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• Shareef Abdur-Rahim, NBA vp-basketball operations and a former NBA All-Star, has been named President of the NBA G League. Abdur-Rahim will replace Malcolm Turner, who will step down Jan. 11, 2019, to become the AD for Vanderbilt University.

• The Golden State Warriors have been named the Sportsperson of the Year by Sports Illustrated.

• MLB Network will mark its 10th anniversary Jan. 1, 2019 at 6 PM ET – “exactly 10 years to the minute when MLB Network came on the air” – with “MLB Network: 10 Years and Counting.” It will follow that with a re-airing of Don Larsen’s perfect Game Five from the 1956 World Series.

• MiLB has expanded its deal with Allegiant Airline to launch Allegiant World MasterCard, which includes points for every purchase, no blackout dates for travel, rewards specific to cardholder's favorite MiLB teams and local communities.

• The Big East has signed a deal to keep its men’s basketball conference tournament in New York’s Madison Square Garden through 2028, extending a contract that was scheduled to run through 2026 but with an opt-out clause for  2022. Financial terms were not shared.

• With one week left in NFL Pro Bowl 2019 voting the leaders are:

Drew Brees (950,818), Patrick Mahomes (884,888), Todd Gurley (747,516), Saquon Barkley (718,108), James Conner (664,897), Jared Goff ( 658,150), Antonio Brown (630,392), Alvin Kamara (582,550), Tyreek Hill (560,994) and Travis Kielce (551,249).

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
Tuesday
Jan092018

On Cusp Of Competition, Overwatch, Twitch Sign ’Historic’ Live-Stream Global Alliance

Special to NYSJ Sports-Entertainment Business News Service

January 9, 2018: Calling it a “historic eSports media-rights partnership,” Overwatch League has signed a two-year pact with social video service Twitch to present live every match of Overwatch League’s inaugural seasons.

With the exception of China, Twitch will be the exclusive worldwide third-party digital provider for Overwatch League regular-season, playoffs and championship matches, with streams in English, Korean and French.

Financial terms of the deal were not released, but industry analysts put the figure at $45 million per season, calling it the largest such eSports deal ever.

The Overwatch League is a global professional eSports league, comprised of 12 city-based teams across Asia, Europe and North America.

The first season is scheduled to begin Jan. 10 and run until June, with playoffs and finals scheduled for July. The prize pool is $3.5 million.

Investors include Robert Kraft, majority owner for the New England Patriots; Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (Los Angeles Rams, Denver Nuggets), Comcast Spectator, Jeff Wilpon, COO for the New York Mets; and NBA Sacramento Kings’s co-owner Andy Miller.

"Connecting and engaging the world through epic entertainment is our mission,” Bobby Kotick, CEO for Activision Blizzard, said in a statement. “The launch of the Overwatch League will provide our very best professional players the chance to inspire our engaged, connected audiences around the world.

"We are so grateful to our team owners, our media partners, our sponsors, and most of all our players for their pivotal role in the establishment of the Overwatch League.”

The Overwatch first-person shooter game, created by Blizzard Entertainment and released in 2016, has more than 30 million players worldwide, per Blizzard.

For the inaugural season, 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.

The Overwatch League and Twitch are also “developing innovative rewards for fans, which will bestow the league’s most steadfast viewers with Overwatch League in-game items.”

“Our fans love to engage with content on Twitch, and we wanted to drive significant viewership of the Overwatch League in its inaugural season and beyond,” Armin Zerza, COO for Blizzard Entertainment, said in a statement.

“That’s why this historic and ground-breaking partnership is perfectly suited for Activision Blizzard, for Twitch, and — most importantly — for our growing global fan base.”

According to Kevin Lin, COO for Twitch, “The Overwatch League is making a major impact on eSports by reshaping the industry with city-based teams.

“Given Overwatch’s consistent reign as a top-viewed game by our community, we look forward to offering their pioneering style of league play to a large and passionate fan base that will be able to bond over not only their favorite plays, but hometown pride.”

Twitch recently signed with the NBA to live-stream G-League games for the upcoming season.

For the inaugural season, Overwatch League teams include Boston Uprising, Dallas Fuel, Florida Mayhem, Houston Outlaws, London Spitfire, Los Angeles Gladiators, Los Angeles Valiant, New York Excelsior, Philadelphia Fusion, San Francisco Shock, Seoul Dynasty and Shanghai Dragons.

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.

Overwatch League matches are scheduled to be played each Wednesday thru Saturday. (A full schedule and information about ticket sales can be found at OverwatchLeague.com).

All matches on Twitch can be viewed live at Twitch.tv/overwatchleague (English-language channel), Twitch.tv/overwatchleague_kr (Korean-language channel) and Twitch.tv/overwatchleague_fr (French-language channel).

Viewers can also watch on MLG.com and the MLG app (on iOS and Android), OverwatchLeague.com and the Overwatch League companion app, which launched Monday for iOS and Android.

In addition, Blizzard players will be givenaccess to the Overwatch League’s Web presence via a new Overwatch League tab in the Blizzard Battle.net Desktop App.

ZhanQi TV, NetEase CC, and Panda TV are expected to be the official broadcasting platforms of the Overwatch League in China, providing live-streams, VODs, feature programs and othercontent to Chinese audiences.

According to Mike Morhaime, CEO and co-founder for Blizzard Entertainment ,“The Overwatch League was created to deliver an awesome and unique experience for players, teams, and fans.

"With 12 first-class teams representing major cities from Asia, Europe, and North America, we’re confident that the inaugural season of the league is going to redefine what people expect from eSports—and be a giant celebration of the Overwatch community as a whole.”

Overwatch League Teams/Ownership 2018 Season

• Boston Uprising (Kraft Group)
• Dallas Fuel (Team Envy)
• Florida Mayhem (Misfits)
• Houston Outlaws (OpTic Gaming)
• London Spitfire (Cloud9)
• Los Angeles Gladiators (Stan and Josh Kroenke)
• Los Angeles Valiant (Immortals)
• New York Excelsior (Jeff Wilpon and SterlingVC)
• Philadelphia Fusion (Comcast Spectacor)
• San Francisco Shock (NRG eSports)
• Seoul Dynasty (Kevin Chou)
• Shanghai Dragons (NetEase)


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