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Novasports swoops for Premier League rights in Greece (SportsPro Insider) Greek pay-TV network Novasports has secured exclusive domestic broadcast rights to English soccer’s Premier League for the next six seasons.
The new deal, the value of which was not disclosed but is reported to be a significant uplift on the current contract, will kick off from the 2022/23 campaign and conclude after 2027/28. Novasports’ coverage will span nine channels and cover more than 3,000 live matches over the course of the arrangement.

Reports: IPL teams slapped with cryptocurrency and betting deal ban (SportsPro Insider)

Indian Premier League (IPL) teams will be banned from signing commercial partnerships with cryptocurrency and betting companies for the 2022 season, according to reports in India.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) reportedly told franchises in the domestic Twenty20 league that ‘no sponsorship deals with cryptocurrency and betting companies via surrogate measure will be allowed in IPL 2022’.

NFL TV ratings: Raiders’ Thanksgiving win over Cowboys hits 31-year high (SportsPro Insider) The Las Vegas Raiders’ overtime win over the Dallas Cowboys saw CBS claim its Thanksgiving Day broadcast as the most-watched National Football League (NFL) regular season game on any US network since 1990.
The New York Giants’ narrow 3-7 defeat to the San Francisco 49ers on 3rd December 1990 drew 41.4 million for ABC, but the 2021 Thanksgiving Day broadcast drew an average audience of 38.5 million.

Annika Sorenstam Was the Tiger Woods of the LPGA for 26 Years, and Now Golf Tech is Making Her Comeback 'Electric' (SportTechie) Annika Sorenstam retired from competitive golf in 2008 as not only one of the best golfers of all-time, but as the most consistent winner ever.
Her 23.5% career-winning percentage (72 wins out of 307 LPGA Tour starts) is the highest of any golfer on the PGA or LPGA Tours, just ahead of the sports’ other dominant figure from the 1990s and 2000s, Tiger Woods (82 victories out of 368 PGA tour events, 22.3%).
Sorenstam, a World Golf Hall of Famer, also ranks as the LPGA’s all-time money leader with more than $22 million in earnings. She played for Team Europe in eight Solheim Cups, including Europe’s 2003 victory over the U.S. that was played in her native Sweden. 
During her 26-year professional career, Sorenstam won 10 major LPGA Tour championships, beginning with her first LPGA Tour win at the 1995 U.S. Open. She remains the only female golfer to shoot a 59.

FIFA to Trial Instant Offside Calls at Qatar's Arab Cup (SportTechie) FIFA has announced plans to trial its limb-tracking technology system to officiate offsides calls at the Arab Cup. The camera-based technology aims to produce offside calls within seconds of a play unfolding and eliminate delayed rulings. 
All six stadiums at the Arab Cup, staged in Qatar from Tuesday through Dec. 18, have been equipped with 10-to-12 cameras that hang from each venue's roof. The cameras follow player movement on the pitch, tracking 29 data points on each player at a rate of 50 times per second.

Islanders Become Second NHL Team to Have Season Paused by Outbreak (SportsTravel) The NHL’s second outbreak of the season to the point that a team has had games paused as revived the question of if the league will have to reverse its decision to let players go to the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing later this season.
The league paused the New York Islanders’ season on Saturday, less than 24 hours ahead of a game against the rival New York Rangers. Casey Cizikas on Saturday was the eighth Islanders player to test positive, prompting the NHL’s move. Anders Lee, Josh Bailey, Ross Johnston, Kieffer Bellows, Adam Pelech, Andy Greene and Zdeno Chara have all tested positive.

Boston Red Sox ownership group reaches agreement to buy Pittsburgh Penguins (USA TODAY) PITTSBURGH – Fenway Sports Group has reached an agreement with the Pittsburgh Penguins that would give the conglomerate controlling interest in one of the NHL’s marquee franchises.
The Penguins announced Monday that the two sides have come to terms on a deal, which would need to be approved by the NHL’s Board of Governors. A decision is expected by the end of the year.
Financial details were not released. Sportico valued the Penguins at $845 million last month.
As part of the deal, Penguins Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux and co-owner Ron Burkle will remain part of the franchise’s ownership group.

After A Black Friday Shopping Spree, The New York Mets Need To Sign Max Scherzer (Forbes SportsMoney) All it took for Steve Cohen to convince everyone he was indeed a better owner than the Wilpons was one Black Friday shopping spree in which the Mets reportedly agreed to terms with outfielders Mark Canha and Starling Marte and infielder Eduardo Escobar on contracts worth a combined $123.5 million.

Veteran Nascar Analyst Larry McReynolds Says The Next Gen Car Is Ready For 2022 (Forbes SportsMoney) Larry McReynolds, known as America’s crew chief, didn’t know what to expect while attending a test session for the Next Gen racecar at Bowman Gray Stadium last month.
With former drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart and Clint Bowyer behind the wheel, McReynolds knew he’d have a pretty solid idea of how Nascar’s new car — delayed a year because of the coronavirus pandemic — would handle.
“It looks like they’re going to end up going in the direction of where we went with the old package at the smaller tracks,” McReynolds, a Nascar on FOX analyst, said. “From the first time I saw this car in person, they have checked a lot of boxes. It looks good, it looks like a racecar and it sounds like a racecar.”

The NBA Needs To Tweak Its Extension Rules In The Next CBA (Forbes SportsMoney) Extensions are becoming more commonplace in the NBA. With the salary cap reaching record highs ever year, more players are seizing the chance to lock in life-changing, generational wealth before becoming free agents.
However, the NBA could be hurtling toward a long-term issue unless it changes its extension rules in the next collective bargaining agreement.

Stefano Pioli Extends Contract At AC Milan, Reportedly Becoming Fourth-Highest-Paid Serie A Coach (Forbes SportsMoney) The 56-year-old head coach, who brought Milan back to the UEFA Champions League and boasts a 10-2-2 record in the 2021/22 Serie A season, has just inked a new deal that will keep him on the Rossoneri touchline for another two years.

Oregon State, Arkansas Among Teams That Snapped Bowl Eligibility Droughts This College Football Season (Forbes SportsMoney) Given six wins are all that is necessary to advance to a bowl game, of which there are 41 this season, there are not many teams that have gone more than a couple of years without an invitation.
That said, there are a handful of teams that are bowl eligible for the first time since at least 2017. Among them is Oregon State, which snapped a string of seven bowl-less seasons that was tied for the third-longest drought behind Kansas (2008) and Louisiana-Monroe (2012). 

As MLB Lockout Looms, Free Agent Signings Approach $1B. Here’s Why That’s Not Surprising (Forbes SportsMoney) Free agency signings have been on a tear over the last few days in Major League Baseball. So, how can a sport that is spending money so freely also be on the verge of a lockout?
If you were Rip Van Winkel, and had been asleep for the past three years, woke up, and saw the free agent signings that have taken place over the last few days, you’d swear that the relationship between MLB and the players could not be better. If you were told that a lockout was a near given at just after midnight ET on Dec 2nd, you might scratch your head.
The reality is the two have little to do with each other. What is happening is plowing forward as a matter of locking in certainty.

With A Work Stoppage Looming, MLB Free Agency Buzz Is Both A Joy And A Buzzkill (Forbes SportsMoney) In recent days, baseball’s hot stove has taken a significant turn for the dramatic with an array of signings that has given the sport some good attention and created a buzz similar to the early days of every NBA free agency when moves start trickling in in rapid succession.
Unfortunately, the attention of all the movement appears it will be short-lived because by the end of this week, the sport will be in its ninth work stoppage when owners will likely lock out the players upon the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement.
On Sunday night, Kevin Gausman, Marcus Semien came off the board for a combined total of reportedly $285 million. Gausman went from the Giants back to the AL East with the Blue Jays, who saw Semien cash in on his career year by joining the Texas Rangers.

Rams Relocation Lawsuit Settles for Record Amount (Front Office Sports) The NFL dodged a trial in a long-running St. Louis relocation lawsuit over the Rams’ move to Los Angeles with a settlement weeks before trial was scheduled to begin.
At $790 million, the price tag to end the legal dispute was the most the NFL has paid to settle litigation.
The settlement, however, was worth it to the league as it ensured sensitive financial information compiled by lawyers representing the plaintiffs — St. Louis, St. Louis County, and the St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority — would not become public at a jury trial that was set to begin Jan. 10.

Crypto Investors Teaming Up to Someday Buy an NBA Franchise (SportTechie) A contingent of cryptocurrency holders are trying to pool their resources to purchase an NBA team, according to NPR.
The 2,000 crypto investors have connected through a decentralized autonomous organization—otherwise known as a DAO—which NPR stated is “an online group with a collective bank account and mission statement.’’
The organization has named itself “Krause House DAO’’—in honor of the late Chicago Bulls general manager during the Michael Jordan era, Jerry Krause.  As of Friday, NPR reported that Krause House DAO had accumulated “$4 million U.S. in cryptocurrency Ethereum in six days.’’

Baltimore Ravens Hope to Light Up the Scoreboard and Sky With LEDs Sunday Night (SportTechie) The Baltimore Ravens are planning to give their home crowd a lead and LEDs when they play the Cleveland Browns Sunday night in primetime.
In another iteration of fan engagement, spectators who arrive Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium will be handed LED wristbands developed by the pixel technology company PixMob.
According to WBAL-TV in Baltimore, the wirelessly-controlled, various-colored wristbands will be activated if or when the Ravens score and also during the halftime show. After the game, fans will be asked to return the LED bands so they can be recycled.

2021 All-MLB Team Examines Relationship Between Age, Compensation, And Performance (Forbes SportsMoney) Major League Baseball recently announced its 2021 All-MLB Team. In what has become a fun celebration of excellence, fans are given an equal voice in the voting process alongside a distinguished panel of baseball media members. The 31 ball players who comprise this year’s first and second teams are a perfect combination of youth, dominance, and awe-inspiring performances that haven’t been seen in over a century.  

Can Flamengo Become A Super-Club? (Forbes SportsMoney) When Flamengo and their rock-star coach Jorge Jesus swept the Brazilian league and the 2019 Copa Libertadores, South America’s equivalent of the Champions League, in a final for the ages against River Plate with modern, high-pressing soccer, the rest of the world sat up and took notice. Could the Brazilian club break the glass ceiling of Europe’s super-club monopoly? 

Week 12 NFL Preview: All Hail The Coin, Plus The Giants And A Darkhorse MVP Candidate (Sports Handle) I wrote about this last week, and the story is as silly as it is spooky: A 25-year-old Reddit user who goes by the name “pongislame” used pre-season odds and a weighted coin website to predict the outcome of the entire NFL season. Ol’ Pong — let’s just call him Pong — did allow for some shenanigans in his outlook, shaving or adding a half-point to each game if the previous game was an upset win or loss.

F1 extends Spanish GP licence until 2026 (SportsPro Insider) Formula One has announced that the Spanish Grand Prix will remain on its calendar until 2026 after renewing its contract with Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
The series has raced at the circuit since 1991 and runs its preseason testing at the venue.

Bayern Munich AGM gets heated over Qatar Airways deal (SportsPro Insider) Bayern Munich’s recent annual general meeting (AGM) saw heated exchanges between fans and the board amid calls for the German soccer giants to end their partnership with Qatar Airways.
The meeting saw 77.8 per cent of Bayern Munich’s club members vote in favour of the club aligning with ‘internationally acknowledged human rights’ standards, a move designed to end the club’s relationship with the Qatari state-backed airline.

The Latest in Sports and COVID-19: No Postponements for NFL as Aaron Rodgers’ Toe Draws All the Attention (SportsTravel) The coronavirus outbreak has forced difficult decisions for the sports-event industry. As events come back online and as destinations, venues and event organizers determine capacity limits for fans along with health and safety protocols for their events, here is a look at where things stand.

USWNT: A new CBA and an equal pay fight (AXIOS Sports) State of play: The U.S. Soccer Federation announced in September that it had offered both teams the same proposal in an effort to align them under a single CBA. Complicating things is that the men and women have long had different priorities.

U.S. Soccer president: “We’re on the same side” as USWNT on equal pay (AXIOS Sports) It's an unprecedented time. I don't know of another organization negotiating two CBAs simultaneously, while also trying to resolve litigation. At the same time, we're undergoing changes in our business structure and bringing our media rights back in. So it's certainly an interesting time at U.S. Soccer.

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