Five games are shown live each week across three networks, and David Kerr, Managing Director of British Eurosportwhich acquired the rights to Monday Night Football this seasontold me that he sees that trend continuing. “The NFL is great television; its a premium right,” he said. “There was a great surge in popularity when Channel 4 first start showing the sport, then it took a dip, but now it is definitely back on the rise.” Kerr refers to Channel 4, the first network to show the NFL back in 1982. The UK is a mature NFL audience, and the sport has found its place after the initial novelty of watching men smashing into each other at high speed diminished. According to sports popularity figures for Sky Sports, cited in theIndependent report, American football currently lies about seventh or eighth, alongside darts. (Dont be startleddarts is popular.)More telling is that there were consistently higher ratings for NFL games than the Premier League of English rugby when they were shown on the same network last year, according to my Sky sources. This maturity and the tribalism of European sports fans is likely to lead to a situation similar to a Yankees game at Marlins Park if a London franchise ever materialised, and certainly when the Jaguars begin their annual pilgrimage over the Atlantic this year, with supporters cheering for their native team rather than the hosts. The plethora of different jerseys seen en route to and outside the stadium underlines that NFL games are very much a coming-out parade for fans of the sport. Spot the jersey at a London Underground Station (six teams) However, this also works in Londons favor, as the most recent research distributed by the NFL in the UK cited that 50 per cent of UK NFL fans consider themselves fans of the League as much as a team. Of course, any London franchise would pick up new fans and be a second team for the diehards who grew up on a diet of Marino, Rice and Riggins.It was that maturitynot a lack of popularitythat led to NFL Europe leaving London and preseason games ceasing, as fans knew they were getting an inferior product. The youth is engaged in the NFL; the British Universities American Football League is the largest college league in Europe. There is a fair splattering of purple, black and gold in Wembley,but NFL UK managing director Alistair Kirkwood told me that the overwhelming fanbase is British: “We have fans coming from the U.S. and all over Europe, especially Scandinavia, but 85-90 per cent of the crowd is British.” Interview with Alistair Kirkwood – Managing Director at NFL UK Outside the stadium I spoke to Matti Cross, an exiled Brit now living in Denmark, who told me he would come to two matches a season if London had a franchise. Other fans from all four corners of the UK I spoke to had a similar opinion.
The average cost of a home in the capital surged by 10 per cent between July and this month, compared with the third quarter of last year, British bank and major mortgage provider Nationwide said on Friday. It added that the average London home, including flats as well as houses, now costs 331,338 (S$672,000) – 8 per cent higher than in 2007 or during the run-up to the global financial crisis that eventually led to prices crashing. “The acceleration in house prices…reported by the Nationwide will fuel concern that we could be on our way to a new housing bubble,” said Mr Howard Archer, chief UK economist at IHS Global Insight research group. “On top of this, the Bank of England has indicated that interest rates are unlikely to rise before mid-2016, which seems likely to give many people greater confidence in their ability to purchase a house,” he added. The government launched a new programme called “Help To Buy” earlier this year, offering interest- free loans for a set time period to help buyers with only a 5 per cent deposit to purchase newly built properties. The scheme will be extended in January to offer mortgage guarantees for new and existing homes worth up to 600,000. People will not be allowed to benefit from the scheme if they intend to own more than one property. The current state of the housing market has meanwhile led to splits in the governing Conservative- Liberal Democrat coalition. Outspoken Lib Dem Business Secretary Vince Cable has warned that Help To Buy could fuel a new bubble. However, Conservative MP George Osborne, who as finance minister holds a more senior role in government, maintains that the scheme is needed to help homebuyers struggling to find sufficient deposits. Britain’s housing market has been bolstered in part by the country’s economic recovery in the first half of the year and on keen demand from cash-rich foreign buyers, particularly for investment property in London. Analysts also blame a shortage of affordable property for the current boost in prices. Become a fan on Facebook
London hardly abuzz over return of NFL
I still cant for the life of me figure out why commissioner Roger Goodell seems so intent on having an NFL franchise in London one day. I think it would be a logistical nightmare — as does Steelers free safety Ryan Clark who told ESPNs “NFL Live” on Wednesday that he would retire before playing for a London-based team if he had to make that choice. Then there is the reality of how rooted futbol is in Europe. Kovacevic illustrates how a major difference between futbol and football is one reason why the latter has never really caught on across the Atlantic Ocean. The Steelers’ players echoed the sentiments of their coach before the team left for London. There are ample sightseeing opportunities in London, but the Steelers wont take advantage of them since they are focused on coming home with a win . The Steelers need improved play along the offensive line if they are to beat the Minnesota Vikings and avoid an 0-4 start. In their quest to find the right combination up front the Steelers will continue to rotate Kelvin Beachum at tackle with Marcus Gilbert and Mike Adams. Adams and Gilbert have each struggled through the first three games, and if they dont show marked improvement Beachum will see the field more and more. The Steelers dont have a lot of other options as they try to get better play out of their line, and their hope has to be that some competition will compel Adams and Gilbert to raise their respective games. Kion Wilson has started the last two games at strongside inside linebacker but rookie Vince Williams is on track to make the position his . The sixth-round draft pick played 75 percent of the defensive snaps, considerably more than Wilson, last Sunday night, and it is worth noting that the Steelers list the two as co-starters on their depth chart.
Landmark GBP25 million Gift for London Business School’s Old Marylebone Town Hall
The launch for Asia will be held at Hong Kong’s Conrad Hotel on October 15th. The region has almost two and a half thousand London Business School alumni, with nine active alumni clubs, and over 260 current students. The Hon Apurv Bagri, London Business School’s Campaign Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the School’s Governing Body and Managing Director, Metdist Group, added: “I’m delighted that we are able to announce this gift as we launch the School’s first ever comprehensive fundraising campaign. It sends a strong signal about the power of the London Business School community. Not only will this gift help fund the transformation of Old Marylebone Town Hall but, critically, it lays the foundation for the School’s future.” Notes to editors About Old Marylebone Town Hall Under the agreement, London Business School will spend over GBP50 million in the fit-out and restoration of the Grade II listed building to its former glory, whilst creating a modern learning environment within its historic premises. For further information about Old Marylebone Town Hall, please click here http://www.london.edu/newsandevents/news/2012/11/A_civil_partnership_of_a_different_kind_for_Old_Marylebone_Town_Hall_1554.html About London Business School London Business School’s purpose is to deliver insights and leaders that have impact. The School was ranked number one internationally for the full-time MBA programme*. In research, the School is ranked top ten and holds the highest average research score of any UK academic institution**. The School’s faculty, from over 30 countries, is grouped into seven subject areas — Accounting; Economics; Finance; Management Science and Operations; Marketing; Organisational Behaviour; and Strategy and Entrepreneurship. Studying at the School provides access to an unmatched diversity of thought. With a presence in four international cities — London, New York, Hong Kong and Dubai — the School is well positioned to equip students from more than 100 countries with the capabilities needed to operate in today’s business environment. Students further benefit from our 36,000 alumni from more than 130 countries who provide a wealth of knowledge, business experience and worldwide networking opportunities.