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• ESPN said it would add two late-night shows to its programming line-up beginning Jan. 28, 2019: Now or Never (ESPN2) hosted by Steve Covino, Rich Davis, and Janelle Marie Rodriguez; and Ahora o Nunca (ESPN Deportes),hosted by ESPN Deportes’ Mauricio Pedroza, Herculez Gomez and Janelle Marie Rodriguez. The shows “will be dedicated to covering the intersection of sports and pop culture for young, multicultural sports fans.”

• Sports apparel firm Fanatics, which has alliances with most of the major pro sports leagues, has signed its first college deal, with the University of Oregon, to become a licensee, manufacturer and retailer for the University’s apparel, headwear and numerous other product categories. The deal, which begins Jan. 1, 2020, was put at $25 million for ten years by industry analysts. Nike and Columbia Sportswear will remain as prominent University of Oregon partners.

• The 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic between the  Boston Bruins and host Chicago Blackhawks is scheduled for Jan. 1 outdoors in Notre Dame Stadium. Before that happens, Road To The NHL Winter Classic docu-series returns to go behind the scenes with both teams, with the three-week, limited series premiering in the U.S. Dec. 19 on NBCSN (11:30 PM ET).  The series is produced by Ross Greenburg Productions in association with NHL Original Productions.

• Seeking to continue expanding its presence in China, the NFL has signed a digital partnership with Youku, the video entertainment platform for Alibaba Group, intended to “bring high-quality football programming to Chinese fans.” Weekly programming on Youku's sports channel will feature game highlights and behind-the-scenes stories from NFL games, including the Super Bowl, NFL Kickoff, Thanksgiving, NFL Draft and NFL International series.

POLL POSITION

Eight Teams And Venues For XFL 2020

• Dallas – Globe Life Park
• Houston – TDECU Stadium
• Los Angeles – StubHub Center
• New York/New Jersey – MetLife Stadium
• St. Louis – The Dome at America’s Center
• Seattle – CenturyLink Field
• Tampa Bay – Raymond James Stadium
• Washington, DC – Audi Field

See full story here.

KEEPING SCORE

BABE RUTH MEMORABILIA AUCTION

A live auction is scheduled to take place in Yankee Stadium on June 15, 2019 under the auspices of Hunt Auctions, to include 100s of items from the Babe Ruth family that have been in their possession since he passed away in 1948, most of which have not been seen in public. A portion of the proceeds will go to charity.

Among the items: 
• Babe Ruth Professional Model cleats
• Babe Ruth 60th Home Run Autographed display piece
• Babe Ruth 1934 Tour of Japan Champion Batsman presentational trophy
• Lou Gehrig signed and inscribed photograph to Babe Ruth
• Babe Ruth's 1930-31 New York Yankees "Better year than President" player contract
• Babe Ruth 1935 Boston Braves autographed contract agreement
• Babe Ruth personal check ledger with related signed documents
• Babe Ruth single signed baseballs and autographed photographs
• Babe Ruth 1934 Tour of Japan presentational pass
• Babe Ruth personal photographic albums including autographed exemplars
• Babe Ruth 12 Point Deer Trophy Mount with photographic provenance

Other items not from the Ruth family include:
• Babe Ruth Professional Model Bat with Home Run Notches c.1926-29
• Babe Ruth "Bustin Babes" barnstorming equipment travel case c.1920s (Waite Hoyt provenance)
• Highly significant 1923 New York Yankees World Championship presentational Spalding trophy
• 1923 New York Yankees World Champions team autographed ledger sheet

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office Nov. Dec. 7-9
1. Ralph Breaks the Internet $16.1M
2. The Grinch $15.7M
3. Creed II $10.3M
4. Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald $6.8M
5. Bohemian Rhapsody $6M
6. Instant Family $5.6M
7. Green Book $3.9M
8. Robin Hood $3.6M
9. Possession of Hannah Grace $3.2M
10. Widows $3.1M

SOURCE: COMSCORE.com

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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
Wednesday
Jan312018

Fox Grabs NFL 'Thursday Night Football', Five Years, $2.7B, Presented by Bud Light

By Barry Janoff

January 31, 2018: The NFL’s Thursday Night Football package has a new home, with Fox signing a five-year deal for 11 games per year beginning in 2018.

Industry analysts put the pact at $550 million per year, $2.75 billion over the course of the deal.

NFL partner Bud Light has signed on to be presenting partner for the Thursday Night Football games.

Thursday Night Football  presented by Bud Light games come between Weeks 4-15 (excluding Thanksgiving night) to be broadcast on Fox, simulcast via NFL Network and distributed in Spanish on Fox Deportes.

NFL Network will exclusively televise an additional seven games next season, with Fox producing the entire 18-game schedule.

What the NFL and Fox called a “landmark” alliance also allows Fox Sports and the NFL to each expand its digital rights.

Fox said it would be able to distribute both Thursday Night Football and its Sunday games to Fox subscribers “over a wide array of digital platforms including mobile phones for the first time.”

The NFL said it would continue to develop digital distribution models for Thursday Night Football as well as Fox’s Sunday games.

CBS and NBC split a ten-game Thursday Night Football schedule last season, with most games also shown on NFL Network.

CBS and NBC each paid $450 million for a two-year package covering 2016-17.

There have been complaints from NFL players regarding health issues that come with playing a game on Sunday and then one on Thursday, which NFL commissioner Roger Goodell addressed today during his "State of the NFL" media conference in Minneapolis, site of Super Bowl LII.

"We are always working to make the game safer," he said. "Most players don't like a short week, but they sure do like having ten days off after (playing on Thursday." It's like a mini-bye week."

Ratings have also been down.

CBS said it averaged an 8.6 rating and 14.1 million viewers for its five games early in the 2017 season, down 3% and 4%, respectively from 2016 (8.9, 14.7 million).

NBC said its six games, which began on Nov. 9, averaged an 8.1 rating and 14 million viewers, down 21% in ratings and 17% viewership from five games in 2016  (10.2, 17M).
 
Thursday Night Football began in 2006 with an eight-game schedule exclusively on NFL Network. It expanded to 13 games in 2012 and 2013, still exclusively on NFL Network.

In 2014-15, CBS partnered with NFL Network to present an expanded 16-game Thursday Night Football schedule.

Digital distribution was via Twitter in 2016 and Amazon Prime Video in (2017.

“This agreement is the culmination of over ten years of strategic growth around Thursday Night Football, a period during which this property has grown from a handful of late season games on NFL Network to a full season of games and one of the most popular shows on broadcast television with additional distribution via cable and digital channels,” Goodell said via the NFL.

“As one of the leaders in sports television and a recognized innovator of NFL game broadcasts for many years, we’re excited to be extending our partnership with Fox Sports, one of our most trusted and valued partners, to include Thursday Night Football,” said Goodell.

Fox said this alliance “marks the fifth media rights deal between Fox Sports and the NFL dating back to the landmark agreement struck in December 1993 that essentially solidified Fox as a major broadcast network.”

According to Peter Rice, president for 21st Century Fox, “Football is in our blood at Fox and we understand that nothing beats the NFL when it comes to television that captures people’s attention.

“Our historic relationship with the NFL dates back to the earliest days of Fox, and we couldn’t be more excited to expand our deep and enduring partnership to include primetime games on Thursday night.”

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