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FRANCHISE MEDIA REPORT: SHARKS BITTEN; THE FAN'S ALLEGIANCE
Published February 27, 1995
The Sharks are not on TV as much as their fans would like since the team "bears the financial burden of airing their own games," according to Colin Seymour of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. The team pays for air time and sells their own ads, "which don't always move fast at the rate of $1,000 per 30-second spot." The Sharks are not selling enough ads to offset the expenses of producing telecasts and paying arena and announcing costs, and fees to TV stations. The team has worked with KICU to air as many games as possible. In addition to the production cost, "the real problem is scarce viewership." Sharks ratings on KICU have doubled this season to a 2.0 rating share, but still trail Warriors telecasts (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 2/26). HORNETS EXTEND RADIO DEAL: The Hornets and WBT-AM have agreed on a contract extension that will keep the team on the flagship station for at least five more years. WBT also has local broadcast rights to the Panthers, giving the Jefferson/Pilot-owned station radio rights to Carolina's two major league franchises. The new contract provides for an additional Hornets talk show on WBT, and promotional ties during the station's other programming. The Hornets produce their own programming, sell advertising and keep the revenue. WBT pays no "up-front rights fees -- its financial commitment in the deal is in the form of providing the air time and the commercial slots included in it for the Hornets to sell" (David Poole, CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 2/25). YANKS ON THE FAN? WFAN's deal with the Mets expires at the end of the season, and Bob Raissman of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS reports WFAN might not renew. Instead The FAN might make a run at the Yankees when the Yanks deal with WABC runs out in two years. WABC has reportedly lost "big bucks" on its Yankee contract and Raissman writes that Yankee Owner George Steinbrenner may like the "thought of having FAN at his disposal -- a place to do his spin-doctoring on a moment's notice" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/26). TORONTO: Canadian broadcast sources indicate that TSN is interested in acquiring local TV rights to the Maple Leafs to add to its 80-plus Blue Jays schedule. The Leafs' 15-year deal with Molson's Molstar Communications expires after this season and the club is looking for "huge gains both in revenue and the number of games broadcast." Maple Leafs President & GM Cliff Fletcher has indicated that he is seeking C$15M per season and wants to double the number of games currently shown. The team, through negotiator IMG, is still talking to Molson (Rob Longley, TORONTO SUN, 2/27).