SBD/Issue 165/Leagues & Governing Bodies

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  • EPL Teams Earn Almost $1.59B As Part Of Payout From TV Deal

    Manchester United Could Earn About
    $154M Payout This Season From TV Deal
    The English Premier League's (EPL) "massive television income has boosted payments" to its 20 teams by almost $584M (all figures U.S.), as the clubs for the '07-08 season earned a combined $1.59B, according to Kevin Eason of the LONDON TIMES. Manchester United (ManU), as league champions, received a $96.4M payout, tops in the league, while last place Derby County earned $57.0M. And if ManU next Wednesday defeats Chelsea to win the Champions League, ManU "can expect another" $58.4M, and the combined total of about $154M would be the "biggest payout in world football." Each EPL club, as part of the league's equal revenue-sharing deal, receives a flat fee of $44.4M from the TV broadcasting deals, worth $5.25B over three years. And ManU as the "most-watched club in the country," took an additional $23.5M from the "25 live matches in which they were featured." ManU earned the remaining $28M of their payout for winning the EPL. EPL execs said that the league's new payment structure "ushered in by the record television deal is fairer to small clubs, although the gap between top and bottom has widened" from $29.8M to about $39M. However, under the new deal, all EPL clubs "will receive a huge increase in their payments, with some almost doubling their money." Eason noted the EPL gives about $243.3M of the TV deal to the Football League, charities and other various causes, which puts the "extraordinary amount of money pumping through English football into context," as 10 years ago $243.3M was the EPL's total revenue (, 5/15).
    (all figures in $USD)
    Aston Villa
    Manchester City
    West Ham United
    Tottenham Hotspur
    Derby County

    NOTES: * = denotes parachute payment for clubs promoted from the Coca-Cola Championship. Total payout to the 20 EPL clubs, excluding parachute payments, was $1.5B, up from $907.3M in '06-07.

    GREAT SEATS: In London, Glenn Moore reports the EPL's attendance for the '07-08 season of 13,734,837 is a "competition record, and the highest top-flight aggregate since" '72-73, when there were 82 more games. There is "room for growth, but not much without more stadiums being developed, or the controversial expansion overseas" (London INDEPENDENT, 5/16).

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  • MLB To Study Safety Of Shatter-Prone But Popular Maple Bats

    MLB Looking Into Safety Issues
    Caused By Shatter-Prone Maple Bats
    MLB Commissioner Bud Selig at the league’s MLB Owners meetings in Milwaukee Thursday said the league has begun a formal inquiry into the safety of maple bats, which have soared in popularity in recent years among players but also raised serious concerns about their safety due to the frequency and nature of their shattering. Selig said, "It's very premature, and I don't want to characterize where this is going. But there're definite concerns." Selig, however, refused to speculate where corrective moves such as an outright ban of maple bats or regulations governing handle thickness would be sought. He said MLB Exec VP/Labor Relations Rob Manfred “is talking with the players about this, our rules committee is looking into this." Selig also addressed economic matters, with his prior projection of $6.5B industry revenues for '08 standing pat, with "another quantum leap" targeted for '09 due primarily to the introduction of the MLB Network. Also, as expected, MLB owners Thursday unanimously approved amendments to the sport's drug testing program that were negotiated with the MLBPA last month. The move marks the third reopening of a standing labor deal to amend the program since '05 (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal).

    TV TALKS POSTPONED: In Raleigh, Roger Van Der Horst reports MLB owners also brought up the issue of getting "more games on television in outlying areas," including getting MASN in North Carolina, but they postponed a "more detailed discussion until their next meetings in September." MLB President & COO Bob DuPuy was expected to participate in the discussions, but he missed the meeting after leg surgery (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 5/16).

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  • Horse Racing Calls For Unity, Leadership Heading Into Preakness

    Horse Racing Officials Look For Answers 
    In Wake Of Eight Belles' Tragic Death
    With the Preakness Stakes set to run Saturday, horse racing officials are "concerned about the health of a sport which has struggled to cultivate new fans, lost a significant share of the gambling dollar and now finds itself embroiled in controversy" after the death of Eight Belles at the Kentucky Derby, according to Josh Peter of YAHOO SPORTS. Derby winner Big Brown is a favorite to win the Triple Crown this year, but Eight Belles' death "could overshadow a feat many racing officials thought would reinvigorate the sport." NTRA President Alex Waldrop: "We're putting on the gas and the brakes at the same time. ... We want people to watch Big Brown. But obviously we're concerned about the impact (of Eight Belles)." With PETA planning to protest the Preakness in the wake of Eight Belles' death, Peters wrote racing officials "might find it hard to dismiss PETA's claims or to characterize the outcry as hysteria from people who know nothing about the sport" (, 5/15). In Philadelphia, Mike Jensen reports racing industry leaders "realize they can't respond by saying these are accidents that just happen." Bessemer Trust Co. Chair Stuart Janney III, Chair of the Jockey Club's Thoroughbred Safety Committee (TSC), said, "There are things we can do better." Janney Thursday said that "no subjects would be off the table" for the TSC's two scheduled meetings over the next month, and that the TSC is charged with examining "breeding practices, medication, track surfaces and the rules of racing" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 5/16). Chicago Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti said of the Preakness: “I hope that we’re not allowing the joy of Big Brown to be interfered with by what’s going on with Eight Belles. It’s very important to scrutinize and investigate if indeed horses are being abused” (“Around The Horn,” ESPN, 5/15).

    IN NEED OF A LEADER: In L.A., Bill Dwyre writes under the header, "Horse Racing Needs An Authority Figure." The sport "can agree only that it has no central power and can't even agree on whether that matters." California Horse Racing Board Equine Medical Dir Rick Arthur, when asked about the concept of a "true commissioner," said, "We need one." Trainer Richard Mandella: "Great idea, but who do you get? It would have to be someone independent of any special interest group. Someone who could bring everybody together." Jockey agent Tom Knust: "We need a dictator." Trainer Bob Baffert suggested naming trainer D. Wayne Lukas commissioner, saying Lukas could "get through all the politics and get something done. When [Eight Belles] went down in the Derby, I would have just hauled Lukas out of the stands and put him in charge, let him handle the press and the doctors" (L.A. TIMES, 5/16). In Philadelphia, Dick Jerardi wrote, "Does the sport have a serious problem? Absolutely. Is there anything that can be done about it? Absolutely. Will anything be done about it? Not likely." Horse racing needs a "national office with a David Stern-like commissioner who could mandate rules that work best for the most people." But Jerardi adds, "Can't happen because each state controls and regulates the sport in its state" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 5/15).'s Tim Layden: "The biggest problem of all is that racing doesn't have a commissioner. It has state commissions, and within those state commissions, separate race track jurisdictions bound by similar rules but enforced by different people" (, 5/15).

    CHANGES NEEDED:'s Layden wrote, "Changing the sport is a daunting proposition. NFL labor troubles look like PTA squabbling by comparison." Layden: "It's hard to kill a sport. Humans have been racing on the backs of horses since several thousand years B.C. ... Change will come to racing, but it will come slowly " (, 5/15). In Detroit, David Mesrey: "Even when horse racing is clean, it's still a dirty business. For every Seattle Slew, there are thousands like Eight Belles. For every Secretariat, scores of Barbaros. ... Colorful images and slick marketing campaigns have traditionally shielded the general public from these harsh realities" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 5/16).

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  • League Notes

    In Indianapolis, Bob Kravitz writes of Indianapolis' bid for Super Bowl XLVI in 2012, "If the NFL pulls the rug out from under Indianapolis a second time, I suggest a Hoosier march on NFL [HQs] in New York, replete with pitchforks and flaming torches." The city's bid for Super Bowl XLV, which was awarded to Dallas, was "strong ... and it's stronger this time, especially in the area of available hotel rooms." Central Indiana Corporate Partnership CEO Mark Miles, who is leading Indianapolis' bid effort, "has the right idea: Turn Downtown Indianapolis into a giant Super Bowl festival" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 5/16). Colts Owner Jim Irsay, in a Q&A with the INDIANAPOLIS STAR's Mike Chappell, said of the city's selling points, "We're in a centralized location, we have the hotels, we have an outstanding stadium. We don't hide the fact that we (don't have) the weather of South Florida or Southern California or wherever" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 5/16).

    TONE IT DOWN: NBA Commissioner David Stern appeared on Thursday's edition of ESPN's "Jim Rome Is Burning," where he discussed his comments about cutting back pyrotechnics and loud music at NBA games. Stern said he was “an old-school person (but) I’m not a person who thinks that you should go to the game to only hear the squeak of the sneakers. I understand that, but I’ve seen some beautiful presentations using music, video, laser light shows, all kinds of things, without shutting down viewers with chemically induced fog or singeing eyebrows” ("Jim Rome Is Burning," ESPN, 5/15). 

    MESSAGE TRAINING: PGA Tour member Paul Goydos said that the PGA Tour "holds media-training sessions for players of all ages and tax brackets." Goydos on the training: "They basically told us to say nothing. That was pretty much the entire message during the two hours we were there." GOLF WORLD's John Hawkins: "What's the point in hiring a pricey consultant when you could slap a piece of duct tape over the mouth of every player as he leaves the 18th green? ... Candor drives personality, and personality obviously stimulates interest in a game widely perceived to be full of middle-aged men who consider boredom a virtue. ... The tour needs to loosen its grip pressure" (GOLF WORLD, 5/16 issue).

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