PLAY: The New York Times Sports Magazine Breaks United Football League Story
Wednesday May 30, 9:05 am ET
NEW YORK, NY(rushprnews) May 30,2007–PLAY: The New York Times Sports Magazine reports in its June 3 issue that Wall Streeter Bill Hambrecht and Google executive Tim Armstrong are launching a professional football league to compete with the N.F.L., and have lined up billionaire Mark Cuban as their first team owner.
In an exclusive column, Joe Nocera writes that the new United Football League aims to line up seven more owners “with Cuban’s deep pockets and contrarian mindset” so that it can debut with eight teams. Right now, the league is scheduled to play its first pre-season games in August, 2008.
Cuban owns the N.B.A.’s Dallas Mavericks. Undaunted by the monopolistic N.F.L., which has squashed four competitors, he tells Nocera, “There are quite a few good-sized non-N.F.L. cities that can support a pro team.” So far, the league has picked Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Mexico City. San Antonio and Orlando are among other top markets without N.F.L. teams.
According to U.F.L. executives, Nocera reports, the new league will emulate the old American Football League – one of whose major characteristics was revenue sharing. Each owner will put up $30 million, worth a half-interest in a team; the league will own the other half. Eventually, the plan envisions that fans will become stakeholders – because each team will sell shares to the public to raise an average of $60 million per franchise. Public ownership will reduce the pricing pressure on the teams, resulting in cheaper tickets all around.
Officials are convinced they can land decent players from the get-go, and better players later on. “The U.F.L. will be able to offer most rookies, who aren’t top draft choices, far more money than the N.F.L. would give them,” Nocera writes.
PLAY: The New York Times Sports Magazine is distributed quarterly through the Sunday New York Times. According to Nielsen/NetRatings, an Internet traffic measurement service, The Times reaches 17.6 million unduplicated readers in the United States every month via the weekday and Sunday newspaper, and NYTimes.com (source: Nielsen/ NetRatings@Plan, summer 2007). The next issues of PLAY Magazine will appear on August 19 and October 28.
In April, PLAY launched a free weekly e-mail newsletter, which is distributed each Thursday. Subscribers can sign up at www.NYTimes.com/PlayEmail.
PLAY Magazine was named one of the hottest magazine launches by MIN (Media Industry Newsletter) in 2006, and four feature stories from PLAY have been chosen to appear in “The Best American Sports Writing 2007,” to be published by Houghton Mifflin later this year.
About The New York Times Company
The New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT – News), a leading media company with 2006 revenues of $3.3 billion, includes The New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, The Boston Globe, 15 other daily newspapers, WQXR-FM and more than 30 Web sites, including NYTimes.com, Boston.com and About.com. The Company’s core purpose is to enhance society by creating, collecting and distributing high-quality news, information and entertainment.
This press release can be downloaded from www.nytco.com and www.nytco.com/community
The New York Times Company
Diane McNulty, 212-556-5244
Susan Ostrov, 207-725-4416
Source: The New York Times Company
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