On the latest Sporticast episode, hosts Scott Soshnick and Eben Novy-Williams discuss some of the biggest sports business stories of the week, including Aaron Rodgers’ torn Achilles. The New York Jets quarterback, perhaps the biggest story of the offseason, played just four snaps for the team before his NFL season ended.
The shocking injury has a number of downstream business effects. For starters, the NFL and its broadcast partners had planned to have the Jets in a number of national and primetime broadcast windows over the next few months. Eight of the team’s first 12 games are scheduled to air nationally, some of which can be swapped for other games if needed. The hosts discuss whether or not that will change now that Rodgers is out and the team’s Super Bowl prospects are greatly diminished.
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They also talk about the playing surface. Rodgers was injured on a turf field, which players have increasingly called less safe than natural grass. The NFLPA would prefer all NFL teams play on grass, but that would be an expensive (literally and figuratively) concession to push for in collective bargaining. Some owners, of course, prefer synthetic turf because it costs less and it allows the stadium to hold more non-NFL events, be they sporting competitions or concerts that can otherwise tear up grass fields. The hosts also discuss a handful of sportsbooks issuing refunds to bettors who placed Rodgers prop bets.
The hosts close with a trio of other topics. 1) The public launch of TKO Group (NYSE: TKO), the new holding company for both WWE and UFC; 2) Deion Sanders’ hot start in Colorado; and 3) college dealmaker Learfield restructuring its debt, eliminating more than $600 million in liabilities, taking on another $150 million in capital and assuming new ownership.
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