SBD/Issue 111/Sports Media

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  • SportsWatch: What Top Sports News Outlets Covered In November

    Football dominated the news and highlight shows of five of the nation’s top sports media outlets in the month of November, according to the latest installment of THE DAILY’s “SportsWatch.” During the month of November, THE DAILY tracked the content of the sports sections of USA Today (No. 1 newspaper in U.S. circulation), the N.Y. Times (No. 3) and the L.A. Times (No. 4), the 11:00pm ET hour-long edition of ESPN’s “SportsCenter” and the 12:00-12:30am edition of FSN’s “Final Score.” “SportsWatch” was last conducted in May. The chart below lists the total percentage allotted to each league, sport or property for both the newspapers and TV shows, and total time in hours, minutes and seconds.

     
    USA TODAY
    NY TIMES
    LA TIMES
    SPORTSCENTER
    FSN FINAL SCORE
     
     
     
     
    TIME
    %
    TIME
    %
    Agate
    8.30
    7.65
    7.52
     
     
     
     
    Baseball General
    0.43
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Basketball General
     
     
     
    0:20:24
    1.30
     
     
    Boxing
    1.04
    0.30
    1.83
    0:00:25
    0.03
    0:00:13
    0.05
    CFL
    0.01
    0.01
    0.01
     
     
    0:00:33
    0.12
    Champ Car
    0.06
    0.01
    0.05
     
     
     
     
    Champions Tour
     
    0.01
     
     
     
     
     
    Cricket
     
    0.02
     
     
     
     
     
    Cycling
    0.18
    0.49
    0.02
     
     
     
     
    Dog Show
    0.42
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Etc
    2.82
    3.08
    4.66
    1:19:32
    5.07
    0:19:05
    4.00
    Football General
     
     
    0.14
    0:00:32
    0.03
     
     
    Formula One
     
    0.23
    0.10
     
     
     
     
    Golf General
    0.03
    0.01
    0.02
     
     
     
     
    High School
    3.15
    1.12
    2.10
    0:07:55
    0.50
     
     
    Hockey General
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Horse Racing
    0.36
    0.22
    1.27
     
     
     
     
    International Soccer
    0.08
    0.69
    0.54
    0:04:54
    0.31
    0:01:33
    0.33
    IRL
    0.02
     
    0.08
     
     
     
     
    LPGA
    1.17
    0.67
    0.17
    0:00:23
    0.02
    0:00:38
    0.13
    MLB
    5.56
    14.06
    6.34
    1:35:23
    6.08
    0:12:20
    2.59
    MLS
    1.32
    0.86
    1.25
    0:02:28
    0.16
    0:02:14
    0.47
    MMA
    0.12
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Motorsports General
    0.14
    0.01
     
    0:04:44
    0.30
     
     
    NASCAR
    4.21
    1.38
    1.86
    0:47:13
    3.01
    0:04:18
    0.90
    NBA
    9.39
    11.08
    14.91
    3:46:36
    14.45
    2:42:24
    34.08
    NCAA Basketball
    3.80
    4.42
    8.40
    1:53:13
    7.48
    1:21:44
    17.15
    NCAA Football
    16.01
    11.83
    24.40
    4:38:22
    17.76
    0:29:01
    6.09
    NCAA Women's Basketball
    0.97
    1.62
    0.77
    0:05:15
    0.33
     
     
    NCAA Other Sports
    0.25
    0.25
    0.37
     
     
     
     
    NFL
    27.69
    24.55
    12.58
    10:40:46
    40.87
    0:44:06
    9.29
    NHL
    5.37
    6.03
    5.36
    0:32:58
    2.10
    1:45:30
    22.14
    NHRA
    0.32
     
    0.28
     
     
     
     
    Olympic Sports
    1.92
    5.77
    1.06
    0:00:53
    0.06
     
     
    Outdoors
    0.23
    0.88
    0.89
     
     
     
     
    PBR
     
    0.01
    0.15
     
     
     
     
    PGA Tour
    0.24
    0.41
    0.41
     
     
    0:01:51
    0.39
    Poker
    0.01
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Pro Wrestling
    0.28
    0.02
     
     
     
     
     
    Rugby
     
     
    0.02
     
     
     
     
    Soccer General
    0.19
    0.30
    0.25
     
     
     
     
    Sumo Wrestling
     
    0.11
     
     
     
     
     
    Surfing
     
    0.24
    0.19
     
     
     
     
    Tennis
    2.15
    1.59
    1.07
    0:01:46
    0.11
    0:10:51
    2.28
    TV/Radio
    0.64
    0.08
    0.57
     
     
     
     
    WNBA
    0.02
    0.01
     
     
     
     
     
    X Sports
     
     
    0.34
     
     
     
     
    Yachting
    0.03
    0.17
    0.02
     
     
     
     

    NOTES: “Final Score” did not air on November 3, 10 and 17 due to network college football requirements and November 22 in observance of Thanksgiving. Read our methodology for a more detailed look at how the data was determined, including the top story from each outlet every day; and the number of front-page sports stories in the newspapers surveyed.

    ESPN's "MNF" Tie-Ins Helps NFL Outpace
    Coverage Of Other Sports On The Net
    LEGENDS OF THE FALL: As expected, the major difference between the content during November and May was the heavy coverage of the NFL and college football, both in season. The percentage of NFL coverage on “SportsCenter” far exceeds that of any other sport or any other outlet, but that should not be surprising. ESPN’s on-site coverage of four “MNF” games during the month immediately preceding the “SportsCenter” broadcasts no doubt helped inflate the percentage, with post-game reports coming directly from the game sites. One interesting result is how the N.Y. Times and L.A. Times almost are completely opposite in their respective NFL and college football coverage totals. The obvious reason would be that N.Y. has two NFL teams, but no major Division I college presence, while USC and UCLA dominate the L.A. market that has not had an NFL team in 15 years. L.A. Times sports editor Randy Harvey summed it up best this summer by saying, “There’s not much we can do without a local [NFL] team.”

    ONE DAY A WEEK: Football was not the big winner on “Final Score.” While the figure for college can in part be attributed to the three Saturday night broadcasts that were pre-empted for network feeds of Pac-10 football, the NFL amount is at least 15% below that of the other outlets examined. Other properties like the NBA and NHL fared better due to their regular schedule. “Final Score” Senior VP & Exec Producer Rick Jaffe said the percentage of NFL action is more a result of the show’s scope: “We show [NFL] on Sundays, but the rest of the week we show little unless it's news related.” While off-the-field angles such as suspensions and trades are covered, the net shies away from feature pieces that routinely run in newspapers and on “SportsCenter.”

    Torre's Resignation Helps Keep
    MLB On Front Page In N.Y.
    HOT STOVE LEAGUE: N.Y. has always been a strong MLB coverage area, and this November certainly was no different. The N.Y. Times had more than double the amount of baseball coverage than the other four outlets. The percent no doubt was influenced by two hot-button issues -- the resignation of Yankees manager Joe Torre and subsequent hiring of Joe Girardi, and the prolonged re-signing saga of 3B Alex Rodriguez. Meanwhile, the mid-month federal indictment of Barry Bonds led to a front-page piece on all three newspapers surveyed and was the top story on both TV programs the night it occurred.

    GAMES ON: “Final Score” is much more of a show driven by on-field highlights than “SportsCenter,” and as such, the amount of time dedicated to the NBA, NHL and college basketball on the program is more than double the figures for ESPN’s signature show. A large rationale for the findings is that those three sports simply played more games on a daily basis than other properties. While Jaffe speculated the figures would be slightly different if the study was held now (“We probably show more college basketball than NHL now”), the overall objective of the show is holding strong. “The show is giving our viewers what they want, which are the highlights, regardless of sport,” Jaffe said.

    OTHER NOTES: Surprisingly, even with the Chase for the Nextel Cup, the amount of NASCAR coverage on all five outlets was down when compared to May. While the influx of NFL and college football surely took valuable air and print space, NASCAR did crown one of its marquee drivers, Jimmie Johnson, as its back-to-back Cup champion….NBA coverage far exceeded the amount of NHL coverage despite both sports being in the early stages of their regular seasons. In fact, the NHL ranked eighth in coverage on “SportsCenter,” just behind NASCAR, which is a TV partner of ESPN.…MLS coverage was up only marginally across the board despite also holding its championship MLS Cup in the middle of the month….Mixed martial arts garnered just a single story through the different media surveyed despite at least one story in each of the five outlets six months ago….The N.Y. Marathon was the main factor in the N.Y. Times having close to twice the amount of Olympic coverage for the month than the other outlets combined.

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  • CBS, ProElite Team To Bring Four MMA Events A Year To Major Net

     
    CBS and L.A.-based mixed martial arts (MMA) production company ProElite have signed a multi-year deal to bring MMA to broadcast TV for the first time. CBS will air four MMA events per year, produced by ProElite's EliteXC fight division, as two-hour live primetime specials on Saturday nights. ProElite began broadcasting its EliteXC live MMA events on Showtime last year. EliteXC events will continue to air on Showtime. CBS Interactive and ProElite.com will collaborate on generating interactive content which could include streaming of events and clips syndicated across the CBS Audience Network (CBS). YAHOO SPORTS' Kevin Iole reported the time slot for the broadcasts is unknown, though it is "likely to be" around 9:00-11:00pm ET. Street fighter Kimbo Slice is "expected to headline the first fight card" from either Atlantic City or the Prudential Center in Newark (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 2/27). A CBS spokesperson said that the deal is "not a time buy by ProElite" (BROADCASTINGCABLE.com, 2/28).

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  • Online Gaming: CCTV To Offer Interactive Beijing Games Web Site

    China state broadcaster CCTV is working with the MySpace China social-networking site and video site Tudou.com to "run an interactive Web site" for the Beijing Olympics in August, according to Chao & Fowler of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The site will offer streaming videos of events, which will be "viewable only in China," and Web profiles "through which users can contact Olympic athletes." CCTV's Olympics site will be a "dedicated one within CCTV.com." The site's video channel, which will go live August 8 and is supported by Tudou.com, will "include live video, playbacks from the Games, commentary and user-generated content." Users will be able to "interact with athletes and coaches using the MySpace China part of the site." Other details of the site, such as which languages will be used, are "still being worked out." Sources said that one question that "still needs resolution ... is how CCTV and Tudou will enforce their joint right to be the exclusive online video broadcaster for the Games." Chao & Fowler note compared to previous Olympics, the Internet is "expected to play a much bigger role in the Beijing Games," as the Games will be the "first to take place since the rise of sites" like YouTube and Tudou. While there is "plenty of interest among Chinese Internet users in watching" the Games online, CCTV advertisers are "unlikely to flock to CCTV's online-video option" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/28).

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  • Blog Hound: Sean Salisbury Parts Ways With ESPN

    ESPN NFL analyst Sean Salisbury announced he is leaving ESPN after 12 years at the network to "expand into other opportunities" shortly after the net hired former NFLer Cris Carter. Bloggers discuss Salisbury's sudden exit from the net.

    Awful Announcing
    Posted by: Hollywood Wags
    “At least this is a first step in having "analysts" that actually stepped onto the field and did something relevant.”
    beRecruited
    Posted by: DanZinski
    John Clayton will have to find someone new to call him The Cryptkeeper, now that sparring partner Sean Salisbury has decided to depart ESPN.”
    The Foul Pole
    Posted by:
    “Hmmm…probably no wrongful termination suit here. I think that Salisbury just wants to spend some more time with the ladies. Or he got completely sick of Trey Wingo.”
    Saints Report
    Posted by: Saint77
    “I thought his talents were wasted at ESPN. I think it would be a huge plus if NFL network picked him up.”
    Brad’s Sport Fix
    Posted by: Brad
    “I am obviously a supporter of the Worldwide Leader (out of necessity really) and always found Salisbury pretty refreshing b/c he'd just say whatever he wanted to say, period.”

    BUILDING THE BUZZ: Sports Media Challenge's Buzz Manager analyzed the online buzz about Salisbury's decision. Bloggers who felt Salisbury’s dismissal was a good move for both him and ESPN were counted as positive, representing 59.09% of the buzz. Bloggers who felt the move was bad for both parties were tallied as negative, making up 13.64% of posts. 27.27% of posts were neutral. Click here for more information.See www.sportsbusinessdaily.com for more info.

    • The topic ranked 8 out of 10 on the buzz, indicating a high level of interest.
    • Positive sentiment stemmed from bloggers who are relieved to be rid of Salisbury’s brash on-air personality. These fans think ESPN made a very wise choice to replace him with Carter.
    • Negative sentiment came from bloggers who will miss the on-air battles between Salisbury and John Clayton. These fans aren’t certain that replacing Salisbury with Carter will necessarily be an upgrade.

    Do you have a blog post that our readers would find interesting? Please forward your submission to bloghound@sportsbusinessdaily.com.

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  • Media Notes

    Dish Network, which last week dropped NFL Network from its Top 100 package to its Top 200, said in a statement the NFL Network’s decision to simulcast the December 29 Patriots-Giants game on broadcast TV “is a case of greed. Their greed for more eyeballs and ad revenue led to their breach of our contract, in turn breaking their commitment not only to Dish Network, but to our customers. Because they failed to honor their promise, we took appropriate, justified action and look forward to proving our position in court." NFL Network Monday sued over the change (CABLEFAX DAILY, 2/28).

    NOTES: ESPN and The Masters have reached an agreement that will allow ESPN to provide live streaming of all the network’s event telecasts of the April 7-13 tournament on ESPN360.com, live streaming of Augusta National's "Amen Corner" and "Masters Extra" on Masters.org and live look-ins and highlights on ESPN.com (ESPN)....The Chicago Tribune's Sam Smith, Charlotte Observer's Rick Bonnell and Pro Basketball News' Sam Amico have helped launch a Web site for the Pro Basketball Writers Association, probwa.com (THE DAILY)....MLS Fire this week will announce their local TV broadcast schedule for the '08 season which they hope will be the "biggest in team history" (Illinois DAILY HERALD, 2/27).

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