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Another winter World Cup?
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Unfortunately, I don’t have a story for you today. This week has been difficult personally due to a medical emergency in the family. My youngest one, Spots, isn’t keeping well.
I’ll be back with a story next week. Until then, I’ve curated the top news of the past week and some long reads for the weekend. See you soon.
A league of its own: Bloomberg reports that Saudi Arabia has expressed interest in investing as much as $5 billion in the Indian Premier League. The investment could be routed through Saudi Arabia’s sovereign Public Investment Fund, which has pooled in resources in a bevy of sports including football and golf. The discussions reportedly surfaced when Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visited India in September. The BCCI may take a call on the matter after the 2024 general elections, according to the report.
⚽️🇸🇦 In more Saudi news, the country is set to host the 2034 Fifa World Cup after the only other expected bidder, Australia, pulled out right before the deadline on Tuesday. The Gulf kingdom had announced its bid last month after Fifa awarded the 2030 World Cup to six countries across Europe and South America, which meant the 2034 edition would have to be hosted by a country in the Asian Football Confederation, according to Fifa’s rotational policy. The Guardian reported that Australia had been issued indirect warnings by some of football’s most powerful administrators to not bid for the 2034 World Cup.
🎾🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia, again. The kingdom is also interested in buying two prestigious tennis tournaments in Miami and Madrid, according to The Athletic. Its investment funds have held preliminary discussions to take over the 1,000-level events, which are just below the Grand Slams in terms of stature. The two tournaments are currently owned by the Endeavor Group, the American talent and entertainment company led by Hollywood superagent Ari Emanuel. Saudi Arabia has also shown interest in hosting the WTA Tour Finals.
🇺🇸🤝🇦🇪 American private equity firm Silver Lake Management is looking to team up with Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund Mubadala to buy out Endeavor Group, reported Bloomberg. Endeavor owns two major sports properties, Ultimate Fighting Championship and World Wrestling Entertainment. Last year, Silver Lake increased its stake in Manchester City’s parent company City Football Group, which is controlled by the Abu Dhabi royal family.
🏀🤑 NBA legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson has become only the fourth athlete to be declared a billionaire by Forbes. The 64-year-old joins Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and Tiger Woods in the elite club. Forbes estimates his net worth to be $1.2 billion, after a year in which he added a minority stake in the NFL team Washington Commanders to his portfolio. Johnson also has stakes in the Los Angeles Dodgers (MLB), Los Angeles FC (MLS), and Los Angeles Sparks (WNBA), along with investments in a number of industries.
🏏🏆📺 The cumulative television reach for the first 26 matches of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 among Indian males has dropped by 10% to 127 million compared with the 2019 edition, The Economic Times reported, citing data from the Broadcast Audience Research Council. Media buyers attributed the drop in TV viewership to the increased digital reach of the tournament thanks to free mobile streaming offered by Disney+ Hotstar. According to Disney Star, the first 26 matches garnered 400 million viewers across its television network.
🎮🇮🇳 Indian gaming and sports media company Nazara Technologies has set up a game publishing division called Nazara Publishing. The firm plans to launch up to 20 games across mobile, PC, web3, and virtual reality over the next 18 months and invest a minimum of ₹1 crore ($120,000) per game. Nazara Technologies operates games such as World Cricket Championship, Kiddopia, and Classic Rummy. It’s also the parent company of esports and gaming major NODWIN Gaming.
📖 Weekend Reading
Kanye and Adidas: Money, Misconduct and the Price of Appeasement [The New York Times]
Indian school for wrestling helps girls chase better life and glory [Reuters]
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