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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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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)

Friday
Jun292018

NBC Sports, Marketing Partners Ready For Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Next Ride

By Barry Janoff

June 29, 2018: Dale Earnhardt Jr. was a veteran of some 20 years as a race car driver — and another lifetime more as the son of iconic driver Dale Earnhardt Sr. — when he retired following the 2017 Nascar season,.

But back to being a rookie this year in the broadcast booth.

NBC Sports Group launches its 2018 Nascar season this weekend with more than 18 hours of trackside coverage from Chicagoland Speedway, culminating with the Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series Overton’s 400 on July 1 on NBCSN.

Along for the ride for the first time will be Earnhardt Jr., not as a driver but as an analyst and color commentator.

“I'm excited to finally be at the racetrack with my teammates and getting ready to go to work,” Earnhardt Jr. said on Thursday during a media conference call prior to his first official Nascar race on he media side. “We've been practicing, and here it is, it's time to get to work."

Earnhardt Jr. said that NBC put him through some trial runs in the radio booth this year to gain some knowledge and first-hand experience. He also did some feature reporting for NBC at the Winter Olympics this past February and over the years has made some quest appearances as a commentator during live broadcasts.

But now comes the real deal.

“Well, here goes nothing! @chicagolndspdwy @nascaronnbc,” offered on his Twitter account, on which he has more than 2.5 million followers (and some three million on Facebook).

Earnhardt Jr.’s marketing partners have also come along for the journey.

Wrangler just broke a campaign showing how Dale Jr. has been preparing for his new career.

Spots include him calling a "Go-Kart Race" (“Welcome to the Dirty Mow Acres 300. I don’t if we’ll make it a full 300 but we’ll see how far we get”), "Reporting on Lawn Mowing" as a neighbor drives a riding mower to cut the grass (“Fred has a good steady pace going. He;s got the pattern down”) and doing "Play-by-Pay for a Buffalo Race,” which is basically watching three buffalo walk around in a field (“No. 93. Your first win. Good race. Good form”).

Another spot shows Dale Jr. taking a "New Warm-Up Lap" by practicing his vocals by doing tongue-twisters: “Billy Buttons bought a bunch of beautiful bananas. Unique New York. Billy Buttons went to unique New York.”

Mountain Dew has been running a humorous campaign in which Earnhardt Jr. is replaced as a driver by Dewey Rider (comic Danny McBride).

Earnhardt’s multi-year alliance with NBCUniversal will also provide him with opportunities in the company’s media businesses, including movies, television and podcasts.

“When you're a driver, you think you have all these ideas about what the sport needs to be better . . . we're always trying to improve the health of the sport,” said Earnhardt Jr. “Everybody has got the sport's best interest at heart, and as a driver you have those opinions of what those things are.

“Then when you go into the broadcast booth and you're on the other side, just looking at it through a totally different lens, some of those things change like 180 degrees.”

Earnhardt Jt. said that when he was a driver, he  didn't like being involved in rivalries, and “tried to fly under the radar and didn't want to be front-page news all week with a dust-up with another driver or be in any type of disagreement or conflict.

“I didn't like to be the story all week leading up to the next race or any of the videos coming up for the next race's promotion about me and some other driver running into each other.

But now that he’s on the media side?

“I understand what the purpose behind that type of promotion is and why the media exercises to share that with fans and help them understand the story lines in the sport," he said. "That's so critical, and I just didn't see it that way as a driver.

“And that's just one of many, many things that my perception has changed on.”

Earnhardt Jr. is not the only ex-driver in the booth. He will join NBC television analyst Jeff Burton, a 21-race winner who retired from Nascar competition three years ago, as well as former veteran crew chief Steve Letarte.

“This has been a lot of fun,” he said. “It feels like I retired from racing and haven't been working. It's been pretty surreal.”

Through the end of his full-time career, Earnhardt amassed 26 career victories, including the 2004 and 2014 Daytona 500s.

He also has a new book, Racing To The Finish: My Story, due out in October.

Now comes a new career, new goals, new challenges.

“I felt like that I had a lot more understanding of what I was getting myself into with race cars,” Earnhardt Jr. said during the media conference. “Growing up around it, and my family being so involved in it on my mom's and my dad's side, I was pretty sure at least when I was younger that I thought I knew everything about racing.

“But I had no history or background in broadcasting. Really kind of coming from a blank page here and drawing from my teammates, Jeff and Rick and Steve and everybody around me at NBC, just trying to draw all the information I can.

“I’m excited for that challenge. I feel very confident about the direction of the sport and the health of the sport and the future of the sport."

“I’m excited for that challenge. I feel very confident about the direction of the sport and the health of the sport and the future of the sport, or I wouldn't be in this position and want to be part of this team. I'm excited about where we're going and where we're headed, and I think we're going up, and I want to be on that ride.”

As the official home of the Nascar Playoffs, NBC Sports Group will present the final 20 Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series races, final 19 Nascar Xfinity Series races and select Nascar Regional and Touring Series events in 2018.

NBC Sports Group’s Nascar programming also includes NBCSN’s daily motorsports show, Nascar America, coverage of Nascar’s Awards Ceremonies and the annual Nascar Hall of Fame induction ceremony, as well as original programming specials.

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