SBD/Issue 100/Sports Industrialists

This Week's Newsmakers: Thrashers Trade Away Another Star

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: CBS -- What a difference a year can make. After last year's Super Bowl saw advertisers shying away from pricey spots, CBS reaps the benefits of an improving economy, selling out its inventory almost a week before the Big Game. The demand is so high that execs claim they might create more ad space to accommodate more companies. The net also is able to hold the line on its prices, with some 30-second spots topping $3M. Meanwhile, analysts are claiming the Saints-Colts game could become the first Super Bowl to top 100 million viewers, and could perhaps even threaten the "MASH" finale for the most-viewed program in television history.

Kovalchuk Is Latest Thrashers Star
To Be Traded Away
LOSE: THRASHERS -- The NHL team exacerbates a "disturbing franchise trait" by trading away superstar Ilya Kovalchuk to the Devils. The Thrashers, just three points shy of the last Eastern Conference playoff spot as of Friday, moved the All-Star during the season to protect against losing him during free agency, but will this mark the end of the line for long-suffering Atlanta hockey fans? Some suggest the trade may be the "final nail in the coffin" for the NHL at Philips Arena, and "should tell you all you need to know about the miserable state of this franchise."

DRAW: NFL -- After announcing an ill-advised attempt to claim trademark ownership of the popular “Who Dat” phrase, the NFL wisely relents and allows Saints fans to fully embrace the motto. The league concedes it only has legal rights to the phrase when it is used in conjunction with Saints and league marks after high-powered politicians weigh in on the issue, including U.S. Sen. DAVID VITTER stating in a letter to the league, "Please either drop your present ridiculous position or sue me." However, it is worth asking the question of why the NFL even began wandering down this road in the first place?

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