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• Octagon and the National Women’s Soccer League have signed a multi-tier consulting partnership, in which Octagon’s Global Media Rights Consulting and Marketing divisions will "advise the NWSL on its league media rights, sponsorship, and marketing." “The growth of the NWSL over the past six years has been tremendous, and the league, its teams and players show absolutely no sign of slowing down,” Christine Franklin, SVP, Marketing, Octagon, said via the firm.

• The Professional Baseball Agreement between MLB and minor league teams expires at the end of the 2020 season. But if a new MLB proposal were to become reality, more than three dozen cities with affiliated minor league teams will lose those teams a year from now and thousands of minor league players will be out of work as well. Full story here.

• "We said there's no chance that's happening. There’s no chance we’ll even discipline him." — NBA commissioner Adam Silver regarding China’s request that the league fire Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey

• "The losses have already been substantial. Our games are not back on the air in China as we speak, and we'll see what happens next. I don't know where we go from here. The financial consequences have been and may continue to be fairly dramatic." — NBA commissioner Adam Silver at the Time 100 Summit on Thursday regarding the league’s on-going situation with China.

• Showtime Sports will launch on Oct. 21 a weekly podcast, All The Smoke with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson, in which the two NBA veterans (now retired) and NBA champs (Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs, respectively), will “deliver an authentic, unfiltered perspective on the most polarizing topics in and around the game of basketball.”  It will air Thursdays on the Showtime Basketball YouTube Channel. 

• Halloween this year is Oct. 31, and retailers, marketers and consumers are ready for another season of trick-or-treat. Total spend on Halloween 2019 is expected to reach $8.8 billion according to the National Retail Federation, Washington, DC. Full story here. 

POLL POSITION

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2020 Nominees

• Pat Benatar
• Dave Matthews Band
• Depeche Mode
• Doobie Brothers
• Whitney Houston
• Judas Priest
• Kraftwerk
• MC5
• Motorhead
• Nine Inch Nails
• Notorious B.I.G.
• Rufus feat. Chaka Khan
• Todd Rundgren
• Soundgarden
• T. Rex
• Thin Lizzy

VOTE HERE

KEEPING SCORE

Most Popular NBA Player Jerseys (based on eBay sales October 2018-October 2019)
1. LeBron James Los Angeles Lakers
2. Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors
3. Kyrie Irving Brooklyn Nets
4. Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee Bucks
5. Kevin Durant Brooklyn Nets
6. Dwyane Wade Miami Heat (retired)
7. Kawhi Leonard Los Angeles Clippers
8. Zion Williamson New Orleans Pelicans
9. Carmelo Anthony (most recently with Houston Rockets)
10. Russell Westbrook Houston Rockets

Most Popular Player Merchandise (based on eBay sales October 2018-October 2019)
1. LeBron James Los Angeles Lakers
2. Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors
3. Kevin Durant Brooklyn Nets
4. Kyrie Irving Brooklyn Nets
5. Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee Bucks
6. Paul George Los Angeles Clippers
7. James Harden Houston Rockets
8. Dwyane Wade Miami Heat (retired)
9. Kawhi Leonard Los Angeles Clippers
10. Russell Westbrook Houston Rockets
SOURCE: STUBHUB.COM

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office Oct. 18-20
1. Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil $36M
2. Joker $29.2M
3. Zombieland 2 $26.7M
4. Addams Family $16M
5. Gemini Man $8.5M
6. Abominable $3.5M
7. Downton Abbey $3M
8. Judy $2M
9. Hustlers $2M
10. It 2 $1.5M
BoxOfficeMojo.com

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NYSportsJournalism.com + Topic Of Requested Search

Showtime: All The Smoke 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 UK 2019
• Oct. 27  Cincinnati Bengals v Los Angeles Rams Wembley Stadium
• Nov. 3 Houston Texans v Jacksonville Jaguars Wembley Stadium

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

NBA 2019 Opening Nights
• Oct. 22 New Orleans Pelicans vs. Toronto Raptors TNT 8 PM (ET)
• Oct. 22 Los Angeles Lakers vs. Los Angeles Clippers TNT 10:30 PM (ET)

• Oct. 23 Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers ESPN 8 PM (ET)
• Oct. 23 Denver Nuggets vs. Portland Trail Blazers ESPN 10 PM (ET)

Monday
Aug132018

It's Bout Time: Boxing Continues KO Punch On Epix With Return Of 'The Contender'

By Barry Janoff

August 13, 2018: If the sport is on the ropes and down for the count, as some believe, somebody didn’t tell boxing or Epix.

As Mark Twain once wrote, “The report of my death was an exaggeration.”

Epix this month launches the return of The Contender, the new incarnation of the series that ran from 2005-09, with 16 men vying for the title of 160-pound middleweight champion the winner’s six-figure purse.

The Contender comes as ESPN and premier boxing promotional group Top Rank earlier this month signed a seven-year deal (2018-2025) for exclusive events, programming, classic fights, studio content, weigh-ins, post-fight interviews and press conferences.

ESPN and Top Rank called their pact the “most comprehensive, exclusive rights agreement in the history of boxing,”

In May, Perform Group, headed by executive chairman John Skipper, former ESPN president, signed an eight-year, $1 billion pact with Matchroom Boxing with the intent to “re-ignite the sport of boxing in the U.S. for fans.”

Early this year, Floyd Mayweather Jr. opened Mayweather Boxing + Fitness (in Los Angeles). He has plans to open locations worldwide, with a focus on neighborhoods in which people generally do not have access to such workout and exercise venues.

The Contender, scheduled to premiere on Epix Aug. 24, (9 PM ET), is hosted by boxing champion Andre “Son of God” Ward, with Eric Van Wagenen as executive producer and showrunner alongside Mark Burnett.

The fighters will be overseen by veteran boxing coach Freddie Roach and trainer Naazim Richardson.

The format is owned by MGM Television and Paramount Television, which both will produce.

Part of multi-media marketing support is an intro spot that asks, “We’re all fighting for something. What are you fighting for?”

At least two of the 16 men come from boxing heritage.

Shane “Sugarman” Mosley, Jr., is the son of Hall of Fame boxer “Sugar” Shane Mosley; and John “The Rock” Jackson is the son of Julian Jackson, a three-time world champion in two weight classes.

The Contender takes unscripted TV to its grittiest,” Mark Burnett, president of MGM Television, said a statement.

“It has incredible professional fighters and real professional fights. The edge of your seat drama and true stories sets a tone that our audiences will be expecting, and I love it.”

According to Epix president Michael Wright, “With this new iteration of The Contender, the focus is on the gritty, personal stories of the fighters battling for boxing glory.

“It was important for us to find individuals who not only displayed the boxing chops and resilience in the ring, but who also showed a depth of heart and humor outside of it.

Wright said that the 16 fighters are “vivacious, tough, funny, sensitive, driven and inspiring, and we are excited for our fans to get to know their stories and root for them inside the ring and out.”

“It has incredible professional fighters and real professional fights. The edge of your seat drama and true stories sets a tone that our audiences will be expecting.”

The original Contender series helped to launch multiple careers, including Sergio Mora, Cornelius Bundrage, Sakio Bika, and Sam Soliman. It aired on ESPN, NBC and what was then Versus (now part of the NBC Sports Network).

Among those involved with the original series were Sylvester Stallone (Season 1) and “Sugar Ray” Leonard (Seasons 1-3) in roles now held by Ward.

“I have faced the unique challenges of professional boxing firsthand and know the focus required to succeed at the highest level,” Ward said in a statement.

“Hosting a show that has enabled so many talented fighters reach their dreams is an honor and I look forward to giving the fans unique insight into the life of a fighter and leading the audience through the thrills of this competition.”

“It is so important for The Contender to have the best and most trusted boxing experts which is why we reached out to Andre, Freddy and Naazim,” said Burnett.

“They are the very best and can help create an experience almost never seen before. Eric and I are really excited to exceed the fans’ expectations. We love The Contender and we love boxing.”

The Contenders 2018

• Brandon “The Cannon” Adams
• Tyrone “Young Gun” Brunson
• Quatavious “Cash” Cash
• Morgan “Big Chief” Fitch
• Marcos “Mad Man” Hernandez
• John “The Rock” Jackson
• Ievgen “The Ukranian Lion” Khytrov
• Devaun “Unique” Lee
• Malcolm “The Punisher” McAllister
• Michael “The Silverback” Moore
• Shane “Sugarman” Mosley
• Lamar “Omega” Russ
• Gerald “G5” Sherrell
• John “Apollo Kid” Thompson
• Daniel “El Chapulin” Valdivia
• Eric “Babyface Assassin” Walker


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