Wed. Oct 27th, 2021


Ohio from Tokyo, where we are now in the second competition week at this Olympic Games. This is my fourth time covering the Games, an experience that, as a journalist, is exciting and disorienting.

Stories like the withdrawal of Simone Biles from two of her gymnastics events this week, we are reminded that even the greatest athletes are still struggling with the stress of the past year. The theme of week one was exploring the reasons for her decision and the reaction of the sports world out there. But I am also struck by the small crowd of Japanese who gather at the entrance to the barricades in hopes of taking a look at the action to which their taxes go – a bittersweet reminder that this is not a normal Games.

The best way to describe the physical experience of the Olympics is that it’s like being on the set of the world’s largest reality television program. These are all satellites and broadcast cables and a never-ending caravan bus that transports participants from set to set. Therefore, the key to understanding the Olympics begins with their broadcasting rights. Read on. – Sara Germano, American sports business correspondent

Television explains every decision made during the Olympics

The Olympics: Made for TV © Thibault Camus / AP

The Olympic Games is above all a TV spectacle.

The International Olympic Committee, organizes the Games, about three-quarters of its revenue from broadcasting contracts. The biggest similarity is with NBC Universal, the American media giant, which paid a whopping $ 12 billion for exclusive rights to show the 2014 and 2032 Olympic Games in the United States.

The Washington Post argued this week, the high price affects the network’s editorial judgments, such as devoting more time to its NBC news bulletins at the Olympics compared to other US TV channels. NBC told the newspaper that Games was ‘the biggest event in the world in all respects’ and that it was worth such extensive coverage.

The Ariarne Titmus of Australia Beats USA’s Katie Ledecky: Competition Worth Seeing © David J. Phillip / AP

Another important agreement is the € 1.3 billion that Discovery, owner of the Eurosport network, paid for almost exclusive rights to broadcast the Games between 2018 and 2024 in Europe.

The impact of the deal became clear to British viewers during the first summer games that took place under the contract.

British broadcasting rules mean that the Olympic Games must be broadcast live on earth. The BBC, a taxpayer-funded broadcaster, could previously switch between live streams from all 33 sports and 339 medal events.

But the Discovery deal meant the BBC was limited to showing only two sports at the same time in Tokyo. This meant that it could not always show all British athletes at the moment that they were winning medals, which led to complaints from viewers and politicians, as well as apologies from BBC presenters who were forced to deny the nature of the broadcasting rights to viewers explain.

The pandemic also showed the importance of TV transactions for the Olympic movement.

Thomas Bach, the President of the IOC, told the Financial Times it would have been financially prudent to cancel the Tokyo Games due to the pandemic, rather than postponing it for a year. Then he would have simply relied on his pandemic insurance policies to recover his lost broadcasting rights.

He said the IOC has pushed forward for the sake of the athletes.

Can be. But what would have happened if Japan had asked for the Games to be postponed for a few more months? This gave Japan enough time to vaccinate more people and lay down Covid-19 cases.

Japan’s champion skateboarder, 13-year-old Momiji Nishiya: the child is doing well © Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

However, broadcasters would probably have asked for big discounts to keep the Games clogging the sports calendar, such as the start of the National Football League season in September and the Major League Baseball playoffs in October.

In the end, it was the Japanese government that decided to continue with the Tokyo Games this summer. no spectators within the stadiums. This decision was another sign of the true priorities of those who run the Olympics.

Click here to check the FT’s daily coverage of the Olympics.

Covid shakes up elite football clubs

Jadon Sancho: Manchester-bound © Ina Fassbender / Pool / AFP via Getty Images

If a financial crisis strikes, power is redistributed.

Just as banks were forced to cede their power to asset managers and private equity firms after the 2007-2009 credit crunch, the established order in European football is being disrupted due to the pandemic.

This battle takes place in the summer transfer window, a period in which the richest teams often bully smaller competitors to sell their best players for ten million euros.

As noted in Deloitteis annual review of football funding, the trade in top football players has been dampened.

Dan Jones, head of the consultant’s sports business group, said: “there seem to be few buyers as a number of large clubs are in a position where sales are needed before purchases can be made.”

Real Madrid Eden Hazard: financial warning © Javier Barbancho / Reuters

Two Spanish superclubs suffer more than most. Real Madrid and FC Barcelona avoid the big money acquisitions they used to make before the pandemic broke out.

It should come as no surprise that none of the club have given up on the failures European Super League, a breakaway competition that would have provided “welcome bonuses”To the value of € 200m- € 300m per club.

Both were involved in capital-intensive stadium redevelopment when the pandemic struck. Barca also made a series of signings with big money and allowed loans to accumulate, although the club quickly remarked this week that the credit rating agency Fitch is positive about his debt profile.

The former big spenders made a sum of £ 135 million Eden Hazard of Chelsea in 2019 and saw nothing wrong with offering a multi-year contract to a player who was 28 at the time.

This summer the clubs had to become sellers. Real captain Sergio Ramos left on a free transfer for Paris Saint Germain and dropped off Raphael Varane to Manchester United for a reported fee of up to £ 42 million.

Raphael Varane: new challenge © Oscar del Pozo / AFP via Getty Images

The English side has already signed Jadon Sancho from Germany Borussia Dortmund for € 85 million, the largest transaction to date. United also lost in the pandemic, but wages were only 56 percent of revenue in 2019-20, a relatively miserable figure for most clubs.

All major clubs were losers in the pandemic. Teams in the five major leagues England, Germany, Spain, Italy and France earned a turnover of € 15.1 billion in the 2019-20 season, with 11% less than on an annual basis.

Revenue in the Premier League, the world’s most valuable domestic football match, fell by 12% to € 5.1 billion. But it is still about € 2 billion more than any other European league, including La Liga of Spain. This wealth gap should mean that England’s clubs will continue to capture the best players in the sport in the coming years.

Highlights

Phil Mickelson: no stranger to Saudi golf © Lee Smith / Reuters

  • The PGA Tour and the European tour plan on bartender golfers to compete next year Saudi International tournament, according to Golfweek. The two bodies are in a battle to control the future of the sport while Saudi Arabia pours money to lure the stars of the game to its own tournaments.

  • The Hundred, a new short-form version of cricket, has attracted more than 100,000 spectators in the first seven days since its launch after matches, according to the England and Wales Cricket Board, which launched the tournament to attract and diversify new audiences aging, male fan base. It has sold more than 496,000 tickets for the entire competition, about 83 percent of the total, while more than 8.5 million have watched television so far.

  • Ineos, the petrochemical company controlled by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, sign a six year partnership with New Zealand Rugby, the body that governs the legendary All Blacks team, who tried strengthens its finances. The deal extends Ratcliffe’s ties to rugby. Ineos owns football teams in France and Switzerland, the British cycling group Span Ineos, en a share in the Mercedes Formula One racing team, including sports assets.

  • The British government plans to make use of next year Commonwealth Games, which is expected to take place in Birmingham, to boost investment and trade with participating countries. The government A £ 24 million launched business and tourism program to attract more visitors, trade, opportunities and investment, as it hopes to attract more than £ 650 million in additional foreign investment by 2027.

Transfer market

Barack Obama: baler © Nicholas Kamm / AFP via Getty Images

  • Barack Obama joined the National Basketball Associationits quest to expand in Africa. The former US president will be a strategic partner NBA Africa, the $ 1 billion business backed by investors, including the North American Basketball League and the Canadian private equity firm Helios Fairfax Partners.

Final whistle

Nuno Espírito Santo: beard

Tottenham Hotspur, the English Premier League club run by billionaire Joe Lewis from the Bahamas, has had a difficult season. It fired the driver Jose Mourinho and finishes in a low seventh place. Almost the glorious heights of a team playing in a highly modern stadium that cost more than £ 1 billion to build.

The Spurs have therefore placed their trust in Nuno Espírito Santo, another Portuguese coach, who joined the rivals in the Premier League Wolverhampton Wanderers to put them on the table. But to a Spurs’ upsetThe team’s focus was on asking the new boss for tips on beard care, instead of revealing the acquisition of big money in the summer market. Look here.

The scoreboard was written by Samuel Agini, Murad Ahmed and Arash Massoudi in London, Sara Germano, James Fontanella-Khan and Anna Nicolaou in New York, with contributions from the team covering the Due Diligence newsletter, the FT’s worldwide network of correspondents and data, manufactured. visualization pan

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