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News > Companies
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What's in a corporate name?
graphic October 9, 2001: 4:07 p.m. ET

NBC and Lowe's settle tug of war over a race track's corporate name.
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NEW YORK (CNNmoney) - Those who hate corporate names on their sports venues had to enjoy the drama in Charlotte, NC, this past weekend.

NBC let it be known they would not use the name of the site of Sunday's Nascar race - the Lowe's Motor Speedway - unless the track's sponsor, home improvement chain Lowe's Companies Inc. (LOW: down $1.06 to $30.43, Research, Estimates) bought time on the broadcast.

The president of the speedway responded by threatening to send a tow truck to the track to drag out the NBC satellite truck needed to broadcast the race.

An 11th-hour agreement to have Lowe's advertise on the remainder of Nascar races this season saved either threat from coming to pass. But those who hope this will somehow lead to broadcasters again referring to Candlestick Park or other names lost in a hail of corporate dollars are sure to be disappointed. NBC Sports said this requirement of sponsorship was due solely to provisions of the Nascar broadcast agreement, an it will not apply to other sports.

Michael takes a swing at baseball

Michael Jordan never had much impact on baseball during his first retirement from basketball, never making it above the minor leagues. But the end of his second retirement will be felt by his former sport.

His first game Oct. 30 against the New York Knicks, will be broadcast on TNT opposite Game 3 of the World Series, not good news for Fox Entertainment Group Inc. (FOX: down $0.31 to $19.89, Research, Estimates), which has the rights to baseball's post-season games.

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Michael Jordan's return to basketball will mean his greatest impact ever on his former sport of baseball.
This week NBC announced it will broadcast its earliest NBA game in a decade when it broadcasts his first home game Nov. 3 against the Philadelphia 76ers. That could come against Game 6 of the series if one is necessary.

NBC hasn't shown a game before Christmas Day since the first year of its current NBA contract in 1990, but it decided to add this game, as well as a Dec. 1 Wizards' game, due to interest in Jordan's return.

The World Series has not gone to a Game 6 since 1997, and it is in the last games of a series that a network turns a money loser into a money winner. A four or five game series rarely builds the drama necessary to attract viewership.

Lou D'Ermilio, spokesman for Fox Sports, said he's confident the NBA game won't hurt Game 6 ratings too badly.

"You can only worry about what we have control over," he said.

Recession, attack felt by sports companies

One of the few publicly-traded companies in the world of professional sports warned Tuesday that the downturn in the economy is going to hurt its growth prospects.

International Speedway Corp. (ISCA: up $0.99 to $36.85, Research, Estimates), which operates 12 major auto race tracks, including Daytona International Speedway in Florida and Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama, saw a strong growth in income and revenue in the period, as it beat analysts forecasts for the third quarter. But while it did not change any earnings guidance going forward, it admitted that world events and the state of economy is a cause for concern.

"As such, we currently do not anticipate any seating additions for 2002 and are scaling back other capital spending plans as well," said a statement from company President James France.

Other sports teams and operations are probably making similar adjustments, though since they are not publicly traded, few have to spell out their plans in this manner. graphic





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Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.

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