SBD/6/Leagues Governing Bodies

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              In Philadelphia, DAILY NEWS sports editor Debbie
         Woodell contributes an op-ed in the DAILY NEWS and writes,
         "[S]avvy business people in the basketball business are
         recognizing the importance of including lesbians among their
         growing legion of fans."  Woodell notes that the ABL Rage
         other teams in the league have taken out ads in gay
         publications.  Woodell: "Frankly, we're not excited about
         being courted because it helps us promote some lesbian
         'agenda.' No, this is something more simple.  It's merely
         nice to be wanted.  So far, I haven't felt that sense of
         welcome being extended by the more powerful, more deeply
         pocketed Women's NBA. ... Nor has such hospitality emerged
         from the college ranks" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 1/6).
              FIGURE SKATING: With the U.S. National Figure Skating
         Championships in Philadelphia this week, the sport's
         popularity is profiled by Jere Longman of the N.Y. TIMES. 
         The rivalry between Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan took
         figure skating "from sport to soap opera and [launched] it
         like a triple axel into popular culture.  The result was a
         larger male audience and television ratings that began to
         challenge the supremacy of professional football."  There
         were reports, denied by Fox, that the network tried to
         arrange a Harding-Kerrigan rematch (N.Y. TIMES, 1/6).  

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA

              The National Lacrosse League (NLL) debuted on January 3
         and Sal Maiorana of the Rochester DEMOCRAT & CHRONICLE wrote
         that it is "strong and exciting ... with a solid framework
         and plenty of room and ability to grow, thus bringing
         normalcy to a sport that has been on the brink of madness
         for years."  All seven NLL teams are individually owned,
         with each owner responsible for "all aspects of his team's
         business," including ticket sales, PR, advertising and
         marketing, drafting and signing players and arranging
         transportation and housing.  Players are paid anywhere from
         $350 per game (rookie scale) to as much as $1,100 per game. 
         The NLL has set up an office at Marine Midland Arena in
         Buffalo led by Commissioner Jon Livsey.  There will also be
         "at least" a game of the week telecast on three separate
         RSNs -- Empire in NY, HTS in MD and Comcast in Philadelphia,
         and Maiorana added that ESPN "is interested in televising
         playoff games" (Rochester DEMOCRAT & CHRONICLE, 1/1).
              WEB WARE: The NLL debuted its official website at be-, designed by NY-based Web Technologies (NLL).

    Print | Tags: Comcast-Spectacor, ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, National Lacrosse League, Walt Disney

              While negotiators for the NFL and NFLPA have been
         working to extend the current CBA which expires in 2002,
         "several key differences have slowed negotiations
         dramatically in recent days," according to Mike Freeman of
         the N.Y. TIMES.  Several officials estimated that the
         chances of reaching a deal in the next few weeks were 50-50.
         The league "would like" a CBA extension before agreeing to a
         new TV deal.  According to officials, there are "two major
         sticking points" between the league and its players.  The
         union is looking to "get rid" of the "franchise player"
         designation which "is typically used by teams on their best
         player."  That player is then guaranteed the average salary
         of the top five at his position.  If a team loses its
         "franchise player," it receives two No. 1 draft picks as
         compensation.  Freeman: "Some agents and players despise the
         rule, feeling it limits a player's freedom and salary."  But
         an "even bigger problem" that has come up during
         negotiations is that the union "wants teams to guarantee the
         first year of player salaries, which would be unprecedented"
         in the NFL.  Freeman: "There is little chance that ownership
         will approve either proposal, which has led to the
         stalemate."  Freeman adds that negotiations between the two
         sides will continue in the coming days (N.Y. TIMES, 1/6).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NFL
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