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The bankruptcy of crypto firm FTX could lead a bevy of companies with ties to Hollywood out in the cold.
Unsealed court filings released Thursday list the corporate creditors of the Sam Bankman-Fried founded crypto firm, and they include many blue chip companies in the technology and media sectors.
Among the creditors are Comcast, the owner of NBCUniversal, Netflix, Fox Corp., Apple, CAA, and subsidiaries of Warner Bros. Discovery and Endeavor, among other firms.
The companies’ presence in the filing implies that FTX owes all of them money, though precisely how much, and what for, remains unclear based on the filing.
Some of the companies are clearly owed cash for advertising or sponsorship deals, with WBD’s Turner Ad Sales among the creditors (FTX had advertised on Turner Sports programming). Likewise, FTX ads had appeared on live sports broadcast by Fox and NBCUniversal (which televised last year’s Super Bowl). Both companies and some subsidiaries are listed as creditors.
But it also includes companies that FTX may have simply been customers of. Amazon Web Services is a creditor, and could plausibly have powered some of FTX’s tech.
Likewise, news outlets like The New York Times, Puck and The Information are listed as creditors (as is THR sister publication Billboard). While it is possible FTX had ad deals with them, it may also simply have been a subscriber (likewise Netflix).
A source close to Puck told THR that the company has not done any business with FTX. A Netflix spokesperson said “this story is untrue. We’re not aware of ever having any business relationship with FTX and do not understand why they would have listed us as a creditor”.
Talent agencies like CAA Sports, Endeavor, IMG and Wasserman are also listed as creditors. A separate filing indicates that CAA represented Shohei Ohtani and other athletes or sports brands in securing sponsorship deals with FTX, implying that the agencies are still owed money from those sponsorship deals.
As for the tech giants like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Snap, Twitter, Apple and TikTok, it’s likely that the money owed is for some combination of advertising and services.
The list of FTX creditors is entirely separate from the list of shareholders released by the court earlier this month, though there is some overlap between the two.
Shark Tank host Kevin O’Leary is on both lists, as is Gisele Bundchen. Both were spokespeople for the firm. And Endeavor’s IMG is on both lists, having invested in the company in 2021 and presumably having represented some clients in sponsorship deals.
But the companies and people on both lists are facing an uphill battle if they are hoping to get back whatever money they are owed. FTX’s current leadership (installed in conjunction with the bankruptcy filing) say their priority is securing funds to pay back depositors, customers who had deposited cash or crypto at FTX.
After that, whatever money is left over could be divided up among FTX’s creditors, with secured creditors paid back first. Comcast, Apple, and Twitter are specifically referenced as unsecured creditors. Shareholders are typically the last to be paid back in a bankruptcy, if they get made whole at all.
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