Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE) announced on August 23 that they reached a deal with Comcast Corporation to fully acquire NBC Sports Washington. MSE, owned by Ted Leonsis, is the TV rights holder of Washington Capitals and Washington Wizards games.
MSE fully attained NBCSWSH by purchasing NBCUniversal’s 67% stake. Previously, they held 33 per cent of the media company after first buying it six years ago. The financial terms of the purchase were not revealed.
The acquisition now gives Leonsis’ MSE the opportunity to build a powerful streaming platform and more dominance to shape the primary coverage of its own sports teams.
Ted Leonsis said in a Twitter statement, “This is key to our strategy for developing our one-of-a-kind sports and entertainment platform: a super-regional sports & entertainment business featuring multiple teams, multiple venues, multiple networks, and multiple technologies – fully integrated.”
President of Media & New Enterprises of MSE, Zach Leonsis, stated in a release, “We at Monumental Sports & Entertainment are incredibly excited to have reached an agreement to acquire NBC Sports Washington, an important business for our current and future core business operations. Comcast NBCUniversal has built a strong regional sports network in NBC Sports Washington. We look forward to further enhancing and innovating on the already best-in-class experience that our fanbase enjoys of watching live sports, for years to come.”
Ted Leonsis has for years spoken up on how local sports teams and regional sports networks should work together as a response to cable bundles declining.
On top of his new deal with NBCSWSH, Ted Leonsis is also a candidate to buy The Washington Nationals as they are expected to be sold off this season. The baseball team had been purchased for $450 million in 2006 by the Lerner family.
According to The Washington Post, Leonsis has emerged as a potential suitor for the team. The Post reported that Leonsis’ MSE group has been granted access to the Nationals’ financial data, bringing them one step closer to be able to make a bid on the franchise.
There have been at least five bidders who have met with Nationals officials in order to examine the team’s finances. Billionaire Michael B. Kim, whose private equity firm manages more than $25 billion in assets, met this summer with team officials at Nationals Park. Mortgage mogul Stanley Middleman has also met with team personnel. It is not known if Leonsis has formally met with Nationals officials as reported by the Post.