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Netflix/Fox Legal Fight Could Have Effect On Sports World

“The Hollywood Reporter speculated in March that a Netflix victory could allow Anthony Davis to leave New Orleans and sign with another team immediately”

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Netflix and 21st Century Fox are currently in a legal battle concerning entertainment executives under lengthy contracts. A struggle that seemed rooted entirely in the entertainment business has turned to threaten professional sports’ means of contracting players.

The case initially began when Fox sued Netflix when it recruited programming executive Tara Flynn and marketing executive Marcos Waltenberg.

Netflix claims Fox’s contracts, including those for Flynn and Waltenberg, restrict compensation, movement, and opportunities for competitor. Fox is counterclaiming unfair competition and arguing against any injunction that would prevent Netflix from soliciting, recruiting and inducing Fox employees to leave.

Netflix is also taking the stance that Fox’s practice of re-upping consecutive contracts is against California law. Fox countered the argument Tuesday by saying that NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s 14-year career as a Los Angeles Laker also violated the law.

According to Fox, “Netflix’s position reduces to the untenable proposition that two independent contracts must be treated as one under California law merely because they are consecutive — ‘back-to-back,’ in Netflix’s words — even though the second contract (i) was negotiated and signed after the first; (ii) contains terms materially different from the first agreement; (iii) does not incorporate or depend on the terms of the first contract; and (iv) applies to a different time period. On that remarkable theory, no employee in California may lawfully work uninterrupted for a single company for longer than seven years — according to Netflix, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s storied 14-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers was a violation of California law. To state the proposition is to refute it.”

Fox says its contracts are “consecutive — but separate — employment contracts.” In other words, while the contract applies to the same employee, it contains brand new language that reset the seven-year time frame.

“Were Fox to negotiate a successive employment contract only at the precise termination date of the initial agreement, each employee would be (rightly) anxious in the months preceding the expiration of a contract that she would no longer have a contract-guaranteed job come termination date,” Fox added. “And if negotiations took several days or weeks, as arms-length contract negotiations often do, the employee (even if she ultimately chooses to sign a new contract) would lack contract-guaranteed benefits and salary for an indeterminate negotiations period. Netflix cannot justify a legal rule that would require a break in employment every seven years, and thus deprive a significant portion of the California workforce of fundamental elements of job security.”

Abdul-Jabbar’s career example doesn’t stand alone. Contract extensions happen every year in every professional sports league. Legendary careers such as Tom Brady, Kobe Bryant and Derek Jeter see players spend their entire 20-year career with one team without a thought of leaving for another team.

The case could extend to current player contracts as well. The Hollywood Reporter speculated in March that a Netflix victory could allow Anthony Davis to leave New Orleans and sign with another team immediately

Regardless of who comes out on top in the court case, the outcome could change the foundation of athlete contracts. Whether that means a revision of the seven-year law or simply a change to the language of contracts remains to be seen.

Sports Online

Chris Long Didn’t Like the Attention That Came With TV Analyst Work

“If I’m like ‘Damn I got to take a flight up there every week, I got to get suits’, then I don’t really want to do that.”

Ricky Keeler

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Former NFL defensive end Chris Long has found his niche in the media space as the host of The Green Light Podcast and it is an outlet that he has been very comfortable with in terms of expressing his opinions.

Long was a guest on The Season with Peter Schrager podcast and he told Schrager that on the occasions when he has been an analyst on television, the attention he got was not something he was completely comfortable with.

“Sure, I maybe could work towards having one of those good jobs, but I also understand there’s a big process with that.

“I’ve been at a crossroads at times as a media guy where I’m like ‘Should I just do that?’ If I got to ask myself, then I don’t really want it. If I’m like ‘Damn I got to take a flight up there every week, I got to get suits’, then I don’t really want to do that and honestly, the couple of times I’ve been on TV, I don’t like the attention.”

One of the reasons Long mentioned why he isn’t comfortable being on TV is he doesn’t want to feel like he has to perform and on his podcast, he can be himself.

“Being on TV, I get really uncomfortable performing. I don’t like performing and I don’t like being told what to say. Here, that never happens. For the most part, I think finding your groove in this side of things is just having conversations…It’s just a nice change of pace.”

Long also feels that in this day and age of social media, it’s a constant argument about any NFL point that is being made and that is not something he wants to deal with.

“The world of podcasting has gotten better where the money is very good. Maybe I’d be making a little less money starting out doing studio stuff. For me, I do not like — whether it’s Twitter or whether it’s a guy on the street — I’m over arguing with people.”

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Sports Online

NASCAR Driver Denny Hamlin Launching Podcast with Dale Earnhardt Jr & Dirty Mo Media

“New episodes will be published each Monday during the NASCAR season with previews and reviews of races, with the goal of inviting guests and interacting with fans playing a future role in the series.”

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Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Dirty Mo Media has announced a podcast deal with NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin.

Hamlin will host Actions Detrimental with Denny Hamlin on a weekly basis during the NASCAR season. The Actions Detrimental branding is verbiage used by NASCAR for fines assessed to drivers for their disparaging comments about the sport. Known as one of NASCAR’s more outspoken drivers, Hamlin has been fined several times under the “actions detrimental to stock car racing” statutes.

New episodes will be published each Monday during the NASCAR season with previews and reviews of races, with the goal of inviting guests and interacting with fans playing a future role in the series.

Denny Hamlin jokingly thanked Dirty Mo Media for the “opportunity and the fat check” the company wrote for him to host the podcast in a Twitter announcement.

The 42-year-old Hamlin has won 48 races during his 18-year NASCAR Cup Series career. In addition to serving as a driver for Joe Gibbs Racing, he co-owns 23XI Racing with basketball legend Michael Jordan.

The podcast is the latest in an expansion of content produced by the Mooresville, North Carolina-based digital outlet. After beginning with The Dale Jr. Download, the company has grown to include other podcasts like Door, Bumper, Clear, and Speed Street, as well as video projects like The Next Level.

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Sports Online

Barstool Sports CEO: Golf Likely Next Step For Company’s Live Broadcasts

“I think we‘ll start with the biggest sports that we know and love.”

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Barstool Sports CEO Erika Nardini recently did a wide-ranging interview with AdAge.com about the future of the digital sports outlet’s television aspirations, and she said sports they’re familiar with will take priority.

“”We want sports that appeal to a broad audience. We’re kind of tickled to be able to broadcast things in the first place. So I think we‘ll start with the biggest sports that we know and love, whether it’s basketball and football,” Nardini said. “You could definitely see that extended to golf, that would probably be the next place that we’ll play.”

The questions about Barstool’s future aspirations come after the company’s successful first broadcast of the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl. Barstool says the broadcast received nearly 1 million views, peaking at 130,000 concurrent viewers. The outlet also broadcasted the Barstool Sports Invitational that featured Akron, Mississippi State, Toledo, and UAB in November.

Nardini added that the company is interested live televised sports for a few reasons.

“We’re owned by a sports betting company and the more we think about building our sports platform, there’s obviously a huge opportunity for us to convey a whole bunch of offerings to our audience, but certainly betting will be one of them…I think that live sports on television is the last man standing where it’s all anyone tunes in for.”

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