SBD/Issue 20/Sports Media

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  • Mets Discuss RSN With Time Warner Cable, Comcast

    Comcast has joined with Time Warner Cable “to discuss plans to launch a new” RSN with the Mets, according to Tim Arango of the N.Y. POST. Sources said that the new channel would begin airing Mets games in ’06 and is “tentatively being called the Mets Network.” The Mets, Time Warner and Comcast would each own one-third of the net. A source said that the RSN “may also seek the rights to carry [Devils] games.” Another option discussed was for the Mets to join the Yankees’ YES Network (N.Y. POST, 10/8).

    Print | Tags: Baseball, New Jersey Devils, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Media, Time Warner, YankeeNets
  • Is It In The Cards? Fox Sees 28% Decrease For Game Two

    Sweep-Stakes: Has Cardinals Domination
    Over Dodgers Hurt Ratings?

    Fox earned a 5.5/9 overnight Nielsen rating Thursday for Game Two of the Dodgers-Cardinals NLDS, down 28% from a 7.6/12 for the comparable Twins-Yankees Game Two last season. The overnight rating excludes the Ft. Myers and West Palm Beach markets. The game peaked with a 6.7/10 from 10:00-10:15 pm ET. The game earned a 34.7/47 in St. Louis and a 10.7/18 in L.A. (Fox).

    HOUSTON: Game One of the Astros-Braves NLDS Wednesday averaged 2.59 million HHs on ESPN. In Houston, the game earned a 5.4/10 on KNWS-Ind and a 6.1/11 on ESPN for a combined 11.5/21. In Houston, David Barron notes Raiders-Texans last Sunday on KHOU-CBS earned a 15.5/29 (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 10/8).

    BOSTON: In Boston, Bill Griffith reports that Game Two of the Red Sox-Angels ALDS Wednesday night posted a 20.2 local rating — 10.0 on WCVB-ABC and a 10.2 on ESPN/ESPN2 (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/8).

    YANKEES-TWINS: Game Two of the Twins-Yankees ALDS Wednesday night on ESPN averaged 6.81 million viewers from 7:18-11:31pm ET (DAILY VARIETY, 10/8). Canada’s Sportsnet drew 498,000 viewers for the Game Two, “more than twice the network’s postseason average” (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 10/8).

    SEE THE DIFFERENCE: In Minneapolis, Judd Zulgad writes “perhaps the most interesting difference in the way” Fox and ESPN approached their broadcasts of Twins-Yankees Game One and Game Two, respectively, was Fox’ “attempt to build star power” during its Game One telecast. Twins CF Torii Hunter “was featured in the pregame show,” and his “soundbites were heard during the course of the telecast.” Meanwhile, ESPN’s Jon Miller said during the Game Two telecast, “You’d be hard pressed to say [the Twins] have any big stars at this point.” Zulgad writes Fox “knows it is catering to non-baseball fans as well as the diehards,” while ESPN “knows in this case its viewers didn’t land on the all-sports network by accident” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 10/8).

    OFF THE BENCH: In S.F., Steve Kroner reports Fox’ Steve Lyons, who made “inappropriate comments” during a September 25 telecast about Dodgers 1B Shawn Green’s decision not to play in observance of Yom Kippur, will work Game Four of Yankees-Twins on Saturday on Fox. Fox Sports in a statement said, “After reviewing the matter internally and speaking with Steve, both parties agree that he exercised poor judgment with his comments. ... Steve did not work last Saturday while we investigated the incident. He has expressed extreme remorse and we apologize to any viewer who was offended by his comments. Convinced that this was an isolated incident, Steve's been cleared to work this weekend” (S.F. CHRONICLE, 10/8). Lyons said of Green on September 25, "He probably did it more for the heritage and not the religion. He's not a practicing Jew. He didn't marry a Jewish girl. And from what I understand, he never had a bar mitzvah, which is unfortunate because he didn't get the money" (THE DAILY).

    FOX’ REGULAR-SEASON RATINGS: “Fox Saturday Baseball" this season averaged a 2.7/7, even with the 2.7/8 last season and up 8% from the 2.5/7 in ’02. Excluding Fox’ ’04 opening game, Yankees-Red Sox in primetime which earned a 3.6/7, the network averaged a 2.6/7 this season. The games this season delivered the largest average audience (3,727,000 viewers) and highest average viewership among the adult 18-49 demo (1,560,000) since ’98 (MLB).

    Which network’s MLB playoff coverage do you prefer? ? Vote in THE DAILY POLL

    Print | Tags: ABC, LA Angels, Atlanta Braves, Baseball, Boston Red Sox, CBS, ESPN, Houston Astros, Houston Texans, Los Angeles Dodgers, Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees, News Corp./Fox, Nielsen, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco Giants, Media, St. Louis Cardinals, Time Warner, Viacom, Walt Disney, YankeeNets
  • FSN Midwest Admits Mistake In Erasing Tape Of Bradley Feud

    Must See TV: FSN Midwest Admits
    Mistake In Tape Erasure

    FSN Midwest GM Jack Donovan said that his crew “was wrong in complying with demands” by Dodgers Dir of PR John Olguin to erase the tape of Wednesday’s confrontation between Dodgers RF Milton Bradley and L.A. Times beat reporter Jason Reid at Busch Stadium, according to Dan Caesar of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. Donovan: “This was an intense ... situation, and it was a serious mistake to erase the video.” Caesar reports while FSN reporter Brent Stover has been pulled from covering the rest of the Dodgers-Cardinals series, FSN execs indicated that they were not “punishing Stover but that they wanted to keep him from being a distraction.” Also, the network would not allow Stover or FSN News Manager John Venneman to be interviewed Thursday. Venneman on Wednesday said the Dodgers “commandeered our crew and equipment,” adding, “There was an in-your-face situation. [Olguin] threatened to pull our media credentials. That would put us in a position where we couldn’t do our jobs” (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 10/8). In an interview on Fox Sports radio, Stover said Olguin was “up in my face -– pretty big guy –- yelling at us to turn the camera off. He said, ‘You are not going to get out of here with that tape and it’s not going to hit the air.’” But Olguin said that he “did not intend to prevent video of the confrontation from being broadcast,” rather he “wanted to prevent video of partially undressed players from leaving the room.” MLB Exec VP/Baseball Operations Sandy Alderson indicated that it was uncertain whether MLB “would extend their inquiry [of the incident] to determining whether the Dodgers acted inappropriately” by asking FSN to erase its tape (L.A. TIMES, 10/8).

    WHAT ABOUT MILTON? In L.A., Bill Shaikin reports Bradley apologized to Reid Thursday. Dodgers Owner Frank McCourt indicated Bradley would not be disciplined, but added, “I don’t condone him being disrespectful, or name-calling of any type.” Both Olguin and L.A. Times Sports Editor Bill Dwyre “consider the matter concluded.” Dwyre said the paper will not discipline Reid. MLB VP/PR Rich Levin said MLB is “satisfied the two sides are working together to resolve the situation” (L.A. TIMES, 10/8).

    REAX: FSN’s Max Kellerman said, “The irony here is that Reid’s paper ... ripped Bradley –- ripped him! –- for going after a fan who cursed him and then threw a bottle at him. Reid’s flipping out over an insult makes the L.A. Times look hypocritical.” Kellerman said the Dodgers “look the worst out of everybody. ... What kind of organization pressures the reporter to erase the tape?” Kellerman: “It does not get sleazier than that (“I, Max,”, 10/7). In Phoenix, Bob Young writes the “worst offense was Olguin pressuring the [FSN] crew to erase that tape” (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 10/8).

    ALL BLACK & WHITE? In N.Y., William Rhoden writes Bradley “raised a compelling and very sensitive issue about one’s responsibility as a journalist and identity as an African-American.” Reid “has to step back outside the bars that separate journalist from athlete” (N.Y. TIMES, 10/8). In L.A., J.A. Adande writes there should not be “a different set of rules for black reporters covering black athletes.” But “because of the huge discrepancy between the number of African Americans in sports and the number of African Americans in the press box, black reporters have an extra burden to provide the black perspective” (L.A. TIMES, 10/8).

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Baseball, Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB, News Corp./Fox, Media, St. Louis Cardinals
  • Delay Of Game: Reax Around NBC’s 5-Second Delay For NASCAR

    FCC Inquiring Into
    Earnhardt Jr. Incident

    NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s expletive during his post-race interview on NBC last Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway is being reviewed by the FCC for “possible indecency violations,” according to BLOOMBERG NEWS’ Neil Roland. FCC spokesperson David Fiske: “We’ve gotten a few dozen e-mail letters of concern. We’ll subject them to the normal review procedures” (BLOOMBERG NEWS 10/7).

    NECESSARY STEP: Following Earnhardt Jr.’s interview last Sunday, NBC has decided to use a five-second delay for NASCAR broadcasts. NASCAR VP/Broadcasting Dick Glover said, “NBC deems this an appropriate step, however unfortunate, and we support them. They came to the conclusion that in this environment, additional safeguards are necessary.” NBC Universal Sports Chair Dick Ebersol said, “The rules have been interpreted in one way for a long time, but primarily due to the incident at the Super Bowl, the interpretation language has been broadened. Clearly, 2004 has become a year in which you risk a lot if you’re not completely in compliance.” Ebersol said if a stronger expletive was used this Sunday and NBC imposed no delay, “I can’t say I would have fulfilled my responsibility as a broadcaster over the public airwaves” (N.Y. TIMES, 10/8).

    LOVE IT LIVE: But CBS Sports President Sean McManus said, “We still believe live sports should be carried live and aren’t planning any delays of our live sporting events.” Fox Sports Chair David Hill added, “For decades, television has been improving technology for the sole reason of bringing viewers at home an experience that is as close to being live at the stadium as humanly possible. We think that’s the way it should be.” In N.Y. Richard Sandomir notes TNT as a cable net is unregulated by the FCC, and its races will remain delay-free. Turner Sports President David Levy supports NBC’s decision, but said TNT will not use a delay. Levy: “If something happens we deem inappropriate, we’ll change” (N.Y. TIMES, 10/8). TV consultant and former NBC Sports VP Mike Trager said, “Forcing the networks to go to delays takes the spontaneity out of [live sports] and doesn’t make any real common sense, but the networks are going to protect themselves” (WASHINGTON POST, 10/8).

    REAX: In St. Petersburg, John Cotey writes sarcastically, “Thankfully, to save children and keep our virgin ears from such an awful word, NBC is coming to our rescue” (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 10/8). But in Tampa, Rick Harmon writes, “It’s not NBC’s job to control NASCAR’s product. But it is NBC’s job to control what its viewers hear. The five-second delay isn’t going to make any difference. The only way anyone would know about the delay is when someone says something they shouldn’t –- and that’s a good thing” (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 10/8). Nextel Cup driver Casey Mears said, “It’ll be better for NASCAR to have more control. ... The government cracked down [after the Super Bowl incident], so I think NBC gets penalized, NASCAR gets penalized, so they have to protect against all that” (ORLANDO SENTINEL,10/8).

    Print | Tags: CBS, EA Sports, Motorsports, NASCAR, NBC, News Corp./Fox, Media, TBS/TNT, Time Warner, Viacom
  • Horror Of It All: Stephen King Co-Authoring Book On Red Sox

    King Continues Baseball
    Connection In Writings

    Novelists Stephen King and Stewart O’Nan are writing a book on the Red Sox titled “Faithful,” that chronicles “this season’s ups and downs as seen by two passionate Red Sox fans with a talent for horror stories,” according to Bob Minzesheimer of USA TODAY. The book will be published by Scribner in December with an initial run of 500,000 copies. King said that the authors “have a sports-like ‘escalator clause’ in their contract: They’ll get paid more if the Red Sox win the World Series.” Minzesheimer notes baseball “has figured in nearly all of King’s more than 40 novels.” Cemetery Dance columnist Bev Vincent, whose column focuses on King’s work, said, “I’d think you’d be hard pressed to find a [King] book where characters don’t discuss baseball at some point, and usually one of them is a Red Sox fan.” Minzesheimer notes King’s ’99 work, “The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon,” is about a 9-year-old lost in the Maine woods who “finds comfort in imaginary advice from her hero,” former Red Sox and current Yankees P Tom Gordon. The story has since been turned into a children’s pop-up book that will be published Tuesday (USA TODAY, 10/8).

    Print | Tags: Baseball, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Media, YankeeNets
  • Final Nielsen Ratings From Weekend Sports Events

    The following lists final Nielsen ratings from weekend sports events (THE DAILY). For broadcast ratings, one ratings point = 1,096,000 homes. "COV AREA" = % of homes tuned into that program in that network's universe of subscribers.

    EVENT
    DATE
    NET
    TIME
    RAT/SHR
    WGC: AMEX Champ. - Third Round
    10/2
    ABC
    1:00-3:30pm
    1.2/3
    NCAA Football: (regional)
    10/2
    ABC
    3:30-7:00pm
    2.5/6
    NCAA Football: Arkansas-Florida
    10/2
    CBS
    12:00-3:45pm
    2.0/6
    NCAA Football: LSU-Georgia
    10/2
    CBS
    3:45-7:15pm
    3.1/8
    "MLB on Fox": (regional)
    10/2
    Fox
    1:30-4:45pm
    3.0/8
    NCAA Football: Purdue-Notre Dame
    10/2
    NBC
    2:30-6:15pm
    2.5/7
    WGC: AMEX Champ. - Final Round
    10/3
    ABC
    1:30-6:00pm
    1.3/3
    "The NFL Today"
    10/3
    CBS
    12:00-1:00pm
    2.3/7
    "NFL on CBS": (doubleheader)
    10/3
    CBS
    1:00-7:30pm
    8.5/19
    "NFL on CBS": (regional)
    10/3
    CBS
    1:00-4:15pm
    6.5/16
    "NFL on CBS": Broncos-Bucs (47%)
    10/3
    CBS
    4:30-7:30pm
    10.6/21
    "Fox NFL Sunday"
    10/3
    Fox
    12:00-1:00pm
    3.1/9
    "NFL on Fox": (regional)
    10/3
    Fox
    1:00-4:00pm
    9.5/23
    "Discover Card Countdown to Green"
    10/3
    NBC
    1:30-2:30pm
    2.9/7
    NASCAR Nextel Cup: from Talladega, AL
    10/3
    NBC
    2:30-6:15pm
    5.4/12
    "MNF on ABC": Chiefs-Ravens
    10/4
    ABC
    9:00-12:00am
    11.2/19

               
    EVENT
    DATE
    NET
    U.S. AREA
    COV AREA
    SHR
    000s
    NFL Monday Night Countdown
    9/20
    ESPN
    1.6
    1.9
    3
    1,710
    NCAA Football: Miami-Houston
    9/23
    ESPN
    1.4
    1.8
    3
    1,565
    NCAA Football: Penn State-WI
    9/25
    ESPN
    1.6
    1.9
    4
    1,710
    NCAA Football: USC-Stanford
    9/25
    ESPN
    1.4
    1.8
    3
    1,559
    NCAA Football: NCSU-VA Tech
    9/25
    ESPN
    1.3
    1.6
    5
    1,458
    NFL: Buccaneers-Raiders
    9/26
    ESPN
    6.4
    7.8
    12
    6,998
    NASCAR Nextel Cup: from Dover
    9/26
    TNT
    3.1
    3.9
    8
    3,437
    NFL Prime Time
    9/26
    ESPN
    2.7
    3.4
    6
    3,008
    NFL Countdown
    9/26
    ESPN
    1.8
    2.2
    6
    1,921

    NASCAR: Sunday's NASCAR Nextel Cup EA Sports 500 on NBC posted a 2% decrease against last year's 5.5/12 for the same race. FSN’s “NASCAR This Morning” prerace show finished the third quarter with a 0.53 average cable rating, up 10% from the 0.48 for the same period (February-September) in ’03. HHs are up 12% from 364,000 to 409,000 (THE DAILY).

    NFL: The first window of CBS' Week Four NFL coverage Sunday, featuring regional coverage, was even with last year's Week Three doubleheader coverage. The second window, which featured Broncos-Bucs to 47% of the U.S, was up 2% over last year's 10.4/22. The doubleheader averaged a 1% increase against last year's 8.4/19 for Week Three. Fox' Week Four regional coverage was down 10% (10.5/25) from last year's Week Three regional coverage....Through five weeks, "MNF on ABC" is averaging a 12.2/21, off 2% from a 12.5/21 through five weeks last year. Monday's Chiefs-Ravens was down 7% from a 12.1/20 in '03 (THE DAILY). Cowboys-Redskins drew an 8.1/22 among adults 18-49 and an average of 19.37 million viewers. It was the best “MNF” rating in the demo since November ‘02 (DAILY VARIETY, 10/6).

    GOLF: ABC's coverage of the WGC-AmEx Championships earned a 1.3/3 two-day average, down 38% from last year's average. This year marked the lowest-rated two-day average in event history. Sunday's final round was off 43% from last year when Tiger Woods won the tournament. Saturday's third round was off 29% from a 1.7/5 in '03 (THE DAILY).

    ON CAMPUS: ABC’s college football coverage is down 20% to a 3.2 compared to the 4.0 at the same point last season. CBS’ coverage of the SEC games is off 3% from last year to a 3.1. NBC's Notre Dame ratings are up 12% to a 2.9. ESPN’s ratings have increased 11% to a 1.8, and TBS’ ratings have risen 25% to a 1.0 (USA TODAY, 10/8).

    NOTES: The Felix Trinidad-Ricardo Mayorga middleweight fight generated 420,000 PPV buys. About 260,000 of the buys were from cable homes and 160,000 were from satellite homes (HBO)....SI’s “Scorecard” notes that the September 27 episode of CNBC’s “McEnroe” ranked No. 833 out of 834 Nielsen-rated cable shows, beating only “How To Boil Water” on the Food Network (SI, 10/11 issue)....In its time-slot premiere Tuesday, CBS’ “Clubhouse” drew 10 million viewers but lost 30% of its “NCIS” lead-in and “ranked fourth in its hour among teens” (USA TODAY, 10/8).

    Print | Tags: ABC, American Express, LA Angels, Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Baltimore Ravens, Baseball, Boston Red Sox, CBS, Chicago Cubs, Colleges, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, EA Sports, ESPN, Miami Marlins, Football, Golf, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB, Motorsports, NASCAR, NBC, NCAA, New York Yankees, News Corp./Fox, Nextel, NFL, Nielsen, Oakland Athletics, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco Giants, Sports Illustrated, Media, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, TBS/TNT, Time Warner, Viacom, Walt Disney, Washington Redskins, YankeeNets
  • What's The Frequency? MLB Playoffs All Over The Airwaves

    THE DAILY presents "What's The Frequency?," which highlights the subjects being discussed this week during afternoon drive shows on sports talk radio across the U.S. The following chart lists some of these topics. Stations are listed in order of market size.

    MARKET -- STATION

    SHOW

    L.A./San Diego -- XTRA

    Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton

    Angels, Dodgers fall apart in playoffs; Milton Bradley’s confrontation with reporter; Lakers training camp –- it’s Kobe’s team now; Did Kobe violate “guy code” by talking about Shaq’s sex escapades?; Chargers win, but fans stay away -– 44,000 unsold tix for first three games; NHL lockout

    S.F. -- KNBR

    “Razor & Mr. T”

    MLB Giants fall one game short; 49ers lose again; Trinidad vs. Mayorga –- great fight; MLB playoffs

    Boston -- WWZN

    “The Diehards"

    Would Red Sox fans feel complete if they won the World Series without facing Yankees?; Patriots’ 18-game win streak; Who has the best QB/RB combination in the NFL?

    Detroit -- WXYT

    “The Big Show"

    Is Alan Trammell a good manager?; Tigers year in review; Lions-Falcons preview; NHL lockout; Who is the most boring athlete?

    Seattle -- KJR

    “The Gas Man”

    Mariners fire Bob Melvin, who should they get?; Storm makes WNBA finals; Should Dale Earnhardt Jr. lose points for swearing; Univ. of Washington football losing games, money

    Minnesota -- KFAN

    “The Chad Hartman Show”

    Twins-Yankees (Ron Gardenhire as guest); Univ. of Minnesota football at Univ. of Michigan; Vikings’ injuries; Gary Sheffield’s steroid admission; T’Wolves sign Eddie Griffin; Sam Cassell’s two-day holdout

    Charlotte -- WFNZ

    “Prime Time With The Packman”

    Dale Earnhardt Jr. controversy; NFL Panthers recap/preview; College football weekend preview; MLB playoffs

    Want to add your own Frequency? Contact Josh Rosen at joshr@sportsbusinessdaily.com.

    Print | Tags: LA Angels, Atlanta Falcons, Baseball, Basketball, Boston Red Sox, Boxing, Carolina Panthers, Colleges, Detroit Lions, Detroit Tigers, Football, Hockey, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Lakers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Vikings, MLB, New England Patriots, New York Yankees, NFL, NHL, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, Seattle Storm, Media, WNBA, YankeeNets
  • Media Notes

    In Orlando, Scott Andera reports Magic games will continue to air on WDBO-AM, but most other team-related programming will move to sports-talk station WQTM-AM. WQTM took over the coach’s show, the team’s draft coverage and added a weekly talk show with Magic GM John Weisbrod. The Magic agreed to three-year deals with WDBO and WQTM, so the games, as well as Magic Radio Network pre and postgame shows, will stay put (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 10/8).

    SAINTS: The Saints sold enough tickets Thursday to lift the local TV blackout for their game against the Bucs this Sunday. Some local businesses, including WVUE-Fox, which will broadcast the game, bought tickets to help the team avoid the blackout. The game marks the 33rd consecutive home sellout for the Saints (Saints).

    CBS: In Tampa, Rick Harmon reports CBS analyst Phil Simms “has requested that he not be assigned to any Bucs games,” as his son plays Chris plays QB for the team. While CBS only does two Bucs games each year, the net had planned for Jim Nantz and Simms to call last week’s Bucs-Broncos game. CBS sent Dick Enberg and Dan Dierdorf instead (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 10/8).

    Print | Tags: Basketball, CBS, Denver Broncos, Football, New Orleans Saints, News Corp./Fox, Orlando Magic, RDV Sports, Media, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Viacom
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