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With HBO throwing in the towel on boxing, one of its biggest fighters is heading to online streaming.

Canelo Alvarez has signed a five-year, 11-fight deal with DAZN, the sports streaming service led by former ESPN president John Skipper. The company claims Alvarez’s deal is the richest sports contract for any athlete in history.

ESPN reported it’s for $365 million, which would surpass the 13-year/$325 million contract that baseball star Giancarlo Stanton signed with the Miami Marlins in 2014 (he’s since been traded to the New York Yankees). A representative for DAZN did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for clarification on the actual dollar amount of the contract.

Also Read: HBO to Throw in The Towel on Live Boxing Matches After 45 Years

The deal begins with the Dec. 15 bout at Madison Square Garden against Rocky Fielding for his WBA Super Middleweight World Title.

“We are thrilled to be exclusive partners with Golden Boy Promotions and Oscar De La Hoya,” said Skipper, DAZN Group Executive Chairman. “By bringing Canelo’s fights to DAZN, we will turn his pay-per-view success into a growth engine for subscribers – a truly transformational moment for our business and the entire industry.”

Skipper, who resigned from ESPN after 27 years last December, joined DAZN’s parent company Perform Group as executive chairman in May. DAZN was launched just two years ago, and made its U.S. debut earlier this year.

Also Read: Ex-ESPN Boss John Skipper Lands New Job

As part of the deal, Golden Boy Promotions — Alvarez’s management company led by Oscar de la Hoya — will put on up to 10 fights each year on DAZN beginning in 2019. The DAZN-Golden Boy deal includes a large production element, which places Oscar De La Hoya as executive producer of the live fight nights.

Alvarez and Golden Boy were one of HBO’s biggest boxing draws. In 2014, HBO pried Alvarez and Golden Boy away from rival Showtime in a huge exclusive deal. But last month, HBO said it would no longer feature live boxing matches beginning next year, which had a programming staple for 45 years.

The deal between Alvarez and DAZN in landmark in another way: It will take one of boxing’s biggest draws off Pay-Per-View, where the sport makes the most of its money. The fights will be available in all DAZN markets, including the United States, Canada, Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Japan. The service is available for $9.99 per month.

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www.thewrap.com | 10/17/18
Laura Lammer's skilful display earns her bronze, while team-mate Sandra Lettner takes gold in sport climbing at Youth Games.
www.bbc.co.uk | 10/10/18
Laura Lammer's skilful display earns her bronze, while team-mate Sandra Lettner takes gold in sport climbing at Youth Games.
www.bbc.co.uk | 10/10/18

The tug-o’-war between 21st Century Fox and Comcast for British pay-TV company Sky PLC is finally over, with Comcast submitting a winning bid of roughly $39 billion in an auction on Saturday.

The fate of Sky was decided during a three-round auction held by the U.K. Takeover Panel, a rarely-used tactic in handling mergers and acquisitions in the U.K. Comcast’s triumph came after the company offered  £17.28 (roughly $22.59) per share for the company in the final round, handily outbidding Fox’s offer of  £15.67 (roughly $20.49).

Also Read: Why Do Comcast and Fox Want to Buy Sky So Much?

“We note the increased cash offer for the fully diluted share capital of Sky by Comcast, and that it has been recommended by the Independent Committee of Sky,” Fox said in a statement. “21CF is considering its options regarding its own 39 percent shareholding in Sky and will make a further announcement in due course. Sky is a remarkable story and we are proud to have played such a significant role in building the incredible value reflected today in Comcast’s offer.”

U.S. companies have been looking more frequently internationally for a way to further build scale to compete against the rising tide of deep-pocketed tech companies — like Amazon and Netflix — invading their turf. This made Sky an attractive asset.

Sky’s businesses could grow Comcast’s international revenue from 9 percent of its overall revenue to 25 percent. Sky counts nearly 23 million customers in key parts of Europe, including Germany, Italy and Austria, along with the U.K. and Ireland.

Sky should fit in nicely with Comcast’s other assets, namely NBCUniversal, with its mix of entertainment, sports and news content. In February, Sky extended its rights deal with the English Premier League through 2022, among the world’s most popular (and thus, valuable) sports leagues. That would work well with Comcast, which holds the U.S. TV rights for the British soccer league via NBCUniversal, also through 2022.

Also Read: Dana Walden Touts 'Complete Independence' of 'New Fox' After Disney Merger

Winning Sky serves as a pretty nice consolation prize for Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, who had attempted to outflank Disney in its pursuit of Fox, before eventually bowing out to focus on acquiring the British pay-TV company.

The U.K. Takeover Panel, which oversees all mergers and acquisitions, sets a deadline that, if there are still multiple suitors for a company, will trigger an auction to determine the winning bidder.

The Takeover Panel set the auction deadline to ensure that the company being acquired wasn’t “under siege” for too long, while giving the shareholders for the potential buyers enough time to review all relevant materials from the proposal. Per the U.K.’s Takeover Code, that deadline was 46 days after the most recent offer was formally published with the U.K. Stock Exchange.

The Takeover panel will publish details of each side’s offer after the auction no later than Sept. 24.

Reps for Comcast did not immediately respond to request for comment from TheWrap.

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www.thewrap.com | 9/22/18

The battle between 21st Century Fox and Comcast for British pay-TV company Sky PLC appears headed for a little-used aspect of how mergers and acquisitions are handled in the U.K.: An auction.

In the event that 21st Century Fox and Comcast find themselves at auction for Sky, here’s how the process plays out.

The U.K. Takeover Panel, which oversees all mergers and acquisitions, sets a deadline that, if there are still multiple suitors for a company, will trigger an auction to determine the winning bidder. The Takeover Panel does this to ensure that the company being acquired isn’t “under siege” for too long, while giving the shareholders for the potential buyers enough time to review all relevant materials from the proposal. Per the U.K.’s Takeover Code, that deadline is 46 days after the most recent offer is formally published with the U.K. Stock Exchange.

In this case, Fox and Comcast have until Saturday, 5 p.m. local time to either bow out or make their “best and final offer” for Sky. In the meantime, the three companies will negotiate the rules of the auction, which the Takeover Panel will formally announce on Friday.

Also Read: Comcast Drops Bid for Fox Assets to Focus on Sky Instead

Typically, the auction would last for five consecutive days, but the Panel allows for the parties to figure out the process themselves, as long as it doesn’t skirt any official rules. There have only been three British takeover situations since 2007 that have involved auctions handled by the regulator, per an analysis by Reuters.

The reason for Sky to take this to the auction stage would be to maximize the value for its shareholders, hoping the auction-style setting will force Comcast and Fox to keep one-upping each other.

Currently, Comcast holds the superior bid at $34 billion (£25.9 billion), roughly $2 billion higher than Fox’s offer of $32.5 billion (£24.5 billion). Comcast’s all-cash offer translates to £14.75 a share, which is roughly five percent higher than Fox’s £14 a share bid. Comcast’s offer has been recommended by the Sky Independent Committee of Directors.

Also Read: Comcast Increases Bid for Sky to $34 Billion

However, since Fox already owns 39 percent of the company, it needs only to convince another 12 percent to vote in its favor, whereas Comcast has to convince 51 percent of the board to vote in its favor.

With this headed towards an auction, it begs the question: Why does everyone want Sky so much?

More and more, U.S. companies have been looking internationally for a way to further build scale to compete against the rising tide of deep-pocketed tech companies — like Amazon and Netflix — invading their turf.

Sky’s businesses would grow Comcast’s international revenue from 9 percent of its overall revenue to 25 percent. Sky counts nearly 23 million customers in key parts of Europe, including Germany, Italy and Austria, along with the U.K. and Ireland.

Also Read: Fox and Disney Shareholders Vote to Approve $71.3 Billion Merger

Sky would fit in nicely with Comcast’s other assets, namely NBCUniversal, with its mix of entertainment, sports and news content. In February, Sky extended its rights deal with the English Premier League through 2022, among the world’s most popular (and thus, valuable) sports leagues. That would work well with Comcast, which holds the U.S. TV rights for the British soccer league via NBCUniversal, also through 2022.

Fox’s stake in Sky is part of its $71.3 billion sale of film and TV assets to Disney. CEO Bob Iger has previously referred to Sky as the “crown jewel” of Fox assets. Disney could use Sky’s broadband services to launch its upcoming service, which will debut at the end of 2019, in Europe.

Also, there’s a bit of corporate gamesmanship involved. Comcast made its own bid to buy the Fox assets instead of Disney, which forced Disney to increase its offer from its initial $52.4 billion that Fox accepted last year.

You can imagine that Iger would love to return the favor.

21st Century Fox declined to comment for this story, while representatives for Comcast and Sky did not return TheWrap’s request for comment.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Comcast Drops Bid for Fox Assets to Focus on Sky Instead

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Comcast Increases Bid for Sky to $34 Billion

www.thewrap.com | 9/20/18

Comcast has increased its offer for British pay-TV company Sky PLC to $34 billion (£25.9 billion), roughly $2 billion higher than Fox’s most recent offer.

Earlier on Wednesday, Fox raised its own offer for the media giant to $32.5 billion (£24.5 billion). Comcast said that its increased offer has been recommended by the Sky Independent Committee of Directors.

Comcast’s new all-cash offer translates to £14.75 a share, which is roughly five percent higher than Fox’s £14 a share bid.

Also Read: Fox Raises Sky Bid to $32 Billion, Besting Comcast Offer for British Media Giant

“Comcast has long admired Sky and believes it is an outstanding company and a great fit with Comcast,” the company said in its release about the new offer. “Today’s announcement further underscores Comcast’s belief and its commitment to owning Sky.”

The move by Comcast is the latest volley between CEO Brian Roberts and Fox chairman Rupert Murdoch over who gets the keys to Sky, which counts nearly 23 million customers in key parts of Europe, including Germany, Italy and Austria, along with the U.K. and Ireland.

In the U.S., Comcast is still battling with Disney to buy the film and TV assets from Fox. Fox’s stake in Sky is part of its proposed merger with Disney, though the deal was not contingent on that. Fox has set a July 27 shareholder meeting to formally vote on the Disney sale, which has already received approval from the Department of Justice.

Also Read: If Comcast Loses Fox to Disney, CEO Brian Roberts Still Has Options

Sky’s businesses would grow Comcast’s international revenue from 9 percent of its overall revenue to 25 percent. For Fox, Sky is a bit of a passion project for Rupert Murdoch, who founded the satellite broadcaster in 1990, and already owns 39 percent of the company and has had his eye on gaining full control for years.

The UK government had already approved Comcast earlier offer in June, with Matt Hancock, then-secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, who said at the time that “the proposed merger does not raise public interest concerns.”

However, Fox was given the go-ahead to continue efforts to purchase Sky as well, on the condition that Fox sells off Sky’s 24-hour news channel to Disney in the planned sale of certain Fox film and television assets to the Mouse House. Disney has pledged a 15-year, $2 billion commitment to fund Sky News if it acquires the channel in the Fox deal.

Also Read: Why Do Comcast and Fox Want to Buy Sky So Much?

Hancock, meanwhile, resigned amid a British cabinet shakeup this week and has been replaced in his role by Jeremy Wright.

According to Bloomberg, the British government has already signaled willingness to approve Fox’s offer, with its final decision due Thursday.

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www.thewrap.com | 7/11/18

Now that Comcast has formally thrown its hat into the ring to acquire Sky PLC, the U.K. broadcaster could find itself in the middle of a bidding war between Comcast and 21st Century Fox.

Which begs the question: Why does everyone want Sky so much?

More and more, U.S. companies have been looking internationally as a way to further build scale to compete against the rising tide of deep-pocketed tech companies — like Amazon and Netflix — invading their turf.

Also Read: Comcast Makes Formal $31 Billion Cash Offer for Sky, UK Company Scraps Fox Deal

Sky’s businesses would grow Comcast’s international revenue from 9 percent of its overall revenue to 25 percent. Sky counts nearly 23 million customers in key parts of Europe, including Germany, Italy and Austria, along with the U.K. and Ireland.

Sky has “a tremendous distribution network around Europe,” Eric Schiffer, CEO of The Patriarch Organization and chairman of Reputation Management Consultants, told TheWrap. “These large companies [like Fox and Comcast] have to do more with distribution in the battle against streaming giants like Netflix, and now Amazon, and there are not many things that you can acquire today to give you that power and ability.”

In discussing the proposal on its first-quarter earnings call Wednesday morning, Comcast chairman and CEO, Brian L. Roberts attempted to beat back any assertions that Comcast needed to buy Sky. “I don’t think we have to do this,” he said, but added that it makes sense with such similarities between the two companies.

Also Read: Stocks Soar for Comcast and Sky After $31 Billion Offer

“I think it is a unique asset in Sky’s case that fits well within the mix of businesses that we’ve already got,” Roberts continued. “A benefit is that you would get new geographies and additional scale, which gives you optionality for future things to consider.”

Sky would fit in nicely with Comcast’s other assets, namely NBCUniversal, with its mix of entertainment, sports and news content. In February, Sky extended its rights deal with the English Premier League through 2022, among the world’s most popular (and thus, valuable) sports leagues. That would work well with Comcast, which holds the U.S. TV rights for the British soccer league via NBCUniversal, also through 2022.

There’s also a bit of corporate gamesmanship going on.

Also Read: Comcast Tops Q1 Earnings Estimates Thanks to Winter Olympics and Super Bowl

Comcast’s proposal, which caused Sky’s independent directors to withdraw their recommendation that shareholders accept the Fox offer, would also complicate Disney’s impending purchase of Fox assets, of which Sky was supposed to be a major part. If Fox doesn’t get Sky, Disney would be on the hook to make an offer itself for all of Sky.

“The Machiavellian view is that Comcast is doing this to try to blow up Disney’s deal,” Schiffer added. “It’s jamming a competitor.” However, a Fox insider told TheWrap the deal with Disney is not contingent on what happens with Sky.

For Fox, Sky is a bit of a passion project for Rupert Murdoch, who founded the satellite broadcaster in 1990, and already owns 39 percent of the company and has had his eye on gaining full control for years.

At least investors remain bullish that Fox will not give up its pursuit of Sky despite Comcast’s best efforts.

Disney, Comcast and Sky did not immediately reply to our request for comment.

Related stories from TheWrap:

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www.thewrap.com | 4/25/18
Although he changed the sport, he finished 15th in the giant slalom on Sunday, well behind the gold medal winner, Marcel Hirscher of Austria.
www.nytimes.com | 2/18/18

NBC made a giant-sized oopsie while covering the women’s Super-G skiing competition at the Winter Olympics on Saturday by prematurely announcing the gold medal winner, who turned out not to be the winner at all!

Austrian World Cup alpine skier Anna Veith’s (above left) time down the course put her in the top spot in line for the gold, and NBC commentators Bode Miller and Dan Hicks apparently thought she had it locked up. They were wrong.

“Four straight Olympic golds in the women’s Super-G for the skiing powerhouse of Austria. I just about can’t believe it!” Hicks said of Veith. And then the network cut away to men’s figure skating finals. When NBC eventually switched back to the slopes, it was Czech Republic’s Ester Ledecka (above center) who won the race by .01 of a second.

Also Read: Shaun White's Dramatic Gold Medal Win Delivers Top Pyeongchang Olympics Ratings Peak Yet

“Well, these are the Olympics, and anything can happen,” Hicks joked. But Twitter didn’t think it was funny. Sports Illustrated media analyst Richard Deitsch called the mistake “brutal.”

“Stunning. Have never seen that before in Alpine at the Olympics. Brutal for NBC. No other way to put it,” he tweeted.

Stunning. Have never seen that before in Alpine at the Olympics. Brutal for NBC. No other way to put it. https://t.co/xWrKQLstQe

— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) February 17, 2018

Others chided the network for the blunder.

Good thing fox had the 2017 Super Bowl. Otherwise nbc would have turned it off when the falcons were up 25 in the third quarter.

— Mark (@m_raymond74) February 17, 2018

NBC: "We don't think anyone past bib 19 can win the Womens super-g…Anna Veith wins gold!"
*They cut to figure skating*
NBC: "Actually the 2-sport athlete Ester Ledecká from The Czech Republic came from bib 29 to win the super-G, our bad"

— Kyle St. Aubin (@kylestaubin) February 17, 2018

Also Read: Teenage Olympic Snowboarder Says He Overslept After 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' Binge but Still Won Gold Medal

Ledecka was considered an underdog in the event because she had only been competitively racing in alpine skiing for two years as a way to challenge herself.

“I really don’t know what happened. You tell me … I was riding. I really don’t know what happened. It was great,” she said later that day at a press conference. Was it luck, skill or the skies she borrowed from gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin? Most likely, all of the above.

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www.thewrap.com | 2/17/18

In a stunning upset, Mikaela Shiffrin couldn’t capture the same magic of yesterday’s gold medal run and left empty-handed in the highly anticipated women’s alpine skiing slalom that was supposed to be a lock for the skiing superstar.

Shiffrin, 22, failed to take home her second medal of the Winter Games on Friday morning (Thursday night in the states). The alpine slalom is her specialty, and Shiffrin came in as the event’s favorite less than a day after winning her first gold medal in her Pyeongchang debut at the Giant slalom.

While the alpine slalom was originally scheduled earlier this week, Olympic officials postponed the event due to heavy winds. Coming into the slalom, Shiffrin’s main threats were Petra Vlhova of Slovakia, who beat Shiffrin in November by 0.1 in the season-opening slalom; Frida Hansdotter of Sweden; and Wendy Holdener of Switzerland.

Whether the postponement affected her at all, Shiffrin put on a discouraging first run, where she finished with a 49.37, a half second back behind first-place Holdener’s 48.89.

Though she seemed nervous after the initial showing, not all seemed lost, as just last month in Flachau, Shiffrin trailed by .37 seconds in the first run but won the event by .94 seconds.

Keep Following PEOPLE’s Complete Coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics

In an interview with NBC Sports just after her first showing, Shiffrin admitted she vomited before coming to the gates. “It was kind of sudden,” she said. “It almost felt like a virus kind of puking less about nerves.”

After the interview, Shiffrin likely went to take a nap, as she famously does during every race. By the start of the second portion, Shiffrin was in fourth position with a huge deficit to make up.

On her second run, Shiffrin moved into second with a run time of 49.66 and a total time of 1:39.03. While she wouldn’t take home gold, she still had a chance to medal—though it wasn’t a sure thing with three skiers left behind her. By the end, Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter took first place, and Wendy Holdener of Switzerland and Katharina Gallhuber of Austria took second and third, leaving Shiffrin in fourth.

With her loss, Team USA’s total medal count stays at eight—which includes five gold, one silver and two bronze—including a sweep of all of the gold medals in the snowboarding events to date. America’s eight medals are currently good for fifth in the medal count, with Norway leading the way with a whopping 17.

RELATED: Skier Mikaela Shiffrin Wants to Remain a Down-to-Earth Dynamo as She Chases Olympic Gold 

The alpine slalom performance was Shiffrin’s second showing in a total of five runs in Pyeongchang, with the downhill, super combined and team event up next (she decided to skip tomorrow’s Super G for rest). She was emotional after her scoring her first gold in the Giant slalom on Thursday, breaking out into tears when she found out she was able to come ahead of Norway’s Ragnhild Mowinckel.

Yesterday’s win was her first Olympic medal since winning gold in Sochi, Russia, four years ago. In those games, she became the youngest slalom gold medalist ever at just 18 years old.

Shiffrin is also the first woman to win three consecutive world slalom titles in 78 years, and is often compared with American alpine skier Lindsey Vonn, the most decorated female ski racer of all time.

RELATED VIDEO: Skier Mikaela Shiffrin Wants to Remain a Down-to-Earth Dynamo as She Chases Olympic Gold (Again)

But she hasn’t let her success get to her head.

“I’m well-known in my sport and people are starting to take notice outside of my sport as well, but the good thing of where I’m at right now is that I’m kind of — like I don’t really want it to change,” Shiffrin told PEOPLE in September. “I do in that, if I want to go to the Olympics this year, I want to perform well and if I do then it will change, so I want to do that. But I don’t want things to change in that I can go to the grocery store and shop and do my things.”

Unlike many young athletes competing with her as part of Team USA, Shiffrin is generally quiet on social media and told PEOPLE before leaving for Pyeongchang that she wants to remain as down-to-earth as possible.

“I’m still going into these Games feeling star-struck by all of my competitors,” she said, “and I’m the same type of person to just keep my head down and just go do my race, do my thing and then see what happens.”

The 2018 Winter Olympics are airing live on NBC. To learn more, visit teamusa.org.

people.com | 2/16/18

Due to the mountainous terrain, alpine skiing is a prominent sport in Austria. Similar sports such as snowboarding or ski jumping are also widely popular and Austrian athletes such as Annemarie Moser-Pröll, Hermann Maier and Toni Sailer are widely regarded as some of the greatest alpine skiers of all time. Austria has been the number 1 ski jumping nation for several years. At the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2011 it took all 5 gold medals.


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