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  • Shauna Rush


Here is this week's dose of “5-Point Friday”. A weekly round-up of the sports news and stories that I find most interesting and enjoyable.

eSports news I am paying attention to -

German broadcaster Sport1 announced that they will be launching a new pan-European esports channel featuring content from ESL, the NBA 2K League, and Psyonix.

eSportsOne will start broadcasting on November 3rd, in several European countries, including Belgium, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. Titles such as Dota 2, Starcraft 2, Warcraft 3, NBA 2K, and Rocket League will be shown on the channel. The pay-TV operator will be distributed via the M7 platforms TV Vlaanderen, CanalDigitaal, and Skylink at launch. Further platforms in other European markets will be added in the coming weeks.

The channel is set to offer more than 1,000 live hours per year of esports events, with English commentary for its tournament coverage, as well as exclusive, self-produced analysis formats. Among these will be the ‘eSportsOne – Analytics’ show, in which competitive gaming experts will break down all facets of a tournament in the one-hour program.

“We are pioneers and trailblazers in the growth market esports with its great opportunities,” said Olaf Schröder (@SchroederOlaf), chief executive of Sport1 Medien AG and chairman of the management Board of Sport1 GmbH.

“At the beginning of 2019, we launched the first esports channel in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland with eSports1 – an important milestone with which we have further expanded our positioning as a leading medium in the German-speaking esports community.

“Now we continue our esports success story internationally and are launching a new, ground-breaking project with eSportsOne as a pan-European esports broadcaster. Our goal: We want to make esports even bigger in Europe in the future beyond the young core target group and to anchor it even more sustainably in the society.”

Basketball story I'm following -

Ryan Smith, co-founder and chief executive of software company Qualtrics, has agreed to acquire NBA side Utah Jazz in a deal worth a reported $1.6 billion. Included in the deal are the Jazz, the team’s Vivint Arena home, the G League’s Salt Lake City Stars, and management of the Triple-A baseball affiliate Salt Lake Bees, but not the team itself. 

“Ryan recently approached our organization to inquire about the possibility of purchasing the Utah Jazz and some of our other sports and entertainment properties,” said Gail Miller owner and chair of LHM Group, the team's current owners.“After much soul searching, lengthy discussions, and extensive evaluations of our long-term goals, my family and I decided this was the right time to pass our responsibility and cherished stewardship of 35 years to Ryan and Ashley, who share our values and are committed to keeping the team in Utah. 

“We have every confidence they will continue the work we have undertaken and move the team to the next level. Our family remains invested in the success of the Utah Jazz and these businesses, and we will retain a minority interest.

“I am fully persuaded that with this sale, the objectives of the trust will be honored, and the new owners have made the same commitment to keeping the team in Utah. This transaction will unlock opportunities that will allow us to continue our stewardship in ways not possible until now. Our mission is and will continue to be to Enrich Lives.”

Surfing experience I want to try -

Glow in the dark surfing is not a new concept but Aaron Lieber's 'IN THE NIGHT' has highlighted how amazing it can be.

Soccer news I am paying attention to -

Alberto Garzón, the Spanish minister of consumer affairs, this week sent a letter to La Liga teams calling on them to end their gambling partnerships after the conclusion of the 2020/21 season. Currently, seven of the 20 teams in top-flight La Liga have shirt sponsorship deals with gambling companies.

The letter informs La Liga clubs that their contracts with betting companies will be prohibited once the new royal decree is officially in place. The decree, which covers all sports in Spain, impacts sponsorship deals of whatever type, be that visual branding or simply associated rights.

The advertising of betting companies 'has contributed to normalizing an activity which leads to serious health and social risks,' the letter stated.

Golf news that I am following -

Golf brand Callaway golf announced that it will acquire the driving range entertainment company, Topgolf, in a $2 billion deal.

Callaway chief executive Chip Brewer said the deal is designed to attract new customers and add a stronger digital component to golfing, including microtransactions around personalized content in the future.

“We have thoughts about being the Peloton of golf," Brewer said.

Have a wonderful weekend, all!


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