commercial revenue." The unpaid bills "appear tied to" Dapper Labs and DraftKings’ Reignmakers NFTs, which had "each engaged the NFLPA to renegotiate their deals in light of the plummeting value of the digital assets." A person involved in NFLPA dealings in the past said, "One team would have expected around $60 million from Dapper & DraftKings, of that, $41 million would go to the NFLPA." Still, while concerning, the loss of NFT payments "does not present any great threat to the unions’ health.”


A U.S. bankruptcy judge’s ruling could push Diamond Sports Group to "shed the Arizona D-backs, Cleveland Guardians, Minnesota Twins and Texas Rangers in the near future, and perhaps also some of the other nine major league teams under its ownership,” according to ESPN. Judge Chris Lopez forced Diamond, who broadcasts under the name Bally Sports, “to fully pay the contracts in question.” The D-backs, Guardians, Twins and Rangers “had already been paid 75% of what they were owed as a means to hold them over until the conclusion of the hearing.” Lopez, in "opting not to adjust their contracts," ruled that they can "hold on to those funds and that Diamond needs to pay the remaining 25% 'in the ordinary course of business.'" Lopez did "not set a deadline” for when Diamond “must decide whether to keep or hold on to those contracts.” The two-day hearing, which lasted a total of about 20 hours, “underscored the hostility that has festered between the two sides over the past four years.” Lopez said, “I'm not asking the parties to agree -- I'm asking the parties to talk. That's the request. I'm not going to force you into the room." Diamond has “long stated that it needs to secure streaming rights in order to prop up its Bally Sports+ app and run a more sustainable business." But it “currently holds the streaming rights to only five major league teams” -- the Kansas Royals, Milwaukee Brewers, Tampa Bay Rays, Detroit Tigers, and Miami Marlins -- and MLB has “shown no interest in providing streaming rights for the others."


The sale of the Ottawa Senators has “entered its final, pivotal stages,” according to the Ottawa Sun. A league source said that “at least one of the bidders believes that Toronto billionaire Steve Apostolopoulos had the highest bid” at $1B and that other groups “view that pitch as the ‘one to beat.’” It would be the “highest sale price of any team in NHL history.” The other three bids were “close, ranging from” $850M to $950M. Not only did Apostolopoulos “have the ‘highest’ bid,” but it “may have also been the ‘cleanest’ binding bid that was received because of the way it was structured.” There were four bidders for the Senators at the deadline two weeks ago and “none have been officially eliminated nor has the Senators announced it’s working with a preferred bidder to try to get an agreement in principle in place.” All four groups met with Anna and Olivia Melnyk, the daughters of late owner Eugene Melnyk, “last week to outline their plans for the organization and to discuss the desire to keep as much as a 10 percent share in the Senators.” League sources believe that the sale process “will be wrapped up soon with an agreement in principle in place with the club’s new owner.” Once that happens, the deal “will have to be approved by the NHL’s executive committee.”


The terms of Lionel Messi’s deal with Inter Miami will include “two and a half years with an option for 2026,” according to the Miami Herald. The deal “includes salary, bonuses and equity in the team for a total value” of $125M to $150M. Contributions from MLS sponsors Apple and Adidas are “still being finalized.” Based on the growth of the league that Messi is expected to generate, MLS is “not subsidizing the deal,” and there is “no option for team ownership like they did for David Beckham when he arrived in 2007.” The "target date" for his first game with Inter Miami is July 21 at DRV PNK Stadium against Liga MX club Cruz Azul in the inaugural Leagues Cup tournament. If you are a fan looking for seats, the team is “adding 2,500 to 3,000 seats to increase capacity” until Miami Freedom Park’s scheduled opening in March 2025. Messi becomes the “highest-paid and highest-profile athlete not only in South Florida, but in the entire” U.S. MLS and Apple “aim to expand their global footprint,” and having Messi “playing in an MLS jersey on Apple TV every week would fulfill that mission”.

Sources: SportsBusiness Daily;, The Athletic,; Miami Herald

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