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• Amazon has launched MLB.TV on Prime Video Channels, allowing Prime members to subscribe to MLB.TV and stream regular season out-of-market baseball games live and on-demand, all from the Prime Video service.

• WWE said it would move its global headquarters to a new office complex in Stamford, Conn, where WWE is now headquartered, to “allow the company to bring together its operations, including its production studios and corporate offices at its new site.” The move is expected to take place in early 2021.

• “Inspired by the intersection of past and future,” Foot Locker is launching the Discover Your Air Network, featuring “cable network-inspired programming for the ultimate sneakerhead” filled with Nike Air Max content, news and product. People will be able to view DYA Network content on Foot Locker's Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Snapchat channels.

NBA2K League has unveiled the match-ups and tournaments for the second season, with $1.2M prizes Begins 4-2.

• ESPN and UFC have extended their deal, naming ESPN+ as the exclusive distributor of UFC Pay-Per-View events in the U.S. through 2025, beginning with UFC 236: Holloway vs. Poirier 2 on April 13. UFC’s alliance with ESPN, which began in January, also has been extended through 2025

• 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

Wednesday
Dec192018

MLB, MLBPA Deal With Cuba Baseball Offers Safer Route For Players To U.S.

NYSJ Sports-Entertainment Business News Service

December 19, 2018: MLB has a long history of signing players who were born in Cuba, including such former stars as Tony Oliva, Tony Perez, Rafael Palmiero, Jose Canseco, Luis Tiant, Minnie Minoso, José Cardinal and Bert Campaneris; and current players including José Abreu, Yoenis Cespedes, Aroldis Chapman, Yasmani Grandal and Yasiel Puig.

All to often, however, the journey from Cuba to the U.S. for players was dangerous and financially crushing.

Now, MLB has made a major move to make that journey far more safer and smoother.

MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association have jointly unveiled an agreement with the Cuban Baseball Federation that would provide Cuban baseball players with a “safe and legal path to sign with a Major League club.”

According to MLB and MLBPA, the objective of the agreement — the product of years of negotiations with the FCB — is to “end the dangerous trafficking of Cuban players who desire to play professional baseball in the U.S., a practice that has been documented in legal proceedings and media reports, and which has caused significant hardship to Cuban players and their families.”

According to Chicago White Sox first baseman Abreu, “Knowing that the next generation of Cuban baseball players will not endure the unimaginable fate of past Cuban players is the realization of an impossible dream for all of us.

“Dealing with the exploitation of smugglers and unscrupulous agencies will finally come to an end for the Cuban baseball player. To this date, I am still harassed.”

The FCB is the fourth international pro baseball league to enter into an agreement of this nature with MLB, joining Nippon Professional Baseball, Korea Baseball Organization and the Chinese Professional Baseball League.

"For years, Major League Baseball has been seeking to end the trafficking of baseball players from Cuba by criminal organizations by creating a safe and legal alternative for those players to sign with Major League Clubs,” Rob Manfred, MLB commissioner, said via the league.

“We believe that this agreement accomplishes that objective and will allow the next generation of Cuban players to pursue their dream without enduring many of the hardships experienced by current and former Cuban players who have played Major League Baseball."

Under the agreement, the "FCB must release all players under contract to the FCB who are at least 25 years old and have six or more years of playing experience to sign with MLB clubs."

The FCB may also release younger players to sign with Major League clubs.

"Once a player is released by the FCB, he is free to negotiate and sign with any Major League Club without leaving Cuba, subject to the same collectively bargained rules applicable to all international players.

"A Major League club that signs a player released by the FCB pursuant to this agreement will pay the FCB a "release fee," the amount of which is calculated using the same formula contained in MLB's protocol agreements with the NPB, KBO and CPBL.

“Dealing with the exploitation of smugglers and unscrupulous agencies will finally come to an end for the Cuban baseball player."

"When it is time for the player to report to the U.S. or Canada for baseball activities, he will do so pursuant to a standard work visa, which will also allow him to travel with his family and to return to Cuba during the off-season if he chooses."

According to Tony Clark, executive director for the MLBPA, "Establishing a safe, legal process for entry to our system is the most important step we can take to ending the exploitation and endangerment of Cuban players who pursue careers in Major League Baseball. The safety and well-being of these young men remains our primary concern."

Abreu said that now, the next generation of Cuban baseball players “will be able to sign an MLB contract while in Cuba, they will be able to keep their earnings as any other player in the world, they will be able to return to Cuba, they will be able to share with their families, and they will be able to play the sport they love against the best players in the world without fear and trepidation.

“Great day for Cuban baseball players.”

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