The news came after the LSU-Florida game scheduled for Saturday was postponed because of an outbreak within the Gators’ program. Notre Dame football was sidelined for nearly two weeks while dealing with an outbreak before returning to play on Oct. 10.
Other College Headlines:
Saban is the highest-paid college football coach, making $9.3 million this year, according to USA Today. The publication’s annual review of college football coach compensation came out Wednesday, finding the average FBS head coach makes $2.7 million, a 1.1% increase from last year.
Las Vegas was named a regional host for the 2023 NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament, the first time the city will play host to the tournament after years of being taboo because of sports betting.
NBA’s Digital Growth
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
The 2019-20 NBA season set new digital media records for the league, with total video views up 17% season-over-season to 20 billion. The NBA restart within the bubble — which successfully staved off any COVID-19 cases — helped propel the league’s strong digital performance.
6.9 billion video views on social channels since July 30 restart.
2.6 billion video views on Instagram.
1 billion video views during the NBA Finals across platforms.
321 million YouTube views during the postseason, up 63% year-over-year.
61 million YouTube views during the NBA Finals, up 21%.
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Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
YouTube surpassed Facebook as the most popular destination for sports highlights, according to Ring Digital. The social media giant dropped 18% from a 2017 survey, while YouTube jumped 10%.
While social media platforms were selected by 44% of respondents looking for highlights, TV network apps still garnered 28%. With consumption habits changing, video highlight importance continues to grow and Ring Digital suggests the direct-to-consumer monetization of sports highlights could be worth as much as $4.5 billion.
Recently, highlights topped a PwC report for most expected growth of sports media consumption at 90.5%.
Top Destinations for Sports Highlights:
YouTube — 53% use on a regular basis for highlights
Facebook — 45%
Instagram — 40%
Snapchat — 16%
TikTok — 16%
Twitter — 14%
Soccer Overhaul Rejected
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
An overhaul of the English soccer system — proposed by American owners of Liverpool and Manchester United — has been rejected. The plan, named Project Big Picture, was leaked earlier this week but rejected at an English Premier League’s shareholders meeting Wednesday.
Despite the rejection, the shareholders agreed to $65 million in grants and loans for clubs in League One and League Two, the pair of leagues below the Premier League. Clubs from outside the “Big Six” were upset at a potential power grab by the top-level teams, while also weary of the suggestion to give 25% of Premier League revenue to lower-level leagues.
Project Big Picture was, in part, meant to help English soccer weather the financial impact of the pandemic. The English government has refrained from intervening with financial support, and the English Football League reportedly turned down an investment from TPG Capital for a 25% equity stake in the lower leagues.
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Latest On FOS
Puma Basketball has taken the next major step in reviving its brand, signing presumptive NBA Draft lottery pick LaMelo Ball to a long-term deal. LaMelo — the youngest of the infamous Ball brother trio — is the first to sign an endorsement deal outside of their father LaVar’s Big Baller Brand.
The Professional Fighters League is continuing its expansion into digital content streams with a WAVE.tv partnership. The deal is the first piece of a broader strategy to expand its distribution and monetize its content beyond ESPN and its own channels.
43% of respondents said an athlete sharing a political opinion does not impact their fandom of that athlete; 25% said it increases their fandom of that athlete; and 32% said it decreases their fandom of that athlete.