Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE) announced on Tuesday the closing of its acquisition of NBCUniversal’s stake in NBC Sports Washington from Comcast Corporation. The closure means MSE has fully acquired NBC Sports Washington — the TV rights holder of Washington Capitals and Washington Wizards games. MSE is majority owned by Ted Leonsis.
MSE previously held just 33 percent of the media company after first buying-in six years ago. The specific financial terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed.
As reported back in late August, the purchase now gives MSE the option of building a potential powerful streaming platform and more power to shape the primary coverage of its own sports teams.
Monumental Sports & Entertainment Completes Acquisition of NBC Sports Washington
Read more: https://t.co/QtsGnmBlyl
— Monumental Sports & Entertainment (@MSE) September 20, 2022
“We are incredibly pleased to announce that we have officially closed on our transaction to acquire NBC Sports Washington,” Zach Leonsis, President of Media & New Enterprises at MSE said in a release. “We look forward to welcoming all of our new teammates into the Monumental family, embarking on some exciting work to integrate the network into our platform, and building a best-in-class experience for our fans.”
As part of the deal, NBCUniversal will continue to help put games on air for the next 18 months “by providing corporate and shared services, including distribution, technical resources, and production facilities.”
The release also states that NBC Sports Washington is expected to retain its current name and branding through the 2022-23 season, but a network re-brand is anticipated for the 2023-24 Capitals and Wizards seasons.
Ted Leonsis has been open in the past about wanting local sports teams to team up with regional sports networks in response to cable bundles declining.
“You could see a solution for RSNs if they roll into [a] bigger enterprise, so that business ends up with buildings and teams and the network,” Leonsis said to Sportico in 2021. That would give the RSN “a platform to buy [another] team locally or merge with [another] team locally in another league, so that it is getting the roll-up effect, but it’s geographic in nature.” That way, he said, the RSN “can get some true leverage.”
With the closed acquisition, MSE will now have the ability to mimic other sports media conglomerates, like MSG Network (NHL’s New York Rangers, New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils and the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer), and do direct to consumer streaming.
That’s specifically intriguing due to the rumors that Leonsis is very much in the running for an eventual purchase of MLB’s Washington Nationals. We wrote on RMNB in August about how if he is successful in his bid to buy the Nats, he’ll become the only sports owner to own three ‘Big Four’ (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL) teams in one city. That purchase would allow him to create an unprecedented local sports network really unrivaled across the sports landscape.
Headline photo: Ian Oland/RMNB
RMNB is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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