Britain’s haul: 27 gold medals and a wooden spoon

August 22, 2016

China underwhelmed in the Olympic medals table, while the tiny UK excelled. That’s a poor guide to more important competitions. Though Britain still has soft power, its value as a role model is on the wane. China no longer needs gold medals to secure its place on the podium.

Disney deal finally puts ESPN on offense

August 10, 2016

A year after sparking concerns about its sports network losing subscribers, the media conglomerate is buying a one-third stake in Major League Baseball's streaming technology firm for $1 bln. That will take ESPN direct to consumers and give Disney a valuable step into the future.

Ultimate Fighting punches up value of live sports

May 11, 2016

The U.S. promotion firm is reportedly seeking up to $4 bln for its mixed martial arts contests, with China’s Dalian Wanda viewed as a likely buyer. That seems high for a relative upstart in the world of pro athletics. But huge audiences for real-time events may justify the price.

Twitter may score big with football digital rights

April 5, 2016

Jack Dorsey’s social-media firm won permission to stream 10 NFL games for a reported $10 mln. That’s the price of a one-minute Super Bowl ad, making the deal a cheap way to up the $12 bln service’s user base. Twitter may finally gain some ground against rivals like Facebook.

Tennis jerks miss point of equal prizes for women

March 22, 2016

A now ex-tournament boss said women players are riding on the coattails of the men. He failed to recognize the sport’s strength – a broad, gender-balanced constituency of fans. That’s where the money, be it Federer’s $67 mln a year or Sharapova’s $30 mln, really comes from.

The Exchange podcast: El Presidente of Barstool Sports

By Rob Cox
February 3, 2016

Dave Portnoy, founder of the oft-controversial sports blog website, swings by Times Square to discuss the sale of a majority stake to The Chernin Group, his plans for world domination, moving to New York and a Super Bowl without the Patriots.

Host Brazil may challenge for 2016 Olympics glory

December 24, 2015

The mighty U.S. will be hard to dislodge from the top spot. But a prediction based on population, GDP, the cost of Nikes and past willingness to dope suggests Brazil could break into the top five by medals. Like Team GB in 2012, that will require capitalising on home advantage.

Mets and America pull off a slick double play

October 22, 2015

As the country staggered under dud mortgages, the baseball team fell victim to Bernie Madoff. Infusions of money helped right Uncle Sam, but the Amazins took a far more frugal path. A World Series for the New York club puts an exclamation point on the financial crisis’ end.

New drivers could rev Formula One’s billions

June 25, 2015

Private equity backer CVC is ready to speed off after a decade of turbocharged returns, while 84-year-old patriarch Bernie Ecclestone may not be doing enough to tune high-tech motor racing’s commercial chassis. Qatari and U.S. owners might just restore full power.

The FIFA big boss guide to executive survival

May 28, 2015

Soccer’s supremo Sepp Blatter may win a fifth four-year presidency at the scandal-wracked governing body. Even if he fails, his tenacity is remarkable. It owes much to FIFA’s financial success, but also cumbersome governance and tin ears. Those help all boardroom Machiavellis.