KU, TWC Ink Deal For Tier-3 Rights Atlanta Radio Hosts Fired Over Morning Bit Mets, SNY Look For Audience Boost Media Notes NBA Finals Game 5 Overnight Down 9.5% U.S. Open Finale Gets 6.1 Overnight Scott Pioli Signs On As NBC Analyst NBC Affil Hears About Move To Pre-empt NHL ABC Earns 12.0 Overnight For Game 4 Dodgers Would Retain $6B Under Tentative TV Deal
Upcoming Conferences and Events
SBD/Issue 238/Sports Media
Great Outdoor Games Outrates X Games; Other Extreme News
Published August 30, 2002
The Great Outdoor Games averaged a 0.76 Nielsen rating on ESPN, compared to a 0.75 for the X Games, which had "better time slots," according to Maureen Tkacik of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The Great Outdoor games "boasted double-digit ratings increases on all three channels that showed the event, including a 42% gain" on ESPN2. The result "underscores a little recognized fact about the X Games, long seen as the Holy Grail of youth marketing: They aren't as popular as people think. And that has led [ESPN] to increasingly elbow skaters and snowboarders out of the picture and replace them with hunters, lumberjacks and retrievers." ESPN has "gradually whittled down its X Games telecast hours from 45 in 1995 to 20 this year, and curtailed the reruns. There are no 'up close and personal' athlete profiles." ESPN has also "ended most of its non-X Games-related extreme sports programming and abandoned plans for a magazine on the genre." Tkacik adds that bass fishing "may not sound as sexy as snowboarding or motorcycle jumping," but starting next month, ESPN2 will begin airing a show on primetime on Mondays called "Fish On," which is modeled after the E! Channel's "Wild On." But "not all of ESPN's outdoors programming has taken off," as the Citgo Bass Master's Classic, "registered a minuscule 296,000 households during its telecast in July" (WSJ, 8/30).
DODGE BALL: Dodge will be a presenting sponsor on "The New American Sportsman," to premiere on ESPN2 September 9. The series will be part of the net's Monday night outdoors programming block (MULTICHANNEL NEWS DAY, 8/30).