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deal w O via the NFL Players Inc. licensing- unit. "Since partnering in 2013, and have helped nearly 1,000 players connect with hundreds of brands to share campaigns, reaching more than 1 billion fans worldwide."

• The has named Shenzhen, as the host city for 2019-2028, a deal that includes the building of a 12K-seat venue, and doubling the prize money to $14M for the Top 8 singles players and Top 8 doubles teams.

• Overwatch League said that its first week of competition drew more than 10 million viewers via Twitch, MLG, and Chinese streaming partners ZhanQi TV, NetEase CC and Panda TV. Opening day had an average audience per minute of 408,000.

• Coca-Cola, International Speedway Corp. and Nascar have signed an extension to their partnerships under which Coca-Cola, would "continue its deep-rooted history in the sport by engaging racing fans across Nascar’s three national series and 12 ISC-operated race tracks" and events including the Coca-Cola 600 and the Coca-Cola 400. Coca-Cola-sponsored drivers include Austin Dillon, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, Daniel Suarez and Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. Coca-Cola said it "has been involved with stock car racing for 50 years," and became an official partner with Nascar in 1998.

• NBC Olympics will debut Olympic Ice Presented by Toyota, a live, daily figure skating show airing nightly (7 PM ET) on NBCSN beginning Feb. 10 and continuing through Feb. 24. Live Olympic figure skating competition will follow the show in primetime. NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app will present a digital-exclusive version of Olympic Ice Presented by Toyota immediately following prime-time coverage beginning Feb. 8.

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Top NBA All-Star Game Votes (To Date)
Eastern Conference
1.  Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) 863,416
2.  LeBron James (CLE) 856,080
3.  Kyrie Irving (BOS) 802,834
4.  Joel Embiid (PHI) 433,161
5. Kristaps Porzingis (NYK) 359,459
6.  DeMar DeRozan (TOR) 259,368
7.  Victor Oladipo (IND) 251,886
8.  Kevin Love (CLE) 221,969
9.  Ben Simmons (PHI) 210,085
10. John Wall (WAS) 175,990
Western Conference
1. Kevin Durant (GSW) 767,402
2. Stephen Curry (GSW) 735,115
3. James Harden (HOU) 602,040
4. Russell Westbrook (OKC) 438,469
5. Klay Thompson (GSW) 359,442
6. DeMarcus Cousins (NOP) 356,340
7. Draymond Green (GSW) 325,612
8. Manu Ginobili (SAS) 231,460
9. Kawhi Leonard (SAS) 212,650
10. Carmelo Anthony (OKC) 194,239

The 67th NBA All-Star Game will take place on Sunday, Feb. 18 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. TNT will televise (8 PM ET)

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Top-Selling NFL Jerseys By Team 2017 At Dick’s Sporting Goods
1. Dallas Cowboys
2. New England Patriots
3. Pittsburgh Steelers
4. Philadelphia Eagles
5. Denver Broncos
6. Carolina Panthers
7. New York Giants
8. Seattle Seahawks
9. Atlanta Falcons
10. Cincinnati Bengals
11. Houston Texans
12. Minnesota Vikings
13. Detroit Lions
14. Chicago Bears
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18. Baltimore Ravens
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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
Monday
Dec182017

Adding To Its Current Difficulties, John Skipper Resigns As ESPN President

By Barry Janoff

December 18, 2018: Citing an on-going struggle with “substance addiction,” John Skipper has resigned as president of ESPN and co-chairman of the Disney Media Networks.

ESPN said that George Bodenheimer, its president from 1998-2011 and its executive chairman until May 2014, would take over as the acting chairman of the company for the next 90 days “to help Disney chairman and chief executive officer Bob Iger find Skipper's replacement.”

"Today I have resigned from my duties as President of ESPN," Skipper said in a statement. "I have had a wonderful career at the Walt Disney Company and am grateful for the many opportunities and friendships. I owe a debt to many, but most profoundly Michael Lynton, George Bodenheimer and Bob Iger.

"I have struggled for many years with a substance addiction. I have decided that the most important thing I can do right now is to take care of my problem.

"I have disclosed that decision to the company, and we mutually agreed that it was appropriate that I resign. I will always appreciate the human understanding and warmth that Bob displayed here and always.”

Skipper had been ESPN president and co-chairman, Disney Media Networks since Jan. 1, 2012,.

He joined ESPN in 1997 and had served as executive vice president-content prior to being named president.

The last company-wide function he oversaw as president was on Dec. 13, a meeting with some 450 members of ESPN's on-air telent.

“At the end of this meeting I want you to be confident about the future of ESPN,” Skipper told the gathering, according to ESPN. “I want you to feel proud about working here and I want you to feel that your best efforts are needed for that future and to feel that pride.”

Now, Skipper is dealing with is own future.

“I come to this public disclosure with embarrassment, trepidation and a feeling of having let others I care about down," Skipper said in his statement.

“As I deal with this issue and what it means to me and my family, I ask for appropriate privacy and a little understanding.”

“To my colleagues at ESPN, it has been a privilege. I take great pride in your accomplishments and have complete confidence in your collective ability to continue ESPN’s success.

Skipper’s departure comes amidst on-going cost-cutting moves by ESPN, which has impacted on-air and production staff.

In addition, ESPN last week suspended two of its NFL analysts, Donovan McNabb and Eric Davis, relating to a case of accused sexual harassment of an employee at NFL Network when they were both at NFL Network.

Also last week, The Disney Co. said it would acquire  major assets of 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion.

The deal brings to Disney key assets of major properties it did not own, including Marvel's X-Men and the first movie in the Star Wars franchise (Star Wars: A New Hope). Also included is FX Networks, National Geographic, 300-plus international channels, 22 regional sports networks and Fox’s 30% stake in Hulu.

In a statement, Iger said, “I join John Skipper’s many friends and colleagues across the company in wishing him well during this challenging time. I respect his candor and support his decision to focus on his health and his family.

“With his departure, George Bodenheimer has agreed to serve as Acting Chair of ESPN for the next 90 days to provide interim leadership, help me identify and secure John’s successor, and ensure a smooth transition.

“I am grateful for George’s support and look forward to working with him again in this temporary role,” said Iger.

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