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SBD/Issue 222/Sports Media
Published August 15, 2006
|ESPN Ringing Up Viewers With “The Contender”
SOMETIMES A FANTASY: An L.A. TIMES editorial stated the ruling that fantasy baseball Web sites do not need an MLB license to use players’ names or statistics “struck a welcome note of restraint against baseball’s expansive interpretation of its rights. ... There’s nothing wrong with team owners running a fantasy league. ... What’s wrong is the league’s attempt to control the news from the playing field” (L.A. TIMES, 8/12). In California, Rick Hurd wrote of the ruling, “Greed is the brain, heart and soul behind just about everything baseball does. And though this does not make the sport unique in any way, it continues to amaze with the depths it’ll sink to exploit the customer. ... Thankfully, some sanity still exists” (C.C. TIMES, 8/13).
NOTES: The two-hour debut of ESPN’s “The Contender” on July 18 drew 1.256 million viewers, but that number “has risen in each of the three subsequent weeks.” Of the 1.88 million viewers last Tuesday, 70% were in the 18-49 demo (DAILY VARIETY, 8/15)....Sources said that the Canucks have reached a deal with Rogers Sportsnet that will include 42-45 games this season. The renewal “was delayed by the club’s new ownership, which may have overvalued the rights” (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 8/15).