Lakers Send Back the Check: Top Sports and Business News – April 27

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Here are the top stories in sports and business on Monday, April 27.

The NFL Draft shatters TV ratings record, there are now nearly one million cases of the coronavirus in the U.S. and The Los Angeles Lakers say thanks but no thanks to PPP loan.

The Draft Wrap-Up

The NFL Draft wrapped up on Saturday and if you watched any of the coverage during the three-day event, you were among 55 million people that tuned in.

Day one had 15.6 million people, up 37% from 2019 with a peak audience of 19.6 million.

Day two had 8.2 million people, up 40% from 2019 with a peak audience of 10 million viewers.

Day three had about 4 million people, up 32% from 2019.

So, in total, there were 55 million people over three days, up 16% vs. 2019.

It aired on five networks: ESPN, ABC, NFL Network, and ESPN Deportes.

Put that in comparison with ESPN’s Last Dance, the 10-part documentary series on Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls which had 6.3 million for the first episode and 5.8 million for episode two.

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A Coronavirus Update

There are three million cases of the virus worldwide, with over 207,000 deaths, per data from Johns Hopkins. In the U.S., there are around 970,000 cases, with over 54,000 deaths.

There are 291,000 cases in New York state and there are over 229,000 cases in Spain.

The U.S. has the largest number of fatalities worldwide. There are over 26,000 deaths in Italy and 23,000 deaths in Spain.

The major indices in the market -- the Dow, S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are all steadily in the green based on investors' hope that the news from around the world that places are beginning to ease restrictions.

Georgia is allowing restaurants and movie theaters to open up today after letting businesses such as nail parlors and hair salons open last Friday.

Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York has said that he could see New York beginning a phased opening starting May 15.

Italy is planning on rolling back some restrictions starting May 4. Switzerland is letting some businesses reopen starting today.

However, the World Health Organization has warned that the “pandemic is far from over.”

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The LA Lakers Return PPP Funding

The Los Angeles Lakers returned about $4.6 million that came via the federal government’s CARES Act. The government program aims to help businesses during the coronavirus pandemic and economic shutdown.

Los Angeles originally applied for the loan but after being accepted into the program and then seeing thousands of other small businesses get shut out after the funds were depleted, the Lakers decided to return the money.

The Lakers franchise estimated value is more than $4 billion dollars.

The Lakers do not qualify for the newest round of PPP funding, which is not available for businesses that have access to liquidity and the credit markets.

The Lakers are not the only business to have qualified for a PPP loan--despite the program being designed for small businesses.

A number of public companies have both applied and qualified for the loans: Potbelly's, AutoNation, Shake Shack, Ruth’s Hospitality--which owns Ruth’s Chris to name a few. However, those listed have announced that they are returning the loans.

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