SBD/Issue 111/Sports Media

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.

Return to top

Related Topics:

Media

Video Powered By - Castfire CMS Powered By - Sitecore

Report a Bug