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Eisner calls selling Topps' trading card business to Fanatics a "good deal"

Michael Eisner called Topps’ sale to Fanatics a “good deal” for both parties. Fanatics earlier this month acquired the venerable trading card company for a reported $500M, which Eisner called “3.5 times” what his Tornante Company paid for it in '07. Eisner: “We still own half the company. I think putting this great brand in the hands of Michael Rubin and Fanatics is a wise choice … and we're now placing it in hands that can improve it, build it, make it even more synonymous with sports cards and the like. It saves the company.” Eisner did say he was “surprised” when Fanatics signed their licensing deal for 25 years because “we were led to believe that this may not happen from the union and for Major League Baseball. But it was a surprise, it was a shock. It changed our minds about going public and we had to reconsider what we were going to do.” Eisner: “Was I happy about it the day after I found out that we lost the rights to Major League Baseball in five years. No. Did I want to shoot myself? No. Business is about recovering from disappointments” (“Closing Bell,” CNBC, 1/12).

SBJ Spotlight: TikTok’s threat to traditional sports media

While tech companies are consumed with finding ways to compete with TikTok, almost no one in conventional media “spends any time talking about it,” said Recode senior correspondent Peter Kafka in an Spotlight interview with SBJ’s John Ourand. “To me, that’s just an obvious disconnect.” Kafka authored a recent column headlined, “It’s TikTok’s world. Can TV live in it?” He said the main response to TikTok’s growth from traditional media execs has been to “punt and hope it’s someone else’s problem a quarter from now or two years from now.” But Kafka said that ignores the trend of conventional broadcast audiences growing older while a billion younger consumers spend most of their media time watching short video after short video. “If you’re in the business of getting anyone under the age of 30 to look at what you’re putting on a screen, you have to think about the fact that you’re probably asking them to put down TikTok and watch your thing instead,” said Kafka. “That’s a very difficult ask. … [TikTok] is insanely addictive.”

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