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Vince McMahon Confirms The Return of the XFL

Jason Barrett

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Vince McMahon is rolling the dice a second time on the XFL. The WWE CEO and Chairman confirmed speculation earlier today during a press session with members of the media.

According to McMahon, the league will begin play in 2020 and consist of eight teams, with forty players on each roster. The plan is to introduce a ten game regular season, starting in late January or early February, and feature two semifinal playoff games, and one championship contest. The cities where each franchise will be play and the broadcast outlets where the games will air have not yet been decided.

Given his involvement with the WWE, many assumed McMahon would use the wrestling company’s talent and mainstream appeal to create buzz for his new football league. However, he said the league will look and operate different from the one that launched in 2001. Part of that includes not involving WWE stars in the XFL’s programming and promotional plans. Broadcast talent from the wrestling company will also not be utilized. McMahon says he’s looking to create separation between the two brands, and made the point on numerous occasions that the new XFL will be more family friendly than reliant on aggressive language, stunts, sex,and violence.

One of the decisions which is likely to garner heavy media attention was McMahon’s announcement that players with arrest records would not be hired by the league, and all who participate will stand for the national anthem.

“We want to entertain — that’s what we do,” McMahon told The Daily. “There are not going to be any politics involved with this thing. We’re not going to have any social issues involved. People want to be entertained. It’s the entertainment value that sometimes is lost.”

To make the XFL a reality, McMahon is funding the league through Alpha Entertainment, a private equity company he recently created to fund sports and entertainment opportunities. The company will start with $100 million in funding, but McMahon believes it will require going beyond that number to deliver a successful product.

“This is an opportunity to re-imagine football — not reinvent it,” added McMahon. “Sitting in front of a television for three-and-a-half hours for a game is a lot of time to devote. We want a faster game. We want a more exciting game. We want rules that are simplified. In the end, we want it to be more fan friendly with more engagement.”

Among the ideas being discussed for the new league are eliminating halftime, simplifying the rule book, and producing a game from start to finish in two-hours and with less commercials breaks. To get a stronger understanding of what fans want, McMahon says he will be involved in upcoming listening tours asking fans, football experts and media figures to come up with the best way to stage football games. The WWE promoter plans this time to remain in the background rather than appear as the face of the league, even if he is the sole owner and founder of it.

To see the new logo for the league, click here.

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ESPN Accused Of Data Sharing Without Consent In Class Action Lawsuit

The proposed suit alleges these are violations of the Video Privacy Protection Act.

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According to a potential class action lawsuit, user data from ESPN.com and ESPN+ has been allegedly shared with Meta Platforms without users consent.

Corrado Rizzi of ClassAction.org has proposed the suit, alleging that ESPN “uses a pixel installed on the back end of its website to track when website and app users take certain actions, such as clicking on an ad or viewing video content”. That “pixel” is used by Facebook to capture “a subscriber’s Facebook ID, with which anyone can ‘quickly and easily’ locate, access, and identify a particular Facebook account and a file containing details of a watched video and its corresponding URL.”

Rizzi adds that ESPN.com and ESPN+ subscribers aren’t told their data could be shared. He also shares that while ESPN could create its website to information isn’t immediately shared with Facebook, it benefits financially from utilizing the “pixel” on its website.

The proposed suit alleges these are violations of the Video Privacy Protection Act. The VPAA, according to ClassAction.org, “prohibits ‘video tape service providers’ from knowingly disclosing without consent consumers’ personally identifiable information, including that which identifies someone as having requested or obtained specific video materials”.

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Pat McAfee Feels Good About His College Football MegaCast Debut

“I feel good going into the next one. I feel like we’ve learned from this first one,” he said.

Jordan Bondurant

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The College Football MegaCast featuring Pat McAfee and his daily YouTube show’s cast debuted on ESPN2 over the weekend, and McAfee is looking forward to the next edition.

On his show Monday, McAfee told co-host A.J. Hawk that he felt good about how the show went considering it was uncharted territory to be in.

“We had no idea how successful it would be,” McAfee said. “Like this is the first time we’re being judged in a different fashion. I don’t think we marketed it much, you know, because I don’t think we knew how it was gonna go.”

The alternate feed is being produced for ESPN by Omaha Productions, which is also responsible for the ManningCast which runs alongside the traditional Monday Night Football broadcast.

McAfee said this first show turned out to be a learning experience and that they started off on the right foot.

“I feel good going into the next one. I feel like we’ve learned from this first one,” he said. “We had no idea, it was very much of a roll of the dice. Going into the next one I think we’re gonna try and make it even grander and bigger, and I’m very excited for it.”

As for the style in which they covered the Clemson/N.C. State game, McAfee added that the giveaways and guest interactions added a lot of value.

“I think it’s the right way to watch a game, and to be honest I think it’s keeping us all invested as much and even more,” he said.

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LA Clippers Sign New Contract with Bally Sports

The multi-year agreement will go into effect this season. Bally will carry 63 of the team’s 2022-23 regular season games.

Jordan Bondurant

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The Los Angeles Clippers will continue its relationship with Bally Sports, completing a new deal over the weekend to keep Bally as the team’s regional sports network.

The multi-year agreement will go into effect this season. Bally will carry 63 of the team’s 2022-23 regular season games. Additionally, 11 games will be carried by KTLA, giving the team some additional viewership reach. The remaining eight games will be broadcast on national television.

Brian Sieman will continue on as the play-by-play broadcaster for games, with Jim Jackson and Mike Fratello swapping the analyst chair. Jamie Maggio and Kristina Pink will be reporting.

According to the Los Angeles Times, all signs pointed to the team and the network hashing out a new contract.

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