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Fox Sports yesterday announced it has reached a multiyear, multimedia agreement with Golden Boy Promotions to provide live boxing content in the U.S. and internationally. Golden Boy fights will be carried on Fox Deportes, Fox Sports RSNs and Fuel TV, with the first U.S. event scheduled for May 4. During the first year of the partnership, Fox Deportes is scheduled to air a total of 44 live events originating in both the U.S. and Mexico, and 36 live events every year thereafter (Fox Sports). In this week's SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, John Ourand notes Fox' agreement with Golden Boy comes on the heels of the net's UFC deal last year, and "shows a commitment to boxing and mixed martial arts programming" on the net's smaller cable channels. Negotiations "started late last year," and while terms "were not disclosed," sources said that Fox will "pay a six-figure rights fee" to Golden Boy for the events. Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer said that the deal "runs for 15 months, with mutual options to extend it multiple years." The deal "is significant for boxing, as it shows that the sport still can command a rights fee." Schaefer said that "not too long ago, the only way boxing would appear on basic cable would be to forgo the rights fee" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 4/23 issue).
In DC, Dan Steinberg noted NBC's Sunday telecast of Game Six of the Bruins-Capitals Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series earned an 8.6 local rating in the DC market, equal to approximately 204,000 HHs. That makes it, "at a minimum, the most-watched game of the Alex Ovechkin Era" in the market. NBC Sports said that Sunday's game was also the "highest-rated non-Stanley Cup finals NHL game on record" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 4/23). Meanwhile, USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand writes, "With teams that can move local TV ratings out, including the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins, and less-than-mediagenic teams still in, such as the Nashville Predators and Florida Panthers, it's a ratings puck drop from here" (USA TODAY, 4/24).
BEHIND ENEMY LINES: In N.Y., Bob Raissman cited sources as saying that the relationship between NFL Giants QB Eli Manning and ESPN Radio 1050 N.Y. "was over." ESPN Radio 1050 was informed Manning "would not be coming back as a regular on 'The Michael Kay Show,'" and he was "instead heading to" WFAN-AM, the Giants' flagship radio station. Raissman noted Manning "had no problem" with the fact that ESPN Radio 1050 is the NFL Jets' flagship station, and that during his tenure with the station, "no one at WFAN tried to lure him to the station." Raissman: "All paths lead to the increased flow of bad blood between the Jets and Giants. ... It finally occurred to Giants brass that having the face of their franchise as a featured voice on the radio home of the Jets was a terrible idea" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 4/22).
OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS: CHARLOTTE OBSERVER metro/lifestyle columnist Tommy Tomlinson is leaving the paper to write for the new joint venture between the USA Today Sports Media Group and MLBAM. Tomlinson writes, "I'll be writing about all sports -- in particular, I think, college football." Tomlinson adds more details are "coming next month, and the site should launch sometime this summer." Tomlinson writes he is "staying in Charlotte," adding he "is not running away from the Observer." Tomlinson: "I'm running toward this new thing, with the hope that one day it'll make me as proud as I've been to work 23 years for this great newspaper" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 4/24).
FIRING UP: TNT has sold five sponsorships for its coverage of NASCAR Wide Open Racing. The series kicks off July 7 with the Coke Zero 400 powered by Coca-Cola from Daytona. TNT has signed Chrysler, Coke Zero, Sprint, Toyota and Goodyear to sponsorship deals. TNT says it has some sponsorship slots still open (John Ourand, THE DAILY).