The National Basketball Association (NBA) is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada. It is an active member of USA Basketball (USAB), which is recognized by the International Basketball Federation as the National Governing Body (NGB) for basketball in the United States. The NBA is one of the four major North American professional sports leagues.
The league was founded in New York City on June 6, 1946 as the Basketball Association of America (BAA). The league adopted the name National Basketball Association in 1949 after merging with the rival National Basketball League (NBL). The league's several international as well as individual team offices are directed out of its head offices located in the Olympic Tower at 645 Fifth Avenue in New York City. NBA Entertainment and NBA TV studios are directed out of offices located in Secaucus, New Jersey.
The Basketball Association of America was founded in 1946 by owners of the major ice hockey arenas in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States and Canada. On November 1, 1946, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the Toronto Huskies hosted the New York Knickerbockers at Maple Leaf Gardens, which the NBA now regards as the first game played in the league's history. Although there had been earlier attempts at professional basketball leagues, including the American Basketball League and the NBL, the BAA was the first league to attempt to play primarily in large arenas in major cities. During its early years, the quality of play in the BAA was not significantly better than in competing leagues or among leading independent clubs such as the Harlem Globetrotters. For instance, the 1948 ABL finalist Baltimore Bullets moved to the BAA and won that league's 1948 title, and the 1948 NBL champion Minneapolis Lakers won the 1949 BAA title.
On August 3, 1949, the BAA agreed to merge with the NBL, creating the new National Basketball Association. The new league had seventeen franchises located in a mix of large and small cities, as well as large arenas and smaller gymnasiums and armories. In 1950, the NBA consolidated to eleven franchises, a process that continued until 1953–54, when the league reached its smallest size of eight franchises, all of which are still in the league (the Knicks, Celtics, Warriors, Lakers, Royals/Kings, Pistons, Hawks, and Nationals/76ers). The process of contraction saw the league's smaller-city franchises move to larger cities. The Hawks shifted from "Tri-Cities" (the area now known as the Quad Cities) to Milwaukee (in 1951) and then to St. Louis (in 1955); the Royals from Rochester to Cincinnati (in 1957); and the Pistons from Fort Wayne to Detroit (in 1957).
Although Japanese-American Wataru Misaka technically broke the NBA color barrier in the 1947–48 season when he played for the New York Knicks, 1950 is recognized as the year the NBA integrated. This year witnessed the addition of African American players by several teams, including Chuck Cooper with the Boston Celtics, Nat "Sweetwater" Clifton with the New York Knicks, and Earl Lloyd with the Washington Capitols. During this period, the Minneapolis Lakers, led by center George Mikan, won five NBA Championships and established themselves as the league's first dynasty. To encourage shooting and discourage stalling, the league introduced the 24-second shot clock in 1954. If a team does not attempt to score a field goal (or the ball fails to make contact with the rim) within 24 seconds of obtaining the ball, play is stopped and the ball given to its opponent.
National FootBall League
The National Football League (NFL) is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing its name to the National Football League in 1922. The league currently consists of thirty-two teams from the United States. The league is divided evenly into two conferences – the American Football Conference (AFC) and National Football Conference (NFC), and each conference has four divisions that have four teams each, for a total of 16 teams in each conference. The NFL is an unincorporated 501(c)(6) association, a federal nonprofit designation, comprising its 32 teams.
The regular season is a seventeen-week schedule during which each team plays sixteen games and has one bye week. The season currently starts on the Thursday night in the first full week of September (the Thursday after Labor Day) and runs weekly to late December or early January. At the end of each regular season, six teams from each conference (at least one from each division) play in the NFL playoffs, a twelve-team single-elimination tournament that culminates with the championship game, known as the Super Bowl. This game is held at a pre-selected site which is usually a city that hosts an NFL team.
The NFL is the most attended domestic sports league in the world by average attendance per game, with 66,960 fans per game in 2010–11. Although not as frequently as the other major professional sports leagues in the United States, the NFL still is not immune to labor disputes, such as the player's strikes of 1982 and 1987, and more recently a lockout in 2011, though the latest did not result in the cancellation of any regular-season games.
The Premier League is an English professional league for association football clubs. At the top of the English football league system, it is the country's primary football competition. Contested by 20 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with The Football League. The Premier League is a corporation in which the 20 member clubs act as shareholders. Seasons run from August to May, with teams playing 38 matches each, totalling 380 matches in the season. Most games are played on Saturdays and Sundays, with a few games played during weekday evenings. It was known as the Premiership from 1993 to 2007. It is currently sponsored by Barclays Bank and therefore officially known as the Barclays Premier League.
The competition formed as the FA Premier League on 20 February 1992 following the decision of clubs in the Football League First Division to break away from The Football League, which was originally founded in 1888, and take advantage of a lucrative television rights deal. The Premier League has since become the world's most watched association football league. It is the world's most lucrative football league in terms of revenue, with combined club revenues of over £2 billion in 2008–09. It is ranked first in the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) coefficients of leagues based on performances in European competitions over the last five years, ahead of Spain's La Liga and Germany's Bundesliga.
Since 1888, a total of 23 clubs have been crowned champions of the English football system. Of the 45 clubs to have competed since the inception of the Premier League in 1992, four have won the title: Manchester United (12 titles) Arsenal (3), Chelsea (3) and Blackburn Rovers (1). The current champions are Manchester United, who won the title in the 2010–11 season.
Serie A (Italian pronunciation: ['s??rje 'a]), now called Serie A TIM due to sponsorship by Telecom Italia, is a professional league competition for football clubs located at the top of the Italian football league system and has been operating for over eighty years since 1929. It had been organized by Lega Calcio until 2010, but a new league, the Lega Serie A, has been created for the 2010–11 season. Serie A has produced the highest number of European Cup finalists: Italian clubs have reached the final of the competition on a record twenty-six different occasions, winning the title twelve times. Serie A is ranked 4th among European leagues according to UEFA's league coefficient, which is based on the performance of Italian clubs in the Champions League and the Europa League. It also ranked 5th in world according to the first trends of the 2011 IFFHS rating.
In its current format, the Italian Football Championship was revised from having regional and interregional rounds, to just one solid league from the 1929–30 season onwards; the Serie A system carries on today. The championship titles won before 1929 are officially recognised by FIGC as a championship in the same way the ones since then are. The 1945–46 season, when the league was played over two geographical groups due to WWII destructions, is not statistically considered, even if its title is fully official.
The league hosts three of the world's most famous clubs as Juventus, Milan and Internazionale, all founding members of the G-14, a group representing the largest and most prestigious European football clubs; Serie A was the only league to produce three founding members. More players have won the coveted Ballon d'Or award while playing at a Serie A club than any other league in the world. Milan is one of two clubs with the most official international titles in the world. Juventus, Italy's most successful club of the 20th century and the most successful Italian team, is tied for fourth in Europe and seventh in the world in the same ranking. The club is the only one in the world to have won all possible confederation competitions and the club world title. Internazionale, following their achievements in the 2009–10 season, became the first Italian team to have achieved The Treble.
WWE Raw (also stylized as Monday Night RAW and known on air as RAW SuperShow) is a sports entertainment television program for WWE that currently airs on the USA Network in the United States. The show's name is also used to refer to the Raw brand, in which WWE employees are assigned to work and perform on that program, the other program and brand currently being SmackDown. It is the only television broadcast for the Raw brand. The show originally debuted in the United States on the USA Network on January 11, 1993. It remained there until 2000, when Raw was moved to TNN, later known as Spike TV. In 2005, the show was moved back to the USA Network. Since its launch in 1993, Raw continues to air on Monday nights. Raw is generally seen as the company's flagship program due to its prolific history, high ratings, weekly live format, and emphasis on pay-per-views. It is the longest-running weekly episodic TV show in history.
Since its first episode, WWE Raw SuperShow has been broadcasted live from 197 different arenas in 165 cities and towns in nine different nations. Including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Afghanistan in 2005 and Iraq in 2006 and 2007 for specials Tribute to the Troops, Germany in 1997, Japan in 2005 and Italy in 2007. The show was recorded in Mexico for the first time in October 2011.