BLOOMBERG NEWS' Allen Wan reports the NFL is "experiencing 'strong growth' in China and may stage an exhibition game in the Asian nation as the fan base grows." NFL China Managing Dir Richard Young said that the number of fans "has doubled in the past three years to more than 9 million, including 3 million who have a team they watch regularly." Young said an exhibition game in China "would be the first step, and it’s very possible if we’re growing the way we’re growing. Our fan base growth is on track." Pro Football HOFer Joe Montana on Thursday visited Shanghai with Young (BLOOMBERG.com, 11/15).
(DON'T) GIVE ME A BREAK: In Portland, Jamie Goldberg wrote under the header, "MLS's 2-Week Hiatus Between Playoff Games Is ... A Little ... Awkward." The "bizarre two-week hiatus" between the first and second legs of the conference finals "comes just as MLS was starting to build anticipation and enthusiasm around the playoffs, and it's unclear how the awkward pause will affect fan support and TV ratings." NBCSN has "seen a 47 percent increase in viewership in this year’s playoffs versus the 2012 playoffs," while viewership on ESPN/ESPN2 is "up 17 percent compared to the 2013 regular season" (OREGONLIVE.com, 11/14).
ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH: In Denver, Adrian Dater wrote the city "would be one of the best locations for an outdoor game." Dater: "Are you telling me a 'Rocky Mountain Classic' wouldn't sell on national television too?" He added he would "make the following bet with anyone. Ready? An Avs-Red Wings Rocky Mountain Classic would draw the highest national ratings of any NHL outdoor game of them all." Not only would the alumni game "be a blockbuster, but the real game between the new, on-the-rise Avs ... against Detroit would be appointment viewing for hockey fans worldwide" (DENVERPOST.com, 11/14).