In Buffalo, Jerry Sullivan noted WPS "has suffered its own growing pains" in three seasons, but there is "no calculating what a U.S. win in the World Cup and a surge in popularity" could mean for the league. The U.S. women's run to Sunday's final against Japan "has stirred memories of 1999," when momentum from the U.S. women's team winning the World Cup "gave rise to the WUSA." WPS Western New York Flash coach Aaran Lines said, "It's massive for the women's game here in the U.S. ... If they can go all the way, it'll be fantastic for the sport, and for a league in its third season. Hopefully, we'll flourish from that" (BUFFALO NEWS, 7/13). CBS' "Evening News" examined the WPS, and CBS' Mark Strassmann noted the WPS is “short of sponsors, fans and money,” as “three teams in three years have folded.” WPS Atlanta Beat D Cat Whitehill said, “A lot of people are unfamiliar that there's even a league around. Any chance that we can get in the public eye is huge for us.” Strassman said, “This sport's elusive goal: Attract the general sports fan. It just has to move beyond its core followers -- pre-teenage girls brought to games by their soccer moms" ("Evening News," CBS, 7/13).
CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG? In S.F., John Shea notes MLB's CBA expires in December, and "nobody seems to think there's any chance for a stoppage, even a short one." MLBPA Exec Dir Michael Weiner this week spoke "about a new deal by the end of the World Series, if only so labor talks don't stall free agency." Weiner said, "The opportunity that our bargaining presents in contrast to what's happening in the other sports is one that both sides recognize -- an opportunity to keep the game going, improve the game and improve the institutions through collective bargaining." Revenue sharing and the draft "will be re-examined, but nothing is expected to put off a new CBA" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 7/14).
PICKING A FIGHT: BLOOMBERG NEWS' Andy Fixmer reported former News Corp. President & COO Peter Chernin is "investing in the Hong Kong-based mixed martial arts promoter Legend Fighting Championship." CA Media LP, the Asian division of Chernin Group, and Diamond Ridge Ventures LLC said that they are "making the investment." LFC, founded in '09, "will vie for fans" with UFC and WWE (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 7/13).