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Why Doesn't Fox, CBS, Turner or NBC Buy the WWE?
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Why Doesn't Fox, CBS, Turner or NBC Buy the WWE?

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Why Doesn't Fox, CBS, Turner or NBC Buy the WWE?

Written by: Clay Travis

Last week, as it is virtually every week, the WWE's "Monday Night Raw" was one of the most watched television shows on cable, posting the second, third and fourth most watched hours on cable television. The only cable hour that had more viewers was HBO's "Game of Thrones." The WWE beat every NBA playoff game on cable by nearly a million viewers. Look at the ratings and it's readily apparent, the WWE brings big time viewers. Interestingly enough the WWE is also in the midst of negotiating new television rights deals, aiming for in the neighborhood of $200 million a year, a big increase over the $139.5 million a year which the WWE currently receives from its broadcast partners.

Why the big increase?

Because sports on television means big ratings. (Yes, I'm counting the WWE as a sport). Ninety percent of the WWE's viewers watch live. Right now the WWE's television package, in addition to Monday Night's "Raw," includes Syfy’s “Friday Night SmackDown,” “Main Event” on ION Television, the CW’s “Saturday Morning Slam” and the reality show “Total Divas” on E! That's a lot of programming. I've been paying a lot of attention to the WWE recently and, full disclosure, I am a shareholder in the company. (There's nothing like telling your wife that you've invested part of your retirement savings in the WWE). With the launch of their new over-the-top network. I wrote about the WWE network extensively a couple of weeks ago.  

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Late Monday night, I almost died in a plane crash somewhere over Kansas City.

At least I felt like I was going to die.

As we descended to the Kansas City runway, a storm had kicked up -- I'm told this is the first real storm of summer for Kansas City -- you could see nasty lightning off in the distance, rain and wind slammed into the plane, and our flight dropped rapidly, careening sideways in the gusts of the storm. I really thought I was going to die.

So did the other 110 people on board my flight.

This is my story of what it's like to be on a plane when you think you're going to die.

Las Vegas Futures Updates

Written by: Todd Fuhrman

There are Sunday cruises and there are rollercoaster rides when it comes to monitoring line movement. Saturday's game in Columbia between UGA and Missouri is drawing a ton of interest in the betting markets and will be one of the biggest volume games for sportsbooks this weekend. At some of the sharpest offshore books, UGA opened as modest 3 pt chalk before being bet over the key number to 3.5. However, prices aren't static and yesterday a deluge of Tiger money drove the price as low as 1.5 before the market consensus settled at 2.

What could be leading such a charge on the Tigers you ask? Trust me when I say a sports syndicate anchored by Brad Pitt, Sheryl Crow, and Sam Walton wandering around Vegas dropping 6 digit sums isn't the reason. Missouri has only been a home underdog 4 times since 2006 but their record is hardly anything to get excited about in those games going 1-3 against the spread.  UGA as road favorite you ask? Mark Richt is 17-12-1 in that role including 3 wins as a road fav against Ole Miss (-10), Tennessee (-2.5), and Georgia Tech (-4.5) last year. The Dawgs lone ATS loss away from Athens last season came in Nashville against Vandy as 11.5 pt chalk.

I definitely believe Missouri is more than capable of attacking the UGA defense under the leadership of a talented QB in James Franklin (no, not Vanderbilt's head coach). However you bet your ass I still can't sign off on Coach Pinkel getting this one done until I see how the black and gold adjust to life in the rugged SEC. UGA definitely looked sluggish against Buffalo but that's no reason to jump off the SEC east favorites just yet.  This is a line that bears watching as we approach gameday and just one instance of bettors jockeying for the best market number. To be honest, I'm still hoping a powderpuff game between the two schools student newspapers breaks out at halftime and I'll make the Red and Black much more than a 3 pt chalk.

 

Starting 11: Alabama should be number one edition

Written by: Clay Travis

It's a bleary-eyed Labor Day here for me.

After three games in three days in three cities, I've managed to contract a cold that's so intense I can feel my heart beating in my eardrums. This is vaguely alarming. But I'm not taking off any days. This afternoon we'll be doing a Labor Day live show on 3HL and this evening I'm hopping a flight to Kansas City in preparation for talking to the KC Tiger Club on Tuesday at noon. Hope to see some Kansas City OKTC readers there.

Without further ado, here's what caught my eye for week one's Starting 11.

Nick Saban's Alabama football team has been favored in every game since the SEC title game in 2009. You know, the game when Saban's Crimson Tide hordes made Tim Tebow cry. Coming into this game Michigan fans felt like they had a chance to pull off an upset. An upset that would go a long way towards validating last year's Wolverine renaissance and an upset that would be a powerful Big Ten uppercut to the SEC's run of dominance. Unfortunately for Michigan fans, my wife included, UM played the role of the mouse in a fight with a cobra.

After about ten minutes of football there wasn't any question about whether or not the Wolverines could pull off the upset, the only question was how badly would Alabama beat them?

Thirty-one points later, when the SEC chant broke out in Jerry's Dome with four minutes and thirty one seconds remaining in the second quarter, lots of Michigan fans were left wondering, why in the world did I make the trip all the way to Dallas?

Meanwhile, Big Ten fans were left in a familiar position, making excuses about why the total and complete domination of one of their top teams on the field isn't as total or as complete as you think.

No, you see, say misguided Big Ten fans, we're the equal of the top SEC teams.  

By @Payneinsider

College football storms out of the box faster than Seabiscuit at Santa Anita when Michigan meets Alabama in the prized week one duel. JerryWorld in Dallas is the stage Saturday evening where two heavy weights attempt to set the BCS championship tone for 2012-13. Expectations are high for the Wolverines’ coming into the season after an 11-win campaign in 2011-12. Brady Hoke has maize and blue faithful thinking National Championship, but that’s facetious thinking in my estimation. Michigan returns 13 starters from a team that caught all the breaks a season ago. They won every close game (those decided by 7 or less), while winning the turnover battle with a +7 differential. The schedule was cupcake city early on, where a young Michigan team was afforded the luxury of learning a new system on the fly. They started 5-0 (all home games), against teams that finished a combined 32-31 last season. Four of their toughest games against Notre Dame, Ohio State, Purdue and Nebraska were also played in the comfy confines of The Big House. This year, those four teams will be hosting Michigan while salivating at thought of revenge. Despite coming away victorious in the Sugar Bowl against Virginia Tech, it was quite an anomaly. Beamer’s boys out gained Michigan 2 to 1, holding the Wolverines’ to just 184 total yards. They were out rushed 3 to 1. V-Tech had 10 more first downs. To this day, every time I see the score of that game I think my mind is playing tricks on me. Michigan might be in the hunt for a Big Ten title, but they have no shot at a National Championship - don’t think they come close to matching last season’s eleven wins, either. I have them rated 19th in my initial power ratings, and one of the sharpest betting syndicates I speak with has them barely inside the top 25. Regression is imminent for Brady Hoke in his sophomore season at Ann Arbor.

Vols, Cordarrelle Patterson Drench Wolfpack

Written by: Clay Travis

Atlanta

Tonight Derek Dooley debuted a new outfit, a massive white smock that seemed designed, if necessary, to stamp out any flames emerging from his hot seat.

That or to allow him to eschew halftime talks in favor of expressionist paintings.

He also wore boat shoes, which even when Dooley caught his feet in the turf and took a tumble, had a calming effect. Even as ESPN piped in its talking heads debating what would happen if Dooley lost this game, the Volunteer head coach was too busy bopping to his own island beat to notice. Boat shoes, a loose smock, and orange pants, meet devil may care Derek, just back from buying a round of bushwackers for his boating friends at the island bar. I halfway expected for Jimmy Buffett to be piped into the headset during stoppage in play.

He may not have had a cheeseburger in paradise, but he did have a Bray in Atlanta, which would do for a night.

Yep, Southern hippie Dooley was going to his happy place, a sideline that suddenly hummed with new offensive weapons. Not least of those weapons was junior college wide receiver Cordarelle Patterson, a five-star recruit whose services Dooley lined up by giving a graduate assistant job to his former coach. As bargains go, about halfway through the first quarter, this looked like the best deal since Auburn paid off the Newton family.

I'm just about to hop in a car and head to Atlanta for the Tennessee-N.C. State game in the Georgia Dome. We'll be broadcasting at the TacoMac on Peachtree for anyone in town who wants to swing by and say hi. But your Friday is about to get infinitely better. Thanks to Kent State linebacker Andre Parker.

Seriously, I can't stop watching this video. The best part -- and I hesitate to call any one part of this highlight the "best" because there are so many small details that are amazing -- is the stiff arm that he throws as he turns up field headed in the wrong direction. That and the convoy of blockers he has leading his way. Oh, and the number of Towson players doing their damnedest to tackle him before he reaches Towson's end zone. 

It's an upside down world. 

Thank you college football, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  

By Chris Preston

College football returns this week, and I can already tell you who’s going to win this year’s BCS National Championship. 

Nashville:

Every time I see SEC commissioner Mike Slive at big games, he tells me the same thing, he's not rooting for either team, he's just rooting for the officials.

On Thursday night en route to a South Carolina 17-13 victory, Slive's team lost.

SEC officials missed a crucial and clear pass interference call that would have given Vanderbilt a first down at the South Carolina 47. Would the Commodores have scored a touchdown to win? Maybe not, but we'll never know.

Instead fans left fuming over the latest, greatest near miss Vanderbilt Commodore upset victory.

For his part, Vandy receiver Jordan Matthews, who produced a game high eight catches for 147 yards, dodged the controversy. "I'm not going to comment on any calls...I've got to get more open."

James Franklin was less direct, but more effective, in his criticism, "You did know the SEC just came out with very clear rules about talking about the officials and what happens after games. Trying to get me fined?"

All That and a Bag of Mail: The Season Is Here!

Written by: Clay Travis

The season is here!

The season is here!

And Alabama fans are still dumb.

Really dumb. We'll dive in to this picture in a moment. Credit goes to @thejuiceisgood and several of you on Twitter on who ensure that I never miss anything.

The mailbag here a day early. That's because I'll be at Vandy-South Carolina this afternoon -- you can catch my debut as the ugliest pregame sideline reporter in history on NBC Sports Network at 6 et, 5 ct -- and then I'll be driving down to do 3HL from Atlanta -- we'll be at the TacoMac on Peachtree -- followed by more pregame sideline reporting for UT-N.C. State. The next morning I wake up and hop a flight to Dallas to go see Alabama-Michigan. So, yeah, this is pretty much the best tripleheader of my life.

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