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 (TSX:GAME.V, 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 (TSX:GAME.V, 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:
Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG): With a market cap of over $809 billion, this is the second-largest by market capitalization in the S&P 500. We love Alphabet because its foundation is intellectual property—not tangible assets.
Recently, Google got into gaming with Google Stadia. It is a cloud application that lets users stream video games similar to what Netflix has done for video. The product just launched, but it has already gained a lot of attention in the gaming community.
Alphabet is set to continue to bring value to its investors and even as one of the largest companies in the S&P 500, Google’s parent company continues to reach new heights.
America Movil (NYSE:AMX) - This is the baby of Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim. America Movil’s wireless division, Telcel, dominates mobile number porting across Latin America. And in this game, it trounces even AT&T.
The catalysts for this company keep rolling in. By the end of this year, Slim expects to roll out a 4.5G network in parts of Mexico, and 5G by 2020. This is where the real growth in this industry is, and America Movil’s got it in droves.
America Movil has so far invested around $52 billion in Mexico's telecom sector alone, which will help support the country’s burgeoning gaming industry. Mexico is even building an esports stadium of its own!
Celestica Inc. (NYSE:CLS, TSE:CLS.TO) 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. (NYSE:SJR, 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. (NASDAQGS:DSGX, 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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