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Highlights From Day Two Of IMG World Congress Of Sports

The IMG World Congress of Sports concluded Thursday at the St. Regis Resort in Dana Point, California. The following are some of the highlights from Thursday’s sessions.

Werner Says MLB Teams Wrestling With
MLBAM Over Control Of New Media
MLBAM, TEAMS BATTLE FOR RIGHTS: Red Sox Chair Tom Werner said that MLB team owners are wrestling with MLBAM, the league’s interactive arm, over control and distribution of new media. Werner: “BAM and its success is a remarkable business story. I am sure you have all heard what certain people on Wall Street think of its value, and we are all for increasing its value. At the same time, when we acquired the rights to the Red Sox, we believed that we were acquiring the video and radio rights for games in our own territory. So there is some tension.” Werner also touched on how the Red Sox have built revenue by increasing sponsorship, how the team's storied rivalry with the Yankees has been good for business and how MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has been under-appreciated, at least in public, for his success in building the business of the league.

Tisch (r) Feels Labor Deal Biggest
Issue Currently Facing NFL
QUEASY FEELING ABOUT LABOR DEAL: NFL Giants Chair & Exec VP Steve Tisch said that the NFL's labor deal made him feel "queasy," adding that it is the biggest issue facing the league heading into owners meetings at the end of the month. Tisch: "We need to see beyond it, what our options are. It's complicated. (NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s) going to have to bring everyone together with a united front." Tisch said he admired the work Goodell had done in his first year and a half in the league, awarding him a B+ and saying he admired the commissioner's handling of player conduct issues, which have been much larger than anticipated. Tisch added the Giants’ joint stadium venture with the Jets is going well, and he expects the teams would like to announce the beginning of serious negotiations with a potential naming-rights partner in the coming months.

TWO-WAY HIGHWAY: During a panel discussion on the changing media landscape, NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver defended Commissioner David Stern’s recent comments about an ESPN The Magazine article on his league's reputation titled "Perception is Not Reality” that ran the week of the All-Star Game. Silver: "I don't know why there's the connotation that the broadcasters and commentators can be critical of the league, and we can't give them the same type of feedback.” ESPN Exec VP/Content John Skipper offered ESPN's side and dismissed any notion that this was the first time the two entities have butted heads. Skipper: "David has given me his thoughts before."

FOR MORE: For a complete wrap-up of the sights and sounds from the conference, including streaming video interviews with several attendees including EA Sports President Peter Moore and MLS Commissioner Don Garber, please visit www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/wcos.

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