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Volume 6 No. 194

Leagues and Governing Bodies

Formula 1's governing body was "advised to introduce a whistleblowing system to prevent corruption" following an investigation by Deloitte, according to Christian Sylt for the London INDEPENDENT. FIA has been "slow off the mark in this respect compared to some other sports governing bodies." FIFA introduced a "whistleblowing hotline" in '13, and two years later, so did the IOC. Documents show that last year Deloitte recommended that FIA "follow suit." Deloitte was called in by FIA to carry out an investigation and its report concluded "that the threat of corruption was diminished, but noted that residual risks remain." Deloitte made a number of recommendations including "the creation of a Compliance Officer, the implementation of a whistleblowing system, the strengthening of the monitoring of the use of grants awarded by the FIA, the improvement in the monitoring of the independence of certain FIA bodies and of the absence of conflicts of interest." The report states that Deloitte's recommendations led to FIA's regulations being amended in December and "further changes are being made." A FIA spokesperson said, "The FIA is in the process of implementing the recommendations of Deloitte" (INDEPENDENT, 10/19).

NHL Exec VP/Media & Int’l Strategy David Proper said that the league views its efforts last month in China "as a success," according to Ian Thomas of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. Two games between the L.A. Kings and Vancouver Canucks in Beijing and Shanghai "drew more than 23,000 fans combined." The NHL, in conjunction with the teams and the NHL Players' Association, held a "fan fest in Beijing, and youth clinics in both cities." It also held an event with the U.S. Embassy called "Hockey Night," a 50-minute program featuring "hockey activities and demonstrations that was streamed online in China and had more than 4.6 million video starts." Additionally, a livestreamed practice for the two teams "had 2.6 million video starts." Proper said that those numbers "may be modest" by Chinese streaming viewership standards, but they were "well above" what the league expected. Proper added that the NHL's Chinese-specific social media platforms saw more than 300% "follower growth" during the week of the games, and an additional 100% "increase since the games were held." Proper said that the league "viewed its first step into the country as just that: the first part of a multiyear strategy that will evolve." The events "did not generate revenue" for the league, but local promoters and organizers "took on all cost risks." Meanwhile, the NHL and NHLPA met last week to "discuss the league's international strategy." On the table are "potential games in China in the coming years during the preseason," as well as playing "more regular season games outside of North America." The NHL will "hold two games in Sweden in November." The league "aims to host at least 15 clinics" in China in the coming year. To educate fans, plans call for "viewing parties in major cities aided by the NHL's Chinese rights holders, CCTV and Tencent." And through parent company AEG, the Kings have "built a two-person social media team in China that runs the team's WeChat and Weibo channels" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 10/16 issue).

FIBA's national federations which have clubs participating in the EuroLeague (Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Russia, Serbia, Spain and Turkey) met on Thursday to discuss issues relating to the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Qualifiers. Following the meeting, the nine federations issued the following joint statement: "Clubs and national team competitions can co-exist throughout the year, as it happened until 2003 in basketball and is currently the case in other team sports. ... We condemn EuroLeague Commercial Assets' (ECA's) refusal to change two game-days as a commercially-driven attack to the national teams, which endangers their existence and jeopardises their qualification chances to the FIBA Basketball World Cup and Olympic Games. The national teams remain the locomotives of basketball worldwide. ... We remind the clubs participating in our national championships that they have rights as much as they have obligations. We condemn any direct or indirect pressures from clubs on players" (FIBA).