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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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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)

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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