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QUICK HITS

• Puma, which is rebooting its hoops division with the signing of potential top NBA draft picks Deandre Jordan and Michael Bagley III to shoe deals, said it has named producer/musician/businessman Jay-Z as president of basketball operations. The company said it has been working with Jay-Z run Roc Nation “for quite some time.” In addition, Hall of Famer Walt "Clyde" Frazier, a Puma partner for its first signature shoe in the 1970’s and long-time endorser, has signed a lifetime contract with the shoe brand.

• Panini America has signed an exclusive autograph trading card memorabilia agreement with All-American point guard Trae Young, a projected Top Ten pick in this week's 2018 NBA Draft. Young led the nation in both scoring (27.4 ppg) and assists (8.8 apg) during a his freshman season with the University of Oklahoma.

• Xyience said it would be an official sponsor and the official energy drink for the 2018 International Champions Cup presented by Heineken, a premier  occer tournament featuring top clubs and players from Europe. The ICC runs from July 20- Aug. 7 and includes 17 matches played across 14 U.S. cities. (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and SiriusXM.) Sponsors also  include Heineken, Ally, Hertz, MasterCard, Gatorade, Konami and Vivid Seats.

KEEPING SCORE

Top-Selling MLB Jerseys (Jan.-May 2018)

1. Jose Altuve Houston Astros
2. Aaron Judge New York Yankees
3. Clayton Kershaw Los Angeles Dodgers
4. Giancarlo Stanton New York Yankees
5. George Springer Houston Astros
6. Anthony Rizzo Chicago Cubs
7. Kris Bryant Chicago Cubs
8. Shohei Otani Los Angeles Angels
9. Carlos Corea Hoston Astros
10. Mookie Betts Boston Red Sox
11. Mike Trout Los Angeles Angels
12. Cody Bellinger Los Angeles Dodgers
13. Buster Posey San Francisco Giants
14. Javier Baez Chicago Cubs

SOURCE: MLBShop.com

BUY SELL

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE (June 15-17)

1. Incredibles 2 - Disney - $180 M ($231.5M worldwide)
2. Ocean's 8 - Warner Bros. - $19.6M
3. Tag - Warner Bros. - $14.6M
4. Solo: A Star Wars Story - Disney - $9.1M
5. Deadpool 2 - 20th Century Fox - $8.8M
6. Hereditary - A24 - $7M
7. Superfly - Sony - $6.3M
8. Avengers: Infinity War - Disney - $5.3M
9. Adrift - STX Entertainment - $2.1M
10. Book Club - Paramount - $1.9M
11. A Wrinkle In Time - Disney - $1.8M
12. Gotti - Vertical Entertainment - $1.7M

NOTE: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom - Universal $173.6M international (opens in U.S. June 22)

SOURCE: COMSCORE.com

SEARCH

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COLLEGE

Men's Hoops Are 'Toxic'
No. 1 Colleges Since '92
Notre Dame Builds Brand
Cancer Drives Home
CFB Title Games '21-24

Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Monday
Oct052015

Despite Health-Related, Off-Field Issues, NFL Gets An 'A' From Financial Firm Fitch

By Barry Janoff

October 5, 2015: The NFL has been under siege regarding concussion lawsuits from former players and other health-related issues, off-field situations regarding domestic violence and child abuse, the possibility of one or two franchises looking to relocate to Los Angeles and an on-going theater of the absurd drama called "Deflate-Gate."

But that hasn't stopped the league from compiling massive TV numbers, signing new and building current marketing deals and seeing its franchises increase in value. The Dallas Cowboys at $4 billion atop a list that has all 32 teams valued at more than $1.4 billion according to Forbes.

Which has led credit ratings and financial firm Fitch from assigning an "A" rating to the NFL's $106.1 million senior secured notes due 2024 (add-on), issued through Football Trust.

According to Fitch, the "A" ratings reflect the NFL's position as the "most popular professional sports league in the U.S."

The rating comes during a season in which the NFL is celebrating its golden Super Bowl 50.

"The NFL has a strong and highly regarded economic model, which includes sizable multi-year television contracts, significant revenue sharing among member clubs, a proven track record of conservative financial policies, and its current collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with its players union, which includes a 'hard' salary cap," Fitch Ratings wrote in a report released on Oct. 1. "Strong forecasted league-managed revenues, primarily national television contracts provide the league-wide borrowing program debt with solid projected debt service coverage ratios and low leverage."

Although taking note of such issues as health and concussion awareness, along with higher concussion-related costs, Fitch says that the NFL's "A" rating is a reflection of its "key ratings drivers."

"The NFL  is the most popular professional sports league in the U.S. . . .  (and )continues to be among the most highly coveted sports programming and content."

"The NFL structure promotes financial stability and competitive balance through a high percentage of revenue sharing and through supplemental revenue sharing," wrote Fitch. "The NFL maintains a robust and stable domestic fan attendance and viewership base. The collective bargaining agreement extends through the 2020 season and includes a 'hard salary' cap aiming to provide underlying team cost certainty."

Fitch also was highly motivated by the NFL's strong showing among TV viewers.

NBC's Sunday Night Football has established itself as the No. 1 show on TV, ESPN's Monday Night Football is the No. 1 show on cable and Thursday Night Football, seen on both CBS and NFL Network, is averaging about 19 million viewers, up 20% from last season, according to the NFL.

As related in the report by Fitch, NFL TV contracts run through 2022 with Fox, CBS and NBC; and through 2021 with ESPN. The NFL also has an agreement in place with DirecTV to broadcast "out-of-market" games on Sunday through 2022.

In addition, NFL Network will broadcast 16 games this season.

Also of major importance to Fitch is the NFL's international strategy, where Fitch noted, "The league continues to positively promote the game domestically and internationally, where two games were played in 2013, three in 2014 and three are planned at Wembley Stadium for the 2015 season."

The NFL will continue its London march and is also planning a long-term series of games in Mexico City.

Among other factors that motivated Fitch to assign an "A" rating:

• The NFL's salary cap on player expenses has similar characteristics of the NHL but different than the NBA and MLB where player salaries have some restrictions but owners can elect to go above predetermined levels by paying a "tax."

• In addition to the per club debt limit and other financial policies, the league has demonstrated willingness to step in and aid 'distressed' franchises. The NFL product continues to be among the most highly coveted sports programming and content. However, the sports sector is inherently vulnerable to discretionary spending from individuals and corporations.

• Growth in key league level sponsorship and advertising contracts further support the strength for NFL related content.

• The 'A' rating further reflects the mechanics of the lock-box account for the purposes of collecting national television revenues, which are the primary source of revenues that service the debt, prior to any distributions to individual franchises. Additionally, since each club receives an equal share of revenues, no franchise's share of the national television revenues is affected by its on-field performance.

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