The National Basketball Association will be the first major test of the new competitive landscape. Its agreements with ESPN and Turner run through the 2024-25 season. Most sports and media executives predict that the league will stick with traditional broadcasters for most of its games, while carving out some small portion of rights for a tech company.

“It hedges them for the future and exposes the product to new audiences,” said George Pyne, founder of the sports private equity firm, Bruin Capital, and the former chief operating officer of NASCAR. “They can still have a long-term relationship with network partners but dip their toe in with new media.”

Until then, the best opportunities for Apple and Amazon may be overseas — where Amazon has been active for years — because European soccer leagues resell their rights every two to three years. Amazon recently scooped up rights to Europe’s top tournament, the UEFA Champions League, in Britain, Germany and Italy. It also has rights to France’s Ligue 1, which it offers to Prime Video subscribers for annual fee of about $90, and the English Premier League.

Media companies will be pressured to expand geographically to compete, said Daniel Cohen, who leads global media rights consulting for Octagon, a sports agency. Television broadcasters could also team up to pool their financial firepower, or buy each other outright, to compete with tech giants willing to pay billions for rights like N.F.L. Sunday Ticket.

“It comes down to a Silicon Valley ego thing,” Mr. Cohen said of the high-dollar N.F.L. deal. “I don’t see a road to profitability. I see a road to victory.”

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Western businesses cut some Russia ties over Ukraine invasion, article with image

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The logo of Russia’s flagship airline Aeroflot is seen on an Airbus A320-200 in Colomiers near Toulouse, France, September 26, 2017. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

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Feb 25 (Reuters) – Some Western companies severed their ties with Russia on Friday, and others studied whether and how to do so, as President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine triggered sanctions and pressure to abandon some business dealings. read more

European sports and entertainment businesses were among the first to announce such moves.

Premier League club Manchester United (MANU.N) withdrew the sponsorship rights of Russian airline Aeroflot (AFLT.MM), Formula One canceled the 2022 Russian Grand Prix, and organizers of the Eurovision song contest said Russia would not be allowed to participate in this year’s final. read more

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The “inclusion of a Russian entry in this year’s (Eurovision) contest would bring the competition into disrepute,” the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) said in a statement.

Gadget maker Dell Technologies Inc (DELL.N) said it suspended sales in Ukraine and Russia and would closely monitor the situation to determine next steps. New U.S. rules on exports to Russia announced on Thursday covered computers, and Dell accounted for about 6% of computer shipments to Russia last quarter, according to researcher IDC.

U.S. carrier Delta Air Lines Inc (DAL.N) said, without providing a reason, that it had suspended its codesharing service with Aeroflot.

Alexandria, Virginia, marketing consultant Dan Sondhelm said companies were trying to balance the reputational risk of continuing to deal with Moscow with their economic interests and concerns about upsetting some of their investors.

“It will take some time for companies to make their decisions to act or do nothing,” Sondhelm said. “It doesn’t happen overnight.”

The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on Russia that targeted five major Russian banks, including state-backed Sberbank and VTB, the country’s two largest lenders, as well as wealthy individuals, and announced new export control measures. read more

On Friday, European Union member states agreed to freeze European assets of Putin and his foreign minister, among other measures. read more

Some experts and attorneys said Western executives would seek to end commercial arrangements, even if they were not obliged to do so, to avoid public relations problems or the bureaucracy of trying to navigate sanctions in areas such as technology exports. read more

“What a lot of them will do is just drop any Russian customers. They will just say ‘we’re not going to deal with that,'” said William Reinsch, a trade expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a former U.S. Commerce Department export official.

David Smith, partner at insurance broker McGill and Partners in London, said that even before the invasion and sanctions, two underwriters had told him they did not want to insure a shipping company operating in Russian waters on the grounds they did not want to facilitate business with Russia.

“People should be thinking more and more about the moral issue, it’s not just a box-ticking exercise,” Smith said.

Western consumer brands operating in the region could face backlash. For instance, several posters on Facebook responded with outrage after a verified account for McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N) posted that it closed restaurants in Ukraine, but did not address its Russia locations.

“The Russian occupiers, the military, and their children will continue to enjoy a variety of burgers. And my child is sitting in a bomb shelter with tears in his eyes,” one of the posters, identifying himself as Vitaliy Skalsky, told Reuters in Ukrainian in a Facebook message.

McDonald’s representatives in the United States and Ukraine did not respond to requests for comment.


Western banks and financial firms have been studying the practical implications of new sanctions, said several sources in the heavily regulated industries.

The rules prohibit direct dealings with sanctioned entities and “correspondent” banking relationships that enable Russian banks to make international payments via U.S. banks. But they are less clear on areas such as buying and selling Russian sovereign debt in secondary markets, said a senior source at a large European bank with U.S. operations.

Many details on how the sanctions will work need to be confirmed by the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and other international regulators, this source said. OFAC did not respond immediately to requests for comment.

The chief investment officer of one European asset manager said on condition of anonymity it was considering whether to sell sovereign and corporate debt it holds in Russia, much as it might sell the bonds of a company that failed to take action on an issue like climate change.

“Russian actions have fallen foul of the standard you would have at the corporate level,” the executive said.

But client interests might argue for a different approach, this person said. “At the other side of the transaction is our client, who might be losing if you’re selling it in a fire sale,” the executive said.

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Reporting by Ross Kerber in Boston
Additional reporting by Caroyln Cohn in London; Matt Scuffham, Hilary Russ, Danielle Kaye and David French in New York; Jeffrey Dastin in Palo Alto, Calif., and Paresh Dave in Oakland, Calif.
Eidting by Greg Roumeliotis and Matthew Lewis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Middle East

Nov 21 (Reuters) – The woman who was engaged to marry Jamal Khashoggi has asked singer Justin Bieber to cancel his scheduled Dec. 5 performance in Saudi Arabia’s second-largest city Jeddah, urging him to not perform for the slain Saudi journalist’s “murderers.”

Hatice Cengiz wrote an open letter to the singer published on Saturday in the Washington Post in which she urged Bieber to cancel the performance to “send a powerful message to the world that your name and talent will not be used to restore the reputation of a regime that kills its critics.”

President Joe Biden’s administration released a U.S. intelligence report in February implicating Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Khashoggi’s 2018 murder in Istanbul but spared him any direct punishment. The crown prince denies any involvement.

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“Do not sing for the murderers of my beloved Jamal,” Cengiz wrote. “Please speak out and condemn his killer, Mohammed bin Salman. Your voice will be heard by millions.”

Bieber, who is Canadian, is among a group of artists scheduled to perform as Saudi Arabia hosts the Formula One Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in Jeddah.

“If you refuse to be a pawn of MBS, your message will be loud and clear: I do not perform for dictators. I choose justice and freedom over money,” Cengiz wrote, using the crown prince’s initials.

Human rights groups have urged the performers to speak out against human rights issues in the kingdom.

“Saudi Arabia has a history of using celebrities and major international events to deflect scrutiny from its pervasive abuses,” Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday.

The advocacy group urged the performers, who also include rapper A$AP Rocky, DJs David Guetta and Tiesto and singer Jason Derulo, “to speak out publicly on rights issues or, when reputation-laundering is the primary purpose, not participate.”

Khashoggi, a Saudi-born U.S. resident who wrote opinion columns for the Washington Post critical of the Saudi crown prince, was killed and dismembered by a team of operatives linked to the prince in the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul.

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Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Will Dunham

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Max Mosley, Motor Racing Chief and Embattled Privacy Advocate, Dies at 81

Max Mosley, the former president of the International Automobile Federation, who forged a career that helped him emerge from the shadow of his notoriously fascist British parents but who became ensnared in legal battles later in life over a secretly recorded sex video, died on Monday. He was 81.

His death was confirmed by his family, who said in a statement that he had died after a “long battle with cancer.”

Mr. Mosley was president of the F.I.A. from 1993 to 2009. During his tenure, he advocated safety reforms in a sport that was often plagued by safety issues.

Shortly after he became president of the F.I.A., the deaths of two drivers during the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix provided urgency to that effort, and in 1996, he led a successful campaign to strengthen crash test standards in the European Union.

told The New York Times in 2015, “I did try to make a life of my own without basing a lot of my interests on my parents.”

As a child, Mr. Mosley was surrounded by wealth and notable figures, including the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. But he grew close with Bernie Ecclestone, the son of a fisherman who would become chief executive of the Formula One Group, as the two endeavored to bolster the sport of motor racing.

“We came from different sorts of upbringings, but we just got on well together,” Mr. Ecclestone said in an interview on Monday. He noted Mr. Mosley’s advocacy in vehicle safety, adding that “he wanted to make sure the public at large had cars that were built properly, were not dangerous, were not fragile.”

But Mr. Mosley’s legacy as a reformer in the world of motor racing was overshadowed in 2008 when a now-defunct British tabloid, The News of the World, posted a video online of Mr. Mosley involved in what it described as “a depraved Nazi sadomasochistic orgy.”

The video, which was later removed from the internet, showed him counting in German and yelling in German-accented English. He acknowledged participating in the session, but denied that the role-playing was Nazi-themed.

order Google to remove photos and videos of the episode that had continued to circulate on the internet from its search results.

Mr. Ecclestone said he regretted not supporting Mr. Mosley when he “had his bloody problems,” referring to the scandal.

“Max was a very genuine, straightforward guy,” Mr. Ecclestone said. “He was very firm in that way.”

Ian Parkes contributed reporting.

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An Old-School Media Titan Pushes Aside an Upstart

Mr. Kilar, 50, fashioned himself as a disrupter inclined to break with the status quo in the pursuit of innovation. He became the chief executive of WarnerMedia in April 2020. He previously had started a video streaming company called Vessel and had managed Hulu, where he gained a reputation for thwarting the desires of the entrenched media executives overseeing the company.

HBO Max made a lackluster debut just two months after his arrival at WarnerMedia. By August, Mr. Kilar dismissed Bob Greenblatt and Kevin Reilly, two longtime television executives who were in charge of the streaming service’s programming. Mr. Kilar also laid off some 1,000 employees.

Those inside the company credit Mr. Kilar with two important decisions that have better positioned the company in the current media climate. He oriented all the divisions around HBO Max. He also hammered on the importance of making HBO Max a global streaming service, accelerating its rollout. HBO Max is set to expand into Latin America and the Caribbean next month. The European launch is scheduled for later this year.

But now the television veterans are in control.

Mr. Zaslav has run Discovery since 2007. He started his media career in 1989 at NBC, ultimately helping to create cable networks like CNBC and MSNBC and expanding USA and Bravo around the world. Known for celebrity-strewn parties at his East Hampton, N.Y., estate, Mr. Zaslav has long been one of the highest-paid chief executives in media. Last year, his compensation totaled $37.7 million. In 2018, when he signed a new contract, he received more than $100 million in Discovery stock.

Richard Gelfond, the chief executive of Imax, predicted in a CNBC interview that Mr. Zaslav would bring a “diplomatic soft touch” to WarnerMedia’s shifting movie releasing strategy. “He’s been an innovator, but he knows how to do it within the confines of the existing system,” Mr. Gelfond said.

Pulling strings in the background, per his style, will be Mr. Malone.

Nicknamed the “cable cowboy,” in part because his base of operation is in Colorado, Mr. Malone, 80, is the consummate deal maker. Mr. Zaslav in Monday’s call described him as “a teacher, and a best friend and really a father to me.” He has a reputation for putting together complex transactions that limit his tax exposure. He began amassing his fortune in 1973 when he took over Tele-Communications Inc., an almost-bankrupt cable company that he grew and then sold to AT&T in 1998 for $32 billion. A subsidiary, Liberty Media, was spun off into its own entity with Mr. Malone at the helm.

Liberty holds significant stakes in a variety of entertainment companies, including Discovery, the Atlanta Braves and SiriusXM. The company purchased Formula One racing in 2016 for $4.4 billion. And in 2017, Discovery purchased Scripps Network Interactive for $11.9 billion, which added HGTV, Travel Channel and Food Network to its media arsenal.

In 2019, after selling his shares of Lionsgate, Mr. Malone increased his ownership of Discovery, purchasing $75 million of additional shares for a total 23 percent stake.

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The Best Movies and TV Shows New to Netflix, Amazon and Stan in Australia in May


Produced by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock and created by Meredith Scardino — a team that has collaborated before on “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Mr. Mayor” and “Saturday Night Live” — the sitcom “Girls5eva” is about a formerly popular 1990s girl group that attempts a comeback. The band is played by a mix of real-life comedians and musicians: Sara Bareilles, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Paula Pell and Busy Philipps. Expect plenty of jokes about ageism and sexism in the music industry, cushioned by the kind of goofy absurdism common to Fey and Carlock’s comedy.

MAY 14

Whether or not you’re a fan of Formula One auto racing, you can learn a lot from this gripping 2010 documentary about Ayrton Senna, a Brazilian driver who fought against an establishment that resisted his more aggressive, daring approach. The director Asif Kapadia (who later won an Oscar for his equally thorough and compelling Amy Winehouse documentary, “Amy”) here combines exciting archival footage with some fascinating history lessons, detailing the ways that traditionalists and bureaucrats sometimes suppress innovation and stifle competition.

MAY 27

The final season of this soapy drama will wrap up the sometimes triumphant and sometimes troubling stories of three millennial ladies: the soul-baring journalist Jane Sloan (Katie Stevens), the social media influencer Kat Edison (Aisha Dee) and the aspiring fashion designer Sutton Brady (Meghann Fahy). It might also reveal the fate of the once-indomitable women’s magazine they’ve all worked for. Over the course of its first four years, “The Bold Type” evolved from being a portrait of a generation to becoming an unusually plugged-in (if somewhat fantastical) commentary on the state of modern media. It has also featured fantastic performances from its three leads, whose powerful presence in these roles will be missed.

Also arriving: “My War on Drugs” (May 3), “Basketball: A Love Story” Season 1 (May 5), “Belushi” (May 6),“Bloods” (May 6), “The Flood” (May 6), “Lassie” (May 6), “Pinocchio” (May 11), “Domina” (May 15), “The Lost Kingdom of the Black Pharaohs” (May 12), “Liar” Season 2 (May 15), “Generation Gifted” Seasons 1-3 (May 19), “Battle of the Sexes” (May 22), “Fighters” (May 23), “Black Monday” Season 3 (May 24), “You Cannot Kill David Arquette” (May 25), “Deep Water” Season 1 (May 26), “Endangered Wildlife Sanctuary” (May 27), “Madagascar: A Little Wild” (May 28), “Venus and Serena” (May 29).

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