• TV Timeout: The King & I

    Virtually every sports and news program over the past 72 hours has offered commentary on LeBron James' return to the Cavaliers. Below is a sampling of memorable quotes on the impact of his move:

    --ABC’s Diane Sawyer: “Not just the king of basketball, he is arguably the superstar whose choices can change the economic fortune of an entire city” ("World News,” ABC, 7/11).

    --NBC’s Jenna Wolfe reporting from Cleveland: "The 'Lyin’ King’ has now been forgiven, but this news isn't just good for basketball fans. LeBron coming back means good for business anywhere" (“Nightly News,” NBC, 7/11).

    --N.Y. Times columnist Bill Rhoden: “At a certain point I think he is concerned with Cleveland and that the fans do care. Miami, they come a half hour late, they leave early and there's a part of him that wanted to go home” (“CBS This Morning,” CBS, 7/12).

    --L.A. Times columnist Bill Plaschke: "This was a great day for the sports world as far as redemption, as far as going back home … and this shows that through all the narcissistic awfulness the sports world can be, a guy can grow up, a guy can get perspective and a guy can go home. That's what he's doing and he did it the classy way with a classy, classy letter. His letters trumps Dan Gilbert's letter, his letter trumps 'The Decision'" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 7/11).

    --ESPN's Michael Wilbon: "Four years ago 'The Decision' struck an off-keynote with most folks. Today, 'The Letter,' LeBron's essay in Sports Illustrated announcing his homecoming, is being widely praised" ("PTI," ESPN, 7/11).

    --Boston Globe's Bob Ryan: "This is an extraordinary document and demonstrates the human growth of a person before our very eyes, a prominent athlete, who has really thought out a lot of things. ... This is a great, savvy PR move for him as well, for his image" ("PTI," ESPN, 7/11).

    --Cleveland's WKRK-FM's Joe Hull: “It’s so much more than just a story about sports and a basketball player going to a team. This was validation for an entire region -- an entire people -- and I can't underestimate that enough” (“Lead Off,” CBSSN, 7/12).

    --N.Y. Daily News’ Mike Lupica: “He has said, ‘I am the most powerful person in this sport.' ... The league couldn't have had a better day. Usually, a free agency like this and waiting to see where guys are going to make their next $100 million makes fans resentful. Not this time” (“The Sports Reporters,” ESPN, 7/13).

    --NBC’s Kevin Tibbles: “Happy days appear to be here again for a city once the butt of America’s jokes. The triumphant return of LeBron James is just the latest sign brawny blue-collar Cleveland is fighting back” (“Meet the Press,” NBC, 7/13).

  • Packers' Net Income Down $17.8M, Player Costs Up $35M

    The Green Bay Packers this afternoon reported net income of $25.3 million for the fiscal year ended March 31, down from $43.1 million the previous year.

    The drop is largely tied to the timing of four free agent contracts across the 2013 and 2014 seasons that all dropped into the most recent fiscal year, said Mark Murphy, Packers president. Murphy declined to identify the contracts, but some of the big-ticket signings in the last year include Sam Shields and Julius Peppers. Bonus money paid out for the contracts fell into expenses.

    Player costs rose $35 million as a result, to $171 million for the most recent year. Even with a $10 million increase in the salary cap for this coming season, however, Murphy projected total player costs would drop in the next fiscal year.

    Local revenue rose 6 percent, driven by 7,000 new seats at Lambeau Field, to $136.4 million. National revenue, which includes broadcast TV and sponsorship money, jumped 4 percent, to $187.7 million. Part of this increase included the benefits from the NFL Network’s new distribution deals with Time Warner Cable and Cablevision Systems, Murphy said.

    Total revenue for the team was $324.1 million, a Packers record, Murphy said. With a new Lambeau Field pro shop opening next week that’s expected to add $8 million annually to merchandise revenue, and new national TV contracts coming into play this fall, that looks to be a one-year record.

    The Packers are publicly owned and, as such, they release their financials publicly. They are the only NFL team that does so.

    Green Bay is grandfathered under a league policy that now prohibits public ownership of teams.


    Tags: On The Ground
  • TV Timeout: Picture Perfect

    New Nets coach Lionel Hollins: “I'm very low-maintenance. I'm actually embarrassed when I drove up and saw the big billboard with my picture on it" ("Brooklyn Nets Press Conference," YES Network, 7/7).

    COLT OF PERSONALITY: Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman, on the treatment of Browns WR Josh Gordon compared to Colts Owner Jim Irsay for their drug related offenses: “I really get irritated about some of the double-standards I see, the reaction to him from fans, people I see on Twitter and other people in the media versus Jim Irsay” (“Rome,” CBSSN, 7/7).

    SELF EVALUATION: Dallas Morning News’ Tim Cowlishaw said of Sporting KC F Dom Dwyer taking a selfie after a goal, "I think selfies are either the death of America or society, I'm not sure which. For a soccer player to go do that in the middle of a game, it’s the worst thing I've ever seen" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 7/7).

    TOP DRAFT PICK: CBSSN’s Doug Gottlieb said of the DraftServ machines at Target Field, “It’s a great idea to get more beer in ballparks because it’s the only thing that makes baseball entertaining” (“Lead Off,” CBSSN, 7/7).

    BODY OF WORK: ESPN The Magazine Editor-in-Chief Chad Millman said of the “Body Issue”, "We're not going out there just trying to be titillating, we're trying to prove a point about the athletic form" ("Nightline," ABC, 7/7).

    KNOW WHEN TO SAY WHEN: FS1's Petros Papadakis, on the Donald Sterling trial: "Everything's a play, everything's a lie. We've reached critical mass with this stuff. I've had enough of it" ("Fox Sports Live," FS1, 7/8).

    ALL FOR ONE: MWR co-Owner Rob Kauffman said of the formation of Race Team Alliance, “The key word is collaboration. No one is looking to do any kind of big fight or controversy, this is really about everyone trying to work to together to just promote and enhance the sport" ("NASCAR Race Hub," FS1, 7/7).

    FIRST-NAME BASIS: Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding, on the Lakers and the potential acquisition of free agent Carmelo Anthony: “We are talking about a first name guy. You say Carmelo, you do not have to give the last name. There is something about that for the Lakers. They feel that is extremely valuable. As they try to bounce back and maintain their global brand with Carmelo and Kobe, that’s powerful stuff" (“NBA GameTime,” NBATV, 7/7).

    SMILE: Starwood Capital Group CEO Barry Sternlicht, on the U.S. fans of the World Cup: "We're such a happy nation and we want to have heroes and we want to have things to root for and it's such a shame that the politicians are so hell-bent on ripping us to shreds" ("Squawk Box," CNBC, 7/8).

    KEEPING SCORE: Bloomberg TV's Jon Erlichman said of ESPN, “They win when the ratings are great because they're able to satisfy the advertisers … and they're able to say to the cable companies who sometimes wonder about these high fees that they're paying for sports channels to say, 'Listen, this is what people want to watch'" ("In The Loop," Bloomberg TV, 7/7).

    NEW FRONTIER? Golf Channel’s Tom Abbott, on the state of the LPGA Tour: “Eugenie Bouchard, who was sort of the darling of Wimbledon, was on the front page of some of the newspapers here at the end of last week. That would be unheard of for a lady golfer” (“Golf Central,” Golf Channel, 7/7).

  • TV Timeout: Cup Half Full

    The N.Y. Daily News’ Mike Lupica said, "Do I think there's going to be some huge soccer boom like we had a tennis boom in the 1970s? I don't … (but) I do believe that soccer's going to become more popular” ("The Sports Reporters," ESPN, 7/6). However, the Washington Post’s Alexandra Petri said of World Cup viewership, “The last several foreign conflicts aside, we're only supposed to get involved in things that we can win. Don't give in. You don't have to watch the World Cup. It may be the world's favorite sport but we aren't the world” (“CBS News Sunday Morning,” CBS, 7/6).

    HEAT WAVE: ESPN's John Saunders said, "LeBron James wants a max contract from the Miami Heat. (Heat President) Pat Riley is trying to juggle the books to make it work under the salary cap. Riley has to understand without LeBron, suddenly they're not the Heat, they're the Miami Marlins." ESPN’s Howard Bryant added of James, “This guy has opt-out clauses so every three years he can shift the balance of the whole league” ("The Sports Reporters," ESPN, 7/6).

    DISCOGRAPHY: CBS' Anthony Mason, noting the U.S. Open of Ultimate Frisbee was held this weekend, said, "I can see Frisbee in the Olympics. I mean if curling can make it, why can't Frisbee?" (“CBS This Morning,” CBS, 7/5).

    LOSING IS ONE THING, BUT… Syndicated columnist George Will: “Cub fans will put up with a lot, but not with expensive beer. They draw the line somewhere” (“CBS News Sunday Morning,” CBS, 7/6).

    ARM DEALER: ESPN's John McEnroe, on Milos Raonic wearing a sleeve on his right arm at Wilmbledon:  "Maybe he's got an endorsement deal" ("Wimbledon," ESPN, 7/4).

    PURDY GOOD: Paralympian Amy Purdy, on appearing in ESPN the Magazine’s “Body Issue”: “I pretty much said yes right off the bat because I have so much respect for the magazine and what it stands for. It was exciting” ("GMA," ABC, 7/7).

  • TV Timeout: Mixed Bag

    CBS' Elaine Quijano said, "The Americans leave Brazil short of the ultimate prize, but their performance defied the pundits and turned millions of fans into believers"  ("CBS This Morning," CBS, 7/2). But NBC's Dylan Dreyer said of the U.S. loss, "I was saying, 'I guess I don’t have to watch soccer anymore'" ("Today," NBC, 7/2). Meanwhile, ESPN’s Bomani Jones, on why he was not watching the Belgium-U.S. game: "People who are tired of pretending need programming too. We got your back" ("Highly Questionable," ESPN2, 7/1). 

    CUP OF LIFE: U.S. G Tim Howard said of whether this World Cup will get people in the U.S. to embrace soccer, "The numbers are staggering, not only the television numbers which are obvious but in the parks and the bars and everywhere in between. It was incredible to see. We were motivated by that and inspired by that. We saw all the videos and the highlights of our fans and it was special to be a part of that" ("Today," NBC, 7/2).

    FIT TO PRINT: MLS Commissioner Don Garber, on the sex appeal of MLS players: "That is something we actually try to get behind. You'll see our guys in fashion magazines, you'll see them in great endorsement programs. … They're not wearing helmets, they're incredibly fit … and they're great off the field as well” ("Fast Money Halftime Report," CNBC, 7/1).

    COME TOGETHER: MLBAM President & CEO Bob Bowman said of 120Sports.com, "The only limitation is your imagination, but it still takes hard work and it takes cooperation” ("Morning Joe," MSNBC, 7/2).

    SAVED TO MEMORY
    : MLB.com's Richard Justice said of the Astros hacking case, “I don't know if you saw the substance of the conversations. It was sort of ridiculous. Why do you need to write things down?" ("Olbermann," ESPN2, 7/2).

  • TV Timeout: Frankly, A Renaissance Man

    N.Y. Daily News’ Bob Raissman said of late Mets and Orioles exec Frank Cashen, "He wasn't just a baseball guy. This guy was a lawyer, he ran brewery, he was a sportswriter and he had major success in baseball. This was kind of a renaissance man" ("Daily News Live," SNY, 6/30).

    COME TOGETHER: MLS Commissioner Don Garber noted, "People are crowding at the bars and restaurants. They're crowding at these massive, massive public events and there's like collective breath that's being held for 90 minutes" ("CBS This Morning," CBS, 7/1).

    TAKING HIS TALENTS….: Broadcaster Tim Brando, on his move to Fox Sports, “Not that I'm the kind of free agent LeBron James would be, but still be a free agent for the first time as a broadcaster and see sort of what happens, check the landscape. I was energized by it" ("The Audible," Fox Sports Radio, 6/30).

    MILWAUKEE’S BEST? SNY's Adam Schein said, "Good luck, Milwaukee, you're going to need it. That snake Jason Kidd is now officially your problem" ("Loud Mouths," SNY, 6/30).

    HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM: ESPN's Keith Olbermann said, "If I told you last winter that the FBI would be investigating hacking of one Major League's team internal computers and the publication of its wildest trade dreams, would you have guessed that one team would have been the Astros?" ("Olbermann," ESPN2, 6/30).

  • TV Timeout: No Kidd-ing

    ESPN Radio’s Mike Golic said of Jason Kidd, "Here's a guy who played and had an incredible career, walked into coaching which seems to be the trend now and all of a sudden wants to run the whole organization. I'm not going to lie, if I'm running an organization that's a big no-no to me" ("Mike & Mike," ESPN Radio, 6/30).  ESPN’s Jackie MacMullen said, “Kidd is trying to usurp (Nets GM) Billy King after Billy King gave him the chance of a lifetime with no coaching experience. He’s on some kind of ego-trip. If I'm the Nets, I'm going to say don't let the door hit you on the way out” (“The Sports Reporters,” ESPN, 6/29).

    COLORBLIND: ABC's Nick Watt said of the rule at Wimbledon that any player’s undergarments must be completely white, "No one ever complained about Agassi's hair, and that was arguably more offensive than colorful undies for goodness sake" ("Nightline," ABC, 6/27).  

    OUI TO WIE: The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Bryan Burwell, on golfer Michelle Wie: “She's grown into a confident, independent young woman who seems ready to do for the women's pro tour the same thing that the other prodigy from Stanford did for the men's tour” (“The Sports Reporters,” ESPN, 6/29).

    JOHNNY ON THE SPOT: ESPN's Dan Graziano said of the Browns, "Did these people all just arrive in a spaceship two weeks ago? Everybody knew what Johnny Manziel was when they drafted him" ("NFL Insiders," ESPN2, 6/27).

    WELL RUN DRY: S.F. area KNBR-AM's Rod Brooks said of Sandy Barbour stepping down as Cal AD, “The main job of an athletic director is to raise funds, and she's had a hard time doing that. They obviously had some serious problems debt-wise with the stadium and she was just never able to build a consensus” ("Yahoo Sports Talk Live," CSN Bay Area, 6/27).

  • Podcast: CBS's Thursday night NFL package

    Media writer John Ourand and Assistant Managing Editor Tom Stinson talk about CBS's Thursday night NFL package and the network's asking price for ads and ratings guarantee, as well as last week's Supreme Court decision concerning Aereo and what it means.

    Tags: CBS, NFL, Media, SBJSBD Podcast
  • Podcast: What L.A. sale means to team values

    NBA writer John Lombardo and assistant managing editor Tom Stinson discuss what the Los Angeles Clippers' $2 billion sale price means for overall franchise values, why it is an outlier and what its impact could be.

    Tags: NBA, Los Angeles Clippers, SBJSBD Podcast
  • The NHL Shift: News and notes, 6/20/2014

    NHL Network Operations

    The NHL’s mega-deal with Rogers Communications begins with the upcoming season, but all is status quo at NHL Network.

    According to league sources, NHL Network will continue to broadcast out of the TSN studios in Scarborough, Ontario. Although TSN is no longer a national rightsholder of the NHL, TSN talent such as Darren Dreger and Bob McKenzie are expected to continue their insider reports on NHL Network’s programs, like “On the Fly” and “NHL Tonight.”

    There was some discussion with Rogers about taking over for TSN as the league’s partner in the NHL Network, but Rogers Sportsnet is said to be too busy with its preparations for the first season of its 12-year, $4.9 billion deal as the NHL’s sole rightsholder in Canada.

    “Just too much for Rogers to tackle this summer, which is understandable,” said a source.

    The NHL and Rogers will re-open discussions about NHL Network in 2015, but TSN could remain in its role beyond the 2014-15 season.


    Islanders Update

    In the five weeks since The Shift reported that the sale of the New York Islanders to Andrew Barroway is in the hands of Charles Wang, the Islanders’ current owner, Wang has not moved to complete a deal. However, specifics of the potential agreement have been confirmed with sources close to the seller, the buyer and the NHL:

    • Barroway is seeking to become the majority owner and purchase 80 percent of the team. “He wants decision-making authority and the ability to bring in his own people,” said a source.

    • The agreed-upon value of the club is around $400 million.

    • Wang’s advisers told Barroway’s group more than a month ago that Wang would like to complete a deal with Barroway this summer.

    • Barroway and his partners have lined up all of the necessary financing.

    • Barroway has executive personnel ready to join the team should a sale be finalized with Wang and approved by the NHL.

    NHL officials, who prompted the discussions between Wang and Barroway, would like to see a sale completed but have urged Barroway to be patient and not to push Wang into a decision — for fear that Wang could walk away from a sale. How long Barroway is willing to wait is unknown.

    As NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has stated a few times, most recently at the Stanley Cup Final, Wang has wavered over relinquishing controlling interest in the Islanders. According to one source, a part of him wants to see Islanders’ rebuilding program flourish with general manager Garth Snow at the helm.

    A deal awaits Wang’s consent. As of this morning, no one knew when, or if, it will come.


    NHL Awards Preview


    With Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban serving as the reporter on the red carpet and backstage, give credit to the producers of the 2014 NHL Awards show for not taking the enterprise too seriously.

    “It’s a hockey show for hockey fans, presented by hockey fans,” said Bob Chesterman, NHL senior vice president of programming and production. “It’s a fun few hours of celebrating the hockey season.”

    The show, which takes place Tuesday night from the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas, is produced by IMG under the helm of executive producer Steve Mayer. The live telecast from 7-9 p.m. ET will air on NBC Sports Network and CBC.

    NHL Network will have a red-carpet arrivals show before the event and a one-hour recap after it.

    For the first time in NHL Awards show history — the show began in 1983 — each of the three finalists for the Jack Adams Award (coach of the year) will be introduced by players from their teams.

    Susan Sarandon, Michael J. Fox and Whoopi Goldberg are among those taking part in taped segments for the show. Awards will be presented by current and former NHL players, along with celebrity hockey fans such as Cuba Gooding Jr, David Boreanaz and Eric Stonestreet. NBC broadcasters Mike Emrick and Ed Olczyk will announce the winner of the EA Sports’ “NHL 15” cover vote.

    This is the fifth time the show has been done in Las Vegas (second time at the Wynn) after a long run in Toronto.

    “We have found, as you’d expect, that the players and everyone involved with the show loves having it in Vegas,” Chesterman said.

     
    By the Numbers

    $24: The lowest average ticket price on the secondary market for a game this season, according to TiqIQ: Columbus at Carolina on Jan. 27.

    $1,982: The highest average ticket price on the secondary market for a game this season: Game 3 of the Kings-Rangers Stanley Cup Final at Madison Square Garden.

    1.45 million viewers:
    Average viewership for the Stanley Cup playoffs on NBC, NBCSN and CNBC. That’s the second best average for the NBC Sports Group since it got NHL broadcast rights in 2006. The 1.47 million average for the 2013 playoffs is NBC’s highest mark. (Data provided by SportsBusiness Daily’s Austin Karp).
     

    Looking Ahead

    Wednesday: Teams can begin speaking with free agents, but not sign them
    Thursday: Board of Governors meeting in New York
    June 27-28: NHL Draft in Philadelphia
    July 1: Free agent signing period begins
     
    This is the 2013-14 season finale of the NHL Shift. Thank you for reading.

    Tags: On The Ground
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