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• Serena Williams has withdrawn from the Miami Open (March 23) due to knee issues.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

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.
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

Saturday
Oct072017

NBC Sports Rugby Deal Could Spur Title Sponsorship For Six Nations Championship

By Barry Janoff

October 6, 2017: Earlier this week, NBC Sports Group said it would end its deal with Formula One after having exclusive U.S. rights to the international racing circuit since 2013.

It did not take NBC Sports long to find another international sports platform partner.

NBC Sports Group said it has signed a multi-year with Six Nations Rugby for exclusive U.S. media rights agreement for the Six Nations Championship.

The pact begins with the 2018 Six Nations Championship, scheduled to take place Feb. 3-March 17.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

NBC Sports said it would present "comprehensive live coverage of all Six Nations matches across its digital and linear platforms."

"Our multi-year partnership with Six Nations Rugby further establishes our commitment to the sport of rugby, one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States," Jon Miller, president-programming for NBC Sports Group, said in a statement.

NBC Sports Group already broadcasts such rugby properties as Rugby Sevens in the Olympic Games (through 2032), the Rugby World Cup (both 7’s & 15’s through 2023) and Premiership Rugby.

The addition of NBC Sports and the U.S. market could be a catalyst for Six Nations Rugby to find a new title sponsor for Six Nations Championship.

Royal Bank of Scotland had been title sponsor from 2003-2017 but did not renew for 2018 and beyond. Tournament executives have been seeking a replacement since being informed that RBS would not return.

"The Six Nations is the biggest sponsorship in world rugby by a country mile," John Feehan, Six Nations CEO, told members of the press prior to the start of the 2017 Six Nations Championship. “We’ve been in contact with well over 150 companies and we’re in a very good place.
 
“It is not just about being the highest bidder. We want a sponsor who’s actively engaged not just in Britain but around the world and see potential in markets like the USA,” said Freehan at the time.

Marketing partners for the Six Nations Championship include Guinness, Accenture and Tissot.

Six Nations Rugby was still actively seeking a title sponsor at the time it signed with NBC Sports.

According to reports out of England, Six Nations Rugby was initially seeing a six-year deal “in excess of £100 million ($130.6 million U.S)” but "may be forced to consider a short-term deal" at far less.

World Rugby, the international governing body of rugby union, and NBC Sports Group in May signed a seven-year alliance that gives NBC Sports exclusive U.S. media rights to the Rugby World Cup and other key rugby events through 2023.

The first Rugby World Cup Sevens championship to be held in the U.S. is scheduled for July 20-22, 2018, in San Francisco’s AT&T Park.

"We know there are about 40 million rugby fans in the States based on our research and that’s going up,” World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper said in a statement when the deal with NBC Sports was signed in May.

The annual Six Nations Championship, which dates back more than a century, consists of 15 matches played in a round-robin format with teams representing six nations: two-time defending champion England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales.

More than one million people attended the 15 games of the 2017 Championship.

Among the venues hosting the 2018 Six Nations Championship, both London’s Twickenham Stadium and Stade de France in Saint-Denis have capacities in excess of 81,000.

Only Aviva Stadium (51,700) in Dublin has a capacity of fewer than 67,000.

NBC Sports said that all matches would stream live on NBC Sports Gold, which is NBC Sports Digital’s direct-to-consumer live-streaming platform. NBC, NBCSN and CNBC would combine to present linear coverage; and NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app would stream all linear coverage.

The Six Nations Championship is broadcast in more than 180 countries globally and draws a TV audience in excess of 125 million just from the six nations in the event, according to organizers.

"It is fantastic that rugby’s greatest annual championship will now be showcased on NBC Sports’ broadcast, cable and digital platforms, which will allow us to bring it to a bigger audience in the USA," Freehan said in a statement.

Is Rugby Ready To Scrum With U.S. Marketers?

NBC Sports Goes All-In With Rugby

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