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Federer Match Shown On Tape Delay On NBC,
Upsetting Fans Who Want To See It Live
DELAYED REACTION: FANGSBITES.com's Kenny Fang writes, "This was quite maddening to tennis fans who wanted to see the Federer match. ... This is a disservice to fans and an insult to their intelligence. Fans want to see matches live, they don't want to be stuck with tape knowing they can find the results elsewhere" (FANGSBITES.com, 7/1). The BUSINESS INSIDER's Henry Blodget writes under the header, "NBC Sports Wrecks The Wimbledon Quarterfinals Again." Blodget: "The only hope for us fans is that one good match will extend later than 1PM ET when NBC goes off the air and ESPN gets the rights again. Because ESPN will be smart enough to show Wimbledon live" (BUSINESSINSIDER.com, 7/1). Meanwhile, SI.com's Arash Markazi noted, "The tweets regarding NBC and ESPN's handling of their Wimbledon coverage have been classic. As entertaining as the matches in my book" (TWITTER.com, 7/1).
BBC's Exclusive Deal With All England Club
Gives It Rights To Wimbledon Until 2014
ALL AROUND SUCCESS: In London, Burgess & Dixon write the new Centre Court roof is "likely to benefit the All England Club's coffers," as industry figures indicate that the estimated US$41.1M annual TV income "would increase by as much as a quarter if matches were regularly allowed to run later." Matches running until midnight in London would finish at 7:00pm ET in the U.S., "right at the beginning of prime time in the world's biggest television market" (LONDON TIMES, 7/1). Also in London, Cassandra Jardine writes the debut of the roof "must be judged a resounding success." The roof and its lights are the "best new developments in British tennis since women emerged from long skirts." Jardine: "Hooray for [NBC] and the other networks who put pressure on Wimbledon's organisers to cover over. Those who pay to broadcast the matches to 1.8 billion people in 131 countries aren't the only ones who don't enjoy a fortnight of uncertainty" (London TELEGRAPH, 7/1).
TNT’s telecast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Lenox Industrial Tools 301 from New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday earned a 4.1 cable rating and 5.555 million viewers from 1:59-5:45pm ET. The telecast marks the first Sprint Cup race this season to see both year-over-year ratings and viewership gains, up 2.5% and 1.1%, respectively, from last year’s 4.0 cable rating and 5.495 million viewers. The race also was the ninth most-viewed telecast on all of cable for the week of June 22-28. For four Sprint Cup races to date, TNT is averaging a 4.0 cable rating and 5.502 million viewers, down 4.8% and 3.7%, respectively, from a 4.2 rating and 5.715 million viewers last year. Airing up against the Sprint Cup race from 2:10-4:30pm, ESPN’s telecast of the Brazil-U.S. FIFA Confederations Cup final earned a 2.6 cable rating and 3.945 million viewers. The telecast was ESPN’s most-viewed program for the week, and also ranks as the third-largest audience for a U.S. men’s national team match on the net behind two World Cup matches -- Germany-U.S. in ’02 (5.335 million viewers) and U.S.-Colombia in ’94 (4.810 million viewers) (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).TOP FIVE MOST-VIEWED SPORTS TELECASTS
ON CABLE FOR WEEK OF JUNE 22-28DATEPROGRAMNETVIEWERS (000)6/28NASCAR Sprint Cup: Lenox Industrial Tools 500TNT5,5556/28FIFA Confederations Cup Final: Brazil-U.S.ESPN3,9456/28"Sunday Night Baseball": Yankees-MetsESPN3,2836/24College World Series: LSU-Texas: Game ThreeESPN3,1606/25'09 NBA DraftESPN2,639
FLORIDA FUTBOL: In West Palm Beach, Hal Habib notes two of the top four markets nationally for the Confederations Cup final were in South Florida. Miami/Ft. Lauderdale led the nation with a 5.67 local rating for the game, while the West Palm Beach market ranked No. 4 nationally with a 3.65 local rating. The 3.65 rating for West Palm Beach translates to 28,000 HHs out of 779,000 in the market "that receive ESPN" (PALM BEACH POST, 7/1).
HYPE IT UP: In Utah, James Edward writes under the header, "ESPN Hype Tunes Fans In To Soccer." ESPN is the "entity that will benefit most from the U.S. performance in the 2010 World Cup." Soccer's growth in the U.S. "can only benefit from more ESPN coverage, and last week was the perfect storm" (DESERET NEWS, 7/1).
New Partnership Includes Relaunch
Of Manchester City's Web Site
ESPN has relaunched its two-year-old casual games destination ESPNArcade.com with more than 70 games and an expanded advertising and content strategy that includes integration with “SportsCenter.” Among the individual moves within the ESPN Arcade relaunch is a rebranding of its ESPN Cameraman photo game franchise to ESPN Zoom. Within that new brand, ESPN has created “ESPN Zoom: Freeze Frame Edition” for online and mobile play, with the title using photos showcased weekly on “SportsCenter” and carrying Bud Light as a multi-platform sponsor. “We’re seeing this year a big uptick in the interest and activity with casual gaming, presenting us with a big opportunity to get a new set offerings together for both fans and advertisers we think is going to be a lot more compelling and integrated between platforms,” said ESPN VP/Games Raphael Poplock.
TNT NASCAR play-by-play announcer Bill Weber will not be part of the net's coverage of the final two Sprint Cup Series races it has this season. Ralph Sheheen will take over for Weber during the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona Int'l Speedway and the LifeLock.com 400 from Chicagoland Speedway (TNT). THE DALY PLANET notes Weber was "involved in a late night incident last Friday night at the TNT hotel" in Manchester, New Hampshire, that "spilled-over into Weber being sent home by TNT executives on Saturday and now his release from the TV package." The net is being "tight-lipped about the issue and gave no indication whether or not Weber would continue with the network in 2010" (DALYPLANET.BLOGSPOT.com, 7/1).
BRENNAN OUT AT ESPN: In Vermont, Mike Donoghue reported ESPN college basketball studio analyst Tom Brennan "has been cut loose ... after four years." Brennan said that he had "one year left on a three-year contract, but the sports network indicated it was not going to pick up his option." ESPN has been "trimming staff and costs," and Brennan said that he "believed he might get released." Brennan: "I kind of knew that I might not continue. I knew I was on the bubble" (BURLINGTON FREE PRESS, 6/30). AWFUL ANNOUNCING's Brian Powell wrote, "I actually enjoyed Brennan from time to time. ... I suspect he'll go back into coaching, given the lack of College Basketball outlets, but someone should take a flier on him" (AWFULANNOUNCING.com, 6/30).
CABLE CARS: USA Network was the top cable station for primetime during the second quarter, averaging a 2.4 rating and 2.37 million viewers. The NBA Playoffs "helped" TNT finish second with a 2.0 average rating and 1.98 million viewers. Disney Channel, Fox News and a tie between ESPN and Nick at Nite rounded out the top five slots (CABLEFAX DAILY, 7/1).