BizFeed: Elon Musk Wants to Beam Internet From Space

Plus: Nike secures $1B NBA contract; Forget about getting a counter-offer.

SpaceX Founder and Tesla CEO Elon Musk. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

SpaceX Founder and Tesla CEO Elon Musk. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

1. The “Comcast of Outer Space”

The News: Billionaire Elon Musk has requested permission from the Federal Communications Commission to provide Internet service from outer space. The Wharton grad and founder of SpaceX, wants to launch 4,000 satellites into space and “beam high-speed Internet signals to all parts of the globe, including its most remote regions,” according to the Washington Post.

Why It Matters: If he launches such a service, it would be a direct competitor for Comcast — as well as other telecom giants like AT&T and Verizon. In fact, Musk says the ambitious plan that “would be like rebuilding the Internet in space.” It would make customers out of billions of people who never had access before.

Musk is hoping to begin tests next year and launch the program in five years.

He’s hardly the first eccentric billionaire to try beaming Internet signals from space. Virgin‘s Richard Branson gave it a shot, and Facebook recently abandoned a $500 million satellite project to do so, the Washington Post said.

The idea of saturating Earth with Internet signals from space has long been the dream of prominent business tycoons, including Bill Gates in the 1990s. But many of these ventures have run into obstacles that Musk is working to avoid. Musk has his own rocket, and he has said his swarm of satellites will be more efficient and inexpensive than relying on a handful of big devices that are difficult to replace.

2. Nike Gets $1B NBA Jersey Contract

The News: Nike has secured the contract for NBA jerseys. Starting in 2017, the sneaker and apparel giant will be the sole providers of jerseys, shorts and warmup gear for the league. The Wall Street Journal reports that it’s an 8-year contract worth more than $1 billion.

Why It Matters: For the first time, NBA jerseys will feature the famous Nike swoosh. In fact, it will be the first time that NBA jerseys will feature any apparel logo at all — unlike other leagues like the NFL that have used them on jerseys for years.

Could NBA jerseys go the soccer route and feature sponsor names? The WSJ examines the possibility:

Many in the industry have been wondering if pro basketball might one day go the way of global soccer, a possibility that has come up in contract negotiations.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal earlier this year, Adidas North America President Mark King said ads on jerseys would lessen the value of an outfitting contract for companies like his, which would then be competing for attention.

3. Think You’ll Get a Counter-Offer? Think Again

The News: A new study finds that 78 percent of companies don’t give counter-offers when an employee threatens to leave with a better job offer. The figure comes from a Robert Half study of CFOs. Of the executives that do counter offer, approximately one-third (34 percent) said they were forced to offer raises to other employees in their department as a result.

Why It Matters: Today’s job market has seriously loosened up, and talented employees are testing the waters more than they ever did during the recession. And that’s leading to a lot of awkward counter-offer conversations between employees and employers. But many companies are stuck in the mindset of “they should be lucky to have a job” and are reluctant to make counter-offers — and they’re losing talented people as a result.