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On December 14, 2017, The Walt Disney Company announced plans to acquire 21st Century Fox (Fox Sports' parent) for $52.4 billion; this will include key assets such as 20th Century Fox, FX Networks, National Geographic Partners, its regional sports networks, and its international networks. Under the terms of the proposed acquisition, the Fox broadcast network, Fox News Channel, and the non-regional Fox Sports assets (FS1 and FS2) cable channels, and the broadcast network division would be spun off into an independent company owned by 21st Century Fox's current shareholders.
Many of the leading gambling bookmakers from the 1930s to the 1960s got their start during the prohibition era of the 1920s. They were often descendants of the influx of immigrants coming into the USA at this time. Although the common stereotype is that these bookies were of Italian descent, many leading bookies were of eastern European ancestry.
On November 7, 1995, Fox was awarded partial broadcast rights to Major League Baseball games, in a shared deal with NBC (which had carried the league's telecasts since 1947). Through the deal, which Fox paid a fraction of the amount ($115 million) that CBS paid to obtain the rights effective with the 1990 season, Fox would broadcast approximately 16 regular season Saturday afternoon games per season (unlike the previous Baseball Network deal between NBC and ABC) and offered different game broadcasts shown on a regionalized basis (usually up to three per week). As part of a six-year renewal of this deal – valued at $2.5 billion – in September 2000, Fox Sports became the exclusive over-the-air broadcaster of Major League Baseball, giving it the exclusive rights to the World Series beginning with the 2000 edition, as well as rights to the All-Star Game, select Division Series games and exclusive coverage of the League Championship Series. Under a clause in the contract (which has not been exercised as there has not been a labor dispute during the term of rights while Fox Sports has held the contract), if some of the scheduled games were cancelled by a strike or lockout, Fox would still pay Major League Baseball for a full slate of annual games, while the league in turn had to compensate Fox with additional telecasts.
ESPN has been criticized for focusing too much on men's college and professional sports, and very little on women's sports or extreme sports. Ice hockey and soccer fans have also criticized ESPN for not giving their respective sports more coverage. Other criticism has focused on ethnicity in ESPN's varying mediated forms, as well as carriage fees and issues regarding the exportation of ESPN content. Some critics argue that ESPN's success is their ability to provide other enterprise and investigative sports news while competing with other hard sports-news-producing outlets such as Yahoo! Sports and Fox Sports. Some scholars have challenged ESPN's journalistic integrity calling for an expanded standard of professionalism to prevent biased coverage and conflicts of interest.
Beginning with the 2006 NFL season, the scoring banner was upgraded again. This time, real-time scores from around the league were included as a permanent fixture on the extreme right side of the bar, while the banner's coloring changed to the colors of the team currently in possession of the ball (this coloring scheme was seen only on football broadcasts). The banner no longer flashed after the scoring of runs, touchdowns or field goals. During baseball broadcasts, the diamond graphic appeared in middle-justification and was slimmed down to just the three main bases, unlike other implements which included home plate. This banner, after first being used for NFL broadcasts in 2006, was eventually expanded to Bowl Championship Series, NASCAR and baseball broadcasts; baseball telecasts, however, continued to use the late-2005 scoring banners and graphics in 2007. In 2008, Fox NASCAR introduced a new camera embedded between turns one and two on the various tracks; it was soon known as "Digger Cam", unveiled alongside a gopher mascot named Digger. For the 2009 season, the 2006 graphics package was dropped entirely for Fox's baseball telecasts and replaced with the new Fox Sports Net graphics, which had debuted on baseball telecasts across FSN's affiliates that season. These were later repositioned for widescreen in July 2010, when Fox Sports began presenting all of its high definition programming content in the 16:9 aspect ratio, with letterboxing on standard definition feeds relayed to pay television providers.
Sports betting is the activity of predicting sports results and placing a wager on the outcome. The frequency of sports bet upon varies by culture, with the vast majority of bets being placed on association football, American football, basketball, baseball, hockey, track cycling, auto racing, mixed martial arts, and boxing at both the amateur and professional levels. Sports betting can also extend to non-athletic events, such as reality show contests and political elections, and non-human contests such as horse racing, greyhound racing, and illegal, underground dog fighting.