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October 12, 2017: Fox to Rethink Coverage After U.S. Men’s Soccer Fails to Qualify for World Cup, How Halloween Fests Are Catering to Adults, Future Olympics Are Under Threat of Being Hacked

1. FOX TO RETHINK COVERAGE AFTER U.S. MEN€'S SOCCER FAILS TO QUALIFY FOR WORLD CUP: The U.S. men’s national soccer team failed to qualify for the World Cup 2018 on Tuesday, and the loss has Fox Sports contemplating how it will refocus coverage of the event. Sports Illustrated: “Hyperbole is the drug of choice these days in the sports media but the loss is a disaster for Fox Sports. Disaster. That is the correct word. The World Cup is a momentum tournament over its 64 broadcasts and the U.S. broadcaster needs the national team in the tournament because it establishes a huge audience early on for those games. It also attracts viewers who are not traditional soccer watchers. Nothing will change with Fox Sports’ production, which is the largest in the network’s 24-year history. The network will air 350 hours of World Cup programming including half of the games airing on over-the-air FOX. There will be more matches on broadcast television than the last four World Cups combined. … Not all is lost. Soccer is far more popular in the U.S. in 2017 than 2010 and the numbers for the Russia final will still be robust. The Germany-Argentina 2014 World Cup final drew 17.981 million viewers on ABC and online. That will be similar on Fox. But the pain felt early is going to be severe. On Wednesday morning a Fox Sports spokesperson tried to put the best light on a dark morning. ‘Last night’s World Cup qualifying results do not change Fox Sports’ passion for the world’s biggest sporting event,’ said a spokesperson. ‘While the U.S. was eliminated, the biggest stars in the world from Lionel Messi to Cristiano Ronaldo stamped their tickets to Russia on the same day, and will battle teams ranging from Mexico to England that have massive fan bases in America. The World Cup is the greatest sporting event on earth that changes the world for one month every four years, and Fox Sports remains steadfast in our commitment of bringing the games to America for the first time in 2018 and will continue to support the U.S. Soccer Federation as they look ahead to the 2022 World Cup.’”

2. HOW HALLOWEEN FESTS ARE CATERING TO ADULTS: Halloween celebrations at theme parks and other event venues aren't just for kids this year—more and more of the events are offering adult-friendly activities such as late-night shows and secret cocktail bars. Los Angeles Times: "Adult scare fans like Nochez and Martz aren’t new to Halloween festivals, but theme parks and tourist attractions such as Long Beach’s Queen Mary are going further than ever to appeal to older visitors — and their wallets. That means offering booze, risque late-night shows and other grown-up features. In addition to the hidden bar in the Queen Mary maze, this year the annual seaside event, dubbed Dark Harbor, added the Meat Locker, a cocktail bar inside a refrigerated container. This is where shivering guests order vodka shots on a bar of acrylic and ice blocks with presumably faux body parts encased inside. Universal Studios Hollywood for the first time is selling beer and wine during its annual Halloween Horror Nights event. Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia is turning a newly opened pub into a pit stop for mature Halloween fans. Knott’s Berry Farm is again hosting Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, the buxom horror actress who sings, dances and cracks ribald jokes while wearing low-cut, form-fitting dresses with swinging tassels where you would expect swinging tassels to be. Bare-chested men assist at what is billed as Elvira’s final performance at the park. Most theme parks have embraced Halloween in recent years as a lucrative way of terrifying people of all ages, while the two-park Disney Resort in Anaheim has staked out a more wholesome side of the holiday. By grafting on adult-oriented features, parks are seeking to tap the increasing participation in Halloween by the over-21 contingent."

3. FUTURE OLYMPICS ARE UNDER THREAT OF BEING HACKED: Experts recently warned that upcoming Olympic Games have a chance of being hacked, as major sporting events become more digital with everything from scorekeeping to stadium systems. CNNMoney: “The Berkeley Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity released new research on Tuesday that says hackers could disrupt everything from ticketing to announcement systems in an effort to cause chaos or win medals at massive sporting events. The study focused on the Olympic Games over the next 10 to 15 years. The research is backed in part by the Los Angeles Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2028. The California city is hosting the summer Olympics in just over a decade. Current cybersecurity efforts are still largely focused on areas like protecting websites or email accounts. Betsy Cooper, executive director of the Berkeley Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity and the paper's lead author, said people should consider a broader range of threats.  ‘The worst thing that most people think about happening is 'What if the website goes down?'’ she said. ‘But just as we've seen in the 2016 election, you have to be really creative in thinking about the types of implications that someone [may] impose on a major sporting event.’ The report lists eight key areas of risk for Olympic meddling, including hacks on photo or video replays, athlete care, transportation, and panic-inducing actions. In the not-too-distant future, the report says, the world might see a headline like this one: ‘Austrian Swimmer Allegedly Hired Hacker to Gain Access to Competitors' Email.’”

4. ANDY COHEN TO REPLACE KATHY GRIFFIN AS CNN NEW YEAR€'S EVE CO-HOST: CNN will replace Kathy Griffin with Andy Cohen as the co-host with Anderson Cooper for the network’s New Year’s Eve telecast. Griffin was fired earlier this year. The Hollywood Reporter: “‘Andy is the life of the party wherever he goes, and what bigger party is there than New Year's Eve? It is going to be a blast!’ said Cooper. Added Cohen, ‘I've been friends with Anderson for twenty-five years. We've traveled the world together and performed in 30 plus cities with ‘AC2’ and it's all led to this one huge night!’ CNN terminated its agreement with Griffin in May days after she appeared in a controversial photo shoot that featured her holding a depiction of President Donald Trump's bloodied head. ‘We found what she did disgusting and offensive,’ CNN said in a statement at the time. ‘We are pleased to see she has apologized and asked that the photos be taken down.’”


COAST TO COAST:  Omni Hotels & Resorts has become the first North American hotel brand to partner with Conferma, a financial technology company that specializes in virtual card innovation. 

DENVER:  The Global Down Syndrome Foundation’s ninth annual Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show fund-raiser will take place November 11 at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel. The runway will feature celebrities including Joe Manganiello, Marisa Tomei, John C. McGinley, and Denis O’Hare. 

LAS VEGAS:  An opening celebration for Enclave—a new 75,000-square-foot events center—will be held on October 19. The evening will usher in a partnership with the Emerge Music & Impact Conference. 

LOS ANGELES:  ILEA Los Angeles will host a networking happy hour on October 18 at the Andaz West Hollywood's Wine Gallery. 

For information on upcoming events in Los Angeles, visit Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Benefitting Caribbean hurricane victims, electronic music trio Major Lazer has organized Relief is the Mission, an October 16 charity concert at Miami’s Mana Wynwood. The show will take place on III Points Festival’s Mindmelt stage. Proceeds from the event will benefit ConPRmetidos’ Hurricane Maria Recovery Fund, Save the Children’s Hurricane Maria Children’s Relief Fund, and Global Giving’s Puerto Rico & Caribbean Hurricane Relief Fund.

NEW YORK:  The Breast Cancer Research Foundation’s New York Symposium and Awards Luncheon will take place October 19 at New York Hilton Midtown. The event will be hosted by Hoda Kotb. 

The book launch party for chef Wylie Dufresne and Peter Meehan’s Wd~50: The Cookbook will take place October 26 at New Lab in Brooklyn. The event will feature Dufresne in conversation with Anthony Bourdain, plus a book signing and food from Fuku, OddFellows Ice Cream Co., and Du’s Donuts. 

For information on upcoming events in New York, visit Masterplanner:

TORONTO:  To celebrate the season two premiere of Riverdale, Netflix will bring Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe, a pop-up restaurant inspired by the show’s signature diner, to Fran’s Restaurant today and Friday. 

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Union Market will celebrate women in food this month with the "Future of Food is Female” event series. In partnership with Pineapple, a D.C.-based collaborative community for women and food, Union Market will host events featuring leaders from FreshDirect, Salt & Sundry, Cherry Bombe, and more. To kick off the partnership, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream founder Jeni Britton Bauer was the featured guest in a conversation last week with Holley Simmons, Washington Post contributor and co-founder of the Lemon Collective and Sill Life.

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With contributions from Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, Jill Menze, Rayna Katz, and Ian Zelaya in New York.

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