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Major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada

The major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada are the highest professional competitions of team sports in those countries. The four leagues traditionally included in the definition are Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Football League (NFL), and the National Hockey League (NHL). Other prominent leagues include Major League Soccer (MLS) and the Canadian Football League (CFL). MLB, NBA, NFL, and NHL are commonly referred to as the "Big Four." Each of these is the wealthiest professional club competition in its sport worldwide, and along with the English Premier League they make up the top five sports leagues by revenue in the world. In addition, the sports of these four leagues were all developed in their modern forms in North America, and all except American football have become popular internationally. Because the leagues enjoy a significant place in popular culture in the U.S. and Canada, the best players from these leagues often become cultural icons in both countries. Each of the Big Four leagues, as well as Major League Soccer and the Canadian Football League, averages at least 15,000 fans in attendance per game as of 2018. The two indoor leagues, the NHL and NBA, play in arenas that average under 19,000 seats, resulting in the CFL holding the third highest average attendance of the six leagues, at close to 24,000 per game, after the NFL and MLB.The Big Four leagues currently have 30–32 teams each, most of which are concentrated in the most populous metropolitan areas of the United States and Canada. Unlike the promotion and relegation systems used in sports leagues in various other regions around the world, North American sports leagues are closed leagues that maintain the same teams from season-to-season. Expansion of the league usually occurs by adding newly formed teams, though mergers with competing leagues have also occurred.

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NBA G League

The NBA G League, or simply the G League, is the National Basketball Association's (NBA) official minor league basketball organization. The league was known as the National Basketball Development League (NBDL) from 2001 to 2005, and the NBA Development League (NBA D-League) from 2005 until 2017. The league started with eight teams until NBA commissioner David Stern announced a plan to expand the NBA D-League to fifteen teams and develop it into a true minor league farm system, with each NBA D-League team affiliated with one or more NBA teams in March 2005. At the conclusion of the 2013–14 NBA season, 33% of NBA players had spent time in the NBA D-League, up from 23% in 2011. As of the 2020–21 season, the league consists of 30 teams, 28 of which are either single-affiliated or owned by an NBA team, along with the NBA G League Ignite exhibition team. In the 2017–18 season, Gatorade became the title sponsor of the D-League, and it was renamed the NBA G League.

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Sky Sports

Sky Sports is a group of British subscription sports channels operated by the satellite pay television company Sky Group (a division of Comcast), and is the dominant subscription television sports brand in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It has played a major role in the increased commercialisation of British sport since 1991, and has sometimes played a large role inducing organisational changes in the sports it broadcasts, most notably when it encouraged the Premier League to break away from the Football League in 1992. Sky Sports Main Event, Premier League, Football, Cricket, Golf, F1, Action and Arena are available as a premium package on top of the basic Sky package. These services are also available as premium channels on nearly every satellite, cable and IPTV broadcasting system in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Sky Sports News, Sky Sports Racing and Sky Sports Mix are all provided as part of basic packages. The Sky Sports network is managed by Jonathan Licht.

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Sports in the United States

Sports are an important part of culture in the United States of America. Historically, the national sport has been baseball. More recently over the past several decades, American football has been the most popular sport in terms of broadcast viewership audience. Basketball has grown into the mainstream American sports scene since the 1980s, with ice hockey and soccer doing the same around the turn of the 21st century. These sports comprise the "Big Five". In the first half of the 20th century, boxing and collegiate football where among the most popular sports after baseball. Golf, tennis, and collegiate basketball are other spectator sports with longstanding popularity. Most recently, Mixed martial arts, has been breaking records in attendance and broadcast viewership for all combat sports. Based on revenue, the major professional sports leagues in the United States are the National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Hockey League (NHL), and Major League Soccer (MLS). At $16 billion in revenue, the NFL is the most profitable sports league in the world.The market for professional sports in the United States is roughly $69 billion, roughly 50% larger than that of all of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa combined.

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