Tuesday December 5, 2023

What The Verizon-Apollo Megadeal Means

  • Verizon is unloading its major media properties, Yahoo and AOL, to major investment firm Apollo Global Management.
  • The deal could help both Verizon and Apollo focus on sports and betting.
MetLife Stadium/Design: Alex Brooks
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Verizon is set to offload one of the most prominent names in fantasy sports in a move that may auger a bigger play into broadcast sports.

The company is selling its media assets — Yahoo and AOL — to Apollo Global Management for $5 billion. Apollo is an investment manager with $455 billion in assets under management.

The move bolsters Apollo’s presence in digital media, and with Yahoo, ups its stake in fantasy sports and sports betting. Apollo is expected to focus on the more valuable properties within Yahoo and AOL, including Yahoo Sports, which runs a sportsbook with BetMGM.

  • Apollo divested from its major gaming investments in Ladbrokes Coral Group and Caesars Entertainment in recent years.
  • In December, Apollo bought IGT’s Italian sports betting, digital gaming, and gaming device units for $1.15 billion.

Verizon is expected to turn its focus to its 5G network, which could deepen its partnership with the NFL. The telecom provider offers 5G at 13 NFL stadiums, including MetLife, home to the Giants and Jets, which features a Verizon suite. 

The company will retain a 10% stake in the media divisions of Yahoo and AOL, which should facilitate continuity with its NFL media partnerships, which use Yahoo Sports as a platform. The stake accounts for $750 million of the transaction value.  

Verizon also has 5G-related partnerships with the NHL and Indy 500. 

At Apple’s product rollout event last October, Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg showed off the network’s capability to stream seven camera angles of an NFL game simultaneously, including one inside a player’s helmet.

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