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SBD/Issue 174/Sports MediaPrint All
Slice Headlining Saturday's EliteXC Card On CBS
LOW RISK FOR CBS: On Long Island, Neil Best writes the risk of broadcasting the event is "low for CBS, because in recent years broadcast networks have all but stopped trying to draw big audiences on Saturday nights" (NEWSDAY, 5/30). In Philadelphia, Bernard Fernandez wrote CBS "might have tried anything within reason to pull in ratings on a night that has become TV's skid row." Kahl: "We're putting it on Saturday nights, a night that has been underserved by all the networks for quite some time. So it's a low risk and potentially large reward" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 5/29). USA TODAY's Robert Bianco writes, "Hey, it's summer, and at least the network is trying something on a Saturday night, instead of using the evening as a dumping ground for faded hits and repeats" (USA TODAY, 5/30). Kahl: "It's a case where need met opportunity. The sport is so popular right now" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW JOURNAL, 5/27). In Chicago, Teddy Greenstein wrote the event for CBS is "not much of a gamble when you consider the ratings Spike TV has garnered for 'The Ultimate Fighter' or NBC for the non-prime time 'Strikeforce' series or Showtime for its foray into MMA" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 5/27).
MAKING A MISTAKE: In Miami, Greg Cote wrote under the header, "CBS Is Now Legitimizing Barbaric Sport." Cote: "Can the combination of network backing and the fleeting flare of Kimbomania legitimize MMA or make it mainstream? If the question is necessary, the answer begs a good laugh or at least an incredulous harrumph. Something does not achieve legitimacy simply because it is widely seen. ... Nor does something achieve legitimacy simply because it might entertain the more depraved among us" (MIAMI HERALD, 5/29). In Utah, Scott Pierce writes CBS "should be ashamed." MMA is "more like the Christians vs. the lions in the Roman Coliseum than a legitimate sporting event" (DESERET NEWS, 5/30).
BIG MOMENT FOR MMA: EliteXC President Gary Shaw said the event being broadcast on CBS in primetime is "probably the biggest thing ever to happen to MMA. These fighters will be like the people on 'Survivor' and 'American Idol.' They'll be recognized at airports and Burger Kings." FOXSPORTS.com's Mark Kriegel wrote Shaw with the primetime coverage envisions a "new kind of fame" for the company, as the biggest PPV audience "represents a tiny fraction by the standards of prime time" (FOXSPORTS.com, 5/29). In Baltimore, Mark Chalifoux wrote Saturday is EliteXC's "moment of truth." If viewers "don't tune it, it could pretty much mean the end of the company. The entire MMA-world has a lot riding on this event as it will be the first exposure to MMA for a lot of casual sports fans" (BALTIMORESUN.com, 5/28). CBS announcer Gus Johnson, who will call Saturday's event, said, "Once we can make terms like 'triangle choke' and 'rear-naked choke' and 'arm-bar' household words like a jab or a cross or an uppercut, that's when MMA will really, really hit a point that will allow it to become one of the big sports in the country" (BALTIMORESUN.com, 5/28).
UFC's White Calls
EliteXC Farm League
TAPPING OUT: The N.Y. POST reported several CBS affiliates will not carry Saturday's event. Ads for the show appearing last weekend in various newspapers read, "This program will not be seen in this area." Fans in Pennsylvania were "among the first to complain that the show was being blacked out there" (N.Y. POST, 5/27). Meanwhile, in San Jose, John Ryan noted one of EliteXC's main sponsors, Reality Kings, "will not have its logo in view Saturday night" because of a "rule against promoting porn sites on network television" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 5/29).
BE ALL THAT YOU CAN BE: In N.Y., Michael Brick writes the U.S. military, "acknowledging the phenomenon and the suitable demographics, are using the sport not only as a way to build morale and aid in recruiting, but also as a training aid to enhance the skills of soldiers." The Army has conducted MMA tournaments among soldiers, and the military has "produced fighters for the professional leagues." Modern Army Combatives Program Dir Matthew Larsen has been "trying to coordinate a tournament in Baghdad for broadcast on ESPN" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/30).
ESPN Earns 5.1 Coverage Area Rating For
Wednesday's Pistons-Celtics Game Five
ESPN NETS SEE RECORD MONTH: ESPN2 and ESPNEWS each posted its best May ever, averaging more HHs on a total-day basis than any previous May. In addition ESPN's 24-hour audience grew 21% over last year, and was the second largest for the month in the net's history. ESPN's jump is due in large part to increased audiences for the NBA Playoffs, MLB and "SportsCenter." In addition, ESPN also set viewership marks in male demos 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54 (ESPN).
HOORAY FOR MAY: TNT saw an increase in HHs from last May, as the NBA Playoffs led the network to a 5.9% jump. For MLB, each major cable partner also saw an increase for May, as ESPN, TBS and WGN saw gains. Golf Channel was the only sports network to see a significant decline in May. The chart below shows average HHs for the month of May for select cable networks (THE DAILY).CABLE NET AVERAGES FOR THE MONTH OF MAYNETPRIMETIME HHs (000)'07 (000)% +/-FULL DAY HHs (000)'07 (000)% +/-TNT2,2571,97614.2%1,1231,0605.9%ESPN1,4321,13426.3%70157721.5%TBS1,2541,06517.7%73365212.4%
Versus43725968.7%1167946.8% ESPN2389391-0.5%2302119.0% Speed31325920.8%14412515.2% WGN2512385.5%19816917.2% Golf Channel99118-16.1%6873-6.8% ESPNews6667-1.5%59590.0%
Writer Calls Out The CBC For Its
Reluctance To Cover Crosby
HOCKEYTOWN: In N.Y., Richard Sandomir reports NBC's broadcast of Red Wings-Penguins Game Three drew an 18.2 rating in Detroit, 14% above ESPN's coverage of Pistons-Celtics Eastern Conference Finals Game Five. Sandomir notes "hockey's win over basketball was partly because of its game being on NBC, a broadcast network, and the NBA game being seen on a cable network" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/30).
Snyder Nearing Deal To Acquire
Three DC-Area Radio Stations
The following lists Final Nielsen ratings from recent sports events (THE DAILY).SHOWDATENETTIMERAT/SHRWNBA: Storm-Silver Stars5/24ABC3:30-5:36pm0.5/2
"NBA Countdown"5/24ABC8:00-8:27pm1.7/4 NBA Playoffs: Eastern Conference Finals:
Celtics-Pistons: Game Three5/24ABC8:27-11:22pm3.7/8
PGA Tour: Crowne Plaza
Invitational at Colonial: Third Round5/24CBS3:00-6:02pm1.2/4
MLB: (regional)5/24Fox3:45-6:45pm1.7/5 Golf: Senior PGA Championship: Third Round5/24NBC3:00-6:00pm0.5/1 IndyCar: Indianapolis 500 Pre-Race Show5/25ABC12:00-1:00pm2.2/7 IndyCar: Indianapolis 5005/25ABC1:00-5:00pm4.6/13 "Identity of a Racing Champ"5/25ABC5:00-6:00pm1.4/4 Collegiate Nationals: Intramural Games (taped)5/25CBS2:00-3:00pm0.3/1 PGA Tour: Crowne Plaza
Invitational at Colonial: Final Round5/25CBS3:00-6:00pm1.7/5
NASCAR Sprint Cup: Coca-Cola 6005/25Fox5:51-10:22pm4.7/10 Championship Off Road Racing:
Pomona, CA (taped)5/25NBC1:30-3:00pm0.4/1
Golf: Senior PGA Championship: Final Round5/25NBC3:00-6:09pm0.5/1SHOWDATENETTIMEU.S. AREACOV. AREAVIEWERS (000)NBA Playoffs: Western Conference Semifinals: Spurs-Hornets: Game Seven5/19TNT8:31-11:15pm4.35.06,547 MLB: "Monday Night Baseball": Cubs-Astros5/19ESPN7:00-10:29pm0.91.11,334 NBA Playoffs: Eastern Conference Finals: Pistons-Celtics: Game One5/20ESPN8:27-11:12pm3.74.45,431 NBA Draft Lottery5/20ESPN8:00-8:27pm1.82.12,329 NBA Playoffs: Western Conference Finals: Spurs-Lakers: Game One5/21TNT9:14-11:57pm4.14.86,190 NBA Playoffs: Eastern Conference Finals: Pistons-Celtics: Game Two5/22ESPN8:27-11:28pm3.94.65,698 NBA Playoffs: Western Conference Finals: Spurs-Lakers: Game Two5/23TNT9:14-11:48pm3.74.45,513 NASCAR Nationwide Series: Carquest Auto Parts 3005/24ESPN27:30-10:30pm1.72.02,569 NHL Stanley Cup Finals: Penguins-Red Wings: Game One5/24VS8:00-10:51pm1.21.82,352 NBA Playoffs: Western Conference Finals: Lakers-Spurs: Game Three5/25TNT8:31-11:10pm3.74.35,729
MLB: In San Diego, Jay Posner reports ratings for Channel 4 San Diego's first 49 Padres telecasts this season averaged a 5.0 HH rating, down "nearly 30[%] from last year's final season average" of 7.0. The ratings have fallen since an 11.2 for the March 31 Astros-Padres season opener, which marked the "highest Opening Day rating ever on Channel 4" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 5/30)....Blue Jays games on Rogers Sportsnet were averaging 291,300 viewers through May 18, up 4.3% over 279,200 at the same point in '07 (Rogers)....The May 23 Brewers-Nationals game on FSN Wisconsin drew a 5.6 HH rating (49,896 HHs). The four-game series averaged a 5.1 (45,441 HHs) (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 5/28).
Bloggers discuss WTA player Ashley Harkleroad’s decision to pose nude for Playboy.
The Hollywood Gossip
Posted by: mischalova
"Move over, Anna Kournikova! You had your (hot) time in the spotlight as the best looking player ever on the professional women’s tennis tour. Ashley Harkleroad is now looking to take that title from you." In Entertainment
Posted by: Daniel
"She must worry if it will cause a backlash from other players in the sport. However … Serena Williams did offer her support. " Larry Brown Sports
Posted by: Larry Brown
"I’m kinda scratching my head on this one. And not to mention, think about all the different places Playboy’s efforts could be better focused." Red Hot News
Posted by: mles
"Most of us who don't follow women's tennis on a regular basis had probably not heard of Ashley Harkleroad up until last weekend." Fresh Loaf
Posted by: Scott Freeman
"It seems unbecoming and desperate for a professional tennis player to make her statement by posing for Playboy."
BUILDING THE BUZZ: Sports Media Challenge's Buzz Manager analyzed the online conversation about Harkleroad posing for Playboy. Bloggers who approve of the photo shoot were tallied positive, while those who disapprove were counted negative. See www.SportsBusinessDaily.com for more info. See more info on this topic.
The topic ranked 8 out of 10 on The Buzz, indicating a high level of interest among sports and entertainment bloggers.
Entertainment bloggers discussed Harkleroad’s pictorial in reference to how it will affect her marketability, while sports bloggers discussed the topic with respect to whether they would enjoy the images as well as how she will compare to other female athletes who have appeared in past editions.
The majority of bloggers believe this is a good business move for Harkleroad. They admit that until the announcement was made, they had never heard of her.
Some bloggers believe Harkleroad is destined to become the next Anna Kournikova, an attractive tennis player that dominates headlines because of her appearance and not her play.
THE DAILY presents "What's The Frequency?" which highlights the subjects being discussed this week during afternoon drive shows on sports talk radio across the U.S. The following chart lists some of those topics. Local stations are listed in order of market size.NATIONAL SHOWS
Sirius Sports (3-6pm ET) “The Mike & Murray Show” Willie Randolph’s job security; Gary Carter interview; Is MMA too violent for primetime TV?; NBA Playoffs talk Sirius NFL Radio (3-7pm ET) “Movin’ The Chains” Owners opt out of CBA -- what effect will that have on league?; Jason Taylor trade rumors; Tank Johnson wants Pacman Jones reinstated; Rookie salary scaleMARKET -- STATIONSHOW -- WXYT Detroit “Valenti & Foster” Red Wings up 2-1 over Penguins in Stanley Cup Finals; Pistons down 3-2 to Celtics in Eastern Conference Finals – WAXY Miami “The Dan Le Batard Show” Heat land #2 pick in NBA lottery; NBA Playoffs talk -- was Brent Barry fouled?; Marlins remain atop NL East; Jason Taylor skipping offseason workouts – KDUS Phoenix “Calling All Sports With Roc & Manuch” Suns coaching vacancy remains – Doug Collins turns Suns down for Bulls; Should Suns trade Steve Nash, Amare Stoudemire?; NBA Playoffs talk; D’Backs put Eric Byrnes on DL – KFAN Minneapolis “The Hartman Show” Chad T’Wolves land #3 pick in NBA lottery; T’Wolves returning to KFAN -- interviews with Glen Taylor, Kevin McHale; NBA Playoffs talk; Vikings trade former No. 1 pick Erasmus James – ’05 NFL Draft one of worst ever for team; Stanley Cup Finals talk Charlotte – WFNZ “Prime Time With The Packman” Recap of Coca-Cola 600, Indianapolis500; NBA Playoffs talk; Number of teams from Carolinasin NCAA Baseball tournament; Panthers training camp notes
Want to add your own Frequency? Contact Rick Ellington at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Chicago, Teddy Greenstein reports Rick Reilly's early assignments with ESPN include an "essay during ESPN's coverage of the June 7 Belmont Stakes" and a column for ESPN the Magazine on his father, who passed away in April. Reilly also will write bi-weekly columns for ESPN.com, "do essays for SportsCenter ... and is developing a monthly show" titled "ESPN Homecoming" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 5/30).
Joe Thomas (r) To Co-Host Outdoors TV Show
IN THE DARK: In N.Y., Bob Raissman reports Time Warner Cable (TWC) subscribers Thursday night “were left in the dark for a few minutes during a crucial part” of the Dodgers-Mets game on SportsNet N.Y. The bottom of the fourth inning “appeared to end ... and as SNY went to commercial,” umpire Bill Welke “could be seen calling timeout in the background.” While SNY “came back on the air quickly enough to catch” the next at-bat, TWC customers “were stuck in commercials” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/30).
BIDDING WAR: DAILY VARIETY's Ed Meza reports KirchGroup Founder Leo Kirch's EM.Sports Media is "bidding for the 4.78% of outstanding shares in Constantin Film it doesn't own via its stake in Constantin parent Highlight Communications" (DAILY VARIETY, 5/30).
NOTES: In Miami, Barry Jackson reports the Heat are “speaking with several options about [their] radio rights for next season," including Clear Channel on behalf of WINZ-AM and incumbent rights-holder WIOD-AM, WAXY-AM and WQAM-AM. WAXY is the radio home for both the NHL Panthers and Marlins (MIAMI HERALD, 5/30)....KNTH-AM in Houston has signed on to air WNBA Comets games (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 5/30)....Saturday’s White Sox-Rays game will begin at 6:10pm ET, but Comcast SportsNet Chicago’s coverage will not start until 7:00pm because of Fox’ exclusive national window. The White Sox “asked the Rays to reconsider their start time, but the team said no.” MLB also “rebuffed the Sox’s request for an exception to the exclusivity window” (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 5/30).