If he runs as a third-party candidate — in association with the billionaire-backed No Labels group — he could draw voters away from Biden. That said, it would be expensive for Manchin to run, especially this late, and highly unlikely that he would win.
Women’s soccer scores a big deal
The National Women’s Soccer League announced a four-year broadcast rights deal on Thursday worth a reported $60 million a year, 40 times as much as the last deal the competition signed with CBS Sports in 2020. The huge jump in value reflects the resilience of live sports broadcasting and surging consumer and investor interest in the league — a remarkable turnaround after it was on the brink of closing just a few years ago.
The new deal is with CBS Sports, ESPN, Amazon and Scripps Sports. The involvement of mainstream sports broadcasters is a far cry from a decade ago, when most of the league’s games were aired for free on YouTube. But attendance at games is now breaking records, and media groups hope that they can convert that enthusiasm into viewership.
Professional women’s sports leagues are more established than ever. The W.N.B.A. too landed a new deal this year reportedly worth $60 million annually with Scripps Sports’ Ion TV network, and also airs games on ESPN. “It’s not the old days where if you wanted to watch women’s sports, you had to navigate your way through a million backdoor channels to find the content,” Jessica Berman, N.W.S.L.’s commissioner, told The Wall Street Journal.
And big name investors are paying more to be part of the N.W.S.L. Three years ago, the price for entry to create a new club was about $2 million to $5 million. But this year, starting a new franchise cost about $50 million, and the league will expand to 14 teams next year.