Moag and Company Sports Notes (2 February 2018)

Date: Feb 2018


What were the first points scored in Super Bowl history? 

Last Week’s Answer:  Green Bay quarterback Bart Starr was the MVP of Super Bowl I leading the Green Bay Packers to a 35-10 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.


Fox will replace CBS and NBC as the “TNF” broadcaster as part of a five-year deal. Fox’ deal will pay the NFL more than the combined $450M per year CBS and NBC paid over the last two years. Sources peg Fox’ payout at an average of around $550M per year through the ‘22 season, which syncs up with the league’s other TV deals. This is a strong sign for the NFL, as it shows its programming remains among the most valuable in entertainment. As part of the deal, Fox will carry 11 “TNF” games per season. Those games will be simulcast on NFL Network and a digital partner still to be named. NFL Network will carry an undetermined number of games exclusively in order to adhere to its pay-TV affiliate deals. As part of the deal, Fox picked up expanded mobile rights for its Thursday and Sunday games. Fox’ top NFL broadcast team of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will not be in the booth for the “TNF” games, which marks a difference from previous Thursday deals when the NFL mandated that CBS and NBC use its top broadcast teams. The NFL last year did allow NBC to use Mike Tirico on Thursday in place of Al Michaels.

The Tennessee Titans are "raising ticket prices for the second consecutive year," according to the Nashville Tennessean. The cost is "increasing from between $2 to $12 per ticket" for the '18 season, "depending on the location in Nissan Stadium." Tickets will "cost between $40 to $122 in general seating, after an increase from $2 to $5 in the upper deck and $8 and $12 in the lower bowl." Those prices "still rate among the lowest in the NFL." Titans Controlling Owner Amy Adams Strunk in an email to season-ticket holders wrote, "I trust you can see the progress we are making as a football team and can see the direct results of your investment. Our players, coaches, and the entire front office staff are working tirelessly every day to put the best product on the field to represent you. That is and will remain my commitment to you." The Titans had the "second-lowest average ticket price in the league last season." The team "previously increased ticket prices" in '14.


Miami Marlins CEO Derek Jeter said many of the reported financial projections in his "Project Wolverine" are from prior to his ownership group getting control of the team, and are now out of date. But amid the club’s offseason fire sale and ongoing rebuilding effort, Jeter said he remains firm in his belief that South Florida is a baseball market. “The model has changed over time,” he said of the financial projections. “A lot of the models that have become public are from a long time ago. It was outdated information. But the bottom line is we believe in the market. And we believe we’re going to be able to turn this around. I think having optimistic projections, whatever people think of it, is a positive.” Jeter also dismissed a recent report that the MLBPA has raised concerns regarding the Marlins and their compliance with revenue-sharing protocols in the CBA. “This is a situation where we need to fix something that was broken,” Jeter said. “We have an ownership group that is very well capitalized and they’re not focused on near-term cash returns to put in their pockets. We’re investing back into the organization. And there are ways to do that, whether it’s player development, scouting, analytics, which we have to improve. When it’s appropriate, we’ll be investing in (major league) players, the free agent market. As I said, we have a plan and we’re going to stick to it. There are many ways to improve an organization".


MLS awarded an expansion franchise to David Beckham, who confirmed he will "oversee the soccer aspect of the team, and plans to be a very hands-on owner," according to the Miami Herald. Sources said that Beckham and his partners "paid between" $50M-75M for the team and "plan to spend" another $200M on the stadium, academy and team operations. The new team is "scheduled to begin play" in '20, "probably at a temporary site until the permanent stadium is ready" in '21. Hard Rock Stadium, FIU Stadium and Marlins Park were "mentioned as possible temporary sites, or some combination of the three." The team name, logo and colors will be "rolled out in the next few months, with input from fans. There are "plans to build a world-class academy with at least 10 fields that can also be used for visiting national and club teams." The team is "expected to begin" playing in '21 at a 25,000-seat, $200M privately-funded stadium to be built in Overtown, although owners are "still exploring other sites." Despite the focus on Overtown, Beckham’s group "owns only a portion of the land necessary, there’s a court battle involved and other venues remain possibilities".

MLS expansion club LAFC has signed a partnership with YouTube TV that will make the service its local English language broadcast partner, as well as its jersey sponsor. The three-year deal is valued at just under $6M annually, according to sources. The club says it is the first partnership in North American pro sports where all locally televised matches will be on a live TV streaming provider. LAFC matches will be featured on a designated YouTube TV channel on the OTT service, in addition to original programming and content. Matches will feature a 30-minute pre- and post-game show. Thirty of the team’s 34 matches will be shown on YouTube TV, which also carries ESPN and FS1 (MLS national TV partners). LAFC expects to sign a partnership with a local, over-the-air Spanish-language partner, as well as partnerships with both English- and Spanish-language radio stations. LAFC co-Owner Chad Hurley is also co-Founder and former CEO of YouTube.


The SEC's revenue "began leveling out" during its FY '17 -- albeit at $650M -- after "two consecutive years of dramatic increases," according to USA Today. Distributions to the SEC’s 14 member schools ranged from $42.8M for Georgia to $39.9M for four other schools. The average per school is about $41M. The new revenue total is "almost exactly double the amount" the conference took in during FY '14. Since then, revenues have been "driven by the start-ups" of SEC Network and the CFP. While it is "likely that its total revenue and per-school distributions will be well ahead of other conferences’, change in that regard is coming." The Detroit Free Press reported in June that it was "projecting revenue" for Michigan from the Big Ten of $51.1M for FY '18, up from $36.3M for '17. Meanwhile, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey was credited with nearly $1.9M in "total compensation" for the '16 calendar year, including $1.8M in base compensation. Sankey replaced Mike Slive as commissioner on June 1, 2015.

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