Warriors

Which TV channel just inked 7-year deal with UFC?

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Which TV channel just inked 7-year deal with UFC?

From Comcast SportsNet Thursday, August 18, 2011
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The UFC has made it to network prime-time programming. Mixed martial arts' dominant promotional company announced a landmark seven-year deal with Fox on Thursday, putting four UFC shows on the main network each year and an extensive array of programming on its cable networks. The UFC will become a prominent feature on FX, with live fights on most Friday nights and a revamped version of "The Ultimate Fighter," the UFC's popular reality show. UFC president Dana White says the deal is the biggest step yet in MMA's transformation from a banned fringe sport into a mainstream entertainment property. The UFC already is wildly popular among young men, but Fox will put the sport in front of an enormous new audience. "This is what I always wanted, what I always thought was the pinnacle for us," White said. "This partnership is going to take this sport to the next level. Those people that thought I was a lunatic, saying this was going to be the biggest sport in the world, this is the next step." Fox will allow the UFC to control its own production, a longtime stumbling block in White's negotiations with network TV over the past several years. Although the UFC is still in control, White says he wants "to make a fresh start" in every aspect of UFC's programming, working with Fox to improve even its pay-per-view broadcasts. Fox Sports Chairman David Hill said the network won't have trouble selling network advertising for a violent, high-testosterone sport that's still viewed with an arched eyebrow by much of the public and media. "TV is all about the next big thing, and that's what we're here for," Hill said. "We would not have gone into this deal if we had not canvassed a large pool of advertisers ... and found they were behind it." Hill also had no problem leaving the UFC in charge of its own broadcasts. "I think their production is first-class, and I doubt there's anything we could bring," he said. The UFC's first prime-time fights on Fox will air Nov. 12. White is still working out details of the show, which likely will be held at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. "The Ultimate Fighter" will move from Spike to FX next spring for its 15th edition. The show's competitive fights will air live on Friday nights, and its episodes will be filmed and released much faster than in its previous incarnation, which starts its 14th cycle on Spike this fall. Most of the UFC programming currently airing on Versus also will move to FX, as will the behind-the-scenes reality shows leading up to major fights. Fuel, a lower-profile Fox cable channel, also will broadcast UFC programming. Although the four Fox shows are the UFC's first regular spot on a broadcast network, the bulk of the UFC's programming will be on FX in its nearly 100 million homes. FX president John Landgraf has built a powerful lineup of critically acclaimed and highly-rated dramas and comedies over the past decade, but the network has spent years looking for sports programming to complement its scripted lineup, dabbling with NASCAR and college football in recent years. "Weekends are so hard to program right now, but sports are one thing that always seems to work," said Chuck Saftler, FX's executive vice president. "I think it fits FX very well. There's an intelligence to the fighters. This isn't just dumbed-down punching. We're also able to keep our programming message simple now: You can see UFC fighting live on FX almost every Friday night."

Gameday: Two Warriors All-Stars out for Friday's game vs Bulls

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USATSI

Gameday: Two Warriors All-Stars out for Friday's game vs Bulls

The Warriors will be without their starting forwards Friday night when they return to Oracle Arena not only to face the struggling Chicago Bulls but also in search of good habits.

Coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 6:30, with tipoff scheduled for 7:35.

Kevin Durant is out with a sprained ankle and Draymond Green will be resting.

The Warriors (13-5) are coming off a 2-2 road trip during which they blew a 17-point third-quarter lead in one of the losses and had to overcome a 24-point third-quarter deficit to earn one of the victories.

The rebuilding Bulls (3-13) are concluding a four-game swing through the Western Conference, having lost the first three games by an average of 15.7 points.

BETTING LINE

Warriors by 15.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Omri Casspi & Co. vs. Lauri Markkanen: Markkanen has been one of the few bright spots for the Bulls this season. The 7-foot rookie from Arizona shares the team lead in scoring at 14.6 points per game, while leading in rebounds at 8.3 per game. The only Chicago rookies to score more points in their first 16 games are Michael Jordan, Derrick Rose and Elton Brand. With Green and Durant out, the task of defending Markkanen falls to Casspi, who will start at one forward, with rookie Jordan Bell also taking a few turns.

INJURY LIST

Warriors: F Kevin Durant (L ankle sprain) and F Draymond Green (rest) are listed as out. C Damian Jones is on assignment with the G-League Santa Cruz Warriors.

Bulls: G Zach LaVine (L ACL rehab), F Nikola Mirotic (facial fractures), G David Nwaba (R ankle sprain) and G Cameron Payne (R foot surgery) are listed as out.

LAST 10

Warriors: 8-2. Bulls: 2-8.

GAME OFFICIALS

Bennie Adams (lead), Mark Ayotte and JT Orr.

SERIES HISTORY

The teams split the two-game series last season, each winning on its home court. The Warriors have won five of the last eight overall and 14 of the last 18 in Oakland.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

THE INTENSITY METER: The Warriors believe, justifiably, that their biggest worry is about themselves. When they’re properly focused, they are the best team in the NBA. When they are not, they are susceptible to most any quality team. Insofar as Chicago doesn’t appear pose an explicit challenge, the Warriors must not only manufacture intensity but also maintain it.

KEEP ‘EM OFF THE LINE: The Bulls are dead last in the NBA in offensive rating (94.4), field-goal percentage (41.0), field goals made per game (35.7). The one thing they do well is shoot free throws, which they shoot at a league-leading 92.9 percent. The Warriors can be prone to fouls (only eight teams commit more), so they’ll have to play it smart against this opponent.

THE BENCH BUNCH: With Durant and Green out, along with this being the second game of a four-games-in-six-nights stretch, the Warriors will have to lean on their bench, which has been quite good. Its 54-percent shooting leads the league, as is its 4.2 blocks per game. The net rating 10.2 is second in the NBA.

NASL-champion San Francisco Deltas fold after one season

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USATSI

NASL-champion San Francisco Deltas fold after one season

The dream is no more. 

San Francisco Deltas' CEO Brian Andres Helmick ended speculation on Friday when he released a statement announcing the end of the team after one season in the North American Soccer League -- a DII professional league in the USSF pyramid. 

The Deltas are fresh off claming the NASL's championship in front of a sold-out crowd at Kezar Stadium, But even that wasn't enough to save a franchise who admittedly was struggling to stay afloat. 

"We are closing down the San Francisco Deltas," Helmick wrote. "As many of you have said, this journey that started in 2015 has the makings of a movie with character-defining struggles, heroic moments, painful defeats, and overcoming seemingly impossible hurdles all culminating in a dream come true on Sunday, November 12th when the SF Deltas were crowned the national champions after defeating the New York Cosmos — arguably the most storied brand in U.S. Soccer history. I’ll never forget the scene of thousands of fans storming the field. Now that the celebration has come to an end, players and coaches have been released from their contracts. We will not leave any loose ends and everybody will be paid what they’re owed for 2017 — including players, coaches, staff, partners and vendors."

In 32 league games, the Deltas amassed a 14-12-6 record and advanced to the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup tournament where they lost to the San Jose Earthquakes. 

"In hindsight we have not been perfect," Helmick said. "Far from it. We have learned so much from this adventure and we will begin organizing our thoughts and learnings that led to us to make this decision. Our hope is to share them for the benefit of others who are interested in developing the sport here in San Francisco or in other cities. I firmly believe that via transparency and collaboration we can improve the sport we all love."

In response to the Deltas news, the NASL released the following statement: 'In San Francisco, it’s unfortunate that the Deltas’ business plans did not materialize in the way they had hoped. We remain a big believer in the market, as evidenced by the atmosphere and crowd at The Championship Final earlier this month, and we still believe that the city deserves a professional soccer team. We are in active discussions with potential ownership groups and we aim to keep professional soccer in San Francisco in the future."

The Deltas experiment is the latest to test the viability of professional soccer in San Francisco. Last Fall, another group fronted by Zappos.com founder NIck Swimurn -- San Francisco Football Club -- attempted to start a team using AT&T Park as its home stadium as part of the United Soccer League. The project and application was pulled.