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Big Ten Announces Return: Top Stories, Sports and Business News — Sept. 16

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These are the stories shaping sports and business for Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020.

Big Ten Football Is On

Postponed was the operative word after all, as the Big Ten announced it will have a football season this fall with expanded medical protocols. The season will start the weekend of October 23-24 as the conference that is home to the likes of Michigan, Ohio and Penn State will join the SEC, ACC and Big-12 in having a college football season.

Meanwhile, in the NBA, the Los Angeles Clippers completed an epic collapse blowing a 3-1 lead in embarrassing fashion to the Denver Nuggets who have now come back from that deficit twice this postseason. We will see what the result means for Doc Rivers, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George but we know what it means for Denver -- a date with LeBron James and the LA Lakers in the Western Conference Finals.

Daily Coronavirus Update

According to Johns Hopkins, there are over 29.6 million cases of the virus worldwide, with over 937,000 deaths. The U.S. has surpassed 6.6 million cases with 196,000 deaths.

There were a lot of contradicting headlines concerning the timeline following the rollout of a vaccine once one of the top candidates. As a reminder, the top candidates are from Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca and University of Oxford.

Now, Paul Mango, deputy chief of staff at Health and Human Services, said earlier Wednesday that he believed that Americans will be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of first quarter 2021, roughly April.

However, based on reporting from TheStreet's Katherine Ross, this is a very optimistic timeline.

Even if a vaccine were to receive an Emergency Use Authorization, which will be the regulatory approval needed, it would take time to fully roll out that vaccine. Public health officials are eyeing a tiered response, so frontline workers, healthcare workers, high-risk and the elderly will be among the first to receive a vaccine. The Center for Disease Control and an advisory committee have been working on a ranking system for a full vaccine rollout.

However, Robert Redfield, CDC director, said in a senate testimony that he believes that it’s more likely that a vaccine is rolled out in late Q2 or Q3 of 2021.

And Dr. Anthony Fauci said that it’s “possible but tough” to vaccinate everyone by April 2021, and it’s more likely to have access by middle or end of 2021.

Redfield added, “Early in (the) COVID-19 vaccination program there may be a limited supply of vaccine and vaccine efforts may focus on those critical to the response, providing direct care and maintaining societal functions, as well as those at highest risk for developing severe illness.”

And he discussed face masks and vaccines, “This face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine ... if I don't get an immune response, the vaccine's not going to protect me. This face mask will."

Earlier this week, TheStreet’s Katherine Ross talked to Raymond James analyst Steven Seedhouse, who told her, “there's a possibility that the vaccines just aren't effective open up everything, stop wearing masks, and stop mitigation metrics.”

One thing that’s on the minds of health officials and others is public trust. What good is a vaccine that no one takes? So, there’s an argument to be made about not rushing a vaccine out the gate since the public needs to trust in that vaccine. So this is an ongoing story that we’ll continue to cover over on TheStreet.

New York Giants and DraftKings

The New York Giants signed an exclusive, multiyear agreement that makes DraftKings the official sports betting and daily fantasy operator for the team.

The Giants are now giving DraftKings access to official Giants marks and logos, meanwhile, Draftkings will build a virtual sports lounge for Giants’ fans to interact with each other on game day.

DraftKings has made some high profile moves this week. The stock soared to a record high on Monday after it announced a new content and marketing agreement with ESPN.

Two years after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 that placed federal restrictions sports gambling to primarily Nevada, more than $20 billion has been bet with U.S. sportsbooks, according to ESPN.

18 states representing just over 30% of the U.S. population now have regulated sports betting markets, and in places like New Jersey, where the state’s sportsbooks took in bets totalling $4.6 billion in 2019, nearly 85% of those bets are being placed online.

DailyFantasy and online sports betting is clearly a growth industry and it will be interesting to see how the market leaders like DraftKings, FanDuel and the new Barstool Sports app partner with professional sports leagues to take advantage of that growth in the future.

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