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SBD/Issue 202/Sports MediaPrint All
Beijing Games Swimming Finals Likely
To Be Moved To Accommodate NBC
The Browns last Thursday terminated their relationship with WOIO-CBS, three days after the station aired the 911 tape of Browns Owner Randy Lerner’s sister, Nancy Fisher, finding her six-year-old daughter drowned in a creek, according to Tony Grossi of the Cleveland PLAIN DEALER. WOIO “was the only station to air the gruesome portion of Fisher’s emergency call.” The Browns were entering the second year of a three-year deal with WOIO, which reportedly paid the team $2M annually. Browns VP/Communications Bill Bonsiewicz “confirmed the team is looking for a new station to air its four preseason games and other programming throughout the season,” but “declined to elaborate on the reason for the abrupt switch.” WOIO GM Bill Applegate could not be reached for comment. Grossi writes the airing of the 911 call “was the last straw in a relationship that was rocky from the start,” noting that neither party “was satisfied with local ratings” for Saturday and Monday night Browns programming (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 7/18).
MLB Reportedly Seeking
$70M For Available LCS Games
FOX: SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL’s Eric Fisher notes MLB’s decision to split its TV rights last week between Fox and Turner was “driven by necessity.” With Fox “insisting on lowering its annual fee as a means to avoid a repeat of the $225[M] in write-downs in its current, six-year-deal with baseball, MLB had little choice but to carve up the inventory.” Two actions “helped MLB work through” Fox’ concerns: MLB Commissioner Bud Selig “steadily negotiating” with News Corp. President Peter Chernin, and MLB President & COO Bob DuPuy having lunch in S.F. about a month ago with Fox Sports President Ed Goren and Fox Networks Group President Tony Vinciquerra” (SBJ, 7/17 issue).
TURNER: In this week’s SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, John Ourand notes Turner now owns rights to the NBA, NASCAR, pro golf and MLB, which has industry execs “now pointing to TNT/TBS, not OLN, as cable’s second most important sports outlet, behind ESPN.” Turner will cease airing Braves games nationally after next season under its new MLB contract. Former Clear Channel TV Chair Mike Trager, on Time Warner’s pending sale of the team: “If someone else owns the team, they have no real incentive to carry them nationally” (SBJ, 7/17 issue). In Atlanta, Tim Tucker wrote ratings “were a key factor in Turner Sports’ decision to essentially end” airing Braves games nationally. Cable ratings for Braves games on TBS since ’83 have dropped 82%, from a 4.9 to a 0.9 (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 7/16).
Armstrong Points Out “Brokeback
Mountain” Actor In ESPY Monologue
MORE REVIEWS: In Allentown, Keith Groller writes under the header, “ESPYs Lacked Punch, But Got The Awards Right.” Armstrong was “somewhat stiff in delivering his monologue,” and ESPN, as it “does all too often, [aired] too many clips, too many highlights of the nominees, too many reaction shots of LeBron James” (MORNING CALL, 7/18). However, ABCNEWS.com’s Alexa Pozniak wrote, “I dread most award shows. ... [But] I have found the exception: ESPN’s ESPY Awards”
Web Site Features Original Content
From Billy Casper And Frank Hannigan
CNBC’s Julia Boorstin reported despite the box-office success of “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,” Wall Street analysts “continue to downgrade Disney stock.” Among other concerns, ESPN’s “pricey new deals” with the NFL and NASCAR are “weighing on ESPN, pushing its growth down to single digits” (“On the Money,” CNBC, 7/17).... Grupo Televisa’s Q2 profit jumped 75% due to “strong political and World Cup advertising and lower costs,” but the results were “weaker than expected.” Televisa earned $204M compared to $120.2M last year, and revenue climbed 21% to $893M, but analysts had forecast a profit of $221M (REUTERS, 7/18).
PEOPLE & PERSONALITIES: Pat O’Brien will host CBS’ “U.S. Open Late Night Show” during the net’s coverage of this year’s tournament (CBS Sports)....NESN has extended the contracts of broadcasters Tom Caron and Hazel Mae. Mae was rumored to be moving to ESPN once her original contract with NESN expired in August (THE DAILY)....John Boruk has joined Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia after previously working for WDIV-NBC in Detroit (Comcast SportsNet).
CARRIAGE DEALS: The Coyotes and AZ-TV have signed a new multi-year deal making KAZT-Ind the team’s over-the-air home (Coyotes)....Italian broadcaster RAI reached a deal to air the Euro 2008 soccer championships after “record viewing figures for its coverage of Italy’s dramatic World Cup championship.” RAI said that it was the “first broadcaster among the five major European markets to reach a deal” for the event (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 7/18).