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NEWS REAL

• Serena Williams has withdrawn from the Miami Open (March 23) due to knee issues.

• Picking up the mantle of National Women’s Month, and anticipating what next year will be its 70th anniversary, the LPGA has unveiled “Drive On,” a multi-platform refined brand position. According to the LPGA, “Drive On is clearly rooted in golf, but it's a bigger idea. It captures the power and potential in each of us and celebrates the hard work, focus and tenacity that it takes to achieve our goals.” Full story here.

• The NBA said that the Chinese and Croatian National Teams would join all 30 NBA teams to compete at MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2019 in Las Vegas, marking the first time that the league will feature two international teams, with 83 games over 11 days (July 5-15).

• The 2019 Alliance of American Football Championship, originalluy scheduled for April 27 in Las Vegas, will be played in Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas., which is owned and operated by Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys.

• MLB and the MLB Players’ Assn. have unveiled numerous changes to the game to be installed over the next two seasons that will impact game length, marketing broadcast partners, the All-Star Game and the Home Run Derby. Full story here.

POLL POSITION

Top Ten Most In-Demand MLB Tickets (based on total ticket sales on StubHub thru March 14):
1. New York Yankees
2. Boston Red Sox
3. San Francisco Giants
4. Chicago Cubs
5. St. Louis Cardinals
6. Los Angeles Dodgers
7. Philadelphia Phillies
8. Texas Rangers
9. New York Mets
10. Houston Astros

SOURCE: STUBHUB

KEEPING SCORE

The Most-In-Demand MLB Home Openers
(based on total ticket sales on StubHub thru March 14, all on March 28):

• Arizona Diamondbacks at the Dodgers (average ticket price $229.
• Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees (average ticket price $202)
• Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies (average ticket price $84)
• Chicago Cubs at Texas Rangers (average ticket price $254)
• Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds (average ticket price $122)

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office March 15-17
1. Captain Marvel $69.3M
2. Wonder Park $16M
3. Five Feet Apart $13.2M
4. How To Train Your Dragon: Hidden World $9.4M
5. Madea Family Funeral $8M
6. No Manches Frida 2 $3.9M
7. Captive State $3.2M
8. Lego Movie 2 $2.1M
9. Alita: Battle Angel $1.9M
10. Green Book $1.3M
Source: Box Office Mojo

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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
SUPER BOWL LIII

Thursday
Jul262018

Ronda Rousey Impact, Media Deals Help WWE To Record Viewership, Revenue

By Barry Janoff

July 26, 2018: Call it the Ronda Rousey Impact.

WWE has released its Q2 2018 finances (ended June 30, 2018) and the numbers are strong.

And we’re putting the “blame” on Ronda.

In January, UFC star and actress Ronda Rousey revealed that she would be signing a multi-year deal to appear in WWE events and marketing.

She followed that up with appearances at WWE live events, highlighted by WrestleMania 34 on April 8 in Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

WWE later reported that WrestleMania 34, “broke the record for the Mercedes-Benz Superdome’s highest grossing entertainment event, grossing $14.1 million,” with attendance a sold-out crowd of 78,133, including people from all 50 states as well as 67 countries.

Upcoming, Rousey will appear as in the WWE 2K19 viedogame and be part of WWE Evolution, WWE's first all-women’s pay-per-view event.

In April, the first 50-man Greatest Royal Rumble played before a sold-out crown of 62,000-plus as the first event in a long-term partnership between WWE and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Last month, WWE signed new media deals with Fox (SmackDown Live) and USA Network (Monday Night Raw) that topped $3 billion.

“We’re pleased with our continued success in increasing the monetization of WWE content globally,” Vince McMahon, WWE chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

“This success is evidenced by the completion of our new U.S. distribution agreements with USA Network and Fox Sports, the staging of another record-breaking WrestleMania."

Among the Q2 highlights:

• Revenues increased 31% to $281.6 million, which WWE said was the highest quarterly revenue in its history.

• Operating income nearly doubled to $21.2 million from $10.7 million in the prior year quarter.

• Digital engagement continued to grow through the first six months of 2018 with video views up 58% to 14.4 billion and hours consumed up 71% to 509 million across digital and social media platforms.

WWE Network average paid subscribers increased 10% to 1.80 million.
 
• WWE completed agreements with USA Network and Fox Sports, effective Oct. 1, 2019, which increase the average annual value of WWE’s U.S. distribution to 3.6 times that of the prior deal with NBCU.

For its social and digital platforms, the WWE said it produced more than 165 hours of content, including versions of its "Best of WWE" series in Spanish, Portuguese, and German; and plans to launch a series, WWE Now in Arabic.

Regarding live events, WWE said revenues of $52.3 million were “essentially unchanged from the prior year quarter as increases in the average ticket price at events in both North America and international markets was offset by a reduction in average attendance for the company’s events worldwide.”

WWE said it hosted 90 total events (excluding NXT) in the current quarter, consisting of 61 events in North America and 29 events in international markets, versus to 92 events in the prior year quarter (66 events in North America, 26 in international markets).

“North American ticket sales declined $2.4 million primarily due to the staging of five fewer events and an 8% decline in average attendance to 5,900,” said WWE. “Partially offsetting these factors, the average ticket price increased 5% to $81.71.”

International live-event revenue increased 9% to $13.5 million from $12.4 million in the prior year quarter.

“The staging of three additional events during the quarter and an 8% increase in average ticket price to $78.31 was partially offset by a 10% reduction in average attendance to approximately 5,700 fans,” per WWE.

Looking ahead: the WWE has the Mae Young Classic 2018 (Aug. 8-9, Full Sail University, Winter Park,FL); and the first all-women’s pay-per-view event, WWE Evolution, scheduled for Oct. 28 in NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, New York.

WWE Evolution, will stream live on WWE Network and be available on PPV worldwide, featuring women’s championship matches from Monday Night Raw, SmackDown Live, NXT and NXT UK, as well as the finals of the all-women’s tournament, Mae Young Classic 2018.

The entire women’s roster is scheduled to participate, including Rousey, Charlotte Flair, Alexa Bliss, Sasha Banks, Carmella, Nia Jax and Asuka; as well as Hall of Famers and Legends Trish Stratus,and Lita.

According to George Barrios, WWE co-president, “By executing our strategy and engaging our passionate global fan base, we can continue to deepen the moat around our business. We believe this will enable us to drive long-term growth and shareholder value.”

WWE Deals With Fox, USA Network Top $3B

WrestleMania 34 Sets Attendance, Money Marks

Ronda Rousey Trades UFC For WWE

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