Leonsis’ Monumental Sports & Entertainment already owns 33% of the channel and plans to purchase the remaining two-thirds.Getty Images
Ted Leonsis’ Monumental Sports & Entertainment is in the process of purchasing NBC Sports Washington RSN from Comcast to gain more control over the team’s local media rights. Monumental, which already owns 33% of the channel, agreed to buy his remaining two-thirds for an undisclosed price. “Fundamentally, we believe in the value of local living rights,” said Zach Leonsis, Monumental President of Media and New Business. “Much has been said about the decline of the local sports network industry. We believe that owning a is very strategic.
transaction details: LionTree is Monumental’s exclusive financial advisor on this transaction, which is expected to close by late September. Purchase is subject to regulatory approval. As part of the deal, NBCUniversal will provide delivery assistance, technical resources and production equipment for up to 18 months. However, as soon as the deal closes, all RSN staff members become Monumental employees. The deal comes at a time when business plans for regional sports networks are being hit by rising royalties and shrinking distribution.
one-off deal: NBC owns all or part of six RSNs on both coasts. This sale is a one-time deal. The company has no plans to unload other RSNs. The sale was described as a unique circumstance by Ted Leonsis’ aggressive and willing buyer, which facilitated Comcast’s decision to sell his RSN. A monumental plan to eventually rebrand the channel and make its look and feel more similar to a team wearing the colors red, white and blue. reserves the right to In addition to Capital He One Arena, Monumental also owns Mystics, G League’s Go-Go, and NBA 2K League’s District His Gaming. The Leonsis company already owns a streaming service called Monumental Sports Network. Zach Leonsis said he plans to merge the two once the deal closes. Ted Leonsis, who owns the Wizards and Capitals through Monumental, is a member of the media committees of the NBA and his NHL, and has a unique perspective on what’s happening in the sports rights market. “This is very strategic for us,” said Zach Leonsis.
on the fast track: The RSN purchase puts Monumental on track to exceed $1 billion in annual revenue, said Zach Leonsis. “We will get there by continuing the organic growth rate of our core properties, acquiring complementary properties and leveraging our monumental platform to launch and invest in new businesses,” said Zach Leonsis. He talks about his plans to invest in everything from building a new production factory to setting up a top quality streaming service. NBC Sports Washington has dabbled in another gambling-focused telecast, and Zach Leonsis said he hopes to see more such shows. “Monumental has always had great production capabilities in-house, and we hope to leverage that to strengthen our original programming efforts and deliver more live rights than we currently do.” Jackie Bradford has been running RSN since late 2020. She is also president and general manager of NBC4 Washington and Telemundo Her Washington.
look to the future: Zach Leonsis: “We’ve found that the desire of sports fans for content and programming is pervasive. People really want more access to their teams and are willing to pay for it.” Digital is clearly important to the future of sports media, and we want to be very cautious about our approach, but in the not-too-distant future, we’ll have best-in-class digital sports on this network. We want to build experiences.”