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• 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.  

• Bluberi Gaming has signed a deal with WWE to develop a series of licensed slot games featuring WWE Superstars and Legends. Among those to be featured include John Cena, Triple H, Becky Lynch, Roman Reigns and Ronda Rousey. The first WWE series of slot games is scheduled to hit casinos October 2020.

• HarperCollins Publishers said it has acquired world rights to Back, the first memoir authored by Tiger Woods. According to Woods, “This book is my definitive story. It’s in my words and expresses my thoughts.” A publication date was not given.

• 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. 11-13
1. Joker $55M
2. Addams Family $30.3M
3. Gemini Man $20.5M
4. Abominable $6.2M
5. Downton Abbey $4.9M
6. Hustlers $3.9M
7. Judy $3.3M
8. It 2 $3.2M
9. Jexi $3.1M
10. Ad Astra $1.9M
BoxOfficeMojo.com

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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)

Sunday
Jan142018

MLS Joins EA Sports Stepping Onto eSports Pitch With Launch Of eMLS Competition

Special to NYSJ Sports-Entertainment Business News Service

January 13, 2018: Following on the heels of the NBA 2K League and the 12-team global Overwatch League, Major League Soccer is stepping into the burgeoning eSports arena, partnering with EA Sports to launch eMLS.

According to MLS. eMLS is a competitive league within the EA Sports FIFA 18 platform. It will feature the best FIFA 18 players from the U.S. and Canada “vying for a chance to become world champions” at the FIFA eWorld Cup in August.

MLS said that 19 of its 23 clubs would participate in the inaugural season. (See full list below.)

The four clubs not involved are Atlanta United FC, DC United and Los Angeles FC and Real Salt Lake.

The inaugural edition of the eMLS Cup will take place in April during gaming-culture festival PAX East in Boston’s Convention and Exhibition Center.

The event will determine the U.S. and Canada qualifiers to the EA Sports FIFA 18 Global Series Playoffs for a berth to August’s FIFA eWorld Cup, according to MLS.

"We are excited to unveil eMLS," Gary Stevenson, president and managing director for MLS Business Ventures, said in a statement.

“This step forward into competitive gaming is a key component in our partnership with EA Sports to promote deeper engagement and connections between MLS supporters and millions of FIFA players around the world,”  

MLS said that people would be able to follow their favorite MLS clubs in eMLS competition “as participating MLS teams get set to recruit their own players, including via local tournaments, to identify the best talent in pursuit of the eMLS Cup.”

The New York Red Bulls signed the player who would represent the club in the eMLS league, Mike LaBelle.

Already a Red Bull athlete, LaBelle is regarded as one of the top content creators in eSports, with more than 70,000 followers on Twitch and 285,000 on YouTube.

He also is a top-ranked player worldwide on both Xbox and Playstation.

LaBelle will create eMLS team-specific content for Red Bulls fans.

The Red Bulls said they plan to launch a Twitch streaming channel where LaBelle will stream FIFA matches each week, along with featuring eSports content on the team's official Web site and YouTube channel.

He is the second eSports signing in MLS, following Christopher Holly, who signed with New York City FC this past summer.

Addition details on the eMLS league structure and team player signings will be shared in the next few weeks.

Multi-media marketing is expected to support, with a trailer unveiling the league just released.

According to Todd Sitrin, svp and GM, competitive gaming division at EA, "We're honored to partner with MLS within the EA Sports FIFA 18 Global Series as we continue to help grow competitive gaming and soccer in North America.

"We engage millions of soccer fans daily through FIFA and attract many more who view our competitions around the world. With the eMLS we accelerate our growth as players compete on the road to the FIFA eWorld Cup 2018,” said Sitrin.

The NBA 2K League is an eSports joint venture between the NBA and Take Two Interactive, publishers of NBA 2K, featuring the best 2K players in the world.

The inaugural season is schedued off in May 2018 and will run through August. Prior to the season, there will be tryouts in February and a draft in March.

There are 17 NBA teams participating in the inaugural season.

Overwatch League, from Blizzard Entertainment based on its first-person shooter game (with more than 30 million players worldwide) has 12 teams in ten cities, including two in New York, two in Los Angeles, Seoul, London and Shanghai.

The first season began Jan. 10 and will run until June, with playoffs and finals scheduled for July. The prize pool is $3.5 million. All games are scheduled to take place in Blizzard Arena Los Angeles, a live-event venue in Burbank, that has been custom-renovated for Blizzard Entertainment eSports events.

Among U.S. men ages 21 to 35, eSports "is as popular as baseball & ice hockey," with 22% watching eSports frequently, according to Why Sports And Brands Want To Be In eSports, a report from research, consulting and eSports marketing firm NewZoo, San Francisco.

By 2019, there will be 212 million casual viewers and 215 million enthusiasts, according to NewZoo.

In dollars and cents, NewZoo said revenue is expected to top $1.1 billion in 2019.

eMLS Participants:

Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids, Columbus Crew SC, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, LA Galaxy, Minnesota United FC, Montreal Impact, New England Revolution, New York City FC, New York Red Bulls, Orlando City SC, Philadelphia Union, Portland Timbers, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders FC, Sporting Kansas City, Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

Overwatch League Gets Global Media Push With Twitch

NBA Sening 17 Teams Into 2K eSports League

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