SBD/Issue 16/Sports Media

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  • Fox Ties Ratings Record For Saturday’s Regional MLB Coverage

    Fox Ties Ratings Record With Saturday’s
    Yankees-Red Sox Game
    Fox earned a 5.4/13 overnight Nielsen rating for regional MLB coverage on Saturday, which included Yankees-Red Sox and White Sox-Indians, tying two games from the ’98 Mark McGwire-Sammy Sosa home run chase as the net’s best regular-season overnight rating ever. The 5.4/13 marks a 50.0% increase from a 3.6/19 for the comparable weekend in ’04. Yankees-Red Sox earned a 22.6/54 in Boston and an 11.4/28 in N.Y. (Fox). In Hartford, Scott Powers wrote Fox at times used a split screen with “too many borders and wasted space” that reduced Yankees-Red Sox to 7x6 inches on a 27-inch TV, or 4x3 inches on a 13-inch TV. Even Fox announcer Joe Buck “sounded annoyed.” Buck at one point during a replay said, “What you missed while we were away, in that teeny, tiny box, was this” (HARTFORD COURANT, 10/2).

    POSTSEASON SHUFFLE: USA TODAY’s Michael Hiestand notes Fox has added former D’Rays manager Lou Piniella and WGN/CSN Chicago analyst Bob Brenly for its ALCS and NLCS coverage, respectively. Piniella will work with Joe Buck and Tim McCarver. Brenly will team with Thom Brennaman and Steve Lyons. Buck and McCarver will work tomorrow’s Yankees-Angels opener, and Buck following this Sunday’s Eagles-Cowboys game will not return to NFL games until as late as November 6. Meanwhile, ESPN has added Mets C Mike Piazza for the postseason, beginning with tomorrow’s Red Sox-White Sox opener. ESPN “didn’t want to crowd its top team, Jon Miller and Joe Morgan, with a third voice” for Game One of Padres-Cardinals tomorrow (USA TODAY, 10/3). In Houston, David Barron notes Fox is airing Thursday’s Astros-Braves Game Two, “which has generally been an ESPN staple as Fox has opted for games from larger markets” (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 10/3).

    Print | Tags: LA Angels, Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Braves, Baseball, Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Dallas Cowboys, ESPN, Houston Astros, MLB, New York Mets, New York Yankees, News Corp./Fox, NFL, Nielsen, Philadelphia Eagles, San Diego Padres, Media, St. Louis Cardinals, Time Warner, Walt Disney, YankeeNets
  • Caution Flag: Suit Claims NASCAR Stole Reality TV Show Pitch

    NASCAR Sued Over “NASCAR
    Drivers: 360” Concept
    Andrew Baird and Bill Balsley have sued NASCAR, claiming that the racing organization “stole their ideas for a reality television show” they pitched in ‘01 and turned it into “NASCAR Drivers: 360,” according to Leon Alligood of the Nashville TENNESSEAN. The suit, which seeks $20M and punitive damages, also names as defendants NASCAR Images, NASCAR Digital Entertainment and Dave Hall, an agent who was to broker the deal. Baird and Balsley’s attorney Andy Allman said, “We allege that my clients went to NASCAR with the ideas, that they spoke with upper levels of management and that we had an oral agreement with them.” Alligood noted Baird and Balsley created a show called “Drafting” and pitched it to NASCAR, but meetings to be scheduled with NASCAR Images President & CEO Jay Abraham and NASCAR Senior VP Paul Brooks “to formalize contracts and agreements never occurred as promised.” In April ‘02, Hall “‘disavowed his earlier statements that NASCAR had agreed’ to back the show.” NASCAR attorney Eddie Wayland said that his clients “were innocent of the misdeeds accused by the suit” and noted that a “similar lawsuit over the creation of this same show had been filed in California by a man named Joshua King” (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 10/1).

    Print | Tags: NASCAR, Media
  • Gone Hollywood: Film Centers On Bruins-Aspiring Brothers

    Boston native and ‘Round Midnight Films’ Harlan Green is financing “Brothers, Bruins & Barstools,” a film about “three Boston-bred brothers who aspire to play for the Bruins,” according to Bill Griffith of the BOSTON GLOBE. The brothers are the sons of “a former Bruin star, whose misplay in the Stanley Cup finals cost the team the championship.” The screenplay was originally set in St. Louis and was about the Blues, but Green and his partners “wanted to make some independent films in Boston.” Green: “You know you’re in Boston immediately when you see the city on the screen.” Former NHLer and referee Paul Stewart was “instrumental as a liaison” with Green’s group, the city and the Bruins, who have “embraced the project.” Green said, “We can envision having the opening at the TD Banknorth Garden next fall” (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/2).

    Print | Tags: Boston Bruins, Hockey, Media, St. Louis Blues
  • Media Notes

    Greg Millen Adds Leafs
    TV To “HNIC” Duties
    Maple Leafs TV hired “Hockey Night in Canada” analyst Greg Millen as a senior reporter and game analyst. Millen will continue his duties on “Hockey Night” (Maple Leafs). In Toronto, William Houston reports Millen “quit his broadcasting job with the [Senators] to accept” the job with the Maple Leafs. Millen’s decision to join Leafs TV has "left the Senators scrambling to find a television colour commentator” with the season starting Wednesday. Millen will replace Bob Harwood, who resigned last month to join OLN (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 10/3)....The D’Backs have reached an agreement with TV analyst Mark Grace on a two-year deal through the ’07 season (D’Backs)....New Tier Communications and ISP Sports, which holds the multi-media rights for Univ. of California athletics, have reached a long-term agreement to provide real-time and archived sports programming at www.CalBears.com. Fans can subscribe to the Golden Bear Sports Network for online programming for $9.95 per month, or at a reduced yearly rate for $99.95 (New Tier).

    Print | Tags: Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, Ottawa Senators, Media, Toronto Maple Leafs
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