• 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. 


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



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


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

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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.
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.
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.
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.
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)


IndyCar Series, Iconic Indy 500 Driving To NBC In Exclusive Broadcast Alliance

By Barry Janoff

March 21, 2018: This past October, ESPN signed a deal to begin exclusive U.S. coverage of the Formula One race series, taking the property from NBC, which had broadcast rights to F1 since 2013 but opted not to renew the alliance.

As the adage goes, “Everything that goes around comes around” — especially in auto racing.

NBC Sports Group and IndyCar have unveiled a multi-year media rights agreement under which NBC Sports has acquired the rights to present all IndyCar races — including crown jewel event the Indy 500 — as well as qualifying, practices, and Indy Lights races across its platforms beginning in 2019.

The Indy 500 has aired every year since 1965 on ABC, including the upcoming race in May.

The Indianapolis 500 and seven additional Verizon IndyCar Series races will be broadcast annually on NBC, with all remaining races televised on NBCSN.

All races will be live streamed to authenticated subscribers on and the NBC Sports app. Details of NBC Sports’ 2019 IndyCar schedule will be announced at a later date.

NBC Sports Gold — NBC Sports Group’s direct-to-consumer product — will offer a package to IndyCar fans that features all qualifying and practices not televised live, all Indy Lights races and full-event replays. Additional details, including the cost of the Gold offering, will also be unveiled at a later date.

This season, Disney ESPN sibling ABC will broadcast seven races, including its last Indy 500 on May 27.

“This becomes one of the leading properties on our air,” Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports & NBCSN, said during a media conference call today. “It's one of the most iconic events in all of American sports. It's a great opportunity and a great honor for us to be part of this, too.”

According to NBC, the entire Verizon IndyCar Series will receive “unprecedented marketing and promotional support from NBC Sports, which will utilize not only its own assets, but many NBCUniversal assets as well.”

The Indy 500 will also be included every year in NBC Sports’ Championship Season marketing campaign, which touts numerous high-profile championship events that are presented across NBC Sports platforms from May to July.

They include the Triple Crown, The Players, Premier League Championship Sunday, French Open, Stanley Cup Final, Tour de France, and The Open Championship.

NBC said that with the Indy 500 and seven additional races on NBC, IndyCar would have the second-most races on broadcast TV in all of motorsports.

“We're delighted by every aspect of this announcement today and these arrangements,” Mark Miles, president and CEO, Hulman & Company, which owns and operates several business units, including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IMS Productions and  IndyCar, said during the media conference call. “This brings all of IndyCar to one home, increases our exposure and includes our first direct-to-consumer offer for our fans.

“The increase in broadcast, the number of races on broadcast, is really important to the continued growth of the series,” said Miles. “The continuity with one media partner who is committed to the sport and to IndyCar, who can help promote from race to race to race to race throughout the season is important.”

According to Miles, “Having our first product, if you will, our first offering to fans in the direct-to-consumer channel is important to us.”

ESPN, via a statement from Burke Magnus, ESPN evp-programming and scheduling, said, “We have had a wonderful and rewarding relationship with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Indianapolis 500 and IndyCar and it has been our distinct honor to be partners for so many years.

“We look forward to the rest of our events this season and wish them all the best in the future.”

ABC first aired races that are now part of the IndyCar Series with the 1965 Indianapolis 500 (on Wide World of Sports) and has broadcast the Indy 500 every year since, among the longest-running alliances in sports broadcast history.

From 1996, when the Indy Race League was founded, through 2008, ESPN and ESPN2  aired IndyCar Series competitions until cable rights were acquired by NBCSN predecessor Versus, with ABC retaining network broadcast rights with the league through 2018.

The news of the loss of IndyCar coincides with the beginning of ESPN’s coverage of  FIA Formula One World Championship, where it last air some 20 years ago, with the launch of the 2018 season in Australia.

ESPN and ABC will televise all 21 races in the championship as part of a multi-year linear and digital partnership beginning with the Rolex Australian Grand Prix live on ESPN2 on March 25.

“From the NBC perspective, we've seen the growth of IndyCar on our cable network NBCSN. We've had sustained growth each of the past several years,” said Miller during the media conference call.
“So the opportunity to have the entire series was very important to us.

“Of course, to be able to do the crown jewel, the Indy 500 on NBC, really puts the icing on the cake for us and makes our championship season portfolio even stronger.”

Viewership for the Indianapolis 500 in 2017 was 5.5 million, down from six million in 2015 and the lowest in the 31 years the event has been broadcast live, according to industry analysts.

Miller said that NBC Sports is up for the challenge to bring the numbers back up.

“When we unleash Jenny Storms (CMO for the NBC Sports Group) and her marketing team, use all the assets of NBC Sports at our disposal, let people know about it, there won't be anybody in America who won't know when the Indy 500 is on in May of 2019.”

ESPN Steers F1 Rights Away From NBC Sports

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