November 14 - 20, 2011 Vol. 14 — No. 29

Top Stories

  • With new channels, YouTube edges into rights market

    Two and a half years ago, when International Olympic Committee member Richard Carrión was talking about potential bidders for Olympic rights, he listed the usual suspects: ESPN, Fox and NBC. But he also mentioned what many believed to be a far-fetched possibility: A company like Google could team with an over-the-air broadcaster on a competitive bid. Two years later, it’s clear that Carrión’s comments, though premature, weren’t irrational. YouTube, which is owned by Google, is building a sports operation, and though it’s unlikely the company will become a sixth player in the bidding wars for sports rights any time soon, it is intent on dabbling with online rights.

  • For first-year owner Murstein, learning and listening

    During Game 4 of the 2007 World Series, Andrew Murstein found himself in a suite with MLB Commissioner Bud Selig. Murstein had recently put together a sports fund to buy or invest in a professional sports team, and he wanted the commissioner’s advice. “What do you tell first-time owners?” Murstein asked.“Don’t do anything the first year,” Selig said. “Learn what’s going on, listen to people, and then start making decisions after you’ve had that learning period.” Murstein has thought of Selig often since buying his first sports property, Richard Petty Motorsports, in November 2010.

  • Garber: On-field work paying off for MLS

    Major League Soccer celebrated a number of high points in 2011, as the debut of clubs in Portland and Vancouver helped the league post its best average attendance and television viewership. The league has a number of items on itsimmediate horizon, from expansion in New York City to a new television deal with NBC. Staff writer Fred Dreier caught up with MLS Commissioner Don Garber to talk about the successful year, and what we can expect in the coming seasons.

  • Is accounting shift by News Corp. tied to NFL rights bid?

    News Corp. is changing the way it accounts for potential losses that stem from future payments on the rights to broadcast U.S. sports. The owner of Fox Sports will no longer estimate potential future losses, a move that could minimize the type of large write-off that might spook investors. The change comes as the NFL is starting talks to renew broadcast deals with CBS, Fox and NBC. The league is expected to fetch significant increases.

  • ESPN hires NBC’s Nolan to lead X Games sales

    ESPN borrowed in part from the Olympics when it created a global sponsorship for the X Games, so it comes as no surprise that the network has turned to someone with Olympic expertise to lead that sales effort. Mark Nolan, who most recently worked as director of Olympic sales at NBC, joins ESPN this week as vice president of X Games sales. At NBC, he developed sales and marketing plans for the 2010 Winter Olympics, the 2012 Summer Olympics, and the company’s winning bid for broadcast rights to the 2014 through 2020 Olympics.

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