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.

Nasa forced to deny there was a long-lost ‘civilisation’ on Mars after questioning by Republican congressman

Nasa has been forced to confirm that there almost certainly isn’t a long-lost civilisation on Mars.

During a hearing in the US congress, high-ranking staff of the space agency were asked whether there might once have been people living on the red planet.

California Republican Dana Rohrabacher asked whether the fact that Mars once had a vastly different atmosphere meant that it could also have supported an entire civilisation that was now lost.

“You have indicated that Mars was totally different thousands of years ago,” he said. “Is it possible that there was a civilization on Mars thousands of years ago?”

His question was answered by Kenneth Farley, who is a project scientist on the Mars 2020 rover mission and a professor of geochemistry at California Institute of Technology and was one of the scientists answering politicians’ questions.

He pointed out that the “evidence is that Mars was different billions of years ago. Not thousands of years ago”.

He also said that there is “no evidence that I’m aware of”, that the planet was once inhabited.

That wasn’t enough for Mr Rohrabacher, who asked: “Would you rule that out? See, there’s some people… Well, anyway.”

Professor Farley said that such a possibility was “extremely unlikely”.

It isn’t clear who Mr Rohrabacher was referring to when he suggested that “some people” think there was a civilisation on the planet. But there are a limited number of people who have proposed what they believe to be proof not only of ancient civilisations but existing ones – including a guest on Alex Jones’s InfoWars programme who suggested that Nasa has put child sex slaves on the red planet.

Otherwise, hearing was mostly focused on Nasa’s plans for exploring Mars, which will include the search for life on the planet. Some tests have already indicated that Mars could be host to some life – though not a civilisation.

The mission will be launched in 2019 and arrive at Mars the following February. It will stay there – looking for life as well as conducting other work – for a Martian year, or roughly two Earth years.

Reuse content

Gwyneth Paltrow’s website Goop forced to remove claims, Entertainment News & Top Stories

NEW YORK • American space agency Nasa has an unexpected mission – to deal with Gwyneth Paltrow’s launch of wellness stickers on her lifestyle blog Goop.

Goop said in a post that the stickers, which are sold by Body Vibes, are “made with the same conductive carbon material Nasa uses to line space suits, so they can monitor an astronaut’s vitals during wear” and can target energetic frequency imbalances in the body, according to the Gizmodo website.

“Human bodies operate at an ideal energetic frequency, but everyday stresses and anxiety can throw off our internal balance, depleting our energy reserves and weakening our immune systems,” Goop said.

Body Vibes claims the stickers create a “calming effect” that alleviates “physical tension and anxiety”.

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The company also says they help clear the skin.

The stickers are sold in packages of 10 for US$60 (S$83) or 24 for US$120.

But, as Gizmodo first reported last week: “A representative from Nasa’s spacewalk office told Gizmodo that they ‘do not have any conductive carbon material lining the spacesuits’.”

Spokesman Tabatha Thompson of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration told The Washington Post over the weekend that it does not use carbon fibre anywhere in the spacesuits that are made of synthetic polymers, spandex and other materials.

Goop has since removed the reference to Nasa materials from the product description on its website.

It said in a statement to The Post that the advice and recommendations posted on its website are not considered “formal endorsements”.

“Our content is meant to highlight unique products and offerings, find open-minded alternatives and encourage conversation.

“Based on the statement from Nasa, we’ve gone back to the company to inquire about the claim and removed the claim from our site until we get additional verification.”

The lifestyle and wellness website has been challenged by doctors for claiming, for instance, that tight bras can cause breast cancer and that latex condoms contain a carcinogen.

Goop recently launched its first wellness summit, In Goop Health, where model Miranda Kerr discussed using leeches in her beauty routine, among other presentations.

WASHINGTON POST

Off-duty Uber driver says he was forced to drive to Richmond at gunpoint

RICHMOND, Calif. (KGO) —

San Francisco Police are investigating a kidnapping after a man and a woman forced an off-duty Uber driver in San Francisco Saturday night to drive for approximately two hours at gunpoint to Richmond where he eventually escaped.

The victim’s car and the suspects are still outstanding.

The 26-year-old off-duty Uber driver gave an unforgettable ride to some non-paying customers. “I’m alright. I made it out alive,” said the driver who asked ABC7 News to identify him only as “Daniel,” which is not his real name.

He says a man and woman got in his unlocked parked car around 20th Avenue and Anza Street around 6:40pm Saturday night claiming they used the ridesharing app even though he said he didn’t accept any rides. “I decided to drive down the block thinking in good faith it was a mistake,” he said.

As the couple’s directions evolved so did their demands. “Things got real serious real fast,” he continued.

He says the male passenger pulled out a gun. “He pointed it at my head from the back seat.”

While the female passenger climbed into the front seat. “She claimed she had a knife and she even threatened to stab me in my leg.”

Along the way he says the couple tossed his phone and iPad out of the car. He believes they may have also taken his camera.

He drove the couple to Richmond where they wanted to stop at Cisco Market on 13th street so he could take out money at an ATM. “I bolted into the street,” he said.

“When he found the opportunity to escape he did and it proved to be the right thing for him to do,” said Lt. Felix Tan with the Richmond Police Department.

Saturday night Richmond Police and San Francisco Police interviewed the driver at the Richmond Police Department.

A Cisco Market employee says his boss showed the surveillance video to police.

The vehicle which is still outstanding is a white 2015 Toyota Camry with license plate 7HQW692. “Definitely having the Uber logo on the front and back of my car kind of victimized me a bit,” said the driver.

“You’re kind of de-sensitized from people coming into your car it seems like a normal thing but people are out there trying to take advantage of that so always lock your cars,” he continued.

Uber says the incident happened while the driver was off the app and is directing all questions to police.

The driver says the couple wanted to go to Sacramento and that there’s been some activity on his credit card since the kidnapping in Fairfield.

(Copyright ©2017 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

Xbox FanFest registration forced to start over because of site error

If you were hoping to get your hands on a ticket to attend the upcoming E3 2017 Xbox FanFest during the giveaway this morning, it looks like you’ll have to test your luck again. Because of an error that caused the registration system to accept more entries than it should have, Microsoft says it will have to start over with another registration period.

Unfortunately, that means anyone who managed to register for one of the 400 spots up for grabs this morning will have their entries voided. From Microsoft:

Fan enthusiasm overwhelmed our Xbox FanFest: E3 2017 registration website today, and unfortunately resulted in an error – causing the system to accept more registrants than we had tickets for the event in total. We determined voiding this morning’s registrations and starting over would help make things as fair as possible for all fans. So, if you were one of the fans who successfully registered this morning, you’ll need to re-register, and Xbox is emailing something special to you for the inconvenience. Stay tuned for more. Keep an eye on my twitter account and Chris@XboxFanFest (@moneyrumble), and we’ll tweet info on when we’ll restart ticketing.

It’s an unfortunate set of circumstances, and a number of fans who took part in the initial drop this morning have voiced their anger on Twitter. There’s no indication when registration will open back up, but hopefully, any issues are cleared up for the second go-around.

To recap, Xbox FanFest will run during E3 from June 11 through June 13. Ticket holders are invited to attend the Xbox E3 briefing on June 11 and will receive some gaming swag in a “custom-built” backpack. Microsoft also promises that FanFest ticket holders will get an early look at Xbox exclusives, Project Scorpio, and more at a private event on June 12.

Thanks to Onysi and Ronny B. for the tips!

Lad got so drunk cops had to break into his Facebook to ask friends his address…and were forced to send selfies when his pals didn’t believe they were oficers

THE THIN BOOZE LINE

The boozy night out led to one man forgetting his own address, but the officers were on hand to get him home safely

COPS escorted a drunk student home by crashing a group chat with his pals on Facebook to get his address – and even sent a selfie to prove it was not a prank.

The boozy night out led to one man forgetting his own address, but the officers were on hand to get him home safely.

The police even sent a selfie to prove they were not pulling a prank on the friends after they didn’t believe it was real

Handout

The police even sent a selfie to prove they were not pulling a prank on the friends after they didn’t believe it was real

Lawrence Court on the second left and Cameron on the third right – who was escorted home by the police

Handout

Lawrence Court on the second left and Cameron on the third right – who was escorted home by the police

The cops got in touch with Cameron’s friends to help get him home from the night out

Handout

The cops got in touch with Cameron’s friends to help get him home from the night out

The South Wales Police officers from Cathays police station used the Cardiff University student’s phone to contact his friends on Facebook Messenger by saying: “Hello it’s the police on Cameron’s phone. He is very drunk and we are dropping him home. He does not know what number…he lives on”

And when friends on the group were unsure as to whether the contact was genuine, an officer even posted a selfie of himself to the group to prove who they were.


Cameron’s friend Lawrence Court, 20, a member of the group said he was “surprised” to have received the message from the police.

The human geography student said: “Initially I thought it was all a load of rubbish as it’s not something you’d expect a police officer to do. We called him out and the officer sent a selfie.”

After being told the correct address, the officers messaged: “We will get him home safe now. Don’t forget to thank your friendly neighbourhood officers at Cathays station”

Cameron’s friend Lawrence Court, 20, a member of the group said he was “surprised” to have received the message from the police

Handout

Cameron’s friend Lawrence Court, 20, a member of the group said he was “surprised” to have received the message from the police

Cameron’s friends were amazed that the police had contacted them on Facebook

Handout

Cameron’s friends were amazed that the police had contacted them on Facebook

The conversation was tweeted by Lawrence and has since been liked 60,000 times and retweeted 18,000 times.

Lawrence added: “It made us all laugh out loud and the fact it has gone viral online is unbelievable.

“(Ron) actually can’t remember anything, he’s laughing about it now but I have tried to get something out of him but he actually doesn’t know.

“I think it’s brilliant, it gives you another side to the police force and you don’t often see them as being a laugh.

“Ron is going to get a lot of banter over this, no doubt. It’s one for the grandkids.”

In a separate case a job hopeful who turned up drunk for an interview with a police force was arrested on the spot and given a road-ban.

And last month a drink driver escaped jail after he performed handbrake turns and doughnuts – in a police station car park.


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