SBD/Issue 198/Sports Media

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  • MLB Officially Announces New TV Deals With Fox, Turner

    Fox Retains Exclusive Rights To
    World Series In New Deal With MLB


    MLB yesterday officially announced its new seven-year TV rights deals with Fox and Turner Broadcasting. Under the new deals, Fox gets exclusive annual rights to the All-Star Game and the World Series, as well as the ALCS in odd years and the NLCS in even years. The net will also expand its “Fox Saturday Baseball Game of the Week” coverage to up to 26 weeks per season. TBS will telecast all regular-season tie-breaker games, all LDS games and the All-Star Game Selection Show each year. In addition, beginning in ’08, TBS will telecast a window of MLB games on 26 Sunday afternoons. The Sunday games will be blacked out in the local markets of the competing teams. TBS can air as many as 13 games of any single team. TBS beginning in ’08 will reduce its Braves schedule from 70 games to 45 and will air the games locally rather than nationally (THE DAILY).

    RIGHTS FEES: The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER’s Paul Gough cites sources as saying that Fox will pay an average of $250M annually, down from the $417M it has been paying, and that Turner will pay $120M a year (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 7/12). However, the WALL STREET JOURNAL’s Brian Steinberg cites sources as saying that TBS will pay around $70M annually. One source said that MLB “expects to secure more than $3[B] over seven years from the Fox and TBS deals combined with payments from the remaining games to be sold (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 7/12). Fox Sports President Ed Goren said, “Our rights fees are significantly less than what we’d been paying. But going to cable TV, with its revenues from ads and subscribers, MLB could reach its revenue targets” (USA TODAY, 7/12). Goren added, “Fox has won the adults 18-49 race two years running. [Fox Entertainment President] Peter Liguori and his team has to figure out how to make the most out of postseason baseball. It makes sense to pre-empt fewer nights and create more windows for his schedule while retaining the promotional power of postseason baseball” (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 7/12).

    TBS Ending Three Decades
    Of National Braves Programming
    CABLE: USA TODAY’s Michael Hiestand notes TBS has exclusivity for LDS games. MLB Exec VP/Business Tim Brosnan said that the “number of homes without cable TV ‘shrinks daily’ but if MLB ‘heard enormous backlash’ about games being unavailable on free TV, then ‘we’d go back and adjust.’” Turner Sports President David Levy said TBS getting exclusivity “was one of the key ingredients in the deal for us” (USA TODAY, 7/12). Levy added that in the event of “overlapping division series games, ... some could be shifted to TNT” (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 7/12). Brosnan also said that MLB Commissioner Bud Selig had “earmarked the second LCS for cable,” and in N.Y., Richard Sandomir notes Fox, TBS and ESPN “remain candidates.” Goren suggested, “There is some interest in the possibility of working out a deal to televise those games in some kind of partnership.” Levy said TBS’ interest in the LCS is “very high if we get the right financial model.” Levy “hopes that if TBS acquires the LCS, it would carry the games exclusively” (N.Y. TIMES, 7/12). ESPN VP/Corporate Information Diane Lamb said ESPN was talking with MLB about the remaining LCS package, adding, “We’re interested in deals that provide good value” (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 7/12).

    WORLD SERIES: Selig said of the decision to move World Series Game One to a Tuesday night instead of the current Saturday night start under the new deal, “For years, we started on a weekend and everyone grumbled to me — that Saturday night is a tough television night. ... We’re going to do it Tuesday and Wednesday, off Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, off Monday, then Tuesday and Wednesday. It’s a better fit” (DETROIT NEWS, 7/12).

    Print | Tags: Atlanta Braves, ESPN, MLB, NBA, News Corp./Fox, Media, TBS/TNT, Time Warner, Walt Disney
  • Fox Sees First Increase In MLB All-Star Overnight Since ’01

    Fox earned a 10.6/18 overnight Nielsen rating for last night’s MLB All-Star Game, up 8.2% from a 9.8/16 last year and the first year-to-year increase in the game’s overnight rating since ’01. Host city Pittsburgh delivered a 22.9/34 for last night’s game. The following presents overnight and final Nielsen ratings for the MLB All-Star Game since ’99 (THE DAILY).

    MLB ALL-STAR GAME RATINGS TREND
    YR
    NET
    OVERNIGHT RAT/SHR
    %+/-
    FINAL RAT/SHR
    %+/-
    '06
    Fox
    10.6/18
    8.2%
    NA
    NA
    '05
    Fox
    9.8/16
    -5.7%
    8.1/14
    -8.0%
    '04
    Fox
    10.4/17
    -6.3%
    8.8/15
    -7.4%
    '03
    Fox
    11.1/18
    -2.6%
    9.5/17
    0.0%
    '02
    Fox
    11.4/19
    -8.8%
    9.5/17
    -13.6%
    '01
    Fox
    12.5/21
    14.7%
    11.0/19
    8.9%
    '00
    NBC
    10.9/18
    -18.0%
    10.1/18
    -15.8%
    '99
    Fox
    13.3/23
    12.0/22

    NA = Final rating was not available at presstime.

    Print | Tags: Media
  • NHL To Launch Social Networking Platform On NHL.com

    The NHL prior to next season will introduce NHL Connect on NHL.com, which it calls the first league-sponsored social networking environment. Fans will be able to use NHL Connect, which was developed by California-based Five Across, to make personal profile pages that include comments, photos, podcasts and videocasts, as well as links to new articles and content, friends or colleagues. The platform currently is in a Beta testing stage on an invitation-only basis (NHL).

    Print | Tags: NHL, Media
  • HBO On Pace To Top ’99 PPV Boxing Revenue Record Of $200M

    HBO Lands $15.7M In PPV Revenue
    For Mayweather-Judah Bout
    Halfway through ’06, HBO PPV has generated $116M in PPV boxing revenue — “putting it well ahead of the pace needed to topple its record” of $200M in boxing revenue set in ’99 — and “could threaten the category’s $232[M] mark set in 1997,” according to R. Thomas Umstead of MULTICHANNEL NEWS. HBO PPV “expects to offer as many as seven more boxing events this year.” HBO has “delivered a steady, consistent stream of boxing revenues from five fights to cable and satellite distributors” this year, led by the $47M generated from the May 6 Oscar De La Hoya-Ricardo Mayorga event. The other fights and revenue generated: Bernard Hopkins-Antonio Tarver on June 10 ($16.5M); Floyd Mayweather-Zab Judah on April 8 ($15.7M); Shane Mosley-Fernando Vargas on February 25 ($20.5M); and Manny Pacquiao-Erik Morales on January 21 ($15.7M) (MULTICHANNEL NEWS, 7/10 issue).

    Print | Tags: HBO, Media, Time Warner
  • Blog Hound

    THE DAILY offers a sampling of what some local and national bloggers are dishing about this week.

    BLOG NAME
    WEB ADDRESS
    Athletics Nation athleticsnation.com
    A’s GM Billy Beane in his latest interview with Tyler Bleszinski says of this season, “I guess the ends justify the means, but it's been challenging up to this point.”
    3 Quarks Daily 3quarksdaily.blogs.com
    Asad Raza writes Zinedine Zidane’s head butt, “amplified by taking place in the most watched sports event of the year, nevertheless brutally transcended the game in which it occurred.  It will be publicly understood, digested, for days to come.  It will lose force, be neutralized, but not without having revealed much.”
    Elmhurst Pub Roundtable elmhurstpubroundtable.blogspot.com
    cwhager527 offers five suggestions to change the MLB All-Star Game and writes, “Oh, and we're outlawing Chris Berman from any HR type incident. No more back-back-back-back's. It's time to put that baby to bed.”
    Definitely, Maybe, Biscuit Anybody? blog.sportscolumn.com
    Chloe Gallagher writes of Roger Federer’s outfit at Wimdbledon that included a cream colored Nike blazer, “There's nothing wrong with the way my grandad dresses, but I don't really expect 24-year-old tennis aces to copy it.”

    Do you have a blog that we should be monitoring? Contact Jon Show at jons@sportsbusinessdaily.com.

    Print | Tags: MLB, Nike, Oakland Athletics, Media
  • Media Notes

    In Toronto, Ken Campbell reports Rogers Sportsnet fired News & Hockey Dir Scott Morrison over “a difference in philosophy between Morrison’s journalistic approach of telling stories and breaking news and the network’s desire to appeal to young men.” Supervising Producer Jeff McDonald was also dismissed, while VP/Production Rick Briggs-Jude “was moved to event production and is being replaced” by new VP/Content David Akande (TORONTO STAR, 7/12). Also in Toronto, Grant Robertson reports Rogers Sportsnet “is the latest cable sports channel to apply to the federal broadcast regulator for permission to show movies and one-hour dramas” (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 7/12).

    CALL DROPPED: In Manchester, Richard Wray reports BSkyB has secured the mobile highlights package for the English Premier League. TWI and mobile phone companies 3, O2, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone were working on a joint bid “that would have seen each operator given equal access to games.” The mobile rights “are understood to have been sold for under [US$18.4M], leaving the Premier League short compared with” the previous deal (GUARDIAN, 7/12).

    PREDATORS: The Predators will produce separate TV and radio broadcasts next season, ending the simulcast that had been used since the team’s inaugural season in ’98-99. Play-by-play announcer Pete Weber and analyst Terry Crisp will call games on FSN South and move to radio for games that are not televised (Predators).

    Print | Tags: BSkyB, English Premier League, ESPN, Nashville Predators, News Corp./Fox, Media, Walt Disney
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