Sporticast: F1 Takes Over Miami, Tension Between Barstool and Penn National

On the latest Sporticast episode, hosts Scott Soshnick and Eben Novy-Williams discuss some of the biggest sports business stories of the week, including the Miami Grand Prix, the first of three F1 races in the U.S. this year.

The hosts discuss the commercial growth of F1 in the U.S., which many attribute to Netflix’s Drive to Survive docuseries. They talk about the merits of that argument, and what they see as the secret to F1’s success: Its races are sporting events where the actual competition is overshadowed by the events and scenes leading up to the competition. That’s allowed F1 to reach a crowd that’s much bigger than strictly race fans.

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Next, the hosts talk about the Kentucky Derby. The event set a record for on-site betting handle—$288.7 million was wagered—but the commercial success was overshadowed by the deaths of seven horses at Churchill Downs in the 10 days leading up to the race, including two that were injured in races on Derby Day itself. The deaths have revived scrutiny on the sport itself, where horse deaths are sadly a relatively common occurrence.

The hosts also discuss a busy week for Penn National (Nasdaq: PENN). Last Thursday the gambling company lost nearly $800 million from its market cap after reporting quarterly earnings. The dip came right after an unrelated incident, in which an employee at Penn-owned Barstool Sports was fired after using a racial slur on a live broadcast. Barstool founder Dave Portnoy said shortly afterwards that the decision to fire the employee was Penn’s, the latest tension between the two companies. Penn paid $388 million to complete its acquisition of Barstool earlier this year.


Lastly, the hosts discuss Bronny James’s college selection, and RedBird Capital’s new $2.3 billion in commitments.

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