SBD/Issue 35/Sports Industrialists

This Week's Newsmakers: Redskins Endure Rough Week In DC

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: SPORTS ON TV -- As the temperatures are getting lower, television ratings for sports programming are heating up. Fox scores with its NFL national window, using Falcons-Cowboys to get its most-viewed NFL regular-season Sunday telecast since '96. The net also hits pay dirt with a Phillies-Yankees World Series, which is already up big from last season’s Fall Classic. TNT rings in the NBA regular season with its most-viewed opening night ever and best doubleheader since '96. Even Versus gets its best rating ever for an NHL regular-season game. Not a bad week on the tube for sports.

LOSE: REDSKINS -- As the team stumbles to a 2-5 start on the field, things are headed south for DAN SNYDER -- and fast. The Washington Post uses its front page to detail a perennially rabid fan base whose patience and interest are rapidly waning, a contention that team COO DAVID DONOVAN takes to the airwaves to dispute. Donovan goes on the defensive, claiming the Post is "relentlessly hostile" in its coverage. But Post scribe LEN SHAPIRO says Snyder and Co. are "in total denial about what's wrong with this football team." The Redskins have plenty of work to fix things in Landover, and extending an olive branch to a suddenly impatient fan base seems to be a good place to start.

Pats-Bucs Draws Big Crowd,
But Criticism Remains Stateside
DRAW: NFL IN LONDON -- The Patriots' dominating win over the Buccaneers last Sunday in London draws a massive crowd of 84,254 jersey-clad fans to Wembley Stadium, and the NFL says it is looking at doubling the number of games in the U.K. as soon as next season. However, last Sunday’s game draws little coverage from the local English press, and the trip again is met with criticism stateside, with one writer calling the league’s annual overseas game “compulsory, underwhelming and mildly inexplicable.”

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