Hello, global sports industry and welcome to my sports industry reading list, a handpicked (clicked?) selection of the pieces you really ought to be reading this week if you work in sport, or simply want to know more about the business behind it. As you’ll be all too aware if you’re a regular reader, what follows below includes profiles, interviews, features, analysis and opinion from all corners of the internet – newspaper websites to specialist sports platforms, the trade media and other blogs. Those are the terms and conditions: let’s get to this week’s essential reading. To business:
This week’s sports industry must-reads
• Few men have had as much influence over the way we watch sport on TV than David Hill. The former Fox executive offers his latest bets for the future of sports broadcasting to John Ourand in this fascinating Sports Business Journal piece.
• In a week of some note for the Olympics (a step closer to awarding the 2024 and 2028 Games simultaneously and the launch of the Olympic Channel in the United States), Phil Hersch, on his Globetrotter blog, phoned up Peter Ueberroth, architect of the event the last time Los Angeles played host to the Games 33 years ago, and “gave him the chance to gloat”.
• And speaking of the launch of the American version of the Olympic Channel (or to give it its full title, Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA), here’s the story of how it came to be and what it’s intended to be, explained with typical style by Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch.
• I once interviewed Agustin Pichot and he is undoubtedly one of the most impressive athlete-turned-administrators I’ve encountered. The vice chairman of World Rugby’s thoughts on the future of his sport, as told to the Daily Telegraph’s Daniel Schofield, are well worth reading.
• This Chuck Blazer obituary, written by the Guardian’s Michael Carlson, following the football administrator’s death last week, is a reminder of an influential and controversial life.
• The football transfer window, as you can’t fail to have noticed (the draft is, frankly, unavoidable), wide open. I enjoyed this Independent piece, by lawyer and prominent tweeter Jake Cohen, which cuts through the flim-flam to reveal the realities of a major transfer.
• Maybe – maybe – the most interesting transfer of the summer in the Premier League is the appointment of journalist Tony Barrett as the head of club and supporter liaison. Barrett sat down with the Liverpool Echo’s Andy Kelly to explain his new role and his plans for shaping it.
• It’s been a year since WME-IMG acquired the Ultimate Fighting Championship. ESPN’s expert-in-chief Darren Rovell has been avidly reporting and tweeting about the organisation’s highs and lows throughout that period: his first year business report card is worth your time.
• A fascinating long-read here, pulled together expertly by Mark J. Burns for Forbes, on the rise and rise of sports/popular culture/lifestyle digital platform Barstool Sports.
• Blink (over a 24 hour period) and you’d have missed it, but I posted my first Instagram Stories content this week. Turns out I’m not the only one, as this Digiday UK piece by Lucia Moses, reflecting the rise of Instagram and (perhaps) the decline of Snapchat, underlines.
So that’s your lot for this week, but if you think I’ve missed something or have any other feedback do let me know – either via email, email@example.com, or on Twitter, where I can be found @DavidCushnan. Until next time.