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    Business Wars

    Netflix vs. HBO. Nike vs. Adidas. Business is war. Sometimes the prize is your wallet or your attention. Sometimes, it’s just the fun of beating the other guy. The outcome of these battles shapes what we buy and how we live. 

    Business Wars gives you the unauthorized, real story of what drives these companies and their leaders, inventors, investors and executives to new heights -- or to ruin. Hosted by David Brown, former anchor of Marketplace. From Wondery, the network behind Dirty John and American History Tellers.

    Listen to Business Wars on the Wondery App or wherever you get your podcasts. Experience all episodes ad-free and be the first to binge the newest season. Unlock exclusive early access by joining Wondery+ in the Wondery App or on Apple Podcasts. Start your free trial today by visiting wondery.com/links/business-wars/ now.

    enWondery556 Episodes

    Episodes (559)

    Cruise Ship Wars | Making Waves | 2

    Cruise Ship Wars | Making Waves | 2

    After his bitter exit from Norwegian Cruise Line, Ted Arison has limited time to make his new company Carnival a success. With little funds and one run-down ship, the odds are stacked against him. Meanwhile, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean compete to be the most luxurious cruise ship company on the market. And all three get an unexpected boost from Hollywood.

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    Cruise Ship Wars | Anchors Aweigh! | 1

    Cruise Ship Wars | Anchors Aweigh! | 1

    In 1950, an enterprising Miami businessman has the idea to use a passenger liner to ferry retired Floridians to the Caribbean. He makes their time on board the ship as much a part of the appeal as the destination. Modern cruising is born, but it’s still just a small niche activity.


    But in the 1960s, a group of ambitious men in both the United States and Europe sees huge potential in this form of vacation travel. Within six years Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, and Carnival are all founded. They spend the next 60 years battling to be the biggest and best cruise line in the world. 

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    College Football Wars | Where the Pac-12 Went Wrong | 5

    College Football Wars | Where the Pac-12 Went Wrong  | 5

    The Pac-12 was one of the most prestigious college football conferences in the nation, until its leading schools left for greener pastures with heftier media deals. Now, with only two teams left, the stakes are higher than ever for the Pac-12 to draw viewers. John Canzano, host of college sports podcasts The Bald Faced Truth and Canzano & Wilner, joins David to talk about what’s next for the teams and the sport as a whole. Later, we’re tapping in Chris Vannini of The Athletic to talk about cable television’s role in the conference shakeups, and the lucrative TV rights deals that prop up each conference. 

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    Drug Cartels | Inside Miami’s Drug Wars with Hotel Cocaine | 1

    Drug Cartels | Inside Miami’s Drug Wars with Hotel Cocaine | 1

    It’s 1978 in Miami, Florida. The hottest spot in town is a club located inside the world famous Mutiny Hotel. And it’s also the epicenter of Miami’s infamous drug wars.The new MGM+ Hotel Cocaine takes you deep into this world, where every pleasure has a price. David sat down with creator and showrunner Chris Brancato and series stars Danny Pino and Mark Feuerstein to learn more about the glamorous Mutiny Club and the darker reality that surrounded it.For more on the illicit cocaine trade and the battles that followed, check out our season “Drug Cartels,” airing only on Wondery+ on August 7.

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    Listen Now: Everything To Play For

    Listen Now: Everything To Play For

    Self-confessed sports geeks Elis James and Colin Murray are here to serve up the juiciest tales from the world of sports – think epic rivalries, scrappy underdogs, and the wildest comebacks and you’re in the right ballpark. Thought you knew the story? Think again. From top-secret training sessions to dressing room dust-ups, join Colin & Elis as they dive into the greatest sporting stories of all time (and probably get a yellow card for simulation). Blood? Sweat? Tears? Sport has it all. And that’s why we love it.

    Listen to Everything To Play For on the Wondery App or wherever you get your podcasts. You can binge episodes early and ad-free on Wondery+. Join Wondery+ in the Wondery App or on Apple Podcasts. Start your free trial by visiting wondery.com/links/everything-to-play-for now.

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    Poppi vs Olipop: Soda’s Second Coming | 6

    Poppi vs Olipop: Soda’s Second Coming | 6

    Soda has had its fair share of ups and downs, but now, a new wave of prebiotic pop promises to reinvent the fizzy drink consumers love. Poppi and Olipop are two buzzy, health-focused brands leading the charge. And David is cracking open a can of each to figure out whether these drinks really are soda's second coming...or just another wellness fad.


    Featured Guests:Tristan Donovan, Author of Fizz: How Soda Shook Up the WorldAnn Gehan, Retail Reporter at The Information

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    Jeep vs Bronco | Back in the Saddle | 5

    Jeep vs Bronco |  Back in the Saddle | 5

    David is going behind the scenes with Ford’s Director of Vehicle Personalization, Mark Grueber, who helped power the “Bronco Underground.” You heard him in this season of Business Wars, and now he’s sharing what it was like to bring the iconic Bronco back to life — and how its buzzy launch almost bottomed out. Later, Larry Webster, Editor-in-Chief of the popular automotive outlet Hagerty Media, joins David to talk about the legacy of trailblazing SUVs like Jeep and Bronco, and whether we could see more electric off-roading vehicles in our future. 


    Listen to Larry’s Never Stop Driving podcast from Hagerty. 

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    Listen Now: Blame it on the Fame: Milli Vanilli

    Listen Now: Blame it on the Fame: Milli Vanilli

    When Frank Farian first laid eyes on Rob Pilatus and Fab Morvan, he saw everything he wasn’t. They were handsome, young, and Black. But Frank had something they didn’t. He had power.


    So, Frank offered them a devil’s bargain. Almost overnight, Milli Vanilli’s debut album went five times platinum and scored a Grammy nomination. But when the lie at the center of their success started to unravel, Rob and Fab would discover the hard way the difference between star power and real power.


    From Wondery, Blame It on the Fame is a story about the lie that shot to #1 and what it cost to tell the truth. Hosted by Amanda Seales.


    Listen early and ad-free exclusively on Wondery+: Wondery.fm/BIOTF_MV

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    Business Wars
    enMay 20, 2024

    Jeep vs Bronco | Full Throttle | 4

    Jeep vs Bronco |  Full Throttle | 4

    It's 2008 and the U.S. government spends tense months deciding whether, and then how, to bail out the U.S. auto industry. Chrysler is saved through a forced merger with another foreign suitor — Italy’s Fiat. Fiat’s charismatic chairman makes Jeep the centerpiece of the new Fiat Chrysler. But Jeep also faces new competition as Ford decides to bring the Bronco back. Jeep doesn’t sit idle. It puts more horses under its hood than ever before. And the showroom showdown that follows will result in staggering demand and stunningly high prices for both Jeep and Bronco.

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    Jeep vs Bronco | Bye Bye Bronco | 3

    Jeep vs Bronco | Bye Bye Bronco | 3

    It's 1996, and the last Bronco rolls off the assembly line in Michigan. Ford is moving on to bigger, lusher SUVs. Jeep is already there with its Grand Cherokee. And as it continues to be hugely popular, Chrysler tinkers with a merger. It eventually combines with Germany’s Daimler-Benz. The merger is a mess, and Jeep suffers under new management. Meanwhile, as the new millennium dawns, an underground group inside Ford quietly plots to bring back the Bronco. But just as it looks like the Bronco Underground may succeed it hits a major roadblock — a global, financial crisis that short-circuits both Ford and Chrysler.

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    Jeep vs Bronco | Engine Trouble | 2

    Jeep vs Bronco | Engine Trouble | 2

    It’s 1965 and as the Bronco bucks onto the market, the Jeep boosts its engine power in hopes of catching up. But by the 1970s, the Jeep’s owner, the American Motor Company, has a new strategy: beat the Bronco by going bigger. AMC introduces the massive Jeep Cherokee, jump starting an arms race. Next, Bronco also goes big. Then, Jeep goes even bigger, and more luxurious, with the Grand Cherokee.


    As the 1990s arrive, the rugged Bronco is falling out of favor with consumers. But it spends one more wild moment in the spotlight when a white Bronco leads a low-speed police chase on live television. Its passenger is murder suspect O.J. Simpson.

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    Allbirds: The Rise and Fall of Direct to Consumer | 5

    Allbirds: The Rise and Fall of Direct to Consumer | 5

    Allbirds was once valued at $4.1 billion. The sustainable shoe brand had a fast and meteoric rise that mirrored the path of many other direct to consumer brands, but by early 2024 Allbirds' luck had changed. Find out what wrong for the company and the DTC market broadly, and how they're trying to find their footing again.


    Featured Guests: Ann Gehan, Retail Reporter at The Information Elizabeth Segran, Senior Staff Writer at Fast Company


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    Business Wars
    enApril 25, 2024

    Jeep vs Bronco | Battle Hardened | 1

    Jeep vs Bronco | Battle Hardened | 1

    It's 1940 and as Adolph Hitler’s forces storm across Europe, the American army pays a nearly broke U.S. carmaker to develop a lightweight, durable, all-purpose, all-terrain automobile for use in the coming world war. The vehicle that’s created comes to be known as the Jeep and it plays a pivotal role in winning that war. But the Jeep has a bumpy homecoming. And as Americans start spending more time on the road and behind the wheel, they pave the way for the rise of an off-road challenger. It’s made by Ford. And it’s called the Bronco.

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    Business Wars
    enApril 24, 2024

    Listen Now: The Price of Paradise

    Listen Now: The Price of Paradise

    When ex-Bunny girl Jayne Gaskin spots the desert island of her dreams for sale online, she decides to risk it all. Trading in their English village home, Jayne and her family relocate to their own private paradise, just off the coast of Nicaragua. And a reality TV crew follows them to film a new show, No Going Back. But soon they all discover that paradise has its secrets. The locals claim the island belongs to them, and it’s been sold illegally. Jayne’s not leaving without a fight. A fight that will soon turn deadly.


    Hosted by Alice Levine.


    Listen to The Price of Paradise on the Wondery App or wherever you get your podcasts. You can binge all episodes early and ad-free on Wondery+. Join Wondery+ in the Wondery App or on Apple Podcasts. Start your free trial by visiting https://wondery.com/links/the-price-of-paradise/

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    Business Wars
    enApril 21, 2024

    Sam Altman & the Battle for OpenAI | Is OpenAI Out of the Woods? | 4

    Sam Altman & the Battle for OpenAI | Is OpenAI Out of the Woods? | 4

    A lot has happened at OpenAI since that whiplash week in November 2023 when the board ousted its chief executive. There was an investigation to determine whether Sam Altman’s firing was just, and a lawsuit from OpenAI co-founder Elon Musk. Meanwhile, the company’s competition has been charging ahead. Julia Black, a reporter with The Information, joins host David Brown to break down the latest developments and shed light on where Sam Altman — and the future of AI — are going next. 

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    Business Wars
    enApril 17, 2024

    Sam Altman & the Battle for OpenAI | Blood in the Water | 3

    Sam Altman & the Battle for OpenAI | Blood in the Water | 3

    After five intense days, Sam Altman prevails over the OpenAI Board and is reinstated as CEO, with a new board in place.  But the turmoil has shown that OpenAI is vulnerable and its competitors, including Google and Microsoft, are ready to take advantage of OpenAI’s weakness.  And with OpenAI’s old board out and Chief Scientist Ilya Sutskever’s role at OpenAI murky, the path is clear for OpenAI to develop and commercialize AI at an even faster rate than as before. 

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    Business Wars
    enApril 10, 2024

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