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Stephen A. Smith Wants NBA’s Bubble In NYC

“Smith highlighted NYC’s size, the number of hotels and the fact that the general public has mostly been wearing masks, as reasons why it should be considered for the NBA bubble.”

Brandon Contes

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The NBA has had nearly an entire offseason worth of time to think it through, but there are still many legitimate concerns about their restart plans in Orlando next month. While teams prepare to finish out the 2019-20 season in Disney World, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith believes the league should move its bubble to New York City. 

Considering New York essentially seemed like a petri dish for COVID-19 in April, playing basketball in or near Manhattan would have been an insane proposal while the Orlando plan was being developed. But right now, New York has shown the ability to bounce back from COVID-19 as well as any area, while Florida is among the states already seeing a spike. 

Despite calls to reopen from various politicians, New York instead showed restraint and discipline, which conceivably has them better prepared to handle a professional sports bubble than Florida. 

“New York, New York. That’s where it should be,” Smith said to the tune of Frank Sinatra Monday morning on First Take. “New York is what it’s all about right now because of that man’s leadership,” Smith added referring to Governor Andrew Cuomo. The city is currently in Phase 2 of their reopening plan. 

Smith highlighted NYC’s size, the number of hotels and the fact that the general public has mostly been wearing masks, as reasons why it should be considered for the NBA bubble. In contrast, Smith described Florida as having opened prematurely with lax safety protocols, leading to its recent surge of COVID-19 cases. 

First Take contributor and former NBA point guard Jay Williams depicted moving the bubble to New York as a logistical nightmare, noting that you can’t pivot this detailed of a plan in just one month. Williams instead said if he were a current player, he would be leaning towards not playing at all.

Sports TV News

FOX Sued for Patent Infringement Over NFL Scheduling

“Recentive Analytics filed suit against FOX in a Delaware federal court on November 29 according to Yahoo Sports.”

Jordan Bondurant

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An analytics company is suing FOX over claims that the network developed a mapping tool using their patented technology to create a season slate of NFL games.

Recentive Analytics filed suit against FOX in a Delaware federal court on November 29 according to Yahoo Sports.

The lawsuit claims FOX used access to Recentive’s predictive analytics tools to develop a resource of their own that would create optimal schedules for its 1 and 4 p.m. NFLwindows.

The company is seeking a declaration that FOX infringed on two of its patents. Recentive is also suing for damages and wants an injunction keeping FOX from using Recentive tech and preventing the network from “selling, offering for sale, marketing or using any internal network and mapping analytics tool for the scheduling and regionalization of events covered by the patents.”

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Sports TV News

FOX Will Use Chris Fallica On Belmont Stakes Coverage

“While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.”

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The Bear will be more than just a college football presence when he moves to FOX. Chris Fallica wrapped his final duties for ESPN last week and is now headed to a new network and will tackle some new responsibilities.

Fallica’s new role at FOX will involve plenty of sports gambling content. Richard Deitsch of The Athletic reports that content will include horse racing.

“One Fox Sports source said look for him to appear on the Belmont Stakes coverage,” Deitsch wrote in his weekly media column.

Starting in 2023, horse racing’s Triple Crown will not be seen all in one place. While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.

How the network intends to use Chris Fallica on the broadcast is not clear. Given that he is coming to the network to contribute to gambling conversations, it is likely he would either be making picks or at least reviewing odds right up to the start of the race.

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Sports TV News

NBCUniversal CEO Expects Disney To Buy Company’s Hulu Stake

“Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal.”

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The Walt Disney Company owns 67% of Hulu. The other 33% is owned by NBCUniversal. The latter company doesn’t expect that to be the case forever.

“It’s worth a lot of money,” NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said at an investor conference earlier this week, “and I think there’s no indication that anything else is going to happen than Disney writing us a big check.”

Hulu is primarily a platform for movies and television shows. It is a major part of Disney’s deal with the NHL though. The streaming giant is part of the package of 103 games that are exclusive to ESPN and ABC. Hulu is also a live TV provider for many. The company’s Hulu Plus Live TV package had over 4 million subscribers as of the summer of 2022.

Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal. He credits sports and content migrated from Hulu as the reason Peacock has grown to 18 million paid subscriptions since September.

Deadline reports that if Disney does want to acquire NBCUniversal’s stake in Hulu, “the price could fluctuate but will be in the tens of billions of dollars.”

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