Fourth and Long for Monday Night Football?

Ratings for the previously reliable TV staple, Monday Night Football, continue to slump, causing concern at ESPN and the NFL. The program, which used to be one of the most watched prime-time broadcasts in the nation, has seen rating slowly decline in recent years. This week’s lackluster rating of 6.5, which is the lowest since the program moved to ESPN from ABC in 2006, is cause for alarm with both the cable sports bellwether, as well as the National Football League.

 

The decline in viewership can be attributed to various factors, including a content rich environment, the increasing availability of “on-demand” programming from free and pay television networks, and the increasing market share of streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu..

 

Contract renegotiation periods between the networks and the NFL are still several years off. ESPN, FOX, NBC, and CBS will begin those talks with the league in 2021 and 2022. It’s a safe assumption that the drop in ratings, especially among the key 18 – 49 age demographic, will provide additional leverage for networks to bargain for lower licensing costs for the one-time powerhouse Monday night broadcast.

 

Additionally, a continued slump in the ratings may result in networks taking a pass on the rights for Monday night games all together. Though unlikely, it’s no longer an unthinkable outcome, if none of the networks believes it to be profitable.

 

It is unclear at this time what the league or the networks might be planning to boost ratings. TV networks depend on advertising revenue, which is dictated by ratings. The league depends on TV licensing revenue as a primary revenue stream.

 

Traditional programming can often be helped with scheduling tweaks and other tactics. Sporting events are time-locked and scheduled over a year in advance in some cases, and scheduling adjustments are nearly impossible due to venue constraints and ticket sales. Due to their very nature, sporting events are also not given to other strategies for boosting viewership, such as gimmick casting, (although this was tried with the addition of comic Dennis Miller to the broadcast crew as a color commentator in 2000, a stint which lasted two seasons. It has been reported that Miller beat conservative radio stalwart Rush Limbaugh, among others, to land the spot.)

Why Anthony Martial has Failed to Make an Impact at Manchester United

When the young and talented Anthony Martial made the fancied move from the French League 1 to the mega money Manchester United, everyone anticipated immediate impact. He surely did not fail under the then United coach Louis Van Gaal scoring four goals in his first four games. The quality was apparent as the United technical bench and fans relied on the ability of the 19 year old, £58 million hit man.

 

That kind of form earned Martial his first call-up to the French national team with a magnificent performance against the mighty Germany in November 2015. The break-out was, however, short-lived as the performance was camouflaged by the Paris terror threat that quickly grabbed the headlines.

 

Martial’s Social Life

 

At Manchester United, opportunities to score goals began to dry up as Van Gaal played him wide off the goal area. His private life also attracted public interest as Samantha Jacqueline confused the Emirates Stadium for Old Trafford hiking speculations across the world. The relationship with Samantha was later to breakdown as the supermodel blamed the club for not guiding the youngster as far as his social media activities are concerned. Martial received dozens of sexy pictures from ladies every day plus over 2 million Instagram followers, which was a problem to Samantha.

 

Martial crowned his first season for United with mixed results of FA Cup victory and failure to qualify for Champions league. For his National team, again he failed to make an impact at the Euro 2016 having scored 17 goals in 48 appearances for United.

 

Jersey Swap

 

Under the special one, Jose Mourinho, Martial began on the wrong footing having to surrender his number 9 jersey to Zlatan Ibrahimovic and settling for number 11. He has struggled to make an impact coupled with a calf injury suffered against Watford. However, he scored against Stoke City when he was introduced as a substitute, salvaging a single point for United.

 

There is some hope within the technical bench that Martial can build on the goal after the international break with a fresh mentality. Whether Martial’s slack performance is occasioned by his worrying private life or lack of adequate playing time, the club needs him fit, sharp and ready to fire as they face the big guns in Liverpool, Fenerbahce, Manchester City, and Chelsea.

Giants and Jets Preview

Heading into the third week of the 2016 NFL Regular Season, the New York Giants and New York Jets seemed to be two of the most analyzed teams in the league. While this is partly due to the fact that they reside in New York City, it also had to do with the fact that they had many question marks and appeared to have the talent to reach the postseason. Through the first two weeks of the NFL season, the Jets were 1-1 and in second place in the division and the Giants were 2-0 and in first place of the NFC East. According to a recent news article (http://www.newsday.com/sports/football/nfl-week-3-picks-giants-redskins-will-be-tight-jets-win-outright-cowboys-lock-of-the-week-1.12354304), both the Jets and the Giants have a good chance to win their games and continue to track towards making the playoffs at the end of the season.

The Giants will be playing a tough home game this week against the Washington Redskins. The Redskins will enter the game with no wins and two losses, but are always a tough matchup for the Giants. The main focus on the game will be on the outside of the field as the Redskins’ Josh Norman will battle against wide receiver Odell Beckham Junior. Despite signing Norman to a huge contract earlier this year, the Redskins have not done well when it comes to stopping top receivers. Beckham, plus Victor Cruz, could prove to be too much for Washington.

While the Giants are at home, the Jets will be playing on the road in Kansas City. The Jets will visit the Chiefs, who also have a 1-1 record. The Chiefs were expected to compete for the division title this year, but have looked weak at times so far this year. The biggest problem that the Chiefs have had is finding stability on offense. They used to be led by leading running back Jamaal Charles, but he has missed the first two games and is expected to miss a third this week. The Jets will continue to be led offensively by several veteran players such as Matt Forte, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Brandon Marshall.

Golfing Champion Caught for Insider Trading

Phil Mickelson has won many professional golfing championships in his career. He’s recognized among the top players. Despite fame and wealth, he decided to pursue an illegal activity of insider trading.

According to the law, investors can’t use inside information to initiate financial transaction until these news have been distributed widely to the public. In this particular case, Phil Michelson relied on information provided by William Walters, a professional gambler, about Dean Food’s corporate spin-off, ABC News report.

The information about this corporate action was first passed to William Walters by Thomas Davis, a former Dean Foods chairman. The trading scheme resulted in $40 million of illegal profits, with Michelson netting nearly a $1 million.

Since Michelson had heard the tip from a second hand, it was difficult to prosecute him. (It doesn’t mean impossible) Instead, Michelson will pay a penalty just exceeding a million dollars. On the other hand, Walters and Davis are facing criminal charges.

What would happen if it wasn’t Phil Michelson caught, but rather an unknown person? Perhaps, there would be criminal charges pressed. It is known that often celebrities are treated in benign ways by the justice system.

While many investors are taking risks with their own capital, those who trade on the inside information are making money at the expense of everyone else. Insider trading needs to be punished, no matter who does it.