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NEWS REAL

• China-based e-commerce giant Alibaba said it set a sales record on Singles Day, 11-11 — aka  the Double 11 shopping festival, “the world’s largest 24-hour shopping event" — with sales across Alibaba’s shopping platforms at $38.3 billion involving more than 200,000 brands. That exceeded last year’s record of nearly $30.5 billion. Alibaba also said that in its first hour, it generated an estimated $13 billion in sales. By comparison, in 2018, Black Friday sales were $6.2 billion, and Cyber Monday sales reached $7.9 billion, according to Forbes.

• Volcom has signed a deal to become the official apparel sponsor for the U.S. Snowboard Team. Volcom, a part of Authentic Brands Group, replaces Burton, which had been the apparel supplier for the group for the past four Winter Olympics. Financial terms of the deal, which runs through the 2022 Beijing Winter Games, were not shared.

• NBC’s Sunday Night Football on Nov. 10 became the decade’s (2010-19) only primetime series to average 20 million-plus viewers for 100 different broadcasts. American Ido is second with 69. The Minnesota Vikings’ 28-24 victory over the Dallas Cowboys averaged a Total Audience Delivery of 23.5 million viewers across NBC TV, NBC Sports Digital and NFL Digital platforms.

• CBS Sports said its coverage of the SEC on CBS with No. 2 ranked LSU beating No. 3 ranked Alabama, 46-41, on Nov. 9  “delivered a massive audience, had an average of 16.636 million viewers and scoring a fast national household rating/share of a 9.7/24 . . . the  highest-rated regular-season college football game (excluding Conference Championships) on any network in eight years.

• Calling it the company’s biggest brand launch in more than a decade, Coca-Cola North America has unveiled Aha sparkling water, eyeing a March 2020 drop at retail. “As the largest and fastest-growing part of the water business, mainstream flavored sparkling water is a segment we know we must double-down on,” Celina Li, vp-water, Coca-Cola North America, said via the company. “Aha is our big-bet brand in this big-bet category.” Full story here.

POLL POSITION

MLB 2019 Award Finalists

MANAGER OF THE YEAR

Nov. 12 MLB Network (6 PM ET)
American League finalists: Rocco Baldelli, Minnesota Twins; Aaron Boone, New York Yankees; Kevin Cash, Tampa Bay Rays

National League finalists: Craig Counsell, Brewers; Mike Shildt, Cardinals; Brian Snitker, Braves

CY YOUNG

Nov. 13 MLB Network (6 PM ET)
AL Finalists: Gerrit Cole, RHP, Houston Astros; Charlie Morton, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays; Justin Verlander, RHP, Houston Astros

NL Finalists: Jacob deGrom, RHP, New York Mets; Hyun-Jin Ryu, LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers; Max Scherzer, RHP, Washington Nationals

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER

Nov. 14 MLB Network (6 PM ET)
AL Finalists: Alex Bregman, 3B, Houston Astros; Marcus Semien, SS, Oakland A’s; Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels

NL Finalists: Cody Bellinger, OF/1B, Los Angeles Dodgers; Anthony Rendon, 3B, Washington Nationals; Christian Yelich, OF, Milwaukee Brewers

KEEPING SCORE

Topps All-Star Rookie Team 2019

One player at each position plus a DH and pitchers. Topps said each player’s 2020 Topps Series 1 or Series 2 card would include the Rookie Cup trophy logo. Topps has been naming MLB All-Star Rookie teams for 60 years.
• Pete Alonso 1B, New York Mets
• Yordan Alvarez  DH, Houston Astros
• Nick Anderson P, Tampa Bay Rays
• Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. 3B, Toronto Blue Jays
• Keston Hiura 2B, Milwaukee Brewers
• Eloy Jimenez OF, Chicago White Sox
• John Means P, Baltimore Orioles
• Bryan Reynolds OF, Pittsburgh Pirates
• Victor Robles OF, Washington Nationals
• Will Smith C, Los Angeles Dodgers
• Mike Soroka P, Atlanta Braves
• Fernando Tatis Jr.  SS, San Diego Padres

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office Nov. 8-10
1, Midway $17.5M
2. Doctor Sleep $14.1M
3. Playing With Fire $12.8M
4. Last Christmas $11.6M
5. Terminator: Dark Fate $10.8M
6. Joker $9.2M
7. Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil $8M
8. Harriet $7.2M
9. Zombieland: Double Tap $4.3M
10. Addams Family $4.2M
BoxOfficeMojo.com

SEARCH

NYSportsJournalism.com + Topic Of Requested Search

JBL Giannis True Wireless See More Ads Below

COLLEGE

BodyArmor Into NCAA
No. 1 Colleges Since '92
Notre Dame Builds Brand
Cancer Drives Home
Men's Hoops Are 'Toxic'

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
Channel Chasers

NFL Mexico 2019
• Nov. 18 Kansas City  Chiefs vs. Los Angeles Chargers Mexico City Estadio Azteca ESPN (Monday Night Football) 8 PM (ET

NFL Thanksgiving Nov. 28, 2019
• Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions Fox 12:30 PM (ET)
• Buffalo Bills vs. Dallas Cowboys CBS 4:30 PM (ET)
• New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons NBC 8 PM (ET)

NBA Mexico 2019
• Dec. 12 Dallas Mavericks vs. Detroit Pistons Arena Ciudad de Mexico, Mexico City NBA TV 9 PM (ET)

NBA Christmas Dec. 25, 2019
• Boston Celtics vs. Toronto Raptors ESPN Noon (ET)
• Milwaukee Bucks vs. Philadelphia 76ers ABC 2:30 PM (ET)
• Houston Rockets vs. Godlen State Warriors ABC 5 PM (ET)
• Los Angeles Clippers vs. Los Angeles Lakers ESPN/ABC 8 PM (ET)
• New Orleans Pelicans vs. Denver Nuggets ESPN 10:30 PM

NHL Bridgestone Winter Classic Jan. 1, 2020

• Nashville Predators vs. Dallas Stars Cotton Bowl Stadium, Dallas NBC

Main
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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