TheGrill: New Economy’s Top Investors Reveal Why ‘Sports Rights Are Beachfront Real Estate’ (Video)

Evolution’s Rick Hess, Shamrock’s Andy Howard and Greycroft’s Dana Settle explain how their companies choose what to back

Last Updated: October 8, 2014 @ 9:41 AM

The talk turned to following the money at TheGrill, TheWrap‘s fifth annual Media Leadership Conference Tuesday at the Montage in Beverly Hills.

CAA’s Brian Weinstein moderated a panel in which he, Evolution Media Capital founder and co-managing partner Rick Hess, Shamrock Capital Advisors partner Andy Howard and Greycroft founding partner Dana Settle discussed what they’re financing these days.

“We invest across all categories of sports and entertainment, consumer product and technology,” Hess said. “Our motto is we invest where we’re strategic. We are your strategic partner. If you’re a CEO, you tell us what you need. It’s a fun dynamic process.”

See photos: The Scene at TheGrill 2014: TheWrap’s Media Leadership Conference

Settle said that Greycroft, which only invests in digital media, identifies platforms that are experiencing dramatic growth and looks at where consumers are spending time. It then searches for pioneers.

“What we look for are people who are early to a platform, because they will have the best understanding, will always be out ahead and have an enduring advantage,” she said.

Howard explained Shamrock’s approach. “We’re constantly looking at the sector and peeling the onion back several layers,” he said.

Also read: TheGrill: Crowdfunding Experts Ponder the Question of What’s In It for the Crowd

“When we identify a stable industry, we then ask where are there places to play and are growing even faster,” Howard continued. “So, if you look at sports in general. Instead of owning a team, where it’s about winning and losing and knowing your roster, it’s about where are there strengths behind these business plans.”

Shamrock looked at sports rights and acquired the Harlem Globetrotters, which was a live entertainment team that wasn’t subject to winning or losing. It also looked at ways to help the leagues and teams monetize their digital content.

“So, we’re constantly looking at the broader picture and going deeper,” Howard said.

See video: TheGrill: How Top Hollywood Executives Use Social Media for Casting Movies

In fact, all three panelists agreed that sports is one of the most booming sectors for investors right now, citing Monday’s billion dollar NBA deal as an example.

“Sports rights are beachfront real estate,” Hess said. “It’s very finite. People have to have it. You can’t replicate it. You can only have one Dodgers. It’s DVR-proof. So in this day and age when you have so little appointment viewing and you can control the programming itself, it becomes incredibly valuable and a valuable driver of networks.”

“Right now is an interesting time for online sports,” Settle continued. “I think the fandom, I think all of the fantasy sports stuff is incredible. All of the stuff that’s going on with online gaming as a sport may be an area where there’s things to do for venture capitalists, because there’s not yet all the stuff with the rights thing.”

Also read: TheGrill: Crowdfunder Raises $3.5 Million in Series A Round of Financing

Howard agreed, “There’s a lot still to be had in sports. It’s highly valuable. People are watching it on the screen, on the device, wherever they can. I think sports rights are going to continue to increase, and that’s why we continue to look at the sector.”

See TheWrap’s complete coverage of TheGrill 2014 — News, Photos, Videos

jeff bewkes thegrill abigail spencer

TheGrill: Innovators Talk Opportunities, Pitfalls for Video Content in the Digital Age

TheGrill: New Economy’s Top Investors Reveal Why ‘Sports Rights Are Beachfront Real Estate’ (Video)

TheGrill: Ron Meyer on Hollywood ‘Assholes,’ CAA ‘Monsters’ and Advice for the Next Generation

TheGrill: ‘Rectify’ Star Abigail Spencer Says ‘Most of the Great Female Roles Are Happening on Television’

TheGrill: Ron Meyer on His Two Biggest Successes and Why ‘Titanic’ Is His Biggest Regret

TheGrill: Crowdfunding Experts Ponder the Question of What’s In It for the Crowd (Video)

TheGrill: How Top Hollywood Executives Use Social Media for Casting Movies (Video)

TheGrill: Crowdfunder Raises $3.5 Million in Series A Round of Financing (Exclusive)

TheGrill: C4’s Vincent Bruzzese Demostrates How to Pitch a Movie Using Big Data (Video)

TheGrill: MySpace’s Chris DeWolfe, YouTube’s Chad Hurley On What Happens When Hollywood and Gaming Play Nice (Video)

TheGrill: Hollywood’s Studio Presidents Vie For Chance to Make ‘Rain Man’ Today (Video)

TheGrill: AMC Networks Chief Josh Sapan Says You Can’t ‘Science Your Way’ to Great Content (Video)

TheGrill: Morgan Spurlock on Making ‘Super Size Me’ and Saying No to Yes-Men (Video)

TheGrill: Time Warner’s Jeff Bewkes Talks Cutbacks, New NBA Deal and Why CNN’s Ratings Don’t Matter (Video)

TheGrill: Tech to Hollywood — ‘We’re Here to Solve Your Problems’

TheGrill: PepsiCo, Red Bull Execs – We Will Do What Hollywood Can’t (Video)

The Scene at TheGrill 2014: TheWrap’s Media Leadership Conference (Photos)

Keep
Reading...

Looks like you’re enjoying reading
Keep reading by creating
a free account or logging in.