Stories Shaping Sports and Business: Thursday 4/23
Sports are back thanks to NFL Draft
There hasn’t been sports on TV since the NBA, NHL, NCAA and MLB suspended their seasons on March 12. That’s about six weeks of no sports.
Tonight, that all changes. While it isn’t necessarily a game, the 2020 NFL Draft kicks off tonight with the first round starting at 8 p.m. ET. So while we won’t see any dunks, touchdowns, or home-runs, we will see 32 college players get selected by their future employer.
The 2020 draft was scheduled to be in Las Vegas with the first round selections greeting NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on a floating stage inside the fountains in front of the Bellagio. But the coronavirus changed all that. Instead, the entire draft will take place virtually. That means Goodell will be announcing picks from his house, players will be celebrating with their families from their house and even the announcers are going to be set-up in virtual studios.
It’s not going to be the draft we all wanted, but it’s going to be a draft we all desperately need.
DraftKings hits the Nasdaq
It’s been a long and bumpy road for DraftKings. Originally founded in 2012, the daily fantasy sports platform turned sportsbook giant has had to jump through several legal battles, lobbying of politicians, and ultimately a supreme court case that legalized sports gambling in the U.S. Eight years after CEO and founder Jason Robbins created the company, they are ready to debut on the Nasdaq.
DraftKings is essentially piggybacking onto the exchange by way of Diamond Eagle Acquisition Corporation, which is a special purpose acquisition company. Diamond Eagle paid DraftKings around $2 billion in cash and stock.
DraftKings is not going public through a typical Initial Public Offering or IPO—meaning it raised capital with investors to enter the public market. Instead, it will be conducting a reverse merger with Diamond Eagle—a blank-check acquisition company—and SBTech. But what you need to know is that the deal is valued at around $2.7 billion. Variety has said that this will be the “only vertically integrated U.S. sports betting and online gaming company.” Shares will trade under ticker DKNG.
An Update on the Coronavirus
There are over 2.6 million cases worldwide, with more than 186,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins. The U.S. has over 845,000 cases, New York has 263,000 cases and Spain has over 213,000 cases.
Governor Andrew Cuomo, in his daily coronavirus briefing, said that of the 3,000 people tested for virus antibodies in New York state, nearly 14% tested positive. In New York City, around 1,300 people that were tested for antibodies, over 20% tested positive for the antibodies.
Gilead's stock was sinking after a Stat report came out saying that the potential antiviral drug, remdesivir, failed its first randomized clinical trial. However, Gilead has warned that the post “inappropriate characterizations of the study.” This followed a report from last week that had said that remdesivir saw promising results in Chicago.
TheStreet's Katherine Ross contributed to this report.