Facebook to stream games
Facebook is getting deeper into the professional sports streaming game, partnering with the MLB to air 25 weekday afternoon games in an exclusive deal. The games are to be available in the US on Facebook Watch, the company’s video feature announced in August last year, via the MLB Live show page. Facebook on Friday said that recorded broadcasts would also be available globally, excluding select international markets. The package, the MLB’s first digital-only national broadcast agreement, precludes teams from televising those games on their regional sports networks. Facebook’s selection is to come from among the nine games per season teams can lose from their local telecasts to national video partners, which include Fox and ESPN. Facebook last year had a package of 20 non-exclusive Friday night games that began in mid-May and used broadcast feeds from the participating teams.
Pep fined over ribbon
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola on Friday was fined ￡20,000 (US$27,706) by the English Football Association (FA) for wearing a yellow ribbon in support of jailed pro-independence politicians in his native Catalonia. Guardiola has continually sported the ribbon in City’s Premier League matches, as well as games in domestic and European cup competitions. On Sunday last week, FA chief executive Martin Glenn spoke out strongly in defense of his organization’s decision to charge Guardiola. Glenn later apologized over comments he made regarding political and religious symbols in which he included the Star of David and the Nazi swastika among those that should be kept out of the game.
Teenage Tours player dies
An 18-year-old soccer player with the French second-division club Tours has died. Tours said midfielder Thomas Rodriguez died overnight from Thursday to Friday, adding that the club is “devastated by this drama, which plunges the club into an immense sadness.” No details were given as to the cause of death. Rodriguez joined in 2016 and progressed through the Tours youth academy before playing for the reserves. The French soccer league canceled the Tours-Valenciennes match scheduled for later on Friday. A minute’s silence is being held at all stadiums in the first and second divisions this weekend.
Tessitore on play-by-play
ESPN’s Monday Night Football booth is getting a total makeover. With longtime color analyst Jon Gruden already gone as head coach of the Oakland Raiders, the network has named Joe Tessitore as the series’ new play-by-play announcer, the New York Post reported. Tessitore is to replace Sean McDonough, who is reportedly moving back to college football broadcasts for ESPN after two seasons in the network’s top NFL play-by-play role. According to reports, the network has been trying to tempt Peyton Manning to fill Gruden’s shoes, with reports saying Manning could receive US$10 million annually if he is willing to become the network’s lead NFL analyst. The Post also reported on Friday that Manning would pass on the ESPN offer, although he has made no public comments. According to Sporting News, Manning has a similar offer from FOX for their new Thursday night football package.
Hong Kong media reported that police briefly detained a man in a Liverpool team jersey who shouted “long live Liverpool” during anti-government protests on Wednesday, over suspicion that he was inciting independence. In-Media reported that the man was across the street from police officers who were conducting stop-and-searches on a group of protesters, when he shouted: “Long live Liverpool.” Others reportedly cheered and joined in the chant, before officers detained him. The man told In-Media that police had accused him of inciting Hong Kong independence, which now is a punishable crime. He said that he has been a fan of the English soccer
WOLFSBURG BEATEN: Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski scored from a penalty, his 34th league goal this season, finishing as the top Bundesliga scorer for the fifth time Werder Bremen gave themselves hope of avoiding relegation from the Bundesliga by thrashing Cologne 6-1 to grab a playoff place on the last day of the season, while champions Bayern Munich routed VfL Wolfsburg before lifting the trophy on Saturday. Japan striker Yuya Osako scored twice as Bremen stole the lifeline of the relegation/promotion playoff place from Fortuna Duesseldorf, who lost 3-0 against Union Berlin and were relegated with SC Paderborn, finishing one point behind Bremen. “We put in a great performance under pressure, but we are aware that we haven’t achieved anything — in the relegation playoff, the emotions will be
Dustin Poirier won a thrilling unanimous decision over Dan Hooker on Saturday, surviving a brutal second round and persevering to finish a well-rounded performance in the main event at the UFC’s corporate gym. Mike Perry also ended his two-fight skid with a one-sided unanimous decision over Mickey Gall in the penultimate fight of the UFC’s fifth consecutive fan-free event in its hometown. The main event was a barn-burner from the opening round, with both lightweights trading wicked strikes and displaying minimal regard for defense. The second round was a particular spectacle, with each fighter badly hurting the other while throwing punches and
Raptors guard Fred VanVleet is already in Florida with the rest of his Toronto teammates, and he knows the time to take a stand and counter the NBA plan to restart the season has passed, but his opinion on the matter has not changed. “It sucks,” VanVleet said on Monday in a videoconference of his choice to return to the court during the COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter campaign. “It’s terrible timing, but that’s been 2020 for us. We all know the right thing to do is to not play, to take a stand. Morally, yes, that makes sense, but