SBD/Issue 49/Sports Media

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  • Sunday's Grey Cup Moves TSN Closer To The CBC For Sports In Canada

     
    Sunday's broadcast of the Grey Cup, which matches the Calgary Stampeders against the Montreal Alouettes at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, will rank as the "biggest and most important event that TSN has covered" and will "confirm TSN as the dominant sports cable channel" in Canada, according to William Houston of the GLOBE & MAIL. The game marks the net's first Grey Cup broadcast and may move TSN "closer to the CBC as a leading carrier of high-end sports programming." However, there "might be some anxiety as well," as "nobody is really sure how well TSN will do with viewership." Houston notes the two teams are "not a strong matchup for English-language television," and wonders if the audience will be "comparable to what the CBC produced over the years." The CBC drew audiences of "more than three million" for its coverage of the Grey Cup in past years, and it "helped a great deal that it was available in 13 million Canadian households." But TSN reaches "only nine million homes" (GLOBE & MAIL, 11/17). The GLOBE & MAIL's Jennifer Wells notes TSN has "sold out all of the game's commercial time, which runs to 12 minutes an hour for a minimum three hours." TSN President Phil King would not comment on ad rates generally nor say what last-minute spots sold for, but Wells notes it "could be that the total dollar tally this year surpasses that of the CBC." The CBC last year "charged anywhere from [C$45,000-65,000] for a 30-second spot." CFL Senior VP/Marketing & Commercial Assets Rob Assimakopoulos "believes the current economic malaise has favoured the league" in promoting the Grey Cup. Assimakopoulos: "In times of crisis people tend to gravitate toward authentic, familiar, tried-and-true brands, and what we're finding is there's a sentiment favouring the [CFL] because of its longevity, because of its familiarity" (GLOBE & MAIL, 11/21).

    LACKING BUZZ: The GLOBE & MAIL's Houston reports the media contingent covering the Grey Cup "will be the smallest in years." Editors and reporters said that the decisions not to send staff to cover the game "were based strictly on the economic downturn and the financial problems bedevilling newspapers." Vancouver Province sports editor Jonathan McDonald: "It was hard for me to disagree with the decision. I think that about 550 people at (Province owner) Canwest are going to lose their jobs in the next little while. I'd sound really pathetic if I thought it was all about us" (GLOBE & MAIL, 11/21). The CP's Andy Blatchford reported even with the hometown Alouettes in the Grey Cup, Montreal's most popular daily, Le Journal de Montreal, featured "only six pages" of CFL news Thursday. Instead, the Canadiens are "dominating the city's newspapers," as the first 10 pages of the sports section Thursday focused on the Canadiens and Saturday night's Bruins-Canadiens game, at which Hockey HOFer Patrick Roy's jersey will be retired (CP, 11/20).

    RATINGS NOTES: The GLOBE & MAIL's Houston reported TSN drew 716,000 viewers for last Saturday's Alouettes-Eskimos East Division Final at 1:00pm ET, down 33% from 1.066 million viewers for the CBC's coverage of the Blue Bombers-Argonauts East Division Final last year. TSN drew 1.045 million viewers for last Saturday's Stampeders-Lions West Division Final at 4:30pm, down 34% from 1.571 million viewers for the CBC's coverage of Roughriders-Lions last year. French-language net RDS drew 516,000 viewers for Alouettes-Eskimos, up 319.5% from 123,000 viewers in '07 (GLOBE & MAIL, 11/18).

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  • People & Personalities: Longtime SI Scribe McCallum Takes Buyout

    ESPN.com's Henry Abbott reports Sports Illustrated NBA writer Jack McCallum "has accepted a buyout" from the magazine after 27 years with the publication. McCallum: "Whenever anybody 'takes a buyout,' it sounds like code for being pushed out the door. But that isn't the case. It was just the right time for me." McCallum added he would still contribute to the magazine on occasion (ESPN.com, 11/21)....Chicago Tribune sports columnist Mike Downey is leaving the paper after five years (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 11/21).

    Writer Thinks Knight Should Wear Suit
    And "Pay Attention To The Discussion"
    KNIGHT MOVES: ESPN college basketball analyst Bob Knight made his season debut Tuesday night during "College GameDay," and SI.com's Nina Mandell offered Knight a "couple of helpful pointers" for his appearances. Mandell wrote Knight should wear a suit instead of just a sweater, noting, "Think of it as showing up to the game in uniform." Also, when "you're on camera, look like you want to be there. Pay attention to the discussion, not whatever you were staring at off camera" (FANNATION.com, 11/19). But SPORTING NEWS' Will Leitch writes Knight is "deliriously entertaining," and it is like "watching Marv Albert suddenly come on court and start diagramming triangle-and-two defenses" (SPORTING NEWS, 11/24 issue). Meanwhile, AWFUL ANNOUNCING's Brian Powell wrote he was "extremely impressed" with ESPN's basketball version of "GameDay." Rece Davis is a "great host," analyst Hubert Davis is "improving [and] Bob Knight actually seemed to be enjoying himself" (AWFULANNOUNCING.com, 11/20).

    STEPPING UP TO THE PLATE: MLB Net analyst Joe Magrane, who this week signed with the net after 11 seasons as the Rays' TV analyst, said his responsibilities will range from doing "some studio analyst work to doing work with the World Baseball Classic." When asked about MLB Net's other hires, Magrane, a former MLBer, said, "There are one or two names that I either have worked with or played with, and it certainly makes it more attractive to know how much of a commitment is going into this." Magrane added he was "completely happy" working with the Rays, but "this was a new challenge. I thought it was a ... leap of faith worth taking" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 11/21).

    Mendoza To Serve As Sideline Reporter
    During Cal-Stanford Football Game
    SWITCHING SPORTS: In L.A., Tom Hoffarth reports U.S. national softball team OF Jessica Mendoza Saturday will serve as a sideline reporter for ABC/ESPN's coverage of the Cal-Stanford football game. Mendoza previously has covered college softball and volleyball for ESPN and is "considering more college basketball reporting as well." Mendoza: "ESPN has been great with teaching me a lot of different areas, and it was their idea for me to explore sideline reporting in college football" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 11/21).

    LOSING HIS VOICE: In St. Louis, Dan Caesar reports KFNS-AM has suspended sports personality Bob Ramsey, with pay, for "possible breach of contract." Ramsey's contract with the station runs through the end of the year, but he is announcing St. Louis Univ. men's basketball games for WMVN-FM. WMVN in January plans to begin a sports-talk format in partnership with KSLG-AM, and Ramsey is "said to be in line to become" one of the station's hosts. KFNS Program Dir Dave Greene: "Bob will not be back on the air with us. Period. In all of my years I have never dealt with a situation that has been handled more unprofessionally than the way Bob went about this" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 11/21).

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  • Final Nielsen Ratings From Recent Sports Events

    The following lists final Nielsen ratings from recent sports events (THE DAILY).

    SHOW
    DATE
    NET
    TIME
    RAT/SHR
    "College Football Countdown"
    11/15
    ABC
    3:00-3:30pm
    0.7/-
    NCAA Football: (regional)
    11/15
    ABC
    3:30-7:04pm
    3.1/7
    NCAA Football: (regional)
    11/15
    ABC
    8:08-11:39pm
    3.0/5
    NCAA Football: Notre Dame-Navy
    11/15
    CBS
    12:00-3:37pm
    1.9/5
    NCAA Football: Florida-South Carolina
    11/15
    CBS
    3:37-7:08pm
    3.3/7
    "Jeep World of Adventure" (taped)
    11/15
    NBC
    2:30-4:00pm
    0.4/1
    Golf: Kiwi Challenge: Third Round (taped)
    11/15
    NBC
    4:00-6:00pm
    0.7/2
    "NASCAR Countdown"
    11/16
    ABC
    3:00-3:44pm
    1.0/-
    NASCAR Sprint Cup: Ford 400
    11/16
    ABC
    3:44-8:00pm
    4.0/7
    "The NFL Today"
    11/16
    CBS
    12:00-1:00pm
    3.4/8
    "The NFL on CBS": (regional)
    11/16
    CBS
    1:03-4:03pm
    8.1/17
    "The NFL on CBS": Chargers-Steelers (65%)
    11/16
    CBS
    4:15-7:28pm
    12.1/23
    "Fox NFL Sunday"
    11/16
    Fox
    12:00-1:00pm
    3.0/8
    "The NFL on Fox": (regional)
    11/16
    Fox
    1:03-4:27pm
    10.7/23
    Figure Skating: Family Tribute on Ice (taped)
    11/16
    NBC
    2:00-4:00pm
    0.7/1
    Golf: Kiwi Challenge: Final Round (taped)
    11/16
    NBC
    4:00-6:00pm
    0.7/1
    "Football Night in America"
    11/16
    NBC
    7:30-8:15pm
    4.3/-
    "Sunday Night Football": Cowboys-Redskins
    11/16
    NBC
    8:24-11:10pm
    11.6/18
    SHOW
    DATE
    NET
    TIME
    U.S. AREA
    COV. AREA
    VIEWERS (000)
    "Monday Night Countdown"
    11/10
    ESPN
    7:00-8:30pm
    1.6
    1.9
    2,429
    "Monday Night Football":
    49ers-Cardinals
    11/10
    ESPN
    8:30pm-12:09am
    7.6
    8.9
    11,870
    NCAA Football:
    Virginia Tech-Miami
    11/13
    ESPN
    7:30-10:44pm
    1.8
    2.1
    2,692
    "Thursday Night Football":
    Jets-Patriots
    11/13
    NFLN
    8:16-11:44pm
    2.7
    7.5
    4,411
    NBA: Pistons-Lakers
    11/14
    ESPN
    10:36pm-1:08am
    1.8
    2.1
    2,680
    "College GameDay"
    11/15
    ESPN
    10:00am-12:01pm
    1.4
    1.6
    2,030
    NCAA Football: Ohio State-Illinois
    11/15
    ESPN
    12:01-3:12pm
    2.2
    2.5
    3,249
    NCAA Football:
    Mississippi State-Alabama
    11/15
    ESPN
    7:41-10:52pm
    2.8
    3.3
    4,955
    NASCAR Nationwide Series:
    Ford 300
    11/15
    ESPN2
    4:30-7:45pm
    1.5
    1.7
    2,097
    "NFL Countdown"
    11/16
    ESPN
    11:00am-1:00pm
    1.8
    2.1
    2,579

    SEEING GREEN: Comcast SportsNet New England this season is averaging a 3.4 HH rating for Celtics game telecasts, and the net earned a 10.2 HH rating in the Boston market for the final quarter-hour of the November 12 Hawks-Celtics game. Meanwhile, ad revenue for the net has increased 40% from Q4 last year (BOSTON HERALD, 11/20).

    SATURDAY NIGHT'S ALRIGHT : Versus earned a 1.0 cable rating and 1.032 million viewers for last Saturday's USC-Stanford college football game, marking the net's most-viewed college football game ever. The net drew a 3.0 HH rating in the S.F.-Oakland-San Jose market, making Versus the top-rated net in the market for the 7:00-10:30pm ET time period. Versus also earned a 2.8 HH rating in L.A., making the net the top-rated cable net and the fourth-highest rated network overall in the market for the time period (Versus)....ESPN earned a 1.8/6 cable rating in the 18-49 demo and 4.96 million viewers for last Saturday's Mississippi State-Alabama game (DAILY VARIETY, 11/19).

    CHEESE DISH: WITI-Fox in Milwaukee earned a 36.5/65 HH rating for last Sunday's Bears-Packers game, marking the third-highest rating for a Packers game this season (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 11/19)

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  • Blog Hound: Bloggers Praise Decision To Hand Yankees To Hal

    Bloggers discuss the MLB owners' approval of Hal Steinbrenner as the new designated control executive for the Yankees.

    YanksBlog.com
    Posted by: Seamus  
    “This doesn't really change anything. … It feels kind of strange, though, to see such a prominent figure fade away so quickly, yet so quietly.”
    Peter’s Red Sox Forever
    Posted by: Peter N
    “I never liked George but I admit he did a good job with the team after he purchased it for a ridiculously low price. He brought (with tons of money) world championships and [drove] attendance through the roof.”
    Backwards K
    Posted by: backwardsk
    “With this subtle move, it seemingly ensures that Hank doesn’t ever take full control of the Yankees, which would be perfectly fine with me. … Given his father’s love of the Yankees, I trust Hal will be a good steward for the world’s most famous franchise.”
    Rivera’s Cutter
    Posted by: admin
    "So for those worrying that Hank would become his father circa the 80’s, fear not.  And those who are hoping the Yankees of the 80’s are returning, well, too bad. I’ve said it before: Hank is just a quote machine.  That’s it.”
    The Bad News Bloggers
    Posted by: J. Galligan
    "It didn't take Hal long to act. After offering C.C. Sabathia a contract, Hal threatened not to take flack from anyone. … And with that, the new Yankees era seems an awful lot like the old one. The Yankees won't play second fiddle (or 2nd choice) to the Dodgers or anybody.”

    SportsMedia Challenge's BuzzManager analyzed online discussion surrounding Hal Steinbrenner taking over control of the Yankees from his father, George Steinbrenner. Visit www.SportsBusinessDaily.com for more info on this topic. See more info on this topic.

    • The Buzz ranked 6 out of 10, a topic of a medium level of interest among sports bloggers.
    • Bloggers in the positive category (61.29%) praised the move. They trust Hal to be a good steward of the franchise, more so than his outspoken brother Hank. They like that Hal is more quiet and reserved than Hank and perceived as more professional. They also felt that Hal has spent much more time with the team than Hank recently, making him the logical choice and the best for the organization.
    • Bloggers in the negative category (9.68%) were few. Some were fans of other MLB teams taking the opportunity to be negative about the Yankees.
    • Bloggers in the neutral category (29.03%) mentioned the announcement without expressing an opinion. Many note that this change has really only given him a new title, because George had already taken a much more hands off role and had all but handed the organization over to his sons already.

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  • What's The Frequency?

    THE DAILY presents "What's The Frequency?" which highlights the subjects being discussed this week on sports talk radio shows across the U.S. The following chart lists some of those topics. Local stations are listed in order of market size.

    NATIONAL SHOWS
    Sirius XM Mad Dog Radio (2-7pm ET) “Mad Dog Unleashed”
    Yankees' offer to CC Sabathia; College football preview including Texas Tech-Oklahoma and Michigan-Ohio State; Mike Mussina retires only 30 wins from 300; What are the big time college football/basketball programs?
    Sirius NFL Radio (3-7pm ET) “Movin’ The Chains”
    Controversial ending to Chargers-Steelers game; Adam Jones reinstated by NFL; Edgerrin James wants Cardinals to release him; Fines for late hits on QBs around NFL; Week 12 preview
    XM MLB Home Plate (3-6pm ET) “The Show” with Rob Dibble & Kevin Kennedy
    Mike Mussina retires; Albert Pujols names NL MVP; Dustin Pedroia named AL MVP; Red Sox-Royals Coco Crisp-Ramon Ramirez trade
    MARKET – STATION
    SHOW
    Boston – WWZN “The Young Guns”
    Patriots set for a rematch with Dolphins; Will Dolphins use Wildcat offense effectively against Patriots?; Former NFL Bill Romanowski joins the show to talk football; Will Red Sox break the bank this offseason to sign Mark Teixeira or A.J. Burnett? 
    Detroit – WXYT “Valenti & Foster”
    Can Pistons challenge Celtics?; Is 0-16 inevitable for Lions?; Worst year in Univ. of Michigan football history; Bigger upset if Michigan State beats Penn State or if Michigan beats Ohio State?; Should Lions hire Patriots VP/Player Personnel Scott Pioli?
    Phoenix – KDUS “Calling All Sports With Roc & Manuch”
    Cardinals set for big game at home against Giants; Arizona State men's basketball starts 2-0; Shaquille O'Neal vs. Kobe Bryant in Suns-Lakers game; Randy Johnson will not get his 300th win in a D'Backs uniform
    Seattle – KJR “The Gas Man”
    Mariners hire Don Wakamatsu as new manager; Apple Cup is worst matchup ever between teams in BCS conference; Seahawks lose to Cardinals and reign atop NFC West is over; Washington forms football coach search group and begins interview process
    Minneapolis – KFAN “The Chad Hartman Show”
    Vikings-Buccaneers in review -- Why was Adrian Peterson not in the game at the end?; Vikings-Jaguars preview -- Mike Tice faces old team; Minnesota-Wisconsin football review; Minnesota football set for last game at Metrodome; Wild and Marian Gaborik kerfuffle; Kevin Garnett back in town Friday for Celtics-T'Wolves
    Miami – WAXY “The Dan Le Batard Show”
    Dolphins 6-4 heading into home game against Patriots; Can the Titans run the table?; Miami football and the ACC race; MLB free agency underway
    Pittsburgh – WBGG “Joe Bendel Show”
    Unhappy fan writes e-mail to Browns Senior VP & GM Phil Savage, then both sides apologize; Steelers beat Chargers and face Bengals without Chad Ocho Cinco; Penguins winning streak ends against Wild; Pittsburgh football faces Cincinnati for Big East lead, Bowl bids
    Charlotte – WFNZ “Prime Time With The Packman”
    Are Panthers an NFL factor or fraud at 8-2?;  Bobcats continue to struggle; College hoops preview; College football coaching rumors; Jimmie Johnson's place in NASCAR history
    Indianapolis – WFNI "Kravitz & Eddie "
    Ball State football at 11-0 -- can they crash the BCS?; Colts riding three-game winning streak; Tom Crean and Indiana men's basketball off to a 2-0 start

    Want to add your own Frequency? Contact Preston Bounds at pbounds@sportsbusinessdaily.com.

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  • Media Notes

     
    In L.A., Diane Pucin reports there is a "new cellphone web browser that can be downloaded called Skyfire that enables Windows-based and certain Nokia model cellphones to pick up streaming video, including NFL Network games on Thursday nights and NBC games on Sunday nights." The NFL recently had announced a "deal to allow Sprint to offer its wireless customers" the NFL Net telecasts. NFL VP/Corporate Communications Brian McCarthy said of the Skyfire application, "We are exploring our legal options in regards to several different platforms." Skyfire VP Tracy Demiroz said that she is "unaware of any legal concerns the NFL might have" (L.A. TIMES, 11/21).

    MORE BCS FALLOUT: The AP's Tim Dahlberg wrote under the header, "BCS Sells Out; We Pay Price." The BCS, in selling its rights to ESPN beginning in January 2011, "sold out more than 15 million U.S. households," and they "did it for the money." Dahlberg: "It's just business as usual, and the business in this case is college football, which long ago gave up the pretense of being anything other than a big money factory for the schools that play it. Can't afford cable or satellite TV? Too bad, but you're not the demographic advertisers want watching anyway" (AP, 11/19). But in Orlando, Dave Darling writes the ESPN/BCS partnership is "not a bad deal for college football and its fans." No network has "more resources and can devote more time to covering this sport than ESPN" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 11/21).

    Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia To Re-Air
    Key Games From Phillies' World Series Run
    PHILLIE PHEVER: In Philadelphia, Paul Vigna reported 45 Phillies games next season will be televised on WPHL-MYT as part of a three-year deal. The net also will air three Spring Training games next year (PHILLY.com, 11/19)....Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia beginning December 9 will replay games from the Phillies' run to the World Series title this season. The series, "Miracle on Broad Street: 2008 Phillies Championship Journey," begins with the September 27 Nationals-Phillies game. The net will re-air six games in total (CSN).

    END OF THE LINE: MSG Media President Mike Bair said that MSG Network's nightly "MSG, NY" will no longer "exist in its current form, effective at the end of the calendar year." On Long Island, Neil Best reported the program "will be 'repurposed' as something more closely resembling a traditional postgame show and generally will appear only on nights the Knicks and/or Rangers play." Bair said that the show will cover "more than just those two teams, including other local hockey teams on Rangers game nights." Best wrote the show was an "unusual blend of sports and entertainment, primarily focused" on MSG events. Bair said that he does "not anticipate job losses of MSG staff." Meanwhile, MSG also will cancel its weekly "Hockey Night Live" (NEWSDAY, 11/20).

    NOTHING NEW: SPORTINGNEWS.com's Dave Larzelere writes three episodes into its "highly publicized run," ESPN.com's original online series "Mayne Street" is charting the "heavily trodden path of many bland sitcoms that have come before." The principal characters are a "collection of network comedy archetypes straight out of central casting" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 11/20).

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