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Volume 25 No. 48
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Closing Bell, July 12, 2006

WNBA All-Star Game Set For Tonight At Madison Square Garden
Zinedine Zidane Apologizes, Comments On World Cup Head-Butt Incident
Formal Announcement To Be Made Tonight On September Triple-A Title Game
Bill Raftery, Mark Heisler To Receive Curt Gowdy Media Award

WNBA ALL-STAR GAME SET FOR TONIGHT AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN

The WNBA’s All-Star Game will be played tonight at Madison Square Garden, with coverage beginning on ESPN at 7:00pm ET. The game will be televised in a record 198 countries with commentary in 33 languages via 57 telecasters, topping last year’s reach of 193 countries, 31 languages and 52 telecasters.

Beginning tonight, fans can vote online for the greatest moments in the league’s ten-year history, with the overall top moment to be revealed during Game Two of the WNBA Finals in September. The four categories are: Greatest Shot, Greatest Pass, Greatest Milestone and Greatest Inspiring Performance.

Following is a Nielsen ratings trend for the event since ’99.  All cable marks are coverage area ratings (THE DAILY).

WNBA ALL-STAR GAME RATINGS TREND
YR
NET
RAT/SHR (000s)
'05
ABC
1.0/3
'04
———No Traditional All-Star Game Due To Olympics———
'03
ABC
1.1/3
'02
ESPN
0.5/ (464)
'01
ESPN
0.5/ (430)
'00
ESPN
0.7/ (573)
'99
ESPN
1.1/ (843)

ZINEDINE ZIDANE APOLOGIZES, COMMENTS ON HEAD-BUTT INCIDENT

Zidane Apologizes For
World Cup Final Headbutt

French MF Zinedine Zidane, who received a red card for head-butting Italian D Marco Materazzi in the FIFA World Cup Final, today apologized for the incident but “did not specify exactly” what Materazzi said to incite his attack, other than that “it was insulting to his sister and mother.” Zidane said he did not regret the attack “because that would mean (Materazzi) was right to say” what he said.

Meanwhile, the Gazzetta dello Sport’s Web site today posted excerpts from an interview with Materazzi, who said of the incident, “I didn’t say anything to him about racism, religion or politics. I didn’t talk about his mother either. I lost my mother when I was 15 and even now I still get emotional talking about her. Naturally, I didn’t know his (mother) was in the hospital” (AP, 7/12).

ABC, which aired the World Cup Final, e-mailed the story out as a “breaking news” item from ABCNEWS.com this afternoon (THE DAILY).


FORMAL ANNOUNCEMENT TO BE MADE TONIGHT ON TRIPLE-A TITLE GAME

A formal announcement will be made before tonight’s Triple-A All-Star Game at Fifth Third Field in Toledo that there will be a title game matching the Pacific Coast League and Int’l League champions on September 19. The game, to be played at AT&T Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City, will be televised by ESPN2 and will air nationally on Sporting News Radio. It will be the first time since ’00 that the leagues’ champions have met in the postseason (MILB.com, 7/10).


COVER TO COVER….

Sporting News this week features Cardinals RB Edgerrin James on the cover of its NFL Training Camp preview with the headline, “Who’s Got The Edge? Besides Arizona, That Is.”

SI this week features Mets players Carlos Beltran, David Wright, Paul LoDuca, Carlos Delgado, and Jose Reyes on the cover with the headline, “Welcome To Rip City.”

Sporting News
Sports Illustrated

BUZZER BEATERS….

CBS’ and ESPN’s Bill Raftery and L.A. Times columnist Mark Heisler have been selected to receive the ’06 Curt Gowdy Media Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball HOF during enshrinement festivities in September (Naismith Memorial Basketball HOF).

NFL Network today announced that USA Network’s Fran Charles has joined the net and will host programs including “NFL Total Access” and “NFL Scoreboard,” beginning in September.  Charles, who also is a boxing announcer, will continue his duties on HBO’s “Boxing After Dark” (NFL).

The Blackhawks today announced that former Islanders radio announcer John Wiedeman will serve as the team’s radio play-by-play announcer.  Wiedeman will join color analyst Troy Murray in the broadcast booth (Blackhawks).

Law firm SimmonsCooper today announced it is suing Rawlings on behalf of Doug Farrago, who invented and patented the knee saver worn by many baseball catchers in ‘91, claiming that the company infringed upon his product by marketing a knockoff version.  Farrago is seeking an injunction and unspecified damages (SimmonsCooper).

The Sheboygan (WI) Jaycees and Johnsonville Sausage today announced that ESPN will air the ’06 Johnsonville Brat-Eating World Championship, an Int’l Federation of Competitive Eating-sanctioned event, on August 5 (Johnsonville Sausage).

Bulls G Chris Duhon and Coldwell Banker President & CEO Jim Gillespie appeared on CNBC’s “Morning Call” today from Slidell, Louisiana, where they are involved in rebuilding the area after Hurricane Katrina (THE DAILY).

The PGA Tour’s Web site earlier today featured Michelle Wie, who is competing in this week’s John Deere Classic, as its top article and accompanying image (THE DAILY).


QUICK HITS….

“I think when people start realizing they can buy a Saturday ticket for half price and see the same guys that are racing on Sunday and they stop buying Sunday tickets, then NASCAR will make a change” – Busch Series driver Stacy Compton, on the number of Nextel Cup drivers racing in the series (ROANOKE TIMES, 7/12).

“One of the contributing factors is the impulse given to consumer confidence – happier consumers spend more” – ABN Amro economists Charles Kalshoven and Wouter Van Aggelen, in an investor report projecting that Italy’s World Cup victory will spark economic growth in the country (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 7/12).

“I love the fact that I could go out and do it at my own pace” – Tony Hawk, on one of the reasons he chose skateboarding over team sports as a child (“The Colbert Report,” Comedy Central, 7/11).

“The days are long gone when a network can pretty much own a sport” -- AOL Sports columnist Roy Johnson, on MLB games appearing on several networks (“Power Lunch,” CNBC, 7/12).


ARTICLES OF INTEREST….

The FT.WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM’s David Thomas writes the MLB All-Star Game “is fun. It’s entertaining. It’s unpredictable. … But [it] just isn’t as special now” (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM).

The WALL STREET JOURNAL’s Mike Esterl writes, “From settings that show contests on TV screens to makeshift arenas that host live competitions, cities around the world are creating temporary venues to hold down costs and bring in extra tourist spending as the price of holding big events soars” (WALL STREET JOURNAL).

Also:

  • Preparations for the ’08 Olympics are destroying historic Beijing neighborhood.
  • Baseball, cycling taking different approaches to dealing with doping scandals.
  • Red Zebra, Clear Channel’s WTEM-AM competing for DC radio supremacy.
  • Columnist says city of Orlando’s self-image too closely aligned with Magic.
See the Articles of Interest section for more sports business-related links.

TONIGHT’S EVENTS….

Fenway Park will host the second annual “Hot Stove, Cool Music: The Fenway Park Sessions” at 6:00pm ET. Performers include Buffalo Tom featuring Red Sox GM Theo Epstein; The Gentlemen; The Click Five; Red Sox P Lenny DiNardo; and Juliana Hatfield. All proceeds will benefit Epstein’s “A Foundation To Be Named Later.”

The MLS Galaxy will host Mexican club Necaxa in an exhibition at The Home Depot Center.


IN OTHER NEWS….

ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox averaged 20.8 million prime-time viewers during the week ending July 9, according to Nielsen Media Research, “the least-watched week in recorded history for the four biggest broadcast networks.”  The previous record of 21.5 million viewers was set during the last week of July in ’05.  Traditionally, the week including July 4 “has the fewest viewers of the year” (AP, 7/12).


CHANNEL SURF….

Comedians Jeff Foxworthy, Larry the Cable Guy and Bill Engvall will receive baseball tips from Braves players during WB’s “Blue Collar TV” at 8:00pm ET.

Mets 3B David Wright will appear on CBS’ “Late Show with David Letterman” at 11:35pm ET.

Lance Armstrong will appear on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” The show is featuring a different athlete each night this week.


HEADLINERS….

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

“Late Show” Denis Leary
“The Tonight Show” Matt Dillon
“Late Night” Stephen Colbert
“The Late Late Show” Danny Bonaduce
“Jimmy Kimmel Live” Lance Armstrong

CLOSING STAT: TOP TEN MOVIE STUDIOS IN ‘05

Warner Bros. garnered the greatest market share of U.S. box office receipts in ’05.  The following presents the top ten studios by share of box office receipts, with ’04 comparisons.  Also presented are ad spending figures for ’05 and ‘04, in millions (ADAGE, 6/26 issue).

TOP TEN MOVIE STUDIOS BY SHARE OF BOX OFFICE RECEIPTS IN '05
—MARKET SHARE—
—AD SPENDING—
RK
DISTRIBUTING STUDIO
'05
'04
'05
'04
1)
Warner Bros.
15.6%
12.9%
$594.3
$586.3
2)
20th Century Fox
15.3%
9.9%
$452.4
$314.6
3)
Universal
11.4%
9.5%
$504.1
$397.9
4)
Buena Vista
10.4%
12.4%
$354.0
$501.1
5)
Sony
10.4%
14.3%
$571.7
$494.8
6)
Paramount
9.4%
6.7%
$381.4
$408.3
7)
DreamWorks SKG
5.7%
10.0%
$213.7
$274.7
8)
New Line
4.8%
4.6%
$196.8
$223.0
9)
Lions Gate
3.2%
3.2%
$130.9
$76.3
10)
Dimension
2.2%
NA
NA
NA
TOP TEN SHARE OF MARKET
88.4%
83.5%
$3,399.4
$3,277.0

NOTES & QUOTES FROM THIS DAY IN SBD HISTORY….

2004
PepsiCo's Mountain Dew brand signs on to title sponsor the Clear Channel-NBC extreme sports tour that begins in ’05, which will be known as the Dew Action Sports Tour. PepsiCo Dir of Sports Marketing John Galloway: "This was a no-brainer from the start.”

2002
Ohio-based Nationwide Insurance inks a five-year deal with the PGA Tour to title sponsor the Tour's developmental circuit, the Buy.com Tour, beginning in '03.

1999
“We’ve been getting a lot of calls about that” – Nike Senior Corporate Communications Manager Kathryn Reith, on U.S. Women’s World Cup team D Brandi Chastain ripping off her shirt following her game-winning penalty kick against China in the finals, revealing a Nike prototype sports bra.


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

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