Business

‘Relationships matter’: The NFL’s effort to get minority candidates talking with owners

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told a story to the 62 minority coaches and front office personnel assembled this week at the NFL owners’ meeting in the latest league effort to improve diversity in hiring. It was about Will McClay, who is African American and the Cowboys’ vice president of player personnel. He has been with…

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Warriors as NBA ratings gold, cricket on TV and more: Sports Media Mailbag, Part I

Welcome to the 31st Media Mailbag for The Athletic. Writing a mailbag — as egocentric as it is — is always a fun exercise. Thanks for sending in your questions via the website and app. There were nearly 200 questions, so this will be a two-parter. Part 2 will appear next week. Note: Questions have been…

Continue Reading Warriors as NBA ratings gold, cricket on TV and more: Sports Media Mailbag, Part I

What is it like to start a union from scratch? EuroLeague basketball is finding out

In 2020, during the early months of the pandemic, the EuroLeague shelved its still unfinished season. It was one of many cancellations that flooded professional sports around the world, but the circumstances behind this one were atypical for the league. While sports leagues in North America usually discuss big decisions with their counterparts at the…

Continue Reading What is it like to start a union from scratch? EuroLeague basketball is finding out

Sports on TV: PGA viewership declines despite drama; Preakness ratings stumble

Sunday’s wild PGA Championship final round, which saw leader Mito Pereira dramatically stumble with a double bogey on the 18th hole and Justin Thomas rally from seven strokes down to win in a playoff with Will Zalatoris, averaged 5.27 million viewers on CBS. That’s down from the average of 6.5 million who watched Phil Mickelson win…

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Who are the most innovative teams in sports? Raise your hand if you had the Timberwolves

The word innovation gets tossed around a lot. All businesses, in sports and elsewhere, lay claim to innovation, to innovating, to striving for it; but is that really true? A sports research firm is trying to quantify innovation among top sports leagues and teams, and some of the names on their second annual top-25 list…

Continue Reading Who are the most innovative teams in sports? Raise your hand if you had the Timberwolves

‘Relationships matter’: The NFL’s effort to get minority candidates talking with owners

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told a story to the 62 minority coaches and front office personnel assembled this week at the NFL owners’ meeting in the latest league effort to improve diversity in hiring. It was about Will McClay, who is African American and the Cowboys’ vice president of player personnel. He has been with…

Continue Reading ‘Relationships matter’: The NFL’s effort to get minority candidates talking with owners

Warriors as NBA ratings gold, cricket on TV and more: Sports Media Mailbag, Part I

Welcome to the 31st Media Mailbag for The Athletic. Writing a mailbag — as egocentric as it is — is always a fun exercise. Thanks for sending in your questions via the website and app. There were nearly 200 questions, so this will be a two-parter. Part 2 will appear next week. Note: Questions have been…

Continue Reading Warriors as NBA ratings gold, cricket on TV and more: Sports Media Mailbag, Part I

What is it like to start a union from scratch? EuroLeague basketball is finding out

In 2020, during the early months of the pandemic, the EuroLeague shelved its still unfinished season. It was one of many cancellations that flooded professional sports around the world, but the circumstances behind this one were atypical for the league. While sports leagues in North America usually discuss big decisions with their counterparts at the…

Continue Reading What is it like to start a union from scratch? EuroLeague basketball is finding out

Sports on TV: PGA viewership declines despite drama; Preakness ratings stumble

Sunday’s wild PGA Championship final round, which saw leader Mito Pereira dramatically stumble with a double bogey on the 18th hole and Justin Thomas rally from seven strokes down to win in a playoff with Will Zalatoris, averaged 5.27 million viewers on CBS. That’s down from the average of 6.5 million who watched Phil Mickelson win…

Continue Reading Sports on TV: PGA viewership declines despite drama; Preakness ratings stumble

Who are the most innovative teams in sports? Raise your hand if you had the Timberwolves

The word innovation gets tossed around a lot. All businesses, in sports and elsewhere, lay claim to innovation, to innovating, to striving for it; but is that really true? A sports research firm is trying to quantify innovation among top sports leagues and teams, and some of the names on their second annual top-25 list…

Continue Reading Who are the most innovative teams in sports? Raise your hand if you had the Timberwolves

Liverpool chairman Werner: ‘Nobody wants to think of day when Jurgen leaves this club”

Follow our live coverage of Liverpool vs. Real Madrid in the Champions League final. “It has exceeded our wildest dreams,” Tom Werner admits. The Liverpool chairman is reflecting on the journey since Fenway Sports Group (FSG) bought the club nearly 12 years ago. The first game of FSG’s tenure was a wretched 2-0 derby defeat…

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The NFL sent over 4 billion messages to fans in the past year and knows that’s a problem

The NFL and its teams sent more than 4 billion messages to fans in the past year via outlets like email and text, from marketing appeals, invitations to draft day parties and logistical game-day tips. Fans with bloated inboxes will hardly be surprised by this figure — anyone who has handed over an email or…

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Padres, Mets, Rays, Angels among MLB’s best values for fans: study

It’s still early in the season, and the standings will certainly look a bit different by fall, but there are already some stark differences when it comes to the best pocketbook deals for Major League Baseball fans this season. The annual MLB Fan Cost Index, produced since 1991 by Chicago-based sports business intelligence firm Team…

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NFL has already assessed $7.5 mil per club for St. Louis fee despite Kroenke promise

NFL owners gather in Atlanta Tuesday amid a report that they are getting tired of one of their brethren, scandal-plagued Washington Commanders boss Daniel Snyder. While that may be true — though an ouster vote is not in the offing at the moment — frustration with another of their peers is building. Rams owner Stan…

Continue Reading NFL has already assessed $7.5 mil per club for St. Louis fee despite Kroenke promise

Q&A: NBC Sports’ Leigh Diffey on his Tokyo Olympics experience and IndyCar’s youth movement

Leigh Diffey is one of the most recognizable voices in all of motorsports, a well-earned distinction for the NBC Sports broadcaster who has called just about everything there is on wheels, including IndyCar, Formula One, sports cars, motorcycles and even NASCAR.But while Diffey has covered many a big race in the world of motorsports, he…

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MLS summer spending analyzed: In a depressed global market, the league bought more and younger than usual

The MLS secondary transfer window closed with a flurry earlier this month, as clubs like Atlanta United, Austin FC, Chicago Fire and the LA Galaxy paid mid-seven- and low-eight-figure transfer fees to complete a series of signings before the deadline struck on Aug. 5th. According to reporting and analysis conducted by The Athletic, those late moves…

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Sources: MLB proposes salary minimum funded by new tax on teams spending $180 million

In a face-to-face collective bargaining meeting in Denver on Monday, Major League Baseball made its first proposal covering core economics to the Players Association. The plan included a new tax on team spending, one that would both effectively lower the first luxury-tax threshold in the sport to $180 million, and charge teams who exceed that…

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An inside look at why the T206 Honus Wagner card sold for a record $6.6 million

He played hard, fast and well, belting triples and stealing bases at an age when most ballplayers would have settled into the lucrative role of power-hitting DH – if such a thing existed when Johannes Peter “Honus” Wagner terrorized National League pitchers from 1897 to 1917.Today, Wagner is best known as the unsmiling face of…

Continue Reading An inside look at why the T206 Honus Wagner card sold for a record $6.6 million

The art of effective communication: An interview with the WWE’s Seth Rollins

If you are a professional wrestling fan, the name Seth Rollins will be very familiar. Rollins is one of the most accomplished performers working today, a standard-bearer for the WWE, the most well-known wrestling promotion in the United States. On Saturday, Rollins meets up in a storyline against Edge at the WWE’s annual SummerSlam event.…

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Dean Spanos is living the dream now, and has no regrets about moving the Chargers to Los Angeles

INGLEWOOD, Calif. — Years of heartbreak showered Dean Spanos on the way to the polished wood, football-shaped conference table he is seated at, located in a conference room just off one of the two luxurious owners suites in SoFi Stadium. It’s Sunday, Aug. 8, and a career-defining day for the owner of the Los Angeles…

Continue Reading Dean Spanos is living the dream now, and has no regrets about moving the Chargers to Los Angeles

Staples: Why would the Big Ten form an alliance with the ACC and Pac-12? It’s all about TV’s ‘Four Million Club’

The ACC, the Big Ten and the Pac-12 are planning something. The Athletic broke that news on Friday, but since even the principals of the deal haven’t quite agreed on exactly what they’re going to do together, it’s difficult to project how impactful an alliance could be. If it’s purely a voting bloc to administratively…

Continue Reading Staples: Why would the Big Ten form an alliance with the ACC and Pac-12? It’s all about TV’s ‘Four Million Club’

NFL 40 under 40: How football’s youngest power brokers are changing the game on and off the field

Welcome to The Athletic’s second annual NFL 40 under 40 list, a collection of the rising stars in football, the young league and team power brokers you should know this season.Here are some parameters we used in creating this list, after soliciting nominations and advice from people working in and around the NFL: To be…

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‘Taxpayers, wipe your brow’: Why Bills stadium rhetoric is causing unnecessary angst

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The inflamed discourse surrounding the Buffalo Bills’ proposed new stadium terrifies Nelson Civello.People have been furious since The Buffalo News reported two weeks ago that Bills owners Terry and Kim Pegula want the public to fund a new, $1.4 billion stadium. Civello considers the story “borderline reckless” and the backlash misguided, a…

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The ‘Field of Dreams’ game was an absolute home run for MLB and Fox — so get ready for more

Fans walking through a maze of corn. Gorgeous aerial shots of pristine fields and perfectly manicured dirt. Joe Buck and John Smoltz dressed like 1920s speakeasy owners. The middle of Iowa.Thursday night’s Fox Sports broadcast of the “Field of Dreams” game from Dyersville, Iowa, did what sports television productions dream about — it over-delivered on…

Continue Reading The ‘Field of Dreams’ game was an absolute home run for MLB and Fox — so get ready for more

2021 Knoxville Nationals: Kyle Larson’s merchandise sales are booming in the dirt racing world

KNOXVILLE, Iowa — It’s 4 p.m. on Wednesday, a full 27 hours before Kyle Larson straps into a sprint car at the 60th Knoxville Nationals, and the line outside Larson’s sparkling white merchandise trailer is 20 people deep.With fans starting to file into the Marion County Fairgrounds, there are certainly customers mingling around other drivers’…

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DraftKings, FanDuel and others team up with Yankees, Bills, Sabres in New York mobile betting bid

Monday marked a major deadline in the march toward mobile sports betting in New York State, with applications due for companies hoping to get in on the action. At least one supergroup has been working together in the bidding process: FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, Bally’s, The Seneca Nation, New York Yankees, Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Sabres, NYCFC…

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The first rule of Premier League rights — sign Rebecca Lowe: NBC host talks EPL, Olympics, her future and more

One of the key sports media rights deals to watch in the last half of 2021 is whether Premier League fans will continue to watch the likes of Mohamed Salah, Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford on NBCUniversal platforms in 2022 and beyond or whether another media company comes in and swoops up the rights.NBC’s six-year,…

Continue Reading The first rule of Premier League rights — sign Rebecca Lowe: NBC host talks EPL, Olympics, her future and more

The first rule of Premier League rights — sign Rebecca Lowe: NBC host talks EPL, Olympics, her future and more

One of the key sports media rights deals to watch in the last half of 2021 is whether Premier League fans will continue to watch the likes of Mohamed Salah, Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford on NBCUniversal platforms in 2022 and beyond or whether another media company comes in and swoops up the rights.NBC’s six-year,…

Continue Reading The first rule of Premier League rights — sign Rebecca Lowe: NBC host talks EPL, Olympics, her future and more

NHL executives fret over season ticket sales as players’ payroll deficit hits $1 billion, signalling flat-cap future

The prospect of a full NHL season with fans in the stands is buoying hopes for a significant — and needed — financial boost next year, but league executives are raising concerns over a vital driver of revenue: season tickets.Despite a new national TV deal in the U.S. and increased sponsorship opportunities thanks to the…

Continue Reading NHL executives fret over season ticket sales as players’ payroll deficit hits $1 billion, signalling flat-cap future

West Ham takeover bid: the legal dispute surrounding PAI Capital

The consortium trying to buy West Ham is funded by an Azerbaijani millionaire currently embroiled in a “bitter legal dispute” over allegations of corruption in the former Soviet republic.PAI Capital has made a bid of £400 million for the Premier League side but West Ham chairman and majority shareholder David Sullivan dismissed the offer, describing…

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Why some markets are still a popular target for public stadium funding, and what it means for the Bills and A’s

Tax dollars for a sports stadium? In this economy?Despite years of research that show public funding for sports venues is poor public policy, and an ongoing global pandemic that’s roiled many aspects of American life, the billionaire owners of professional sports teams haven’t shied away from asking for handouts.The latest to do so are the…

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‘In-game betting but on steroids’: Sinclair’s sports broadcast of the future

Could some NBA, NHL and MLB games next year be served up akin to a Las Vegas sportsbook screen, with changing odds and heavy gamblers comped the subscription to the service?That is the vision at least outlined Wednesday by Chris Ripley, CEO of Sinclair Broadcast Group, whose Bally Sports Regional Networks are negotiating with those…

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Sports on TV: U.S. Gold Cup victory earns solid viewership despite Olympic competition

Outside of the Olympics and MLB, the sports television schedule for major events has been modest.One highlight has been the biennial CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer tournament, which wrapped up Sunday with a young United States side upsetting a veteran Mexico team 1-0 on Miles Robinson’s extra-time goal in front of 61,114 fans at Allegiant Stadium…

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The verdict on the Olympics? Many of you aren’t watching — 13 thoughts on the coverage from Tokyo so far

As we hit Day 13 of the Olympic Games, here are 13 thoughts/items on the broadcast coverage of the Tokyo Olympics so far:1. When I previewed NBCUniversal’s massive Olympic coverage for a story that ran on July 21, I highlighted the corporate messaging from the company: They believed the communal experience of the Tokyo Olympics…

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Q&A: ESPN analyst Rick DiPietro on NHL buyouts, Simone Biles, and the story behind his Twitter handle

On a midsummer afternoon, far from any arena or radio studio, Rick DiPietro was just a father dealing with some broken marine equipment. It was a jet-ski that was the problem.“Decided to kick the bucket,” he said “It was a mess.”They had to tow it to shore to charge the battery.“We’re good,” he said with…

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What Olympic TV life is like across the border: An American watches CBC’s coverage, a Canadian watches NBC’s

Interviewing ESPN and other sports media executives was not my childhood dream. (Godspeed to any young sports media savant who does have this dream.) No, when I was younger I set a goal of covering at least one Olympic Games as a writer. Watching athletes from across the globe compete in an exotic setting had…

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Breaking down the USMNT’s support for USWNT in equal pay fight; more takeaways from new legal filings

On Friday, as the U.S. women’s national team was advancing to the semifinals of the Olympic tournament over the Netherlands via penalty kicks, four amicus briefs were filed with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of the USWNT players’ appeal in the equal pay lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation. The most notable brief…

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How the CBC’s Byron MacDonald seems to know everything about literally every Olympic swimmer

One by one the swimmers stride across the pristine blue carpet, over the Olympic rings and into Byron MacDonald’s rapid-fire introduction. The CBC analyst might list their past victories as they reach their race lane, but he is just as likely to name their pets, their parents or trivia about their hometown.Sydney Pickrem, the 24-year-old…

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Appeals court declines to take on NFL concussion settlement’s ‘race norming’

A federal appeals court this week declined to wade into the race norming controversy buffeting the NFL concussion settlement, ruling the issue first had to play out at the district court level.The decision comes as the NFL, class counsel and attorneys for retired African-American players have been in court-supervised negotiations to replace the current process,…

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Steve Sabol was ‘the Steven Spielberg of the NFL’ and now he has a home in the Hall of Fame

At NFL Films headquarters in Mt. Laurel, N.J., Stevel Sabol’s desk remains undisturbed, with his favorite aphorism still on it: Did you make someone laugh?Steve Sabol would surely enjoy these next two weeks as he and the members of the Class of 2020 officially take their place among the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s immortals…

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Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik announces extension of team’s Community Heroes program

When Jeff Vinik bought the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2010, he wanted to win the Stanley Cup and make a positive impact in his new community.On the ice, Vinik achieved his goal twice in the past two seasons. Off the ice, the Lightning Community Heroes Program has become a lasting legacy of Vinik’s ownership.The Community…

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Paul Tagliabue finally heads to the Hall of Fame, and opens up on criticism of his tenure

If not for some well-timed home painting chores, former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue could be readying himself for induction into the Hall of Soaps and Detergents, instead of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, where he’ll be enshrined next week. Now, there isn’t really such a Hall, but cleaning products, not pigskin, might have been his…

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How ESPN should fill Maria Taylor’s old jobs, plus thoughts on the Olympics and Michael Phelps in the booth

It finally became public on Friday night when Maria Taylor appeared on NBC’s prime-time coverage of the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony, fronting a short feature on the U.S. women’s gymnastics team. That was followed by a press release that landed in inboxes at 8:07 p.m. ET announcing her arrival to NBC Sports after seven years…

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What the NBA Finals ratings tell us about the state of the league and Giannis Antetokounmpo’s value

The NBA Finals television ratings came out this week, and they remain cannon fodder for the nation’s endless and unwinnable culture wars quagmire.Narratives about the viewership exist along the ideological spectrum, and all may contain some kernel of truth, but the cold reality is that the NBA and live sports properties are subject to the…

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2021 Olympics viewer’s guide: How to watch, NBC’s coverage strategy, new sports and more

If you have mixed emotions about the Tokyo Olympics, you are not alone. Over the next two weeks I will gorge myself on the coverage from Tokyo while thinking how absurd it is to be holding a global sporting event in a city under a state of emergency until Aug. 22. If it were my…

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Judge dismisses Relevent Sports lawsuit against U.S. Soccer, FIFA over international league games in the U.S.

A federal judge dismissed Relevent Sports’ lawsuit against the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF), which alleged the organizations had conspired to benefit Major League Soccer by sealing off the United States market from competition.Relevent Sports, which is owned by Miami Dolphins owner Steve Ross and operates the International…

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IndyCar’s new media rights deal with NBC Sports expands options across the viewing spectrum

IndyCar and NBC Sports announced a multi-year extension of their media rights agreement on Tuesday, continuing a partnership that began with the Versus network in 2009 and will work toward continued growth of IndyCar’s linear and digital audiences.NBC Sports, which became the exclusive home of IndyCar in 2019, will continue its exclusive coverage of the…

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EA Sports has new titles coming amid sustained demand for next-gen consoles and games

EA Sports unquestionably dominates the sports video game market, having sold hundreds of millions of its FIFA and Madden and other franchises over the decades.The pandemic accelerated video-game play and sales of games and consoles globally, and the Electronic Arts sports division was among the industry’s major beneficiaries.While the COVID-19 crisis continues, global mass vaccination…

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Vorkunov: From writing about the Knicks, to writing about the business of basketball. What to expect from me next

Early in my career, when I was at The Star-Ledger, I was lucky enough to work with a colleague much wiser than me. When we talked about stories he’d share something he learned early in his career and used as a guidepost. It was a little questionnaire: What’s the story about, and what’s the story…

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Toyota’s call to pull Olympic ads in Japan and the problem of advertising during the pandemic Games

In the months leading up to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, before the Spice Girls reunion and the brilliance of Usain Bolt and Serena Williams, a controversy unfolded far from the field of play. The source had nothing to do with athletics at all: It was a corporate sponsor.BP, the oil and gas colossus,…

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NHL business notebook: Florida Panthers to make unusual NCAA foray, Mike Gillis’ possible path with NHLPA

Within the next few weeks, the Florida Panthers are planning on signing a handful of prominent college athletes — but none will be hockey players.Instead, the Panthers are focused on finding the most influential athletes in South Florida to become official Florida Panthers athletes as part of the NCAA’s new image and likeness regulations that…

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At Just Women’s Sports, a unique new scoreboard puts all the shine on just that

Haley Rosen says a comprehensive live scoreboard featuring only women’s sports was something she wanted from the earliest stages of her platform’s development.“People want to find real-time scores as easily as possible,” said Rosen, the founder and CEO of Just Women’s Sports. “Having them on our home page means they are right there as soon…

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‘We were miles apart’: Inside the race to prevent the NFL lockout from eating the season 10 years ago

Ten years ago this week, the NFL was staring into the abyss.Owners had imposed a lockout in March 2011, when the start of the season was still six months away. Football X’s and O’s gave way to legal jargon — an antitrust lawsuit, the decertification of the NFL Players Association, mediation and more. Federal judges…

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Packers earnings report paints rosy financial picture for NFL despite the pandemic

The NFL’s national revenues, comprised primarily of TV and sponsorships, rose $422.4 million to nearly $10 billion in 2020, at a time the league and the rest of the world were confronting some of the worst of the pandemic.The NFL played all of its games, though it often resorted to juggling the schedule as teams…

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Fans’ lawsuit over Astros’ sign stealing tossed by Texas appeals court

A Texas appeals court on Thursday threw out a lawsuit brought by disgruntled baseball fans against the Houston Astros over the sign-stealing scandal for which the team was punished by Major League Baseball. Fan lawsuits typically are dismissed early by courts, but this litigation had surprisingly survived the first legal hurdle at a lower court…

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MLB All-Star Game gets a modest TV viewership boost on Fox despite political shadow

Major League Baseball and Fox Sports got an average of 8.24 million domestic viewers for Tuesday’s All-Star Game at Coors Field in Denver.That’s up from the 8.14 million averaged in 2019, the last time it was played. Three years ago, it averaged 8.69 million viewers. The 2020 game was cancelled because of the pandemic.So, this…

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Broncos ownership questions linger as court validates authority of Pat Bowlen Trust

The process of identifying a new owner for the Denver Broncos appears to be back at square one — but it could be moving quickly toward a resolution.The latest development in a saga that has taken various twists and turns over the past several years came late Wednesday afternoon, when a Colorado judge dismissed the…

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‘Ted Lasso’ star Brendan Hunt 20 Questions: On Coach Beard, Season 2, the Cubs and bowling in Chicago

For a long time, Brendan Hunt lived in orbit of Wrigley Field. He grew up in Chicago, and for a while he lived near Addison and Broadway, a couple of long fly balls from the stadium box office, and also close to Lincoln and Wellington, just a little further afield.There was another home, on Fletcher,…

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The Indians’ future in Cleveland: Relocation questions, ownership status, payroll and more in the spotlight

After 120 years on the shores of Lake Erie, the future of Cleveland’s baseball team is at a crossroads. The team’s controversial nickname is about to be retired, payroll has been slashed to its lowest figure in a decade and, most notably, the lease on Progressive Field is set to expire in two years while…

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Fox’s MLB All-Star Game broadcast will highlight Shohei Ohtani and the rising generation of baseball talent

Fox Sports is very clear about who is the star among stars for this year’s MLB All-Star Game in Denver: Los Angeles Angels marvel Shohei Ohtani.Brad Zager, the network’s executive producer, said in an interview on Friday that Fox is planning an in-game interview with Ohtani via his translator. The network also plans to tell…

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Q&A: Fox soccer commentators John Strong and Stu Holden on their experiences calling this Copa América

Together, Fox play-by-play team John Strong and Stu Holden have called over 200 matches together. According to Fox, that’s more games than any other English-language television duo in the last five years, and it’s a total that will rise on Saturday evening when the pair call the Copa América final between Brazil and Argentina. However, this…

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A look inside the making of the MLB Draft broadcast: Not your ‘grandma’s cell phone video’ anymore

MLB Network coordinating producer Marc Weiner has a challenge that his counterparts producing the NFL and NBA Drafts do not face. As the point person for his network’s coverage of the MLB Draft, Weiner is charged with producing a television program where the majority of his viewers are not familiar with the selections. In many…

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This is how it ends for the NHL on NBC — a small ratings bump for the Stanley Cup Final

The numbers are in, and this is how it ends for the duo of NBC and hockey.The network, which surrenders its National Hockey League broadcast rights to ESPN/ABC and Turner Sports next season, said Friday that the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Game 5 Stanley Cup Final clincher over the visiting Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday averaged 3.62…

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Meet FTX, the Tom Brady-endorsed crypto firm that’s making a huge push into sports

When the American and National League All-Stars square off next week at Denver’s Coors Field, the umpire crew will sport a corporate uniform logo for the first time in Major League Baseball history.The patch is part of a marketing deal struck with baseball by San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange FTX.US.The company, which is the American operation…

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NBA Finals Game 1 TV ratings improve over 2020 but are still way down from prior years

The numbers are hard to spin: Game 1 of the 2021 NBA Finals was down 10 million-plus viewers since 2017.Tuesday’s Phoenix Suns-Milwaukee Bucks opener averaged 8.56 million on ABC (TV and streaming, with a peak of 9.97 million between 11:15-11:30 p.m. ET). That’s an improvement over last year’s average of 7.41 million that watched Game…

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Sports on TV: America is back to watching Joey Chestnut scarf hot dogs on ESPN

One of America’s more bizarre traditions is celebrating its 18th-century independence from Great Britain by watching people eat as many hot dogs as humanly possible in 10 minutes.Like all sports — and yes, I’m straining the definition of “sport” here — the annual “Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog-Eating Contest” on ESPN saw its ratings tank in…

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Hacked emails? Florida law firm sues NFL concussion settlement alleging crimes

A Florida law firm is suing parts of the NFL concussion settlement, claiming the administrator hacked into the counsel’s servers as part of a corruption audit. The sensationalistic charges include alleged ex-FBI agents, constitutional violations, secret whistleblower packages, and a lot of overheated rhetoric.The charges brought by Collins & Truett in a Leon County, Fla.,…

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‘No topics off-limits’: Ron MacLean says it was his call not to ask Gary Bettman about Chicago allegations

Over a span of five-and-a-half minutes on Monday night, “Hockey Night in Canada” host Ron MacLean asked NHL commissioner Gary Bettman six direct questions. He asked about officiating, rule changes, fans returning to the rink and, finally, three questions about Olympic participation.MacLean also spent a few moments discussing a centenarian fan from Dunnville, Ont., who…

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Name, image and likeness: Tracking early deals, potential stars, and Kayvon Thibodeaux’s collab with Phil Knight

Collegiate athletes are now able to monetize their names, images and likeness without compromising their eligibility as of a July 1 interim NIL policy enacted by the NCAA. The interim policy serves as a stopgap until federal legislation is passed. College athletes have been preparing for July 1 for months now, and the deals, endorsements,…

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Broadcaster Dan Shulman on his enduring quest to call Canadian basketball at the Olympics

As Canadian basketball fans were wondering how the latest edition of senior men’s basketball team, playing its first game together in a tournament that leaves little margin for error, would coalesce on Tuesday night, there was another shotgun marriage taking place across the country. Despite the game happening in Victoria, long-time broadcaster Dan Shulman was…

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Wolves’ Glen Taylor wins legal dispute with limited partner, paving the way for Lore and A-Rod purchase

Timberwolves and Lynx owner Glen Taylor has prevailed in a legal dust-up with minority owner Meyer Orbach, with a federal judge summarily dismissing Orbach’s claims that Taylor violated their partnership agreement and acted in bad faith when he entered into a succession plan with Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez. The ruling issued by U.S. District…

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Name, Image and Likeness: Tracking early deals, potential stars, the weird, interesting, quirky, and more

Collegiate athletes are now able to monetize their names, images and likeness without compromising their eligibility as of a July 1 interim NIL policy enacted by the NCAA. The interim policy serves as a stopgap until federal legislation is passed. College athletes have been preparing for July 1 for months now, and the deals, endorsements,…

Continue Reading Name, Image and Likeness: Tracking early deals, potential stars, the weird, interesting, quirky, and more

The best journalism of the first half of 2021, from sports and beyond: Media Circus

Choosing the best writing and reporting in a given year is an impossible task, as well as an entirely subjective enterprise. But it’s also fun and fulfilling because you get to re-read so many great pieces. As we hit a long weekend after what feels like an endless two years, I thought it would be…

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Denver Broncos ownership questions: Is a sale on the horizon amid family legal issues?

Are the Denver Broncos on the verge of hanging up a “for sale” sign? The three trustees who manage the team have received offers for the franchise in recent months, a legal source said, and a state court on Tuesday stayed the estate battle lawsuit over the future of the team with a crucial hearing…

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What Justin Marks’ purchase of Chip Ganassi Racing means for the NASCAR charter wars

Justin Marks grew more and more frustrated as the charters he sought to acquire went to others instead. Marks watched as Leavine Family Racing sold its charter to Spire Motorsports last summer. Germain Racing sold its charter to 23XI Racing. And earlier this year, Front Row Motorsports sold one of its charters to Rick Ware…

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Angel City unveil crest and colors: The meaning and ambition behind the design

Angel City FC debuted their club crest and colors Wednesday morning, and while its primary element is no surprise, the design is full of small details.  “We’re rooted in tradition and we’re standing on the shoulders of all of the trailblazers that came before us, and we’re soaring to greater heights,” said crest designer Amedea…

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UEFA Women’s Champions League inks four-year global media deal with DAZN; all games free on YouTube for two years

UEFA has found a long-term home for the Women’s Champions League. On Wednesday, sports platform DAZN announced they have acquired the global rights to the UWCL for the next four seasons, with their agreement running over the course of the next competition cycle from 2021 until 2025. For the first two seasons of the deal,…

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How ESPN built its NHL broadcasting team, programming expectations and what about Gary Thorne?

TAMPA, Fla. — ESPN formally announced the majority of its NHL broadcasting team Tuesday, rolling out a group featuring a mix of established names and newer voices to the hockey broadcasting space. ESPN, which starts a seven-year run in July as the A package rights holder in the United States, made several outside hires, particularly…

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Sports on TV: NBC begins NHL goodbye with least-watched Stanley Cup Final Game 1 since 2007

NBC’s National Hockey League and Stanley Cup swan song began on Monday. The Tampa Bay Lightning’s title defense began with a 5-1 thumping of the visiting Montreal Canadiens, which is making its first finals appearance since winning an NHL-record 24th championship in 1993. NBC said the game averaged 1.66 million combined viewers on its NBCSN…

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As NIL era arrives, marketing of college athletes is about to become Wild West of sports business world

This is a seminal week in collegiate sports, as athletes can exploit their so-called name, image, and likeness (NIL) rights for the first time. That means they can endorse products, charge for autographs, even sell a tweet. “We are kind of telling the NCAA … we’re not going to stand for that type of control that…

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Name, image and likeness (NIL): What it means, why it matters and how it will impact the NCAA and college sports

The introduction of name, image and likeness (NIL) legislation will change college sports forever, and it begins this summer. College athletes in all states should be able to receive compensation for their names, images and likenesses (NIL) as of July 1. Athletes in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas will follow their state-specific…

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Instagram could be poignant and liberating. Here’s why it’s boring instead

Is Instagram dead? That is a strange question to ask of the wildly popular app — with well over a billion users — whose effects are felt in everything from plastic surgery trends to the design of modern restaurants. That, however, is what legions of TikTok users and others are saying after parent company Facebook…

Continue Reading Instagram could be poignant and liberating. Here’s why it’s boring instead

Name, image and likeness (NIL): What it means, why it matters and how it will impact the NCAA and college sports

The introduction of name, image and likeness (NIL) legislation will change college sports forever, and it begins this summer. College athletes in all states should be able to receive compensation for their names, images and likenesses (NIL) as of July 1. Athletes in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas will follow their state-specific…

Continue Reading Name, image and likeness (NIL): What it means, why it matters and how it will impact the NCAA and college sports

Why trading card collectors, not just football’s superclubs, are battling for £750,000 Erling Haaland

The world record for the most expensive football trading card of all time is set to be broken late on Saturday evening in the US, or very early on Sunday morning in the UK, as an auction for a incredibly rare Erling Haaland card reaches its finale. The one-of-a-kind “superfractor” card made by Topps, denoting…

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Supreme Court NCAA ruling deployed against U.S. Soccer in Relevent Sports lawsuit

The Supreme Court’s searing NCAA decision this week, which ruled the organization violated antitrust law in limiting academic benefits to athletes, is expected to spark long-lasting changes to the college sports landscape. But the first legal forum where the decision has been deployed may surprise: against the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) and Federation Internationale de…

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‘I’m pouring into something that will be great’: SportsCentre’s Kayla Grey launching new show ‘The Shift’ on TSN

It was late in the afternoon during a pandemic and Kayla Grey, who had worked the late-night shift at SportsCentre, was talking about her new show. Her three-year-old son was somewhere nearby, waging a valiant struggle against nap time.“A hot mess,” she said, laughing about her day. “Nah, it’s a hot, beautiful mess.”Grey, 28, has…

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Where can NBA teams find diamonds in the rough? A former scout hopes his new pre-draft combine can be the answer

For nearly 60 years, the Portsmouth Invitational has been a scouting staple in the NBA world. As one of the longest-running premier showcases for upcoming talent, teams have flocked to the camp for decades. A number of players put themselves on the map there — Scottie Pippen, Ben Wallace, Anthony Tolliver and Jimmy Butler, to…

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From Preakness to Pulisic, NFL schedules to NBA playoffs: Here are 10 sports TV trends to monitor

Americans love many things, and near the top of any such list of our delights and obsessions are sports and watching television.The marriage of sports and TV in the mid-20th century was inevitable and brought the drama, thrills, tears, anger, comedy, boastfulness, tribal loyalties and nonsense of competition and talent into our living rooms. It…

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Erin Andrews and Alyssa Greene’s WEAR apparel line: From the Super Bowl to an NHL license

Sometimes, it’s abundantly clear when and where a breakthrough of significance occurred.Veteran broadcaster Erin Andrews, armed with a concept and plan for a sports-licensed apparel line for women, experienced it at the Super Bowl in Houston in 2017. Her manager said they could get a short meeting with Michael Rubin, the executive chairman of Fanatics.A…

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