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2002年曼联5-3热刺: 銀湖資產5億美元豪賭曼城,欲復制投資戴爾和阿里巴巴的輝煌

热刺贝尔 www.gyplwd.com.cn Scott Soshnick, David Hellier, 彭博社 2019年12月02日

銀湖資本原來擅長科技投資,現在,它將把自己的業務拓展至英超俱樂部。

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2019年11月26日,曼徹斯特伊蒂哈德球場,在與頓涅茨克礦工的歐冠C組小組賽賽前,曼城球員列隊拍照。圖片來源:ALEX LIVESEY-DANEHOUSE—GETTY IMAGES

銀湖資本進軍英超的大手筆投資一方面體現出了比賽直播價值迅速上揚的趨勢,另一方面也表明該公司賭定曼城的億萬球迷蘊藏著巨大商機。

美國私募股權投資公司銀湖資本出資5億美元收購城市足球集團10%的股份。11月27日,兩家公司對外披露了該筆交易。在此次交易后,城市足球集團的估值達到了48億美元,成功躋身全球最值錢的職業體育集團之一。

銀湖資本在業界大名鼎鼎,尤其擅長科技投資,曾經參投戴爾以及中國的阿里巴巴。而現在,它將把自己的業務拓展至英超俱樂部。

雖然大型俱樂部仍主要通過出售轉播權和商品銷售獲取收入,但他們也在設法通過使用新技術向球迷出售專享內容賺錢。

各家俱樂部都在開發專門的應用程序,向球迷提供各種獨家內容,比如:球員訪談、紀錄短片、新聞發布會,甚至還包括比賽集錦。地處倫敦的切爾西足球俱樂部最近開發的一個平臺就吸引了眾多觀眾。

去年,曼城與亞馬遜的流媒體服務Prime Video合作,推出了一部記錄其2018年奪冠之路的8集紀錄片,展示了曼城幕后內容的潛在價值。

“英超俱樂部在全球擁有大量的國際觀眾和球迷群體,在亞洲尤其如此?!?Ampere Analysis公司的理查德·布勞頓說?!霸謨⒐醞獾鈉淥銥贍茉灘刈啪藪笊袒?,只是定價要稍微低一些?!?/p>

大球會必須謹小慎微,在向球迷提供足夠有吸引力的內容的同時,也要避免惹惱給他們帶來電視轉播收入的聯賽。

內容為王

隨著線上廣告分量的提升,為了吸引廣告商,許多媒體公司都盯上了比賽直播,體育轉播收入也隨之持續飆升。美國大型流媒體平臺加入版權競賽進一步推升了熱門賽事的估值。

論對觀眾的吸引力,鮮有電視節目能夠與大型現場體育比賽相匹敵。德勤的一項研究顯示,憑借其在國內聯賽和歐洲賽場上的強勢表現,曼城在2017-18賽季一躍成為全球收入第五高的足球俱樂部。

康卡斯特集團旗下的歐洲付費電視臺天空電視臺表示,英超聯賽近來的觀眾數較上賽季增加了23%。

11月下旬,曼聯的副主席埃德·伍德沃德在與分析師的財報電話會議上表示:“我們對全球足球轉播權(收入)的持續增長感到非常樂觀?!?/p>

長期以來,私募股權投資者一直都對體育俱樂部和體育經紀公司抱有濃厚興趣。去年,Apax Partners LLP同意收購數據和技術公司Genius Sports,而就在這筆交易發生之前,加拿大養老金計劃投資委員會和私人股本公司TCV剛剛收購了另一家體育數據分析公司Sportradar AG的少量股權。2017年,Providence Equity Partners將其在美國職業足球大聯盟媒體與營銷部門的股份出售給了大聯盟,交易金額為其初始投資金額的三倍。

銀湖資本正在向體育和娛樂業投入更多資金,投資對象包括奮進集團控股有限公司,該公司旗下擁有體育聯賽、時尚活動及諸多頂級運動員和知名藝人。

城市足球集團的年收入為5.35億英鎊(6.88億美元),而其已經上市的同城對手曼聯的年收入則為6.27億英鎊,市值27.5億美元。盡管曼城是其迄今為止其最重要的投資,但城市足球集團旗下還擁有紐約城市足球俱樂部和墨爾本城市足球俱樂部等多家俱樂部。

城市足球集團在聲明中表示,該公司計劃將本次交易獲得的資金用于海外業務拓展、技術研發以及基礎設施投資。在本次交易中,城市足球集團的現有股東均未出售股份,阿布扎比財團仍然是城市足球集團的最大股東。(財富中文網)

譯者:梁宇

審校:夏林

Silver Lake’s expensive foray into British soccer reflects the soaring value of live matches and a bet that Manchester City’s hundreds of millions of fans represent a big revenue opportunity.

The U.S. private equity firm is buying just over 10% of City Football Group Ltd. for around $500 million, the companies said on November 27, valuing the club’s owner at $4.8 billion. That’s one of the highest-ever price tags for a professional sports group.

Silver Lake is best known for tech investments such as Dell Technologies Inc. and China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., and could bring that expertise to the English Premier League club.

While the big clubs still make most of their money from broadcast rights and merchandising, they’re looking for ways to use technology to sell privileged access to fans.

Clubs have been developing apps showing exclusive content such as player interviews, short documentaries, press conferences and even match highlights. A platform developed recently by London’s Chelsea Football Club has found an enthusiastic audience.

Manchester City demonstrated the potential value of behind-the-scenes content last year when it partnered with Amazon.com Inc.’s Prime Video streaming service for an eight-part documentary charting the path to its 2018 title win.

“There are large international audiences and fan bases for Premier League clubs, particularly in Asia,” said Richard Broughton of Ampere Analysis. “There is potentially a large and arguably under-served opportunity outside the U.K. – albeit at a lower price point.”

The bigger teams will have to tread a careful path, offering enough to entice fans without upsetting the leagues that bring them TV revenue.

Prized Content

Income from sports broadcasts has been surging since media companies latched onto live sports as one of the remaining ways to bring in advertisers, which are increasingly moving online. The emergence of the big U.S. streaming platforms in rights contests has helped to buoy valuations for the most sought-after content.

Few TV shows can match the audience pulling power of a big live sporting clash. Manchester City was the world’s fifth-highest revenue generating soccer club in the 2017/18 season, according to a study by Deloitte, following a strong run of success in domestic and European competitions.

Comcast Corp.’s European pay-TV unit Sky has said recent Premier League audiences were 23% higher than last season.

“We remain very optimistic for continued increases in global football broadcast rights,” said Manchester United’s Vice Chairman Ed Woodward in an earnings call with analysts at late November.

Private-equity investors have long been drawn to sports clubs and agencies. Last year, Apax Partners LLP agreed to acquire data and technology company Genius Sports, fresh on the heels of a purchase by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and private equity firm TCV of a minority stake in Sportradar AG, another sports data analysis firm. Providence Equity Partners sold its interest in Major League Soccer’s media and marketing arm back to the league in 2017, tripling its initial investment in Soccer United Marketing.

Silver Lake is plowing more money into sports and entertainment, including an investment in Endeavor Group Holdings Inc., which runs sports leagues, hosts fashion events and represents top athletes and entertainers.

City Football Group has annual revenue of 535 million pounds ($688 million), compared to 627 million pounds for publicly traded cross-town rival Manchester United, whose market value is $2.75 billion. City Football Group also owns clubs including New York City FC and Melbourne City FC, although Manchester City is its most important investment by far.

It plans to use the deal funds to expand its business overseas and develop technology and infrastructure assets, according to a statement. No existing shareholders sold their stake, and Abu Dhabi United Group remains the majority shareholder.

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