Sporticast: Dustin Johnson Crosses Golf’s Rubicon, SeatGeek Deal Dissolves

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On the latest Sporticast episode, hosts Scott Soshnick and Eben Novy-Williams discuss some of the biggest sports business stories of the week, including dramatic developments in professional golf. LIV Golf, the Saudi-backed challenger to the PGA Tour, recently announced the roster for its first event, and it contained one surprising name.

Former world No. 1 Dustin Johnson is playing on the circuit, by far the highest-profile golfer to agree to spurn the traditional golf establishment in exchange for the financial benefits of the LIV offering. Johnson has already lost one endorsement—RBC, which is also the title sponsor of the PGA event happening the same weekend as the LIV debut—and it’s unclear how/if the PGA Tour will react. The next few weeks will likely prove critical to determining how other golfers perceive the potential risks and rewards of the LIV circuit.

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The hosts also discuss the latest SPAC deal to fall apart. RedBall Acquisition Corp. in October reached an agreement to merge with SeatGeek in a deal that valued the ticket marketplace at $1.35 billion. On Wednesday, the two sides said they mutually agreed to walk away from the deal, citing unfavorable market conditions. SPACs, once the hottest financial instrument in a bull market, have gone cold as investors grow more skeptical of growth companies.

The pair also discuss the $1.3 billion sale of Italian soccer giant AC Milan, a new pair of bidders for the Denver Broncos, and a new offering from NESN that hints at the future for regional sports networks.

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