SBD/2/Sports Media

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  • BUSINESS WEEK HAS LESS THAN SUPER EXPERIENCE ON CYBER BOWL

              Super Bowl broadcasts over the Internet are examined by
         Stephen Wildstrom in BUSINESS WEEK.  Wildstrom writes that
         "technology still has a very long way to go."  He had
         trouble getting on IBM's home page at www.superbowl.com, the
         official site Super Bowl site, "which was supposed to offer
         such goodies as the opportunity to choose alternative camera
         shots and hear audio from the press box at Qualcomm
         Stadium," but "had apparently all but collapsed."  Wildstrom
         adds that content on the various Super Bowl sites "varied
         widely," calling NBC's "lame" and lagging "far behind" CBS
         SportsLine and ESPN SportsZone.  As the game wore on, the
         NFL's site worked faster, "but the multiple camera views
         turned out to be nothing more than postage-stamp-sized
         stills of the field and were hardly worth the trouble.  NBC
         was quick to offer different replay angles when they shed
         light on a play."  Wildstrom concludes that "there just
         isn't much for a Web site to add" (BUSINESS WEEK, 2/9).
    
    

    Print | Tags: CBS, ESPN, IBM, NBC, NFL, Media, Viacom, Walt Disney
  • DON'T CRY, NO TEARS, FOR GIFFORD: HE SAYS GOODBYE ON ABC

              ABC's Al Michaels and Dan Dierdorf paid tribute to
         Frank Gifford during halftime of the Pro Bowl last night,
         Gifford's final in-booth broadcast before moving to the
         "MNF" pregame show.  Gifford: "This is not a sad day or a
         down day in the Gifford house.  We have thought about this
         day for many years. ... The number that sticks out to me is
         600.  600 games, but that means 1200 airplanes, 100 hotels,
         100 different cities.  I've just about had it with that. ...
         I'm glad I'm finally off the road" ("Pro Bowl," ABC, 2/1).
    
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, Media, Walt Disney
  • MEDIA NOTES

              LOS LOBOS: In Hartford, Jeff Goldberg criticized a new
         ESPN ad promoting its ESPY Awards which appears to make "a
         joke of sexual harassment in the workplace, an issue that is
         decidedly not funny."  In the ad, ESPY host Norm MacDonald
         and Rebecca Lobo are shown demonstrating basketball
         techniques when MacDonald embraces Lobo "and holds her for
         several seconds.  A clearly uncomfortable Lobo tells
         MacDonald: 'That's a foul.'  MacDonald replies sheepishly
         that he's allowed five of them."  Goldberg: "It's hard to
         imagine the same network that has helped build national
         interest in women's college basketball would promote its
         award show in such a manner.  It's equally surprising that
         Lobo ... allowed herself to be part of it."  In the ad, Lobo
         appears in her WNBA Liberty uniform (HART. COURANT, 1/30).
              HEARING ISIAH: NBC's Isiah Thomas noted a sign during
         the WNBA Finals that said, "Cynthia Cooper -- You are da
         man."  Thomas: "That was the highest compliment that she
         probably could ever be paid, because she transcends" ("NBA
         on NBC," 2/1).  In Chicago, Michael Hirsley writes that
         Thomas "still has an annoying habit of laughing too long at
         his own attempts at humor," but that he "did impart some
         serious analysis Sunday" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/2). 
              NOTES: In Toronto, Rob Longley writes, "Much less
         intrusive than some of its other gimmicks, Fox's miking" of
         coaches Pat Burns and Colin Campbell during its NHL coverage
         Saturday "added something to the telecast" (TORONTO SUN,
         2/2)....In Chicago, Pat Sullivan wrote that the Tribune
         Co.'s decision to move some Cubs telecasts off WGN shows "a
         glaring lack of confidence" in the team (CHICAGO TRIBUNE,
         2/1)....In Montreal, Jack Todd: "[H]as there ever been a
         more wobbly Olympic Eve scandal than the pseudo-Sudafed
         scoop dreamed up by [SI]?"  Todd: "Is SI really that
         desperate to make an Olympic splash?" (GAZETTE, 2/2).
              
    

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, Chicago Cubs, ESPN, NBA, NBC, New York Liberty, News Corp./Fox, NHL, Sports Illustrated, Media, Walt Disney, WNBA
  • THE BEHEMOTH IN BRISTOL: ESPN'S SCORES WITH ITS ATTITUDE

              ESPN was profiled by Mark Jurkowitz in the BOSTON GLOBE
         MAGAZINE under the header, "At The Top Of Their Game."  ESPN
         "is a media monster, reaching 73 million homes and
         headlining a sports empire that employs about 1,900 full-
         timers" and is worth an estimated $8B.  Jurkowitz wrote that
         ESPN's brand "represents the elements ... that go well
         beyond the playing field.  Humor.  Satire.  Hipness.  And a
         pop-culture acuity.  In a 500-channel world where every
         outlet must find an identity with which to cut through the
         clutter, ESPN has developed the winning intangible --
         'tude."  ESPN News Dir Vince Doria, on ESPN's humor in its
         ad campaigns and telecasts: "There are times when it works
         and times when it doesn't" (BOSTON GLOBE MAGAZINE, 2/1).
              BRAND IDENTITY: Jurkowitz adds that while women
         constitute "roughly" 30% of ESPN's audience demographic, "it
         is that mother-lode male demographic that is so attractive
         to advertisers: The average viewer is a 40.7-year-old man
         with a $45,634 household income, making him two years
         younger and a few grand wealthier than the average cable
         consumer" (Mark Jurkowitz, BOSTON GLOBE MAGAZINE, 2/1).
    
    

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Media, Walt Disney
  • THE GOLF CHANNEL AIMS TO UP PRODUCTION BUDGET FOR NEW SHOWS

              For the "unabashed addicted golf-nut," The Golf Channel
         (TGC) is "nothing less than 'must-see TV' -- sort of what C-
         Span is for the political junkie," according to Joe Logan in
         the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER.  Entering its fourth year, TGC
         has expanded from a subscriber base of less than a million
         after the first year to 14 million today, and it is
         "projected" to reach 24 million homes worldwide by the end
         of '98.  TGC's "biggest obstacle" to date has been a limited
         production budget ($35M), but with the subscriber base
         increasing, and the production budget along with it, TGC "is
         salivating over the prospect of having money to bring all
         manner of ideas to reality: weekly magazine shows on women's
         golf, junior golf, college golf, and the various mini-tours. 
         Also being considered is a series on the game's governing
         bodies, such as the PGA and U.S. Golf Association and
         England's Royal & Ancient Golf Club.  A game show, sort of a
         Golf Jeopardy, is a possibility" (PHILA. INQUIRER, 2/1).  
    
    
    

    Print | Tags: PGA Tour, Media
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