In order to bolster viewership for the NFL telecasts, Fox parent News Corporation decided to strike affiliation deals with broadcasting companies that owned stations affiliated with ABC, NBC and CBS in order to raise the profile of Fox's affiliate body, which at the time mainly consisted of UHF stations that (with some exceptions) had little to no prior history as a major network affiliate, had weaker signals and largely did not carry as much value with advertisers as the Big Three's affiliates. During the late spring and summer of 1994, Fox reached separate agreements with New World Communications (a media company controlled by investor Ronald Perelman, which Fox's station group Fox Television Stations would purchase in July 1996) and SF Broadcasting (a joint venture between Fox and Savoy Pictures that purchased four stations from Burnham Broadcasting through separate deals in July and August 1994) to switch a total of sixteen stations to Fox between September 1994 and September 1996 as affiliation contracts with those stations' existing network partners expired. The NFL television rights and affiliation deals firmly established Fox as the nation's fourth major network. The network's relationship with the NFL would expand in 1997, when it began airing games from NFL Europe, an agreement which ended when the European league folded in 2005.
Many jokes have been made by comedians about fake obscure sports that are shown on ESPN. Dennis Miller mentioned watching "sumo rodeo," while George Carlin stated that ESPN showed "Australian dick wrestling." One of several Saturday Night Live sketches poking fun at the network features a fictional ESPN2 program called Scottish Soccer Hooligan Weekly, which includes a fake advertisement for "Senior Women's Beach Lacrosse." SNL also parodies ESPN Classic with fake archived obscure women's sports event telecasts from the 1980s (such as bowling, weightlifting and curling), with announcers who know nothing about the sport, and instead focus on the sponsors, which were always for feminine hygiene products. In the early years of ESPN, Late Night with David Letterman even featured a "Top Ten List" segment poking fun at some of the obscure sports seen on ESPN at the time. One of the more memorable sports on the list was "Amish Rake Fighting." A recurring skit on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon named Sports Freak-Out! is a parody of SportsCenter's overexcited anchors.
New York sports betting is scheduled to make its official debut just-in-time for the 2019 NFL season. Preliminary rules are in a 60-day comment period. As for mobile wagering, Gov. Andrew Cuomo spoke in January about making online sports betting part of his upcoming budget plan. However, lawmakers failed to include mobile/online sports betting in the finalized plan on April 1.
When the Fox Broadcasting Company launched in October 1986, the network's management, having seen how sports programming (in particular, soccer events) played a critical role in the growth of the British satellite service BSkyB, determined that sports would be the type of programming that would ascend Fox to a major network status the quickest; as a result, Fox tried to attract a professional football package to the network. In 1987, after ABC initially hedged on renewing its contract with the National Football League (NFL) for the television rights to Monday Night Football, Fox made an offer for the package at the same price that ABC had been paying at the time – about $13 million per game. However, partly due to the fact that Fox had yet to establish itself as a major network, the NFL decided to resume negotiations with ABC, with the two parties eventually agreeing to a new contract, keeping what was the crown jewel of the league's television broadcasts on that network (where it remained until 2006, when MNF moved to sister network ESPN as part of a contract that also saw NBC gain the Sunday Night Football package).
The Cronje Affair was an India-South Africa Cricket match fixing scandal that went public in 2000. It began in 1996 when the-then captain of the South African national cricket team, Hansie Cronje, was convinced by Mukesh "John" Gupta, an Indian bookmaker, to throw a match during a Test in Kanpur, India. The scheme was discovered when Delhi police recorded illegal dealings between Indian bookmaker Sanjay Chawla and Cronje. According to the Telegraph in 2010, Cronje was paid off a total of £65,000 from Gupta.
The next major stepping stone for ESPN came over the course of a couple of months in 1984. During this time period, the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) purchased 100% of ESPN from the Rasmussens and Getty Oil. Under Getty ownership, the channel was unable to compete for the television rights to major sports events contracts as its majority corporate parent would not provide the funding, leading ESPN to lose out for broadcast deals with the National Hockey League (to USA Network) and NCAA Division I college football (to TBS). For years, the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball refused to consider cable as a means of broadcasting some of their games. However, with the backing of ABC, ESPN's ability to compete for major sports contracts greatly increased, and gave it credibility within the sports broadcasting industry.