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Weekly Sports Business Report - For the Week of December 6, 2010

NBA COMPLETES DEAL TO BUY HORNETS FROM SHINN FOR MORE THAN $300 MILLION

Relevance:NBA news.

SportsBusiness Daily reported on December 7 that the NBA has completed a deal to buy the New Orleans Hornets from George Shinn for more than $300 million, the first time the league has taken ownership of a franchise. NBA Commissioner David Stern said that there is no timetable on the league selling the team. “It is unusual for us as a league,” Stern said, adding that the NBA is not currently soliciting buyers. The NBA stepped in after minority investor Gary Chouest could not agree on a deal to buy the franchise from Shinn, who Stern said was no longer able to absorb further financial losses. “We have the luxury of time,” Stern said. “We decided that rather than saddle the franchise with more losses, it would be prudent for us to step in.” The league's takeover is subject to a vote by the NBA BOG, which likely will occur next week. The NBA confirmed that it has retained Minnesota Wild Vice Chairman Jac Sperling, a native of New Orleans, to be the Hornets' Chair & Governor, while Hugh Weber will maintain his role as team President.

 

JACQUES ROGGE HOPING IOC CAN GET MORE THAN $2.2 BILLION FOR U.S. TV RIGHTS DEAL

Relevance: Olympic news.

Reuters reported on December 6 that International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge hopes the new U.S. TV rights deal for the 2014 and 2016 Olympics will “exceed the $2.2 billion paid for the previous two Games packages.” Rogge’s remarks are “the first time the IOC has mentioned a possible increase” following a slump in the U.S ad market since 2008. NBC paid $2.2 billion for rights to the 2010 Vancouver and 2012 London Olympics, and industry officials are “expecting a lower figure for the next two-Games packages.” Rogge recently has hinted that “negotiations could take place next year after initially saying the process could be put off until after” the 2012 Games. The U.S. TV rights are the IOC’s “biggest single revenue deal.”

 

FOXWOODS SIGNS ON AS EXCLUSIVE END-OF-GAME ADVERTISER FOR MSG GAMES

Relevance:Advertising news.

The New York Times reported on December 7 that Foxwoods Resort Casino will announce a deal to be the exclusive advertiser during the last five minutes of pro basketball and hockey games at Madison Square Garden and on Knicks, Rangers, Devils, Islanders and WNBA Liberty telecasts on MSG's cable networks. MSG and Foxwoods said that the "Final Five" sponsorship is the "first time an advertiser has bought commercial control of a specific time" during pro sports contests at an arena and on TV. A source pegged the deal at $1 million annually for five years.

 

ESPN LAUNCHES ESPNW.COM

Relevance: ABC/ESPN is a broadcast partner of MLS.

SportsBusiness Daily reported on December 6 that ESPN has launched espnW.com, a content and digital business initiative for women. The site will serve as a precursor to a more robust website with mobile apps and personalized content that will launch in spring 2011.