SBD/Issue 154/Sports Industrialists

This Week's Newsmakers: NCAA Secures Lucrative New TV Deal

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: NCAA -- The rich get richer. Taking a calculated gamble that March Madness could fetch more than the $2.1B CBS was due to pay for rights over the next three years, the NCAA opts out of its deal and scores big. Not only will the NCAA receive an average of $771M annually under the new deal, but it also brings Turner Broadcasting and its family of networks into the fold, making every men's tournament game available on TV. To top it off, the tournament tentatively plans to jump to 68 teams -- for now -- quieting uproar from fans over speculation of a 96-team field.

Brawl Following CBS' "Saturday Night Fights"
Does Not Look Good For Sport, Organization

LOSE: STRIKEFORCE -- CBS' "Saturday Night Fights" took on a whole new meaning after a brawl broke out at the end of the net's Strikeforce telecast. The fiasco doesn't bode well for a sport and an organization looking for credibility with mainstream TV audiences. But not too many viewers even saw the debacle, as the telecast draws a 1.8 Nielsen rating, down about 28% from FEDOR EMELIANENKO's bout last November, and down 40% from MMA's broadcast TV debut with KIMBO SLICE in '08.

DRAW: HOODIE-GATE -- After initially prohibiting Rays manager JOE MADDON from wearing his trademark hoodie during future games, MLB ultimately relents as league officials "re-interpreted" their decision. Hoodie-Gate ends almost as quickly as it begins, as Maddon is allowed to resume wearing what he calls his "security blanket," but MLB comes away from the situation looking like the overbearing Big Brother for coming down hard on such a seemingly minor issue.

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