He’s a media legend known for mega deals.
Not only did he transform entertainment as the CEO of TiVo…
He also brought BOTH Netflix and Amazon to the TV screen.
Tom Rogers even revolutionized business news coverage through the creation of CNBC.
In fact, he’s a regular guest on CNBC… as wells as Fox Business Network, Bloomberg TV, and MSNBC.
And now, Tom Rogers has announced his latest new media deal…
He announced the combination of 3 companies to dominate the multi-billion-dollar gaming and esports streaming industry.
Lesley Stahl of CBS News, in announcing his induction into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame, said, “Rogers is a guy who gets things done… and he transforms companies along the way.”
And he’s trying to do that with his new combined company called Engine.
More and more users are turning away from online streaming…
And they are instead focused on the next great media phenomenon… gaming.
This new trend was evident from 2015 to 2017 when the time spent gaming by men between 21 and 30 nearly doubled while the time spent watching TV or movies decreased significantly.
Even Netflix has been forced to admit that games such as Fortnite are now threatening its market share.
In case you haven’t heard of Fortnite, it’s the game that your son, or nephew or the kid next door plays for hours every day.
And it’s probably the biggest cultural sensation to sweep the globe since Pokemon.
But what makes this phenomenon particularly powerful, is that people don’t just play it… they watch it.
More than 7 million people tuned in to watch Fortnite’s “Black Hole” event on the streaming service Twitch in October. It was also the most viewed gaming event on Twitter, with 42.8 million views.
In 2018, the Fortnite World Cup became the biggest event in esports, with 40 million players and a total prize pool of $30 million.
And media gurus like Tom Rogers appreciate that Fortnite is just the tip of the iceberg.
The up and coming esports industry could have the potential to top $1 billion in revenue by 2022.
Video games in general have already surpassed nearly every other form of entertainment.
Some estimates see the industry growing to $300 billion by 2025. That’s literally bigger than Hollywood.
And millions are tuning in to watch professional gamers duke it out for big prizes. Traditional sports are struggling with viewership, while esports is witnessing exponential growth.
The timing could not be any better – companies like Engine are positioning themselves for the future.
The Deal Of The Decade
From being the CEO of TiVo to founding CNBC and then bringing Netflix and Amazon to our screens, Tom Rogers rarely gets it wrong when predicting trends in the entertainment space.
And when it comes to his next big bet, he has all of the angles covered.
As he outlined in a recent appearance on CNBC, Rogers believes there are 3 major verticals that people should be watching. Esports, News and Gaming.
In order to get ahead of this trend, Rogers has carefully selected the two companies to merge with his gaming company WinView. The first of those is esports company Torque ( TSXV:GAME, OTCMKTS:MLLLD) and the second is the up and coming news and data platform Frankly Media.
E FOR E-SPORTS
Esports is one of the fastest growing industries in the world and its cultural impact is undeniable.
With 243 million dedicated viewers, esports events are selling out major stadiums around the world and the total market is set to grow to $3 billion by 2022.
In fact, it has already begun to overtake traditional sports when it comes to viewership numbers.
And for companies like Torque Esports (TSXV:GAME, OTCMKTS:MLLLD), the timing couldn’t be better. It is positioning itself as a dominant player in esports, streaming and data as this new media revolution takes hold.
The first of its advantages can be found where Fortnite meets Formula 1, with its World’s Fastest Gamer tournament set to attract the best esports racers in the world as they battle for a $1 million prize.
The second string to its bow comes in the form of Eden games, its very own game development arm that means it doesn’t only profit from tournaments, tv shows and advertising but from the game itself. This is the company that produced the Formula 1 mobile game and the Gear Club gaming series – two of the biggest racing games on the market.
The final, and arguably most impressive element of this esports giant is its acquisition of Stream Hatchet, a premier name in esport data analytics.
The future is bright for esports, and Tom Rogers is already ahead of the game.
N FOR NEWS
Alongside esports, Rogers is focused on dominating the news space as well. Once again, this is a data play.
The digital advertising space is worth roughly $130 billion, and yet 80 percent of that value is currently being sucked up by Google and Facebook.
Google made $4.7 billion in revenue from news content last year without writing a single word, while all publishers combined only managed $5 billion dollars.
Now Tom Rogers is bringing Frankly into the fold – ensuring his new media giant is covering every inch of the upcoming entertainment revolution.
G FOR GAMING
The final part of Tom Rogers’ mega media merger is his own company, WinView.
Alongside esports and news, Rogers sees gaming as the third pillar of the upcoming media revolution. WinView is the leading platform in the U.S. for skill-based sports prediction mobile games in what it sees as the future of entertainment.
Its unique technology allows viewers to compete with friends in real-time during live televised sports events. The logical extension of this would be to include it in live esports events and live news broadcasts – gamifying entertainments and changing the way we consume content.
From video games, to esports, to live sports and even news, a media revolution is underway. For those, like Tom Rogers, who can see these changes first-hand – the opportunities are endless.
The Media Revolution
While Roger’s new media deal won’t be completed until February, following the companies that are part of this deal gives an insight into what the new company will look like.
Frankly Media is incredibly popular among news publishers, breaking the big media cartel that currently starves news networks of their advertising revenue. While it isn’t as large a part of the coming entertainment revolution, it is undoubtedly one way to play Tom Roger’s prediction.
Other companies looking to take advantage of a new entertainment boom:
Celestica Inc. (TSX:CLS) is a manufacturer of electrical devices used in IT, telecommunications, healthcare, defense and aerospace industries. The company has seen strong growth YoY which we expect to continue as the sales expectations are almost 3% better than last years.
While telecommunications stocks have been volatile recently, Celestica’s deals within the gaming industry, including its previous partnership with Microsoft, have helped investors see some upside.
Shaw Communications Inc. (TSX:SJR ) is another major player in the Canadian telecoms sector. It owns a ton of infrastructure throughout Canada and its cloud services and open-source projects look to address some of the biggest issues that its customers might face before the customers even face them.
Despite a couple of dips over the past few years, Shaw has rebounded nicely, proving that it can stay with the times as the industry continues to evolve.
Telus Corporation (TSX:T) is Canada’s second largest internet provider, serving over 8 million Canadians from coast to coast. Though it’s not producing its own content, it is carving out its own path in the industry thanks to its innovative approach to technology and investments across multiple sectors.
From healthcare to the Internet of Things and cloud technology, Telus is taking a stake in some of the world’s most important and fastest growing markets, making it a company worth noting.
GameHost Inc (TSX:GH) is a leading entertainment and hospitality provider based in Alberta, Canada. The company operates four primary properties in the Alberta province, each offering slot machines, table games, top-quality hospitality and more meant to appeal to both casual gamers and dedicated gamers alike.
GameHost is well-known for providing dividends to its investors, a plus for those who have stuck with the company over the years. In fact, its focus on increasing value for shareholders is made abundantly clear in its mission to reduce costs and improve offerings, creating some of the highest profit margins in the business.
The Descartes Systems Group Inc. (TSX: DSG) (commonly referred to as Descartes) is a Canadian multinational technology company specializing in logistics software, supply chain management software, and cloud-based services for logistics businesses. The company is making waves in the tech industry with its futuristic products and visionary leadership.
Recently, Descartes announced that it has successfully deployed its advanced capacity matching solution, Descartes MacroPoint Capacity Matching. The solution provides greater visibility and transparency within their network of carriers and brokers. This move could solidify the company as a key player in transportation logistics which is essential in the world of commerce.
By. Lisa Greenwood
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Can’t comment on NewsClick’s China link, respect media freedom: US
The US government has seen reports of NewsClick’s alleged links to China and is aware of concerns around it though it can’t independently comment on the veracity of those claims. But, as a general principle, the US continues to urge Indian government as well other governments across the world to respect the human rights of journalists, including freedom of expression online and offline.
At a regular State Department briefing on Tuesday, when asked about the raids on the proprietors, staffers and contributors of NewsClick and a New York Times report that the news website was a part of a Chinese influence operation funded through an American businessman, State department‘s principal deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel said, “So we are aware of those concerns and have seen that reporting about this outlet’s ties to the PRC (People’s Republic of China), but we can’t comment yet on the veracity of those claims.”
Patel added that, separately, the US strongly supported “the robust role of the media globally, including social media, in a vibrant and free democracy”.
“We raise concerns on these matters with the Indian Government, with countries around the world, through our diplomatic engagements that are, of course, at the core of our bilateral relationship. And we have urged the Indian Government, and have done so not just with India but other countries as well, about the importance of respecting the human rights of journalists, including freedom of expression both online and offline.”
Patel, however, said that he did not have any additional information about “this particular circumstance or any of the underlying issues that may or may not be related to this outlet”.
India’s Latest Media Arrests Put Washington in an Awkward Spot
(Bloomberg) — India’s latest media crackdown puts the US in an awkward position as it seeks to balance promotion of human rights with courting New Delhi to counter the influence of China.
Police in the South Asian country’s capital arrested the editor-in-chief and another employee of online newspaper NewsClick Tuesday under sweeping anti-terrorism laws. Authorities also raided the offices of the publication, without giving a reason.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has been targeting critical independent media since he took office in 2014. NewsClick came to prominence in 2021 for its extensive coverage of farmer protests against government plans to liberalize agriculture. India has previously accused the media organization of having funding ties to China, which it denies.
For Arati Jerath, a New Delhi-based political analyst, the arrests create a challenge for Washington.
“The US does not want to get too involved in India’s domestic affairs,” she said. “They are looking at India through a geopolitical prism and with China in the picture, India is a strategic partner.”
US Department of State spokesman Vedant Patel said he couldn’t comment yet on claims NewsClick has ties to China.
Patel also stressed the importance of press freedom globally. “We raise concerns on these matters with the Indian government, with countries around the world,” he told reporters in Washington.
India has often argued its democracy and vibrant press are a counterpoint to China with its one-party state and heavily controlled media. The US frequently finds itself torn between its efforts to defend human rights around the world and the pragmatic need to partner with governments accused of rights abuses.
India’s government has often used its anti-terrorism law to intimidate and punish journalists. The law, which doesn’t allow for bail, empowers the police to detain suspects for years without leveling official charges.
India has also scrutinized many mobile app and technology companies for alleged links to China after a Himalayan border clash between New Delhi and Beijing in 2020.
In 2021, authorities raided NewsClick’s office and the homes of seven staff members for what they described as improper foreign investments. Several of them were questioned and NewsClick called the allegations “misleading, unfounded and without basis in fact or law.”
In August, the New York Times cited NewsClick as an organization allegedly being used for Chinese propaganda overseas. India’s Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said at the time the media outlet was being funded by Beijing.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Thakur said he didn’t need to justify the raids. “If someone has done something wrong, the investigative agencies will work on it,” he said.
NewClick’s human resources head Amit Chakravarty was also arrested. Several employees’ laptops and mobile phones were seized. Local media reported at least 30 premises were raided, including the homes of six NewsClick reporters.
India fell to 161st of 180 countries and territories in a press freedom ranking by Reporters Without Borders, a press advocacy group, this year. In February, authorities raided the BBC’s offices in New Delhi, weeks after the British broadcaster aired a documentary about Modi’s role in 2002 riots in his home state of Gujarat.
Last year, Mohammad Zubair, a journalist running a fact-checking website, Alt News, was arrested after highlighting anti-Islamic comments made by former BJP officials.
The Press Club of India expressed concern about the arrests and raid, saying it wants the government to explain its actions. The group plans to protest the detentions at a march Wednesday.
Jerath, the analyst, questioned India’s move to arrest the people under the terrorism law without providing details or evidence.
“You have already labeled them as terrorists,” she said.
(Updates with details on the crackdown. An earlier story corrected paragraph 11 to show authorities raided the homes of seven NewsClick staff members in 2021.)
What is NewsClick? A look at India’s media crackdown – Al Jazeera English
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