PennyStockPayCheck.com Rss

Featured Posts

Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to http://pennystockpaycheck.com for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

Read more

Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

Read more

Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

Read more

Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

Read more

UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

Read more

BT agrees to buy ESPN channels

Category : Business

BT agrees to buy ESPN’s UK and Ireland TV channels and its live rights to show FA Cup, Scottish Premier League and Uefa Europa League matches.

Read the original post: BT agrees to buy ESPN channels

Post to Twitter

A new power of TV sport aiming to prove that Sky has a limit | Owen Gibson

Category : Business

Most rivals to Sky Sport’s dominance have failed but BT is determined to become a major player of lasting impact

Those who know him well had rarely seen Richard Scudamore so animated. When the Premier League chief executive ripped open the envelopes that revealed the bids for the live domestic rights to top-flight English football, it was not just the eye-watering sums on offer – which eventually topped £3bn and are likely to reach more than £5.5bn once overseas totals are totted up later this month – that prompted his excited reaction.

The fact it was BT, whose tight-knit coterie of executives had managed to keep their bid a closely guarded secret, and not al-Jazeera, as had been strongly rumoured, that had made a major play for Premier League TV rights gave him renewed confidence that despite ever-present threats from regulators and online piracy, the growth in broadcasting income that has greased the league’s wheels for two decades would continue.

For perhaps the first time since BSkyB blew ITV’s bid “out of the water” on the instruction of Sir Alan Sugar to snatch the first batch of Premier League rights in 1991, a competitor with deep pockets and a strategic reason to launch an all-out assault on Sky’s dominance of British sports broadcasting had emerged that Scudamore believed would guarantee future growth for the next decade or more.

The 20 Premier League clubs immediately set about trying to devise a means of ensuring that their bonanza did not simply flow into the pockets of players and agents, and fans’ groups began wondering why ticket prices are ever rising even though the TV bounty has grown from £38m per season to £1.83bn per season in 20 years.

But on the management floor of BT’s headquarters in the City, the celebrations did not last long. Instead came the looming realisation of the stark challenge in trying to succeed where ITV Digital, Setanta and even the Walt Disney-owned US giant ESPN had failed in taking on Sky’s dominance.

With only 38 live matches per season, albeit of a better quality than those secured before them by Setanta (which went bust) and ESPN, BT faces the same challenge in persuading Sky subscribers that their additional matches are more than an optional extra. History is littered with the burned out shells of companies who have launched challenges against Sky in a blaze of glory but ended up retreating or folding altogether.

BT aimed for a larger portion of the 146 matches per season on offer, but BSkyB massively upped its bids in the second round to ensure it retained the lion’s share. That has left the former monopoly telecoms provider paying a huge premium for its “first-pick” matches, which will air on Saturday lunchtimes, midweek and on bank holidays.

The senior executives assembled in BT’s headquarters near St Paul’s by BT Vision’s chief executive Marc Watson, himself a sports rights expert who worked for eight years at the company that advises the Premier League on its strategy, soon realised the scale of the task.

Rather than outsourcing the project of building two sports channels from scratch and renting studios from ITV, insiders say they resolved to take an alternative route that underscores their long-term ambition but increases the short-term risk. Some industry experts say they may have over-reached themselves.

They have signed a 10-year lease on the cavernous media centre at the Olympic Park and, shortly before Christmas, signed a deal with Sunset+Vine to produce its live coverage. They face a race against time to move into the new studios, which will be the biggest in London, by June in order to get the channels on air in July.

Aware that the new business must have a culture and identity that is distinct from yet part of the BT brand, they aim to create a mirror image of the Sky campus that has grown in ad hoc fashion over 20 years on the other side of London. Meanwhile, BT Tower in central London is also likely to be used as an iconic studio location.

There is a desire to forge links with other venues at the Olympic Park, sponsoring teams and venues. The park is currently a sad shadow of the pulsating mass of humanity that formed a backdrop to Britain’s greatest ever sporting event, and BT believes it can be a key part of the rebirth.

A bid for the naming rights of the Olympic Stadium is not out of the question and there is a desire to exploit existing links created by its sponsorship of the Olympics and Paralympics.

Tony Ball, the former BSkyB chief executive who is now a BT director, has played a key role in advising on its strategy. He was instrumental in selecting Simon Green, a Sky Sports veteran who has also worked at Setanta and the Football Association, to run the channel and hiring Grant Best, who made his name as a young football producer at Sky before overseeing ESPN’s US World Cup coverage from South Africa, as the senior executive producer.

In the intervening six months they must also sign a roster of talent to complement Jake Humphrey, poached from the BBC and signed to a contract that guarantees he will work for them for 150 days a year. Sunset+Vine’s chairman, Jeff Foulser, whose staff will be embedded within the BT Sport operation in Stratford and effectively take over the schedules from Friday to Sunday, said it would have a different feel to Sky’s coverage and would introduce new talent that would set it apart.

“It’s going to be a hard few months’ work. It’s the biggest production contract in British television. For us, it’s a vindication of all the stuff we’ve done over the years, from Channel 4 cricket to BBC horse racing,” said Foulser. “I think we’ve shown with coverage of other sports that we can look at things a bit differently and be a bit adventurous. That’s the way we’ve always approached things.

“We’re not going to mess with the match coverage but it’s what we do around it, the talent they bring in and the technology that we’ll employ. It will give it a different feel, they’ve got big plans.

“Sky have done wonderful things for sport but we should never think that it can’t be done better. We like to have a bit of fun, to take the mickey out of ourselves but not the sport.”

BT Sport’s small team must conceive and launch a large-scale marketing and pricing plan that makes it attractive enough to viewers on other platforms such as Sky and Virgin but places greater emphasis on luring customers to its own TV, telephone and broadband services.

And it must win other properties to add to the Premiership rugby and continental football rights it has tied up. If ESPN simply picks up its ball and goes home in June – executives are understood to have been back and forth to headquarters in the US in talks over the channel’s future once it loses its flagship Premier League rights at the end of the season – then BT will be keen to do a deal to pick up the final year of its FA Cup contract and the broadcaster’s other rights to bulk out its schedule.

BT starts with certain advantages that its predecessors did not enjoy. It is a long-established UK business that has freed up £2.2bn a year to fund its development and has taken a strategic decision to invest some of that in content to support the transition of its business into the digital age, where it is competing not only with Sky and Virgin but a raft of other providers.

But the challenge to Sky is as much a defensive as an offensive play. Part of that strategy involves its new superfast broadband network, part of it the new YouView TV service and part of it the decision to invest billions over the next decade in building a portfolio of sports channels to rival Sky.

The wider rationale is that just as Sky has started eating BT’s lunch by bundling broadband and phone services into TV packages, BT is belatedly attempting to do the same in the content areas that have fuelled Sky’s success.

BT insists it is in this for the long term, that it is an integral part of a wider plan to become the single-fibre “pipe” into everyone’s home. Success will not be judged on subscriber figures for the new operation alone but on how many customers can be attracted and retained.

“We’re not in it just because we fancy setting up a sports channel, although that is very exciting,” says Watson. “We’re in it because we think it will help us grow our consumer business and it helps to unlock potential revenue in the marketplace that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to get – for telephone, for fibre and for television.”

Executives will look to do deals with Sky and Virgin to broadcast the sports channels on their services, it is understood, but BT customers willing to take them as part of a larger package of TV, broadband and telephony will be offered heavy discounts. Just as Sky had to have top-flight football in 1991 to save the then ailing satellite service, so BT sees it as crucial to its new business model – hence Scudamore’s delight.

“The big question is whether this a short-term battle or a long-term war,” says one senior industry insider. BT insists it is the latter, but it will have to dig deep in the hope of victory. Long before the Premier League rights were awarded, Sky began strategically signing long-term deals to tie up rights to sports that could shift the dial in terms of subscriber numbers. It renewed its deal with the England and Wales Cricket Board and began signing long-term contracts with overseas cricket boards locking up rights until the end of the decade.

The one exception, and the one which rang alarm bells at Sky’s HQ in Osterley in west London because it underlined the seriousness of BT’s intent, was the ambitious £152m attempt to “own” domestic rugby. The European element of the deal is still mired in the ongoing dispute between Premier Rugby and European Rugby Cup, which oversees the Heineken Cup, but BT Sport executives expect it to be resolved in their favour and see major potential for growth. They have also signed deals to screen live football from the Italian, French, Brazilian and US leagues.

The arrival of a new player will not necessarily be good news for all sports, however, as Sky attempts to save money to pay for its huge outlay on football and BT maintains it will be selective and will not overpay.

Those who were involved in previous failed attempts to take on Sky say that BT will find it hard, no matter that it has more natural advantages than previous struggling contenders who had the more modest aim of simply co-existing alongside the powerful broadcaster.

The excitement of the launch will soon give way to the hard yards of trying to encourage subscribers to fork out in a recession, while Sky will use all its experience to try to gain the upper hand in picking the most attractive matches.

When Setanta went under, it had upwards of 1.3m paying subscribers. According to industry estimates, ESPN retained less than 1m of those – partly because its number of Premier League matches reduced from 46 to 23 after the first year. BT’s success will depend to some extent on how many of those missing subscribers it can lure back in order to justify its £738m outlay. The “hard yards”, say industry veterans, are in incrementally drawing in as many of them as possible, a few thousand at a time.

To make it economically viable not only must it retail the channels to home customers, but to pubs and clubs increasingly weary of paying ever more to screen live sport. There are also complex negotiations with Sky to come over the terms of what each broadcaster will pay to carry its rival’s channels.

BT Sport senior executives, many of whom previously worked for Sky, are well aware of the scale of the challenge but say they should be judged in 10 years’ time rather than 10 months. In the short term, they are confident they can build and launch two credible, innovative sports channels along with all the support and back-up services required.

If they fail in that, they will be dead on arrival. In the long term they must develop a strategy that can deliver a more meaningful volume of live Premier League games next time around and add other attractive football rights such as the FA Cup, Champions League and England internationals along the way, together with other secondary sports such as tennis and golf.

Either way, Premier League clubs – and their players, agents and luxury car dealerships – are rubbing their hands at the prospect of an ongoing windfall. Whether increasingly squeezed fans, who may ultimately ultimately bear the cost through raised subscriptions despite protestations that competition will help keep prices down, will feel the same way is another matter entirely.

Clippers send stumbling Lakers to 0-3 start – USA TODAY

Category : Stocks


NBCNews.com
Clippers send stumbling Lakers to 0-3 start
USA TODAY
Search. Close. Clippers send stumbling Lakers to 0-3 start. Share. Comments. 2012-11-02-blake-griffin. Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin is defended by Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol at the Staples Center. (Photo: Kirby Lee, US Presswire)
Clippers-Lakers, BoxSan Jose Mercury News
Rapid Reaction: Clippers 105, Lakers 95ESPN (blog)
Clippers final score: Clips keep Lakers winless, 105-95Clips Nation
FOXSports.com

Post to Twitter

LSU and Its Defense Roar Back to Silence Doubters – New York Times

Category : Stocks


New York Times
LSU and Its Defense Roar Back to Silence Doubters
New York Times
BATON ROUGE, La. — On the night Louisiana State saved its football season, if only temporarily, a white board hung in the corner of one meeting room. It spelled out the most basic principles in the game plan, standard stuff, all hallmarks of the Tigers
No. 9 LSU Defeats No. 3 South Carolina, 23-21ABC News
No. 3 South Carolina falls to No. 9 LSU, 23-21NewsOK.com
LSU's patchwork offensive line steps up to overwhelm No. 3 South CarolinaESPN
Fox News

Post to Twitter

Giants win pitching duel in season opener, 2-1 – Los Angeles Times

Category : Stocks


Press News
Giants win pitching duel in season opener, 2-1
Los Angeles Times
They don't allow much room for error in these pitching duels. One key hit or one poorly timed mistake can prove all the difference. The Dodgers and Giants were matched in a duel of two outstanding young left-handers Monday, and on this muggy Los
Madison Bumgarner, Giants edge Dodgers to retake NL West throneESPN
Giants edge Dodgers in pitchers duel to regain NL West leadUSA TODAY
Bumgarner pitches Giants past Dodgers 2-1San Francisco Chronicle
San Jose Mercury News

Post to Twitter

Pistorius Advances to 400-Meter Semifinals – New York Times

Category : Stocks


New York Times
Pistorius Advances to 400-Meter Semifinals
New York Times
LONDON — The Olympic Stadium filled Saturday morning and applause rose as Oscar Pistorius of South Africa lined up for the first round of the 400 meters. He did something he rarely does in the starting blocks. He smiled. At the sound of the starter's
Oscar Pistorius makes historic start in Olympics; Bolt, Blake cruise in 100 Washington Post
London Olympics: Oscar Pistorius advances to 400-meter semifinalsLos Angeles Times
Pistorius debuts in Olympics, Usain Bolt advancesESPN
New York Daily News
all 870 news articles

Penn State coach O’Brien says main goal is to players from keep current team … – Washington Post

Category : Stocks


Globe and Mail
Penn State coach O'Brien says main goal is to players from keep current team
Washington Post
Of the long list of problems now facing Penn State coach Bill O'Brien, the top priority sounds simple: keeping the Nittany Lions intact. So he's stressing education and the opportunity to play in front of 108000 fans every fall Saturday as part of his
Bill O'Brien Vows To Fight For Penn StateESPN
Penn State coach Bill O'Brien working hard to keep playersUSA TODAY
Penn State penalties threaten to rock local economyChicago Tribune
Yahoo! Sports
all 12,049 news articles

LA’s new royalty, Kings turn tumult into Stanley Cup triumph – Los Angeles Times

Category : Stocks


The Guardian
LA's new royalty, Kings turn tumult into Stanley Cup triumph
Los Angeles Times
No one saw this coming. Not this way, certainly, if there was any fuzzy vision of it happening at all. The Los Angeles Kings, who ranked next-to-last in the NHL in scoring, who went through the turmoil of a mid-December coaching change and weren't
Penalty leads to Kings' clinching winUSA TODAY
Kings' celebration set for ThursdayESPN
LA fans celebrate Kings' Stanley Cup victoryAtlanta Journal Constitution
Fox News

Post to Twitter

LA’s new royalty, Kings turn tumult into Stanley Cup triumph – Los Angeles Times

Category : Stocks


The Guardian
LA's new royalty, Kings turn tumult into Stanley Cup triumph
Los Angeles Times
No one saw this coming. Not this way, certainly, if there was any fuzzy vision of it happening at all. The Los Angeles Kings, who ranked next-to-last in the NHL in scoring, who went through the turmoil of a mid-December coaching change and weren't
Penalty leads to Kings' clinching winUSA TODAY
Kings' celebration set for ThursdayESPN
LA fans celebrate Kings' Stanley Cup victoryAtlanta Journal Constitution
Fox News

Post to Twitter

Alabama: Gunman sought in 3 deaths at Auburn party – San Francisco Chronicle

Category : Stocks


ABC News
Alabama: Gunman sought in 3 deaths at Auburn party
San Francisco Chronicle
Auburn, Ala. — Investigators searched Sunday for a gunman who killed three people – including two former Auburn University football players – and wounded three others at a pool party near campus after several men got in a fight over a woman,
Auburn football players among six shot, three killed at partyLos Angeles Times
Two Ex-Auburn Football Players Among Three Killed in ShootingBusinessWeek
Tragic Auburn shootings about senseless violence, not about athletics (Hicks)al.com
San Jose Mercury News

Post to Twitter