Here are the stories making headlines in the world of sports and business on Tuesday, August 11.
An MLB Bubble?
Coronavirus outbreaks impacting Major League Baseball teams, including the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals, have been well documented. Both teams were forced to postpone several of their regular season scheduled games and their previous opponents also had to make changes to their schedules after coming in contact with players from the Marlins and Cardinals. To put it simply, it’s been a real bad look for the MLB and how they are handling the coronavirus.
Now according to ESPN, the MLB is having preliminary discussions about implementing a ‘bubble’ for their post-season, similar to what the NBA has done.
The ESPN report indicates that the MLB would possibly need to implement three bubble locations in order to host the 16 teams that make the playoffs. As it stands now, Major League is planning to have the top seeded teams host all of the wild card round games to minimize travel.
Daily Coronavirus Update
There are over 20.1 million cases of the virus worldwide, with over 737,000 deaths. According to Johns Hopkins, the U.S. has surpassed 5.1 million cases with over 163,000 deaths. According to the COVID-19 Tracking Project, there were 41,807 new cases reported Monday. 716,229 new tests were reported. And 426 deaths were reported yesterday.
Russia has become the first country in the world to formally approve a vaccine against the coronavirus. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Tuesday that Russia's health care regulator approved a Covid-19 vaccine, though the vaccine has yet to complete clinical trials and no information about any late-phase testing has been published.
Speaking at a government meeting Tuesday, Putin said that the vaccine has undergone proper testing and is safe. Putin said, “I know it has proven efficient and forms a stable immunity, and I would like to repeat that it has passed all the necessary tests...We must be grateful to those who made that first step very important for our country and the entire world."
The World Health Organization says that a “rigorous” review is needed for qualification.
NBA and WeChat
The National Basketball Association is dealing with some collateral damage from President Trump’s executive order to ban U.S. businesses from working with the Chinese social media platform WeChat. WeChat’s parent company is Tencent which owns the streaming rights to NBA games in China.
It remains unclear if all of Tencent’s U.S.-based partners will be banned from conducting business or only those relating to WeChat.
The NBA did confirm it has 1.4 million followers on the WeChat platform.
Outside of the United States, China is the must lucrative market for the professional basketball league with an estimated valuation of more than $5 billion, according to CNBC. The NBA and Tencent signed a five year, $1.5 billion deal in July 2019.
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