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CNBC launches sports business vertical ahead of 2024 Paris Olympics


By Kendra Barnett, Associate Editor

July 3, 2024 | 4 min read

The legacy network is eyeing new monetization opportunities as it branches into more specialized content verticals.

Hockey players

CNBC is branching further into the business of sports / Markus Spiske

CNBC on Tuesday unveiled a new content vertical, CNBC Sport, which will examine the ins and outs of the sports business. The section promises to deliver analysis and insights at the intersection of sports and commerce.

The development represents a significant extension of the media giant’s well-established business news coverage.

“The spotlight on sports has never been brighter with more money at play than ever before. 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,” said KC Sullivan, CNBC president, in a statement.

The debut of CNBC Sport is part of a larger trend of legacy cable networks adapting their business models as consumer habits evolve in the digital age. With a variety of digital subscription offerings that include live TV access, CNBC is eyeing new monetization opportunities tied to specialized insights in category-specific verticals like sports and entertainment. The publisher already has focused verticals on markets, tech, politics, business and more.

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The new initiative is being helmed by Michael Ozanian, a veteran journalist who spent nearly three decades reporting on sports and media at Forbes. Ozanian is joining CNBC as a senior sports reporter, where he will be tasked with assessing the valuations of major sports franchises in relation to various market movements.

Ozanian told TVNewser that he is “extremely honored” to join the CNBC team.

CNBC has been increasing its live sports content in recent years and hopes to expand its remit further with the new vertical. This summer, the network plans to cover the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris extensively. The organization also hosts an annual conference on the business of sports in conjunction with Boardroom, a sports and entertainment brand.

A handful of seasoned CNBC reporters, including Alex Sherman, Contessa Brewer, Scott Wapner and others will contribute to the new sports vertical. The section will span the intersection of business and sports, covering specific leagues, consumer sports betting, industry movers and shakers, sports retail brands and more.

Kicking off CNBC Sport’s coverage, the network will feature a live interview with Boston Celtics’ lead owner and governor Wycliff Grousbeck on July 8 during a Closing Bell segment.

Today, the media ecosystem is witnessing a major shakeup in the world of live sports in particular, as leagues increasingly sign streaming deals with the likes of Amazon, Netflix and Warner Bros. Discovery, putting cable and broadcast networks at greater risk of losing eyeballs and ad dollars.

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