On the latest Sporticast episode, hosts Scott Soshnick and Eben Novy-Williams discuss some of the biggest sports business stories of the week, including an NBA bombshell. Mark Cuban, who has owned the Dallas Mavericks since 2000, is selling a majority stake in the franchise to the billionaire Adelson family.
It’s a unique deal. Cuban will retain an minority stake in the team, and keep operational control, at least for now. The Adelsons, who control Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS), will own the majority of the team, and likely play a role in securing a new downtown arena for the NBA team. The Mavericks were valued at $3.5 billion in the deal, among the highest ever for a U.S. sports team in a transaction.
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Gambling likely plays a large role in the Adelson strategy. Neither sports betting nor land-based casinos are currently legal in Texas, the country’s second most populous state. Should that change, there would be a big opportunity for companies like Las Vegas Sands. Cuban has spoken in the past of his desire for the Mavericks’ new arena to be part of a bigger complex that includes a resort and a casino. In addition, attempts to legalize online sports betting in Texas have included a system where local sports teams control licenses, another possible relevant deal point for the Adelsons in buying the Mavericks.
Next, the hosts talk about Sportico‘s most recent list of the highest paid coaches in sports. Nearly 40 coaches across U.S. pro and college sports make more than $8 million per year in base salary, according to the project, with 20 of the top 25 coming from football. Bill Belichick (New England Patriots) tops the list at $25 million, followed by Sean Payton (Denver Broncos) at $18 million, Gregg Popovich (San Antonio Spurs) at $16 million, and a tie between Sean McVay (Los Angeles Rams) and Pete Carroll (Seattle Seahawks) at $15 million.
Lastly, they discuss the viewership of the NFL’s first Black Friday game on Amazon, which trailed Amazon’s Thursday night average; and the business ramifications of Sports Illustrated running pieces with fake bylines.