Why James Dolan may be forced to sell the Knicks

New York Knicks owner James Dolan, a successful businessman, knows how to run a company. But the changing sports media market may finally force him to sell the Knicks.

There is no doubt New York Knicks owner James Dolan raised an eyebrow when the Houston Rockets sold for $2.2 billion. Similarly, he surely took notice when the Los Angeles Clippers sold for $2 billion to Steve Ballmer.

The Clippers sale was a special circumstance and was a forced sell because of the behavior of owner Donald Sterling. However, the sale of the Rockets signaled a new era for the business side of the NBA.

Money makes the world go round and there is plenty available in professional sports. Furthermore, the decline of MLB and even the NFL opens the door for the NBA. Team owners, players and the league itself reap the financial benefit of renewed interest in professional basketball.

Anyone that owns a business or pays attention to financial markets understands the risk involved. Ultra successful financiers buy at a low price and sell at a high price. Consequently, it may now be high time for Dolan to sell his Knicks.

A bundled mess

The New York Knicks and the entire NBA owe much of their financial success to TV rights deals with various national and local broadcasters. However, recent trends show a decline in subscribers for one of the NBA’s biggest partners: ESPN. Andrew Bucholtz of Awful Announcing reports ESPN lost 220,000 subscribers between March and August.

In May, Claire Atkinson of the NY Post reported ESPN‘s household viewership was down 3.3 percent from last year. One reason for this downtrend is how TV viewers are moving away from traditional cable and satellite bundles in favor of streaming services. The question is, how does this affect the New York Knicks and James Dolan?

James Dolan has made a fortune off of the same kind of Cable/Satellite bundles that seem to be trending downward. A report by Trey Williams of Market Watch on Monday revealed at least one market analyst thinks the Knicks could be sold. The reasoning? Before being caught up in the future downward trend, Dolan could sell the Knicks before the market for NBA teams collapses.

The future value of television rights for NBA games could drop as people move toward streaming services and away from traditional bundle packages. Eventually, that could erode the value of NBA franchises, like the Knicks. James Dolan may be a bad team owner, but he is not a dumb businessman. If Dolan foresees the NBA’s bubble bursting, he will sell the Knicks in a heartbeat.

James Dolan

(Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

Sell high

Since 2010, 14 NBA teams of various market sizes have been sold, as noted by Tim Cato of SB Nation. In other words, almost half of the NBA’s franchises have changed ownership in less than a decade. This upward trend won’t last forever and eventually, record-breaking sale prices will be a thing of the past.

According to Forbes, the New York Knicks are the most valuable team in the NBA. No doubt, Dolan is aware that the future sale price of the Knicks would top $2 billion. Furthermore, the previously mentioned shift in television viewing means eventually, there will be less TV money for owners to split. The Market Watch report quoted Dolan’s thoughts on the future of TV rights:

“Today’s monetization system, the one we’ve had over the last 20 years… Where 90 something percent of the American public who has television pays for ESPN whether they watch ESPN or not, right?” Dolan said during a future of sports content panel at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. “All of that advertising, if that system falls apart, which it looks like it is starting to erode now, it will not even come close to that kind of production of rights value and that’s really the thing we will all have to grapple with.”

Dolan is already grappling with what the future holds for TV rights and for his business interests. While it is possible Dolan will stubbornly keep the Knicks, it wouldn’t be a smart business decision. There are no guarantees the next television deal will be anything like the $24 billion deal the NBA began last season.

Recently, Dolan has taken a notable step back from involvement in the day-to-day basketball decisions of the Knicks. A new front office led by Steve Mills and Scott Perry is dealing with Carmelo Anthony without any meddling from Dolan.

Just because it makes sense for James Dolan to sell the New York Knicks doesn’t mean it will happen. Yet, overblown values of NBA teams and the decline in subscription-based television may force Dolan to finally put his Knicks on the market.

GameStop on Forced Bundling, SNES Classic, Xbox One X Scarcity

Pre-orders for the Super NES Classic system, a diminutive remake of the original 1990 Super NES, sold out “within minutes” on GameStop’s website nationwide last week, the company’s senior director of merchandising tells Glixel.

“We went through a lot of pain and effort to make sure we could service our online customers,” GameStop’s Eric Bright says. “It wasn’t perfect, but it did allow us to sell out of our initial allotment within minutes.”

Bright declined to say how many of the $79.99 consoles were sold, but did say that GameStop had the number one market share for the item. GameStop will have Super NES Classics available for purchase in stores when it releases on September 29th, according to Bright, but he wouldn’t say if there will be any more pre-orders for the item. “So much of that is controlled by first party.”

Lots of Scarcity
While the Super NES Classic made a splash with Nintendo’s handling of how it allowed pre-order to happen and how it communicated that information to fans, scarcity among gaming systems isn’t exactly unusual this year.

The NES Classic, a remake of the original Nintendo Entertainment System, was also almost constantly out of stock up until Nintendo stopped manufacturing it in April. The Nintendo Switch, which launched in March, remains a hard system to find as well.

“We are constantly selling out of our weekly allocations of the Switch,” Bright says. “We kind of go up and down with stock.”

Bright said the popularity and scarcity of the Switch reminds him a lot of Nintendo’s last massive hit: The original Wii, a console that released in 2006 and went on to sell more than 101 million units.

“Nintendo did this before with the Wii,” he says. “It was highly successful and extremely hard to find. Looking at demand – I can’t comment on rate of sale – demand for the Switch seems to be similar to the Wii or greater.”

And it’s not just Nintendo dealing with a scarcity issue. Just last week, Microsoft announced a special “Project Scorpio” edition of its upcoming Xbox One X. Pre-orders for that system sold out in record time, too.

Nintendo NES, SNES, Switch
It’s been a rough year for fans of Nintendo, especially if you happen to be into the company’s retro-themed gadgets. But GameStop says the recent spate of sell-outs is business as usual in an industry that thrives on special editions and collectibles.

According to Bright, the game industry actually has a long, steady relationship with not creating enough of certain items to meet demand. “Our associates are deal in the reservation game on a daily basis,” he says. “It’s not a seasonal activity for them. We are taking reservations every day for every year. And limited edition controllers, collectibles, they also run out. The items we’re talking about today just received a lot more attention in the media.”

To deal with that demand and the potential for sell-outs, Bright says the company invested a lot in building out a “click to brick” ordering system that allows people to order highly sought after items both online and in-store.

“GameStop has invested in a lot of ways to meet consumer demand,” he says. “The reservation system is by far the most advanced we’ve seen at this point.”

The retailer chain also has relationships with manufacturers and platform holders like Microsoft and Nintendo, which allows them to “get ahead of items a few months in advance with information on specific quantity,” he says.

Once the company finds out about an item it thinks will be hard to keep in stock, a plan is put into place that involves everyone from logistics to shipping to marketing to notifying and training the associates who work in stores.

Increasingly, some people have been using automated software, or bots, to try and quickly purchase hard-to-find items faster than would be normally possible. Often, those items will later show up on reseller sites like eBay. It’s something Bright says the company is aware of and trying to deal with.

“We have learned a lot from the frequent high demand products that we sell on Gamestop.com,” Bright says. “For these items, we currently have per-customer order limits in place on top of some other actions to ensure all our customers have a fair chance to purchase the high demand products. These actions also help limit bot and reseller activity.”

Forced Bundling
While hard-to-find items are almost always available to purchase on GameStop for some period of time, some of them end up in forced bundles as well. These bundles might pair an item with an accessory or a collectible with other collectibles. Bright calls it customer service.

“We really try to do a great job of paring up items with things customers like to buy,” Bright says. “In the case of the Switch, we know the customer is going to want a way to charge the Joycon (controllers), so we often throw in a charging device. We know the Switch has limited memory and customers like to download games, so we’ll add a memory stick. And then you need a game itself, because what good is a piece of hardware without a game to play with it? We make it more convenient.”

With the Xbox One X Project Scorpio Edition, GameStop sold bundles at three different tier levels, cutting the price of some of the included items so customers would save $20 to $100, according to Bright.

When it comes to nostalgia items, like the NES Classic and Super NES Classic, GameStop created bundles that included items from ThinkGeek, a geek culture company owned by GameStop. “We put some items in the bundle from ThinkGeek.Com, retro items that would appeal to those buyers,” Bright says.

The five bundles for the SNES Classic, for instance, included things like a copy of a book abut the NES Classic games, a wireless controller, a Megaman toy and the like. The bundling also inflated the price of the $79.99 device anywhere from $120 to $190 for the biggest bundle.

Bright pushed back on the idea that the bundling of those hard-to-find items was anything but customer service.

“Customers have the opportunity to come into our stores and choose the accessories that they would like to bundle with their hardware, or buy online the pre determined bundles we have put together to help make the shopping experience more convenient,” he says, when asked if bundling was a way to force people to buy items they don’t necessarily want. “Customers also have the option of coming to into our GameStop stores to purchase non-bundled product.”

Call of Duty Team Forced to Forfeit World League Championship Match Due to Controller Issues

To end a run in a $1.5 million prize pool match is difficult more than enough, but being forced out because of to a controller concern is heartbreaking. And that’s how Elevate’s run arrived to a shut in Simply call of Duty’s 2017 Globe League Championship.

For context, Elevate was in a match versus Mindfreak Black with the scoreline at 1-2, respectively. Elevate started off the third map strong, gaining a 30 in addition stage gain around Mindfreak, but that’s when points took a flip for the worse.

Zach ‘Zed’ Denyer, one of Elevate’s vital players, began to experience controller troubles. According to Elevate CEO Brandon Hatfield, Zed let the referees know of the condition as quickly as achievable, but they couldn’t do anything at all. MLG’s rules explicitly say that controller troubles are the players’ responsibility, and if there are any troubles, it is on the player and workforce.

That stated, MLG allows the opposing workforce the solution of granting a map replay. “Mindfreak had the solution to replay the video game, from the commence – very simple as that,” Hatfield mentioned in a Twitlonger tweet. “The Mindfreak players wanted to replay the video game only if they ended up given a lead (~60 points if I am being informed the right way). The Elevate players wanted to replay the map, but MLG would only allow a clean map restart, due to the fact it is a respawn map.”

Sadly, mainly because of the existing ruleset, and Mindfreak’s problem for a rating gain, no compromise could be located. In the end, the MLG officers dominated the past map in favor of Mindfreak Black resulting in a 3-1 sequence gain.

“It is a certainly heartbreaking condition for any player on the shedding side,” Hatfield continued. “Do I would like Mindfreak would have replayed the map? Yeah, totally – its the proper matter to do. Its a shame they took that gain. I really don’t really treatment what any one states to me. It was not an honorable gain. I was raised otherwise I guess. Regardless, I really don’t want to blame the org or players much too significantly. In the end, this is much too major of a match for complex troubles to establish the result. I would like this video game had a way to pause. I would like MLG had various rules. I would like a great deal was various about this video game and scene in basic.”

With the 2017 Globe Championship being the past major celebration for Simply call of Responsibility: Infinite Warfare, we will have to see what Activision and Sledgehammer Game titles plan to do with WWII’s esports.

Social media firms like Facebook will be forced to delete information or face fines under new laws

DATA LAW WARNING

The new Data Protection Bill will see extra powers given to the information watchdog and allow them to issue fines of up to £17 million
 

SOCIAL media firms like Facebook and Instagram will be forced to delete information on children and adults when asked or face fines under new laws.

The Government’s new Data Protection Bill is aimed at giving people a greater “right to be forgotten” online.

Under new laws firms like Facebook will be forced to delete information on children and adults when asked or face fines

Getty – Contributor

Under new laws firms like Facebook will be forced to delete information on children and adults when asked or face fines

And it will make it simpler for people to control how companies use their personal details, with extra powers for the information watchdog to issue fines of up to £17 million.

The new powers will mean people can ask social media platforms to delete information they posted in their childhood.

The bill will also require people to give explicit consent for their information to be collected online, rather than firms relying on pre-selected tick boxes.

The legislation will bring the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) into domestic law.

The Information Commissioner’s Office will be given significantly tougher powers, with the maximum fine it can levy being increased from £0.5m to £17 million, or 4% of a firm’s global turnover.

The bill, which was announced in the Queen’s Speech, will be introduced in Parliament when MPs and peers return from the summer break in September.


Digital Minister Matt Hancock said: “Our measures are designed to support businesses in their use of data, and give consumers the confidence that their data is protected and those who misuse it will be held to account.

“The new Data Protection Bill will give us one of the most robust, yet dynamic, set of data laws in the world.

“It will give people more control over their data, require more consent for its use, and prepare Britain for Brexit.

Minister Matt Hancock said: ‘The new Data Protection Bill will give us one of the most robust, yet dynamic, set of data laws in the world’

Refer to Source

Minister Matt Hancock said: ‘The new Data Protection Bill will give us one of the most robust, yet dynamic, set of data laws in the world’

“We have some of the best data science in the world and this new law will help it to thrive.”

Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham added: “We are pleased the Government recognises the importance of data protection, its central role in increasing trust and confidence in the digital economy and the benefits the enhanced protections will bring to the public.”

Facebook artificial intelligence has created its own language

Facebook cafeteria employees are forced to live in a garage

In a distressing snapshot of the shadows surrounding today’s high-priced Silicon Valley real-estate market, the Guardian newspaper has profiled a couple employed in the cafeteria at Facebook’s headquarters who’ve been forced to take up residence, along with their three small children, in a two-car garage just blocks from the company’s Menlo Park campus.