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• The NHL has signed what it is calling a “ groundbreaking partnership” with the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative, which will “support research, action, advocacy and collaboration with organizations that have a significant community impact.” Full story here.

• Dick Vitale, 80, has signed a contract extension with ESPN through the 2021-22 season, adding to a recent extension unveiled last May.

• Recently retired NBA star Tony Parker has been named president of NorthRock Sports, Artists and Entertainment, a division of Northrock Partners, a finance and lifestyle advisory firm that currently oversees $1.5 billion in assets, whose holdings include Golf Magazine, Golf.com and the Nicklaus Companies in partnership with golf legend Jack Nicklaus.

• The PGA Tour has signed a ten-year deal naming global consulting firm Korn Ferry title sponsor for the Korn Ferry Tour, replacing Web.com, which awards PGA Tour membership to the tour’s 50 leading players. The Los Angeles-based company also becomes the “official leadership development firm” for the PGA Tour.

• Cody Bellinger, Christian Yelich, Mike Trout and Javier Baez are the leading vote-getters in new All-Star Game ballot results released by MLB. Full story here.

• The WTA will premiere the NYJTL Bronx Open, Aug. 16-24, in the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning in The Bronx, NY. The women’s tournament will take place the week before the U.S. Open in New York and offer $250,000 in prize money.

• SunTrust and BB&T financial firms said that Truist Financial would be the name of the company following their merger later this year. The name — “intended to give the bank a single, fresh identity” — could also become the new name for the home venue for the Atlanta Braves, now known as SunTrust Stadium.

• Pete Frates and Pat Quinn, co-founders of ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, have launched with The ALS Assn. the 5th anniversary of “Challenge Me” with a “new call to action to reignite the passion and generosity of the millions of people who dumped ice water on their heads in the summer of 2014.” 

POLL POSITION

The Top Ten World’s Highest Paid Athletes
1, Leo Messi soccer $127M
2. Cristiano Ronaldo soccer $109M
3. Neymar Jr. soccer $105M
4. Canelo Alvarez boxing $94M
5. Roger Federer tennis $93.4M
6. Russell Wilson NFL $89.5M
7. Aaron Rodgers NFL $89.3M
8. LeBron James NBA $89M
9. Stephen Curry NBA $79.8M
10. Kevin Durant NBA $65.4M

Full story here.
SOURCE: FORBES

KEEPING SCORE

2019 Top Selling Summer Acts
Based on total sales on StubHub for U.S. tour dates from Memorial Day to Labor Day 2019
1. The Rolling Stones
2. Queen with Adam Lambert
3. Paul McCartney
4. Ariana Grande
5. Shawn Mendes
6. Billie Eilish
7. JoJo Siwa
8. Twenty One Pilots
9. Hootie and the Blowfish
10. Florida Georgia Line

Full story here.

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office June 14-16
1. Men In Black International $28.5M
2. Secret Life of Pets 2 $23.8M
3. Aladdin $16.7M
4. Dark Phoenix $9M
5. Rocketman $8.8M
6. Shaft $8.3M
7. Godzilla $8.1M
8. John Wick 3 $6.1M
9. Late Night $5.1M
10. Ma $3.6M
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
Channel Chasers

NFL UK 2019
• Oct. 6 Chicago Bears v Oakland Raiders Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
• Oct. 13 Carolina Panthers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
• 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).

Thursday
Feb072019

Buoyed By Events, PPV, Product, WWE Claims Historical Q4 Financial Results

NYSJ Sports-Entertainment Business News Service

February 7, 2019:
WWE has unveiled financial results for its Q4 ended December 31, 2018, and is calling the numbers historic.

“In 2018, WWE generated the highest level of revenue and earnings in the company’s history by leveraging our brand strength to increase the monetization of our content worldwide,” Vince McMahon, chairman and CEO, said via the organization.

“Our long-term growth strategy will continue to focus on content creation, digitization and international development.”

According to George Barrios, WWE co-president, “We increased revenue by nearly $130 million, and  . . . we expect to balance 2019 revenue growth with investment in strategic areas that extend the moat around our business, enabling us to continue our business transformation and maximize shareholder value.”

WWE said that Q4 revenues increased 29% to $272.5 million from the prior year quarter, operating income nearly doubled to $53.4 million and net Income was $41.2 million.

During the quarter, WWE said that Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live remained the highest-rated programs on USA Network, which broadcast the 1,000th episode of SmackDown Live.

WWE also aired the eighth season of Total Divas, with a ninth season planned in 2019.

Unveiled were new seasons of other popular series, including Total Bellas and Miz & Mrs.

On its streaming service, WWE Network, pay-per-views and international specials remained significant drivers of viewer engagement.

WWE said that among WWE Network’s most viewed programs were its international pay-per-view events, Super Show-Down and Crown Jewel; and its first all-women’s pay-per-view, Evolution.

Also popular were NXT Takeover: WarGames II, and the recently launched weekly series, NXT UK.

WWE said it added more than 100 hours of original content to WWE Network’s featured programming and nearly 450 hours of archival content, “which resulted in an on-demand library of approximately 11,500 hours at quarter-end.”

On its social and digital platforms, WWE said it produced more than 160 hours of content, including the second season of Mixed Match Challenge on Facebook Watch.

“Our long-term growth strategy will continue to focus on content creation, digitization and international development.”

WWE said that its first all women’s pay-per-view, Evolution, held in a sold-out Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, NY,  “trended No. 1 on Twitter for over two hours during the last game of the World Series and Sunday Night Football.”

International events included Crown Jewel and WWE Super Show-Down, which was held before what WWE said was its largest audience outside the U.S. in the last 25 years.

At retail, in partnership with Mattel, WWE said it “maintained its dominant position in the U.S. with the No. 1 action figure sold in 2018.

During the quarter, WWE released its latest console game in the WWE franchise, WWE 2K19, which was nominated for “Fan Favorite Sports/Racing Game” at the Gamers’ Choice Awards.

In mobile games, WWE said it had more than 100 million installs across its game portfolio, led by WWE Champions, which won a 2018 Webby People’s Voice Award; WWE Supercard and WWE Mayhem, which recently surpassed 17 million installs.

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