SBD/Issue 90/Sports Media

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  • ESPN Reportedly To Decide On Michaels’ Contract After S.B.

    Michaels To Join Madden In NBC Booth?
    ESPN will decide following Super Bowl XL “whether it will let Al Michaels out of his signed [‘MNF’] contract” in order to join John Madden on NBC’s “Football Night in America,” according to sources cited by Andrew Marchand of the N.Y. POST. ESPN is waiting until after the game “because it doesn’t want Michaels’ awkward situation to become the main Super Bowl TV story.” The “feeling among many TV executives in the industry” is that Michaels will be released from his eight-year, $32M contract, because “if ESPN is going to pay Michaels that kind of money, then it would want his heart fully in it.” ESPN/ABC Sports President George Bodenheimer said through a spokesperson, “Al remains under contract and everyone here is focused on producing an outstanding Super Bowl” (N.Y. POST, 1/27).

    Print | Tags: ABC, ESPN, NBC, Media, Walt Disney
  • The CBC Unveils Plans For Coverage Of Turin Olympics

    The CBC will offer 1,000 hours of Turin Olympics content across eight media platforms, not including “a huge pile of hours on French-language Radio-Canada and RDS,” according to Rob Brodie of the OTTAWA SUN. The coverage will be spread over the CBC, TSN, CBC Newsworld and CBC Country Canada. In addition, Rogers Cable’s digital customers will have access to a “full replay of all CBC Olympic coverage 24 hours after it is originally broadcast.” Also, 18 times each day, Bell Mobility customers with “video-capable mobile phones can download a specially prepared three-minute highlight package” (OTTAWA SUN, 1/27). In Toronto, Chris Zelkovich reports the Turin Games “could be the most profitable in CBC’s long Olympic history. The network is reporting a record number of sponsors (15) and ad sales are also setting records.” CBC Exec Dir of Media Sales Rene Bertrand said, “These are the most successful Games ever for us at CBC. There’s been a lot of appetite to really be part of these Games.” With CTV picking up Olympic rights for the 2010 Vancouver Games, TASAC media buyer Eli Paper said, “They (the CTV-Rogers consortium) spent copious amounts of money getting those Olympics and I don’t expect they’ll want to pick up the bill. They’ll expect the advertisers to pay the bill. People may be thinking this is the last Winter Olympics for some time I can reasonably get into” (TORONTO STAR, 1/27).

    Hughes To Assist In
    MSNBC’s Olympic Coverage
    NBC: The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER’s Paul Gough reports NBC’s “Today” show will begin the week of February 6 with Matt Lauer in N.Y. and Katie Couric in Turin. Lauer and Al Roker will be in Turin beginning February 9. NBC “Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams will be in Turin beginning February 8, “along with several correspondents.” MSNBC’s Alison Stewart, Chris Jansing and Tucker Carlson will also be in Italy, with former U.S. Olympians Sarah Hughes and Natalie Coughlin contributing (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 1/27). USA TODAY’s Michael Hiestand wrote NBC’s “average prime-time Olympic rating likely will double the normal average prime-time rating for each of the broadcast nets” (USA TODAY, 1/25).

    SPANNING THE GLOBE: A broadcast report commissioned by the IOC and prepared by Sports Marketing Surveys indicated the Turin Games are expected to be the most watched Winter Games in history. Increased free-to-air coverage in Africa and Asia will cause the number of countries and territories broadcasting the Games to rise from 160 for the ’02 Salt Lake Games to 200 this year. The report also found that 84% of broadcasters who responded to the survey will increase coverage of the Games; two-thirds will increase live coverage; one-third will increase primetime coverage; and almost one-third will use new broadcast techniques (IOC).

    Print | Tags: Canadian Broadcasting Corp., IOC, NBC, Media
  • ESPN Ombudsman Takes Issue With Plans For Bonds, Knight TV

    ESPN Ombudsman Questions
    Net’s Partnership With Knight
    In his latest contribution as ESPN’s Ombudsman, George Solomon wrote of ESPN’s planned reality series with Texas Tech basketball coach Bobby Knight and Giants LF Barry Bonds, “A partnership with either of these subjects boggles the mind, however beneficial to the ratings these projects might become. Simply collaborating with such high profile newsmakers seems out of place with the covenants of the kind of broadcast journalism most ESPN staffers seek to attain.” Solomon noted there have been suggestions that ESPN is overly promoting Disney’s “Glory Road,” but wrote, “I haven’t seen any overkill, however, and I am told that ESPN has a policy to note the Disney connection whenever something has been done on the movie.” On ESPN’s Kenny Mayne appearing on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” Solomon wrote, “Mayne — and others who work on news shows or cover events — would better serve the network by avoiding celebrity competitions, or doing commercials.” With ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas on January 17 suggesting that the Kentucky men’s basketball team should see the film “Brokeback Mountain” to “have a good cry,” Solomon wrote, “Bilas meant no malice, but obviously did not understand the breadth and impact of the film.” On viewer complaints that “SportsCenter” and ESPNews are not offering enough NHL coverage, Solomon wrote, “I believe they are getting appropriate coverage.” Solomon called the following overcovered: Michelle Wie playing in men’s events, high school football players announcing college choices and Maurice Clarett. For undercovered: the U.S. men’s soccer team preparing for the World Cup, Turin Games lead-in and Haile Gebrselassie setting a marathon world record (ESPN.com, 1/26).

    Print | Tags: ABC, Dallas Stars, ESPN, New York Giants, NHL, San Francisco Giants, Southwest Sports Group, Media, Walt Disney
  • Final Weekend Nielsen Ratings From Weekend Sports Events

    The following lists final Nielsen ratings for weekend sports events (THE DAILY).

    SHOW
    DATE
    NET
    TIME
    RAT/SHR
    NCAA Basketball: (regional)
    1/21
    ABC
    1:00-3:00pm
    0.9/2
    PGA Tour: Bob Hope Chrysler Classic-Third Rd.
    1/21
    ABC
    3:00-6:00pm
    1.7/4
    NCAA Basketball: Duke-Georgetown
    1/21
    CBS
    1:00-3:45pm
    2.2/6
    NCAA Basketball: (regional)
    1/21
    CBS
    3:45-6:00pm
    1.7/4
    NHL: (regional)
    1/21
    NBC
    2:00-4:30pm
    1.1/3
    PBR: Sacramento Invitational
    1/21
    NBC
    4:30-6:00pm
    1.4/3
    NBA Nation
    1/22
    ABC
    12:30-1:00pm
    1.1/3
    NBA: (regional)
    1/22
    ABC
    1:00-3:30pm
    1.9/5
    PGA Tour: Bob Hope Chrysler Classic-Final Rd.
    1/22
    ABC
    3:30-6:45pm
    1.4/2
    "NCAA Women's Highlight Basketball Show"
    1/22
    CBS
    12:00-1:00pm
    1.0/3
    Amp'd Mobile Supercross Anaheim
    1/22
    CBS
    1:00-2:00pm
    1.4/3
    "The NFL Today"
    1/22
    CBS
    2:00-3:00pm
    8.4/19
    NFL AFC Championship: Steelers-Broncos
    1/22
    CBS
    3:00-6:15pm
    23.6/44
    "Fox NFL Sunday"
    1/22
    Fox
    6:00-6:45pm
    10.0/17
    NFL NFC Championship: Panthers-Seahawks
    1/22
    Fox
    6:45-10:00pm
    20.8/31
    International Auto Show
    1/22
    NBC
    1:00-3:00pm
    1.8/4
    U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix
    1/22
    NBC
    3:00-4:00pm
    0.8/2
    Ice Skating: "Sarah Hughes And Friends"
    1/22
    NBC
    4:00-6:00pm
    1.5/3
    SHOW
    DATE
    NET
    U.S. AREA
    COV AREA
    SHR
    000s
    NCAA Basketball: Maryland-Duke
    1/11
    ESPN
    1.4
    1.8
    3
    1589
    NCAA Basketball: Indiana-Michigan State
    1/11
    ESPN
    1.0
    1.2
    2
    1122
    NBA: Cavaliers-Lakers
    1/12
    TNT
    1.6
    2.0
    4
    1796
    NBA: Pistons-Spurs
    1/12
    TNT
    1.4
    1.7
    3
    1544
    "NBA Pregame Show"
    1/12
    TNT
    1.0
    1.2
    2
    1069
    NCAA Basketball: Duke-Clemson
    1/14
    ESPN
    1.3
    1.6
    4
    1431
    "NFL Countdown"
    1/14
    ESPN
    1.2
    1.5
    4
    1365
    "NFL Primetime"
    1/14
    ESPN
    1.1
    1.4
    3
    1223
    "NFL Countdown"
    1/15
    ESPN
    2.0
    2.5
    6
    2210
    "NFL Primetime"
    1/15
    ESPN
    1.0
    1.3
    2
    1149

    NFL PLAYOFFS: CBS’ coverage of the Steelers-Broncos AFC Championship game was down 8.5% from a 25.8/38 for the comparable Patriots-Steelers AFC Championship game last season, which aired in the later time slot, and down 8.5% from a 25.8/46 for last year’s Falcons-Eagles NFC Championship game on Fox, which was also played at 3:15pm. Fox’ coverage of the Panthers-Seahawks NFC Championship game was down 19.4% from Falcons-Eagles last year and down 19.4% from Patriots-Steelers in the similar time slot.

    COLLEGE HOOPS: ABC’s first regional NCAA basketball coverage of the season was down 52.6% from a 1.9/5 last year. The game was the second-lowest-rated ever. The previous low was a 0.6/2 in ’02....CBS’ coverage of Duke-Georgetown was up 57.1% from a 1.4/3 for the comparable LSU-Kentucky game in ’05. CBS’ regional NCAA basketball coverage was down 5.6% from a 1.8/4 last year.

    NHL: NBC’s second week of regional NHL coverage was down 15.4% from a 1.3/3 for ABC’s second week of regional coverage in ’04.

    GOLF: CBS’ coverage of The Bob Hope Chrysler Classic was the lowest-rated ever, earning a two-day average of 1.5/3, down 40.0% from a 2.5/6 last year. The previous two-day low was a 1.9/4 in ’00. Saturday’s third-round coverage was down 15.0% from a 2.0/5 in ’05, while final-round coverage was down 56.2% from a 3.2/7 (THE DAILY).

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, Colorado Avalanche, Comcast-Spectacor, Detroit Red Wings, Kroenke Sports Enterprises, Los Angeles Kings, Madison Square Garden, NBC, Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks, Nielsen, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Sacramento Kings, San Jose Sharks, Media
  • What's The Frequency?

    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 those topics. Local stations are listed in order of market size.

    NATIONAL SHOWS
    Fox Sports Radio (4-7pm PT) “GameTime Live”
    Super Bowl preview; Ron Artest traded to Kings; Isiah Thomas facing sexual harassment suit; Kobe Bryant scores 81 points against Raptors; NFL conference championship game recaps
    Sirius NFL Radio (3-7pm ET) “The Afternoon Blitz”
    Super Bowl preview; NFL coaching changes; Is bye week before Super Bowl bad for NFL?; Conference championship game recaps
    MARKET -- STATION
    SHOW
    L.A./San Diego -- XTRA Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton
    Kobe Bryant scores 81 points against Raptors; Ron Artest trade to Kings; Super Bowl preview; Shaq upset at Miami media calling him old; USC loses five underclassmen to draft
    S.F. -- KNBR “Razor & Mr. T”
    Ron Artest saga; Super Bowl preview; Lincoln Kennedy offers to coach Raiders; MLB spring training; A’s sign Frank Thomas
    Detroit -- WXYT “The Big Show”
    Super Bowl preview; Super Bowl parties; Pistons equal ’84 Tigers’ 35-5 start; Michigan-Michigan State hoops preview
    Seattle -- KJR “The Gas Man”
    Seahawks going to Super Bowl XL
    Minneapolis -- KFAN “The Chad Hartman Show”
    Daunte Culpepper’s future with Vikings; Vikings’ search for personnel exec; Vikings’ decision making structure; T’Wolves troubles; Twins; Wild; Univ. of Minnesota hockey, hoops
    Miami -- WAXY “The Dan LeBatard Show”
    Dolphins hire Dom Capers; Ron Artest traded to Kings; Cuba gets into World Baseball Classic; Kobe’s 81 points the greatest performance in NBA history; Steelers in Super Bowl
    Miami --WQAM “The Jim Mandich Show”
    Super Bowl preview; Are Heat championship worthy?; Dolphins hire Mike Mularkey and Dom Capers; Panthers need points before Olympic break; Univ. of Miami hoops 3-3 in ACC play
    Charlotte -- WFNZ “Prime Time With The Packman”
    Panthers lose NFC Championship game; Kobe Bryant scores 81 points; ACC hoops teams struggling; Toyota enters Nextel Cup and Busch series

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

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Carolina Panthers, Detroit Pistons, Detroit Tigers, Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, Miami Dolphins, Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves, Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Wild, MLB, NBA, News Corp./Fox, Nextel, NFL, Oakland Athletics, Oakland Raiders, Palace Sports & Entertainment, Sacramento Kings, Seattle Seahawks, Media, Toronto Raptors, Toyota, Vulcan Ventures
  • Media Notes

    HBO Sports President Ross Greenburg cited two factors for boxing’s waning TV audience, with the first being a “lack of breakthrough personalities.” Greenburg: “I think we are just one Tiger Woods away from this sport being reawakened.” Greenburg added that the second factor is that promoters “often choose the quick hit of a [PPV] payoff over the lesser money but bigger audiences of” shows like HBO’s World Championship Boxing. Greenburg said, “I think the 300,000-buy [PPV] event is killing the sport. I think promoters and managers are getting short-term greedy” (Neil Best, NEWSDAY, 1/27).

    IN TUNE: ESPN and ABC Sports will make daily video highlights and Gold Medal runs from Winter X Games 10 available for download on iTunes the day after completion. Archival content from Winter X Games 9 will be available beginning Saturday, as will profiles from the “SportsCentury” series, “This is SportsCenter” commercials and episodes of EOE’s “Streetball” (ESPN).

    NEW IDENTITY: In Miami, Barry Jackson notes ABC Sports is dropping its coverage of the NFL, all BCS bowl games except for the Rose Bowl and all but the British Open from its golf coverage after ’06. ESPN/ABC Sports Senior VP/Programming & Acquisitions Len DeLuca said the “identity we’re starting and working on today is based on three pillars” — the NBA, college football and NASCAR starting in ’07. DeLuca “confirmed ABC saw more upside in reacquiring NASCAR than continuing to carry the PGA Tour” (MIAMI HERALD, 1/27).

    Print | Tags: ABC, ESPN, HBO, NASCAR, NBA, NFL, PGA Tour, Media, Time Warner, Walt Disney
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