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Carolina got hot over the second half of the season and managed to work its way into the Eastern Conference playoff mix. Its first opponent was not a favorable one though, as the Hurricanes went 0-4 in the regular season series vs. the Capitals. Washington leaves the nation’s capital with a 2-0 series lead and after its 4-3 OT win in Game 2, I have a hard time seeing the Hurricanes mentally getting back into this series. Key players, both up front and at the back end, are playing at their best right now for the defending champs and I see no reason not to believe that that momentum won’t get carried over here as well. Additionally note that the Capitals are already 8-4 (+2.6 units) this year after playing three straight home games, while Carolina is now 16-21 (-7.3 units) this season vs. clubs with winning records. With a chance to take a strangle-hold on this series, I expect the Capitals to continue their domination of this match-up.
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. The Fox television network, Fox News Channel, and the non-regional Fox Sports assets (Fox Sports 1 and 2 (FS1 and FS2) cable channels, and the part of Fox Sports attached to the Fox television network) will be spun off into an independent company run by the Murdoch family.
A new graphics package was launched on August 27, 2017 for Fox's first NFL preseason broadcast, featuring a solid-colored rectangular design and a football scorebar positioned across the bottom of the screen. Upon its debut, the new football scoreboard was widely panned by viewers for its basic appearance and small text size. This appearance has also been adopted by Big Ten Network. Fox continues to use Vizrt software, and began to increasingly utilize laptops to run its on-air graphics as opposed to full systems (maintained as backups).
The National Football League (NFL) remains the only sports league to maintain public opposition to sports betting, however critics have noted that with the move of the Oakland Raiders relocation to Las Vegas in 2019, the NFL has positioned itself for legalization, while simultaneously contradicting its long-held position that sports betting in NFL markets would lead to potential match-fixing. Commissioner Roger Goodell agreed with Manfred in a July 2017 seminar that betting on in-game events, as opposed to the outcome of games, was a more palatable form of sports betting.
In 2012, despite federal law preventions, the state legislature of New Jersey and Governor Chris Christie signed a law that would allow sports betting to take place in New Jersey race tracks and Atlantic City casinos. In August 2012, Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind conducted a study on the issue. Voters were asked whether New Jersey should allow sports betting even if federal law prevents it from doing so, or wait to allow sports betting until federal law permits it. Results showed that nearly half (45%) of voters wanted to allow sports betting, while (38%) decided to wait and allow sports betting once Congress allows it. Krista Jenkins, director of the poll, commented, "Although support is not overwhelming, these numbers suggest the public is cautiously behind the goal of moving forward with legalized sports betting."
ESPN launched its high definition simulcast feed, originally branded as ESPNHD, on March 30, 2003. All studio shows based in Bristol and at L.A. Live, along with most live event telecasts on ESPN, are broadcast in high definition. ESPN is one of the few television networks with an all-digital infrastructure. Archived non-HD programming is presented in 4:3 standard definition with stylized pillarboxing. Pardon the Interruption and Around the Horn began airing in HD on September 27, 2010, with the relocation of the production of both shows into the facility housing the Washington, D.C. bureau for ABC News.
On April 26, 2017, approximately 100 ESPN employees were notified that their positions with the sports network had been terminated, among them athletes-turned-analysts Trent Dilfer and Danny Kanell, and noted journalists like NFL beat reporter Ed Werder and Major League Baseball expert Jayson Stark. The layoffs came as ESPN continued to shed viewers, more than 10 million over a period of several years, while paying big money for the broadcast rights to such properties as the NFL, NBA and College Football Playoff. Further cost-cutting measures taken include moving the studio operations of ESPNU to Bristol from Charlotte, North Carolina, reducing its longtime MLB studio show Baseball Tonight to Sundays as a lead-in to the primetime game and adding the MLB Network-produced Intentional Talk to ESPN2's daily lineup.
In the United States, it was previously illegal under the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 for states to authorize legal sports betting, hence making it effectively illegal. The states of Delaware, Montana, Nevada, and Oregon—which had pre-existing sports lotteries and sports betting frameworks, were grandfathered and exempted from the effects of the Act.
Football is practically a religion in the Lone Star State, and with 23 NCAA Division I football teams calling Texas home, there’s no lack of action to be found when it comes to legal college football betting. Whether you’re a Longhorns diehard or a loyal Aggies supporter, you’ll be able to find coverage on any Texas college football team at online, offshore sportsbooks. These are currently the only books legally able to offer action on college football.
Fox lost the broadcasting rights to the Bowl Championship Series to ESPN beginning in 2010. In response, Fox introduced a Saturday "game of the week" on FX in 2011, featuring games from the Pac-12, the Big 12 and Conference USA (the rights to which were later assumed by Fox and Fox Sports 1); Fox also signed deals to carry two new championship games created through conference realignments that occurred in 2010 and 2011: the Big Ten Conference Championship through 2016 (as part of Fox Sports' involvement with the Big Ten Network), and the Pac-12 Championship through 2017 on an alternating basis with ESPN. Fox lost the broadcasting rights to the 2015 Cotton Bowl Classic onwards again to ESPN.
ESPN2 launched on October 1, 1993, it carried a broad mix of event coverage from conventional sports (such as auto racing, college basketball and NHL hockey) to extreme sports (such as BMX, skateboarding and motocross). The "ESPN BottomLine," a ticker displaying sports news and scores during all programming that is now used by all of ESPN's networks, originated on ESPN2 in 1995. In the late 1990s, ESPN2 was gradually reformatted to serve as a secondary outlet for ESPN's mainstream sports programming.
Sports betting has resulted in a number of scandals in sport, affecting the integrity of sports events through various acts including point shaving (players affecting the score by missing shots), spot-fixing (a player action is fixed), bad calls from officials at key moments, and overall match fixing (the overall result of the event is fixed). Examples include the 1919 World Series, the alleged (and later admitted) illegal gambling of former MLB player Pete Rose, and former NBA referee Tim Donaghy.