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Potential CFL/XFL Merger Could Garner $100 million For Media Rights

The Toronto Sun reports that Daniel Cohen, a senior vice-president of global media rights consulting for Octagon, states that cornering both the top markets in the United States and Canada is a powerful bargaining chip for a television deal.

Eduardo Razo

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The coronavirus pandemic has hit the financial revenue of every sports league. As a result, it’s forcing organizations to think of ways to soften the blow that they’re enduring moneywise. 

For example, the National Hockey League is dipping to advertising their divisions’ names and placing advertisement stickers on their helmets. Another league that’s thinking outside the box to survive is the post-coronavirus world is the Canadian Football League. 

After canceling its entire 2020 season, the CFL needs not only a 2021 season but a business model that allows them to survive as a niche league. Earlier this month, rumors of a potential merger with the XFL began to surface. Both sides refused to comment on the matter. 

Nonetheless, the Toronto Sun reports that Daniel Cohen, a senior vice-president of global media rights consulting for Octagon, states that cornering both the top markets in the United States and Canada is a powerful bargaining chip for a television deal. 

Cohen adds that if both leagues were to merge, that they could easily ask for $100 million U.S. per year, whether it’s a combination of media and sponsorship rights. It will be interesting to see if staring at these dollar figures could entice both leagues to merge.

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After Losing Out On Big Ten Rights, ESPN Turns Focus to NCAA Championships

According to Front Office Sports, ESPN’s contract for 29 NCAA Championships ends in 2024.

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After reportedly losing out on the Big Ten’s television rights, ESPN is reportedly turning to securing the NCAA Championship rights from hitting the open market.

According to Front Office Sports, ESPN’s contract for 29 NCAA Championships ends in 2024. Those 29 championships include everything from Women’s basketball to ice hockey, wrestling, softball, and baseball. The network pays a reported $34 million for the rights to broadcast those championship events.

However, according to a study commissioned by the NCAA reveals that the women’s basketball tournament could be worth anywhere from $81 million to $112 million per year by its lonesome. The NCAA is reportedly considering selling the women’s basketball tournament rights as a standalone product in the next negotiation.

Sources told Front Office Sports ESPN remains interested in striking deals with the Pac-12 and Big 12 media rights, as well as renewing a deal for the College Football Playoff.

The news comes after Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand reported ESPN declined a final offer from the Big Ten for a portion of the conference’s media rights. The reported deal was seven years and $380 million per year.

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ESPN Announces The Return of Stephen A. Smith to First Take

ESPN announced Smith will be returning to First Take on Monday, August 15th.

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Stephen A. Smith

First Take has been without it’s anchor since the day after the NBA Draft in June. That’s when the ESPN personality took some time off to undergo shoulder surgery and to rehabilitate. However, it appears the wait for his return is almost over.

ESPN announced with a tweet that Smith will be returning to First Take on Monday, August 15th. They also teased a guest appearance from Michael Irvin.

This comes a day after Smith tweeted that the countdown was on for his return and we are one week away from the event.

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Field Yates Re-Ups With ESPN

After the departure of Matthew Berry to NBC, ESPN has locked down fantasy expert Field Yates with a new contract to remain in Bristol.

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Field Yates

After the departure of Matthew Berry to NBC, ESPN has locked down fantasy expert Field Yates with a new contract to remain in Bristol.

Yates, 35, would have been a valuable target for FanDuel or DraftKings, surmises Andrew Marchand of The New York Post — who first reported the news — due to his large following on Twitter.

Yates, who also works as a host of Fantasy Football Now and NFL Insider for the network, across multiple platforms including ESPN Radio, will continue in those roles in addition to an assumed expansion of fantasy football duties after Berry’s exit.

He has worked for ESPN since 2012.

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