02/07/20: MLS and the MLS Players Association locked in a new 5-year labor deal

 

 

Friday February 7, 2020

Labor peace for Major League Soccer for the next five years as MLS and the MLS Players Association struck an agreement in principle for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement that will begin with the upcoming season. The deal is subject to approval by the MLS Board of Governors and the MLSPA. Deal points include increased investment in player spending, greater salary budget flexibility across rosters, players sharing in media revenue, and increase in charter flights as well as expanded free agency.

“As we prepare to celebrate our 25th season, we are very pleased to finalize a new five-year Collective Bargaining Agreement with our players,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “This agreement addresses key strategic priorities for the league and our players while also retaining the basic player compensation structure that has been the foundation for the growth and stability of Major League Soccer.”

PROGRAMMING

The NFL Scouting Combine is heading to primetime, with NFL Network announcing that its coverage of the event shift into the daypart, starting Feb. 27 at 4p and running until 11p and repeating on Feb. 27 and 28. NFL Network’s Combine coverage concludes with five hours of live coverage of the defensive backs on March 1 starting at 2p. Host Rich Eisen and NFL Draft expert Daniel Jeremiah anchor NFL Network’s coverage of the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine joined by Charles Davis and others.

FOX Sports takes on the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show starting tomorrow and running though Feb. 11 across FS1, FS2 and digital platforms. The event woill see Chris Myers and Gail Miller Bisher joined by veteran judge Don Sturz in the broadcast booth. Primetime coverage of the 144th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show begins Feb. 10 at 7p on FS1 with a 30-minute pre-event program before breed winners enter the ring at 7:30p. Jenny Taft returns to host FS1’s primetime coverage.

ESPN announced plans to dedicate “All-Access” coverage to all four of its spring training telecasts, including the Red Sox/Yankees game on Mar. 3 at 1p. ESPN “All-Access” documents the complete game day experience and offers behind-the-scenes content throughout the day, including players, managers and executives mic’d up, in-game interviews, features, essays and other content leading up to – and through – the game. The slate will also include Angels/Cubs on March 2, Cardinals/Mets on march 4 and Red Sox/Braves on March 6. In total, ESPN and ESPN+ will combine to carry 10 MLB spring training games this March with six games available live on ESPN+ from Mar. 19-24.

NASCAR America returns for its seventh season next Monday at 5p on NBCSN, with a new weekly schedule that will see Monday episodes recap the weekend that was in NASCAR, taking a look at the major storylines and developments from each prior race weekend. Jeff Burton, Kyle Petty, and Steve Letarte will host Monday’s Season 7 premiere episode. This season will also feature two episodes of NASCAR America MotorMouths each week, which will typically air Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5p. The Dale Jr. Download returns for its second season on NBCSN and moves to Wednesday nights at 5p.

MLB Network carries an exclusive interview with former Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch and MLB Network insider Tom Verducci on MLB Tonight this evening at 6p. In the interview, which was filmed this week, Hinch addresses the league’s recent investigation into the Houston Astros.

The Winter Dew Tour is underway with four days of live programming out of Copper Mountain, Colo., will be livestreamed in its entirety on DewTour.com and on various partner channels. Additionally, NBC will feature a 90-minute show celebrating the Women of Winter Dew Tour, empowered by Bumble, in the coming weeks. In addition to the primary webcast on DewTour.com, the event will also be streamed live on Dew Tour’s YouTube channel and on the following partner pages: Snowboarder, Men’s Journal, Powder Magazine, and Newschoolers. It can also be viewed on the Men’s Journal Facebook page, and on Mixer and Periscope.

You be the judge! Final days to enter the Cynopsis Sports Media Awards and there are still a few spots left on our judging panel. Do you know a creative superstar qualified to join our panel of industry experts? Click here to nominate yourself or a colleague to judge.

Turner Sports delivers multi-platform coverage of the Round of 16 for the UEFA Champions League on Feb. 18-19 through B/R Live and TNT at 3p. B/R Football’s upcoming studio coverage from Turner Studios in Atlanta will be hosted by Kate Abdo, along with analysts Stu Holden, Tim Howard and Maurice Edu.

TSN will deliver complete live coverage of the XFL’s launch this season, announcing a deal that kicks-off with the league’s opening game pitting DC Defenders/Seattle Dragons tomorrow at 2p. The network’s XFL coverage is available for live streaming and on-demand viewing to TSN and TSN Direct subscribers.

Speaking of the XFL, VSiN unveiled a new partnership with the league and iHeartRadio to create audio BetCasts for two games each week during the 2020 XFL 10-week regular season and two-week post-season. The BetCasts will feature VSiN sports betting experts covering XFL games live from VSiN’s studios in Las Vegas through a wagering lens. “Football is America’s favorite sport for wagering and we’re committed to providing football fans XFL content that aligns with their betting interests,” said Jeffrey Pollack, President and COO of the XFL. “A core part of our strategy is to embrace the spread, and with great partners like VSiN and iHeartRadio, we are uniquely positioned to do just that and provide fans with industry-leading wagering analysis that will strengthen their engagement with our games.”

Malka Sports is tapping college basketball insider Jon Rothstein to launch “Stuffed with Jon Rothstein” on YouTube. The show will feature Rothstein’s spin on college basketball along with interviews with the top players and coaches in the sport, starting Feb. 12 at midnight, with recurring episodes every week though the duration of the 2019-20 NCAA season.

SiriusXM takes on the Daytona 500 with the news and events of NASCAR’s annual Speedweeks leading up to race day. On Daytona 500 race day, SiriusXM will offer 15 hours of live programming from the speedway starting at 7a. Subscribers will hear every lap of the “The Great American Race” plus full pre- and post-race coverage with expert analysis, reports from pit road and the garages, driver introductions and interviews with the race winner and other drivers.

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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

Sport Clips is expanding its ties with Joe Gibbs Racing this season, adding Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. to its sponsorship portfolio, joining fellow drivers Erik Jones and Denny Hamlin. Sport Clips will serve as the primary sponsor for several races this season among the four drivers including: Busch’s No. 18 Toyota Camry for the spring Cup race at Phoenix on March 8; Truex’s No. 19 Toyota Camry at the spring Cup race at Dover on May 3; Jones’ No. 20 Toyota Camry for five races this season: The Busch Clash at Daytona this Sunday, July 19 at New Hampshire, Sept. 6 at Darlington, Oct. 4 at Talladega and Oct. 25 at Texas. The brand will also sponsor Hamlin in his lone Xfinity Series race of this season on Sept. 5 at Darlington.

Meanwhile, Busch Light announced plans for the Daytona 500 with the launch of #Pit4Busch, giving fans across the country the chance to take home a brand-new sports car. Each time driver Kevin Harvick pits during the race, fans will have between 12 and 16 seconds—however long the stop takes—to tweet #Pit4Busch and #Sweepstakes for the chance to win a brand-new Ford Mustang. The winning vehicles will be fully-wrapped in the classic Busch Light #4 paint scheme.

DIGITAL, DATA & TECH

FanDuel Group and the XFL unlocked a fantasy partnership that named FanDuel an “Official Fantasy Sports Partner” of the league. The partnership gives FanDuel access to official XFL data, along with league and team marks and logos to create official daily fantasy football contests on FanDuel during the XFL’s 2020 regular season and post-season. FanDuel and the XFL will collaborate on custom content and special promotions for FanDuel’s fantasy customers, including social giveaways with unique XFL prizing.

Continuing the theme, the XFL named ’47 as its official headwear partner. The company is now providing headwear and apparel for all eight XFL teams at www.XFLShop.com and www.47brand.com. In addition, ’47 produced three styles that will be seen on the heads of coaches and players on the sidelines when the XFL kicks off tomorrow.

ESPORTS

The NBA 2K League struck a partnership with Panera Bread ahead of the 2020 NBA 2K League Draft, which will be held Saturday, Feb. 22 at 6p at Terminal 5 in New York City and livestreamed on the NBA 2K League’s Twitch and YouTube channels. The partnership marks Panera Bread’s first with a professional esports league and the NBA 2K League’s first with a restaurant partner. As part of the partnership, Panera Bread will deliver food to NBA 2K League hosts, broadcasters and players during live broadcasts. In addition, each week during the season on the league’s livestream and social media channels, the NBA 2K League will present “Rookies Who Deliver Presented by Panera Bread.” The series will tell the stories of the 2020 NBA 2K League rookie class on and off the virtual court while highlighting standout rookie performances throughout the season.

Immortals Gaming Club named the Southern California Toyota Dealers Association as the Official and Exclusive Automotive Partner of Immortals, IGC’s League of Legends brand. As part of the agreement, the Southern California Toyota Dealers Association will receive prominent logo placement on all Immortals LCS players’ jerseys, host extensive and novel onsite Toyota-branded fan experiences at Immortals LCS matches, and work with Immortals to promote Toyota’s full line of cars, trucks and SUV’s. The Southern California Toyota Dealers Association will also collaborate with IGC to develop and distribute “Inside Immortals,” a behind the scenes, multi-episode docuseries detailing the personal and professional lives of the Immortals players, coaches and staff.

G2 Esports announced a partnership renewal with Logitech G. “G2 is all about creating immersive and memorable experiences for fans through collaborations with our partners,” said Carlos ‘ocelote’ Rodriguez, CEO of G2 Esports. “We are excited to expand our partnership with Logitech to provide entertaining activations and products for the #G2ARMY and our players. 2020 is going to be a year to remember for G2 Esports and we are excited to keep winning with Logitech.”

Monumental Sports & Entertainment and the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates allied for a partnership focused on the “growth and inclusivity of esports on a global level.” As part of this global partnership, MSE will amplify the message of UAE-USA United, an Embassy initiative to foster and promote the deep bilateral relationship and cultural connections between the two nations. UAE-USA United will also serve as the presenting partner of a Caps Gaming Esports Tournament as well as the MSE Weekly Esports Show. The initiative will also have brand recognition within Twitch, virtual in-game signage, branded content, and practice facility signage for Wizards District Gaming. In addition, UAE-USA United will sponsor a unique esports tournament.

Livestreaming organization Team Kitty raised $10,000 to donate to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Funds were raised at the culmination of a two week-long streaming campaign, starting on January 23, with a livestream from Team Kitty founder Kristen “KittyPlays” Michaela, and concluding on February 4, World Cancer Day. The campaign saw over 7,200 hours of watched content. In addition to livestreaming, Team Kitty also partnered with BCRF to design and sell exclusive merchandise, including clothing and PopSockets, that support research with each sale.

INDUSTRY & ROSTER MOVES

SailGP sold a minority stake to Endeavor, with the investment valuing the global sports property at $200 million after its first season. As part of the investment, SailGP will “benefit from access to the Endeavor network’s expertise across content production, media rights distribution, creative services, licensing, sponsorships and consumer marketing.,” according to the announcement.

NASCAR announced several leadership promotions across the breadth of its business. Ben Kennedy has been promoted Vice President, Racing Development; John Martin has been promoted to Vice President, Media and Event Technology; Patrick Rogers has been promoted to Vice President, Marketing Services; and Chris Schwartz has been promoted to Vice President, Media Properties.

USA Curling hired Jeff Plush to serve as the org’s new CEO. The former commissioner of the National Women’s Soccer League will be charged with growing the game at both the elite and grassroots level.

THE MAIN EVENT

The XFL kicks off on ABC on Saturday at 2p with the Seattle Dragons/DC Defenders followed by the LA Wildcats/Houston Roughnecks on FOX at 5p.

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On This Day
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