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Volume 25 No. 48
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Closing Bell, March 7, 2002

 
The Daily Insider
Afternoon News & Headlines
Thursday, March 7, 2002
4:00pm ET

MLB Confirms Upper Tier Reshuffling; Seeks Lawsuit Dismissal
Soccer Execs To Vote On Pursuing Blatter Investigation Tonight
Salt Lake City Opens Its Doors To Winter Paralympics
Adidas Analyzes World Cup Costs, Alters Its Profit Forecast
“E.R.” Really Is Must-See TV In Columbia, SC
Buzzer Beaters/Articles Of Interest/Daily Stat/Channel Surfing

MLB CONFIRMS BEESTON'S EXIT, DUPUY'S NEW POSITION

MLB today confirmed that President & COO Paul Beeston will resign his position effective March 15, and that he will be replaced by MLB Exec VP/Administration & CLO Robert DuPuy. As part of MLB Commissioner Bud Selig's reorganization of the upper tier of the commissioner's office, DuPuy will replace Beeston, while D'Rays COO John McHale will replace DuPuy (THE DAILY).

Meanwhile, the AP reports that MLB and team officials "are asking a Minnesota judge to throw out a lawsuit that seeks to keep the [Twins] around indefinitely." Lawyers for the Twins and Selig "filed papers Wednesday to dismiss the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission's lawsuit." MLB's lawyers want Hennepin County Judge Harry Crump to "end the case after an April 4 hearing" (AP, 3/7).


FUTURE OF BLATTER INVESTIGATION UP FOR VOTE TONIGHT

The FINANCIAL TIMES reports that a 24-man executive committee will vote tonight on whether they should "investigate serious allegations of corruption at Fifa, which have engulfed" FIFA President Sepp Blatter. The committee is "evenly split between Mr. Blatter's supporters – including members alleged to have paid bribes on his behalf at the 1998 Fifa presidential election – and vocal critics, such as Lennart Johansson, whom Mr. Blatter defeated for the presidency in 1998." Blatter is accused by his critics of "hiding the true extent of damages suffered by Fifa following the collapse last year of ISL/ISMM" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 3/7).


OFFICIALS TO LIGHT TORCH ON POPULAR WINTER PARALYMPICS

The Salt Lake City Winter Paralympics open today, and the AP reports that while the number of participants is "down from the 571 who participated four years ago in Nagano, organizers said the event has grown in popularity and the stakes are higher" (AP, 3/7). Meanwhile, USA TODAY reports more than "1,000 athletes and officials from 36 countries will march in the opening ceremony" tonight in Salt Lake City (USA TODAY, 3/7).


ADIDAS CUTS PROFIT TARGET, SEES U.S. SHOE SALES RISE

REUTERS reports that adidas-Salomon "cut its profit forecast [today] in part due to World Cup marketing costs," but said its U.S. footwear sales drive "was paying off." In a statement, the company said it "expected 2002 net income growth of 5-10 percent." Adidas had "previously predicted profit growth of 15 percent every year to 2003, but had refrained from reiterating that forecast in recent months" (REUTERS, 3/7).


ALBERTO-CULVER RENEWS BREEDERS CUP SPONSORSHIPS

Hair products manufacturer Alberto-Culver reached an agreement in principle today with the NTRA and Breeders' Cup Limited to renew its presenting sponsorship of the $1M Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf, one of eight races comprising the $13M Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. In addition, Alberto-Culver will increase its media commitment to Thoroughbred racing and the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, with television advertising on the Triple Crown Preview on ESPN, and on the Breeders' Cup Preview show on NBC (THE DAILY).


IS THERE A HOOPS FAN IN THE HOUSE? “ER” PRE-EMPTS USC GAME

The Columbia STATE reports that, for the first time, WIS-TV in Columbia, SC, has "farmed out a University of South Carolina [SEC] tournament game to cable. All of today's first-round games, including USC vs. Mississippi [at 9:45pm ET], will air on Time Warner cable channel 10." WIS is moving the USC game because it "does not want to pre-empt 'ER,' the top-ranked show in the Columbia TV market" (Columbia STATE, 3/7).


NASDAQ NOTIFIES YOUBET.COM OF BID PRICE DEFICIENCY

Youbet.com received notification from the Nasdaq today that it is not in compliance with the market's listing maintenance standard that requires a company's stock to maintain a minimum bid price of at least $1 per share for 10 consecutive trading days. If the company is unable to maintain this standard on or before May 15, the market can seek to delist the company's stock (THE DAILY).


BUZZER BEATERS

The ST, LOUIS POST-DISPATCH cites broadcast sources who say play-by-play announcer Joe Buck's "elevation to the top NFL play-by-play job at the Fox network is a done deal." The plan "calls for Buck to broadcast baseball games for Fox in the summer, then leave to do play-by-play of NFL exhibitions in August and regular-season games in September." Buck declined to comment, and Fox Sports Dir of Communications Dan Bell said, "We don't have a definite timetable for an announcement about that position" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 3/7).

CBS Sports is producing a one-hour NCAA Tournament show, "The March to Madness," that will air on UPN on Wednesday, March 27. The special will "go behind-the-scenes with the 64 college-basketball teams in the tournament" (BROADCASTING & CABLE, 3/7).

Former NBA coach Mike Dunleavy has "joined NBC as the color analyst on its No. 3 basketball team." Dunleavy replaces Tom Tolbert, who "shifted last weekend to the network's NBA studio show, taking the spot of Jayson Williams" (AP, 3/7).

The AP reports that three F1 races "are being added this year to ABC's coverage of the road-racing series." The network will have live coverage of the U.S. Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on September 29 (AP, 3/7).

IMS entered into an agreement with White Sox LF Carlos Lee that gives the Chicago-based agency the rights to seek endorsements and sell licensed products for Lee (THE DAILY).

The ST. PETERSBURG TIMES reports that Tampa "will make a bid to host [the annual Army-Navy game] at Raymond James Stadium in 2004 or beyond" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 3/7).

Chicago's three thoroughbred tracks "have displayed a rare bit of solidarity and sealed a deal" with CLTV to begin airing a nightly results show in May. The 30-minute program "will begin an eight-month inaugural run at 10 p.m. on May 5, the evening of Hawthorne's spring opener," and each track "will retain control over selection of on-air talent" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 3/7).

The AP reported that the artificial turf that was removed from MI State's football stadium "is being made into collectibles for Spartans fans to cherish" (AP, 3/6).


TODAY'S ARTICLES OF INTEREST

The Seattle POST-INTELLIGENCER's John Cook on Condensed Games, an MLB.com service that reduces four-hour baseball games into 20-minute packages.

The FINANCIAL TIMES' Michael Skapinker on Nike's response to anti-sweatshop campaigners.

ESPN.com's Darren Rovell on what a title sponsor for the NCAA Tournament would be worth and why a deal is not on the market.

As part of the ongoing series honoring the 30th anniversary of Title IX, the RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH's Vic Dorr Jr. on the law's fiscal impact on men's minor sports.

See The Daily Insider's Articles Of Interest section for more sports business-related links.


IN OTHER NEWS…

REUTERS reports that Delta Air Lines today "joined an exodus of high profile clients and abandoned accounting firm Andersen, which is struggling to survive following its role in the Enron scandal" (REUTERS, 3/7).

A federal judge today awarded former Playboy Playmate and model Anna Nicole Smith $88M in her "bitter legal battle" against the son of her late, 90-year-old husband, J. Howard Marshall, over his estate (REUTERS, 3/7).


THE DAILY STATS: BILLBOARD CHARTS

The following lists Billboard Magazine's top-selling CDs for the week ending March 6 (BILLBOARD, 3/16):

RK
ALBUM
ARTIST
LABEL
1) Under Rug Swept Alanis Morrisette Maverick
2) O Brother, Where Art Thou? Soundtrack Lost Highway/Mercury
3) Fever Kylie Minogue Capitol
4) Songs in A Minor Alicia Keys J
5) [Hybrid Theory] Linkin Park Warner Bros.
6) Drive Alan Jackson Arista Nashville
7) J To Tha L-O! The Remixes Jennifer Lopez Epic
8) Word of Mouf Ludacris Disturbing Tha Peace
9) Living Proof Cher Warner Bros.
10) All That You Can't Leave Behind U2 Interscope
 

CHANNEL SURFING

ESPN will air the ACC men's college basketball first round game, Clemson-Florida St., at 7:00pm ET.

ESPN2 will air the Big East men's college basketball third quarterfinal game, Villanova-Connecticut, at 7:30pm ET.

TNT will air Raptors-Mavericks at 8:00pm ET.

ESPN will air the Big East men's college basketball fourth quarterfinal game, St. John's-Notre Dame, at 9:00pm ET.

ESPN2 will air the Big 12 men's college basketball first round game, Iowa St.-Missouri, at 9:30pm ET.

ESPN will air the Mountain West men's college basketball fourth quarterfinal game, New Mexico-UNLV, at midnight ET.

ESPN Classic's "SportsCentury" will profile Jim Thorpe at 8:00pm ET.

E!'s "True Hollywood Story" will profile the last days of Judy Garland at 8:00pm ET.

PBS will air the Motown reunion special "R&B 40: A Soul Spectacular" at 8:00pm ET.

NASCAR's Jeff Gordon will appear on TNT's "Inside the NBA" tonight.


HEADLINERS

Here are tonight's headline guests on the following talk shows:

"The Late Show" Bruce Willis (r)
"The Tonight Show" Rene Russo
"The Late Late Show" Mandy Moore (r)
"Late Night" Roger Ebert

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please let us know at:
dailyinsider@sportsbusinessdaily.com

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