SBD/January 14, 2011/People and Pop Culture

This Week's Newsmakers: BCS Delivers For ESPN's Bottom Line

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: ESPN -- The network wraps up year one of the BCS-on-cable era with the Auburn-Oregon National Championship Game becoming the most-viewed cable broadcast ever. ESPN also gets good TV numbers for its other BCS telecasts, with the games getting traction on mobile and broadband platforms as well. The debate over broadcast vs. cable for big sporting events doesn't end, and critics note that the viewership is lower, but the bottom line is that this deal clearly worked for ESPN and its business.

LOSE: STEPHEN ROSS -- The Dolphins owner has a less-than-stellar week on the PR front, beginning with the bungling of the team's coaching situation. Ross expresses regret over the courting of JIM HARBAUGH with TONY SPARANO still under contract, saying that he "never thought it would be national news." The franchise also receives bad news when Broward County Commissioners vote in opposition to a proposal that would have used hotel bed taxes to help renovate Sun Life Stadium. The proposal is also unpopular with the neighboring Panthers, as Sunrise Sports & Entertainment President & COO MICHAEL YORMARK appears before the commission to state the NHL club is "vehemently opposed" to the idea.

DRAW: NBA KINGS -- With the search dragging on for a viable option to replace the aging venue in Sacramento, JOE MALOOF admits the Kings are keeping all options open, including possibly relocating outside of the region. The team later gets a much-needed dose of positive PR, not to mention a cash infusion, upon announcing a five-year deal awarding arena naming rights to Power Balance. But even this seemingly positive development draws criticism, as the Kings face questions for partnering with an "up-from-nowhere manufacturer of wristbands" that has struggled to defend the science behind its popular bracelets.

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