Welcome to Digiday’s DealBook. Our focus is to create a quick and easy rundown of the deals, acquisitions and hires that took place the previous week. The goal is to inform and update you on the latest happenings in the industry at the top of your inbox each Monday. — Carly Weihe
—Slowly but surely, Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter seems to be advancing. The delay has several prongs: federal antitrust regulators failed to review the deal in the standard 30-day window and the deal cleared the antitrust review by default, meaning the company can now move forward with the agreement. However, Musk himself continues to delay the process too, claiming that Twitter has not been forthcoming about the number of fake accounts on the site and won’t move forward until the company is more transparent about its users. In turn, Twitter finally agreed to give Musk access to its data; however, it is unclear what this data is or how much direct access Musk will have. Currently, the agreement is estimated to be worth $54.20 a share, although this is subject to change, particularly given this unstable moment for the economy — a fact that might be motivating Musk’s decision as many experts believe Musk is postponing the deal as Tesla’s stocks plummet.
—Netflix, ESPN and NBCUniversal are competing for the upcoming renewal of Formula 1’s U.S. rights in 2023, as the auto sports league is rapidly growing in popularity across the globe. The surge in viewership was apparent following the races held in Miami in May when more than 2.6 million U.S. viewers tuned in to watch on ABC. The deal is estimated to be worth $100 million, and ESPN has the rights through the end of the year. Elsewhere in sports media news, PGA Tour renewed its U.K. deal with Sky Sports. Warner Bros. Discovery, who has had the U.S. rights since 2018 following a $2 billion deal, has since sublicensed PGA Tour U.K. content to Sky Sports. Finally, Tom Brady’s ever-growing sports media company, Religion of Sports, has raised $50 million in Series B Funding with Shamrock Capital accounting for a significant part of the funding.
—Getty Images, a content creation and management company, created VisualGPS Insights, an interactive tool its customers can use for visual and data insights. VisualGPS users will have access to over 486 million visual assets available to Getty and iStock customers for download. In addition, VisualGPS will serve as a reference point for brands looking to see how 825,000 other companies engage with and impact consumers via images.
In other news…
- Latino Media Network acquired Chicago’s Spanish language radio station WRTO, among 17 other radio stations, in a $60 million deal with TelevisaUnivision. The female-led company purchased the stations, which span eight major cities, and secured the deal with an investment from Lakestar Finance.
- Amazon’s Consumer CEO, Dave Clark, announced his resignation this week. Clark, who worked at Amazon for over 20 years, was the former head of Amazon’s logistics business.
- HiDef, an “interactive entertainment” company, announced a partnership with Snap Inc., with plans to create a new mobile app game with Snap’s Bitmojis. With over 300 million Snap users, this comes at a good time of expansion for both companies.
- Voodoo, the leader in the mobile gaming industry with 6 billion downloads, partnered with oolo, a company dedicated to data-driven operations. With 6 billion downloads and 300 million monthly users, this is an important step in Voodoo monitoring its ad revenue, as well as other business operations.
- Haymarket Media Group acquired Podcast Awards, the owner of Podcast Awards of the British, Irish and Australian awards. This is an addition to Haymarket’s content portfolio across digital and physical media platforms.
- Star Atlas, a gaming design company, partnered with iBUYPOWER, a manufacturer of gaming PCs, to get its games and users into the metaverse. This comes as many companies begin to commit and invest in the growing metaverse space.
- Neal Stephenson and Peter Vessenes announced the start of Lamina 1, their joint venture in Layer-1 blockchain technology in the metaverse. The development of the blockchain will continue later in the year with a testnet, followed by a betanet. After the testing phase, leaders hope to help creators looking to craft metaverse projects at scale.
- Pinterest acquired The-Yes, an e-commerce platform used to enhance consumer engagement. The-Yes staff will join Pinterest. The-Yes platform will be shut down later this year, as Pinterest has plans to integrate The-Yes into its existing platform, with hopes that it will increase consumer engagement.
Additionally, below is a list of industry leader hires and promotions
- Vice Media hired Jonathan Bing as CCO
- He was formerly director of communications at Netflix
- Peloton hired Liz Coddington as CFO
- She was formerly a vp at Amazon Web Services in Services Finance
- Lionsgate promoted Suzy Feldman to evp of Worldwide TV Marketing
- She was formerly svp at Lionsgate
- Mindshare Media hired Kathy Kline as chief strategy and innovation officer
- She was formerly the global chief strategy officer at Starcom
- Politico Europe hired Caroline Kinneberg as head of Politico Studio
- She was formerly the head of content partnerships at The Economist
- Allen Media Group hired Chris Malone as executive vp and head of development
- He was formerly a principal at Stellex Capital Management
- Meta promoted Guy Rosen to chief information security officer, the first person to hold this title at the company
- He was formerly the vp of integrity and security
- Full service-marketing agency RP3 Agency hired Ingrid Vax as head of business development
- She was formerly director of client relationships at D.C.-based branding agency Bullhorn Creative
- Mara, a crypto-platform headquartered in Africa, hired Susan Younis as CMO
- She was formerly the marketing lead in Africa for Apple Music
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