July 23, 2024

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CNBC Ramps Up Sports-Business Coverage

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CNBC is tweaking its game.

The NBCUniversal-backed business-news outlet said on Tuesday it intends to grow its coverage of the sports industry with the launch of a new vertical called “CNBC Sport.” The company has hired Michael Ozanian, a Forbes journalist known for rankings of the most valuable sports leagues and teams, as a senior sports reporter who will examine valuations of sports franchises and how they are affected by news and developments.

Various CNBC reporters will add beats tied to the topic,\and focusing on the intersection between business and sports. CNBC journalists Alex Sherman, Contessa Brewer, Scott Wapner and Jessica Golden will contribute to the endeavor, while others will contribute reports on individual sports, such as Sara Eisen on Formula 1 and Dominic Chu on golf.

Axios previously reported the launch of CNBC Sport.

“The spotlight on sports has never been brighter with more money at play than ever before,” said KC Sullivan, president of CNBC, in a statement. “CNBC Sport will offer the highly engaged sports business audience and those looking to invest in this rapidly growing sector, a trusted destination where they will get analysis, updates and insider insights to help them get in on the action.” Since taking the reins of CNBC in 2022, Sullivan has sought to expand content that is tied more directly to business and markets news, launching an early-evening news program to replace a more general evening news show that had been anchored by Shepard Smith.

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CNBC is following a strategy that others are expected to emulate. CNN CEO Mark Thompson has articulated a strategy under which the Warner Bros. Discovery-backed unit launches a series of digital topic verticals led by experts and journalists. NBC News has in recent months sought to hire journalists to cover the business and culture of sports.

Sports, long a major topic of interest, have become more so. Media companies are expanding their reliance on telecasting games and matches as the entertainment fare they have long been known for is consumed more readily via on-demand streaming. Sports and live events are the last remaining formats that reliably lure the large, simultaneous audiences that advertisers and cable and satellite distributors say they continue to crave.

CNBC already operates a conference devoted to the business of sports. “Game Plan,” produced in partnership with Boardroom, features interviews led by Andrew Ross Sorkin, and explores the dynamics between business, sports, music and culture.

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