SBD/Issue 5/Sports Industrialists

This Week's Newsmakers: NFL Returns With A Bang On Television

THE DAILY each Friday offers our take on the performances over the past week of people and entities in sports business. Here are this week’s newsmakers:

WIN: NFL RATINGS -- The ratings juggernaut returns to TV with authority. NFL Week One delivers some dazzling numbers, as evident by Fox' Sunday afternoon games giving the net its best opening week doubleheader on record. The league's primetime games also go above already lofty expectations -- ESPN's two "MNF" games instantly become the year's most-viewed cable telecasts and NBC's Thursday/Sunday two-headed monster wins the ratings week for the Peacock and gives the net the package's best numbers since it was created in '03. The strong start for the NFL once again demonstrates the power the league has with TV audiences.

LOSE: MICHAEL JORDAN -- Jordan has a history of rarely misstepping in public, which makes his acceptance speech at the Basketball HOF even that more confusing. Taking shots at former players for comments they made almost two decades ago? Flying a former high school teammate to Springfield only to say he was not as good as you? We understand that holding grudges was part of what made Jordan one of the all-time greats, but his comments seem to be needlessly critical and could have an impact on his overall legacy.

DRAW: LIVERPOOL FC -- The Reds have spent the past seven seasons looking up at rival Manchester United in the EPL standings, but Liverpool this week matches the Red Devils with their record jersey sponsorship with Standard Chartered. The four-year deal worth approximately US$132M fills the gap created when longtime partner Carlsberg announced its plans not to renew its jersey deal. However, the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the team's ownership continues to grow, as TOM HICKS retains Merrill Lynch to help sell a 25% stake in the club.

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