U.S. Fans Abound For WWC Final LeBron Praised For Role In Apatow's "Trainwreck" MLS Eyeing St. Paul For Expansion Club Angels Bad PR Continues With Dipoto Exit NBA Free Agency Begins With Money Flying Expectations High For NASCAR On NBC NBC Lands New Advertisers For Race Coverage Going Off The Grid Steelers Exploring '23 Super Bowl Bid GT To Benefit Financially From Ireland Game
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LAMENTING WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN: Turner Sports President of Sales, Distribution & Sports David Levy said the network's 11% viewership growth for this year's MLB Division Series playoff round could have been in excess of 15% had three of the four series not ended in sweeps. Levy said, "I do feel like we left something on the table. Our 11% [growth] could have instead been a 15, 20% jump had things broken differently, particularly if we got up to 15, 16 games or so," Levy said. The net aired 15 Division Series games last year. "The good news is that we can grow further next year. We've had a lot of really great games, close back-and-forth games, great matchups. So what we're after now is seeing the [NLCS] go deep" (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal).
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SPIN-OFF GAME: EA is "unveiling a new piece to its Madden NFL franchise" with "Madden NFL Arcade," a five-on-five football game in which players can "choose one of their favorite 32 NFL teams and compete with the best five players on offense and defense." The game "will be available as a download on Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Store" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 10/14). 1UP.com's Kat Bailey wrote the game "seems to be a successor of sorts to 3 on 3 NHL Arcade, which was also released for the XBox 360 and the PlayStation 3" (1UP.com, 10/14).
NO-SHOW: In New York, Cheryl Wittenauer reported sports memorabilia company Steiner Sports last week filed a lawsuit against MLB Cardinals C Yadier Molina, "saying he ignored their agreement to make appearances and sign autographs." The suit indicated that the company "had a contract with Molina dating to October 2006," and that Steiner paid Molina $90,660 "in advance when the contract was renewed in July 2008, but he later refused to attend autograph signings and will not return the money." Wittenauer noted Steiner is "seeking damages in excess of $175,000" (Westchester JOURNAL NEWS, 10/14).
NEW DUDS: In Las Vegas, Ryan Greene reports UNLV's men's basketball team unveiled its new jerseys yesterday, and Nike "mixed both its newest look -- tight, form-fitting tops with long, baggy shorts -- with a splash of a simple, retro design." The pattern "involves a very simple design running down the side, which is reminiscent of the UNLV uniforms from the 1980s and early 90s." Greene notes Nike "debuted the new jersey concept during the 2008 NCAA tournament" (LAS VEGAS SUN, 10/15).