OK, so this is a cricket story, and it's kind of complicated, so bare with us. Essentially, Indian cricket player Harbhajan Singh is accused of calling Australia player Andrew Symonds a "monkey," and the Australians, less than pleased, drew charges against Singh for the remark. (It's summed up well here.)

In response, India threated to skip Cricket Australia, an event that features Australia, India and Sri Lanka. ESPN owns the rights to that telecast, and was having none of that, threatening to sue the whole tournament for breach of contract.

"We told them (CA) point-blank that if India withdraws from the one-day series because of the Aussies' inflexibility over dropping charges against Bhajji, we would incur nearly $60 million worth of revenue loss. Since that was unacceptable to us, we would be left with no choice but to file a lawsuit against them," the [ESPN] official said.

The Australians promptly dropped the charge.

For an American sports equivalent, let's say the Cowboys were supposed to play the Packers on Monday Night Football. A week before the game, Brett Favre said something offensive about Terrell Owens, and the Cowboys vowed they wouldn't play out of protest. So ESPN sued to force them to play. Fortunately, none of this would ever happen.

The moral: American sports are so much simpler, and ESPN can now bring nations to its knees. (Or something like that.)


ESPN Threat To Aussies [Telegraph India]