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Emelianenko(l), Rogers (r) Will Headline CBS'
Live Primetime Strikeforce MMA Event
READY FOR THE CHALLENGE: SHERDOG.com's Jake Rossen noted the November 7 event is just a "week ahead of UFC 105, a Spike broadcast, and two weeks ahead of both boxing's" Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto bout and UFC 106. Rossen: "Maybe Strikeforce is gambling that the UFC won’t have the resources to assemble a show to create three consecutive weeks of programming. ... This leaves the UFC to counter in what they’ve clearly defined as an adversarial relationship with the network: minimal effort means some repackaged shows on Spike" (SHERDOG.com, 9/17).
BLITZ ATTACK: In Jacksonville, Garry Smits reports Versus has "launched a media blitz" including a half-page ad in the Florida Times-Union Friday and a "blizzard of radio spots in Tallahassee." The ads "make it clear that the FSU-BYU game won't be available to DirecTV subscribers, and an 800 number is provided that, when called, gives a recorded message criticizing DirecTV for dropping Versus" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 9/18). In Utah, Scott Pierce notes fans "want to blame the Mountain West Conference for the Versus-DirecTV breakdown," and that "ought to trouble the league." It is "more evidence of the lingering resentment over the league's TV situation." Pierce: "I'm not for a moment suggesting the criticism is correct. But it is indicative of a deeper problem that never seems to end" (DESERET NEWS, 9/18). Meanwhile, in K.C., Blair Kerkhoff reports the Big 12 "isn't happy" that DirecTV customers will not see Saturday's Duke-Kansas football game on Versus. Big 12 Senior Associate Commissioner Tim Allen: "Obviously we hope they resolve it. Candidly, while it may not be convenient there are opportunities to find the games elsewhere" (K.C. STAR, 9/18).
WHAT'S COOLER THAN COOL? Davis noted that getting Versus back on DirecTV by October 1 for the start of the '09-10 NHL season "isn't looking particularly promising." Davis: "The two sides are now talking again, and that's a good sign. I'm hoping for an amicable solution, but right now I would have to say that DirecTV is insistent in not budging off this distribution issue. If they stay the way they are, I do not believe this will ... be solved prior to Oct. 1, unfortunately." YAHOO SPORTS' Greg Wyshynski wrote the NHL "may have to become a more active player in this dispute as time runs short." Davis said, "The NHL is very squarely behind us. And remember, DirecTV pulled us off the air" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 9/17).
FoxSports.com Vows Nothing Is Off Limits
For Its New Weekly Online Show "Cubed"
A DIFFERENT APPROACH: USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand reports FoxSports.com on Friday is set to debut "Inside Call," allowing viewers to "see Fox NFL studio analysts such as Terry Bradshaw and Jimmy Johnson, at home and using webcams, talk to producers about Sunday's coverage." The online shows, "while being TV-like, wouldn't necessarily work on TV." For instance, "Cubed" is a "change of pace for the Fox Sports brand." But Fox Sports Chair David Hill said that viewers "simply have to remember the difference between TV ... and online -- 'where people have clicked on of their own volition and there's intimacy'" (USA TODAY, 9/18).
By Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor
The chart below lists final Nielsen ratings from recent sports telecasts (THE DAILY).TELECASTDATENETTIMERATING"NFL on Fox": Redskins-Giants (85%)9/13Fox4:36-7:37pm14.8"Sunday Night Football": Bears-Packers9/13NBC8:32-11:48pm12.6NFL Kickoff: Titans-Steelers9/10NBC8:41-11:50pm12.8"NFL on Fox": (regional)9/13Fox1:03-4:36pm8.6
NFL on CBS: (regional)9/13CBS1:03-4:28pm7.1 "The OT"9/13Fox7:30-8:00pm6.8 NCAA Football: Notre Dame-Michigan9/12ABC3:30-7:23pm5.2 "Football Night In America"9/13NBC7:30-8:15pm5.1 NASCAR Sprint Cup: Chevy Rock & Roll 4009/12ABC7:47-11:30pm3.5 "Fox NFL Sunday "9/13Fox12:00-1:03pm3.5 "The NFL Today"9/13CBS12:00-1:03pm2.6 U.S. Open: Men's Semifinals: Federer-Djokovic9/13CBS4:28-7:25pm2.6 PGA Tour: BMW Championship: Final Round9/13NBC2:00-6:02pm2.3 U.S. Open: Women's Semifinals: Clijsters-S. Williams9/12CBS9:18-11:12pm2.1 PGA Tour: BMW Championship: Third Round9/12NBC3:00-6:02pm2.1 MLB: (regional)9/12Fox4:07-7:30pm1.2 U.S. Open: Men's Quarterfinals, Rainout coverage9/12CBS12:00-6:00pm0.9TELECASTDATENETTIMEU.S.CABLEVIEWERS (000)NCAA Football:
USC-Ohio State9/12ESPN7:50-11:36pm6.37.310,586NCAA Football:
Miami-Florida State9/7ESPN8:00-11:56pm5.15.98,406NCAA Football:
"Sunday NFL Countdown"9/13ESPN11:00am-1:00pm2.12.42,945 NCAA Football:
U.S. Open: Men's,
U.S. Open: Men's Fourth
Round, Women's Quarterfinals9/8ESPN27:00pm-12:05am1.51.72,128
READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL: Fox' Week One national game featuring Redskins-Giants was up 13.8% in ratings and 20.1% in viewership from a 13.0 and 20.9 million viewers for the comparable national window featuring Cowboys-Browns last year. The telecast also posted increases over last year across all key adult and male demos, and marked the highest-rated opening Sunday game since '87 and the most-viewed opening Sunday game since tracking began in '81. Fox' early window, featuring either Cowboys-Buccaneers or Vikings-Browns in most markets, was up 68.6% over a 5.1 in Week One last year, and marks the highest-rated Week One early window game since an 8.7 in '01. Meanwhile, "Fox NFL Sunday" was up 13% in ratings over last year while ratings for "The OT" were up 17.2% (Fox)....The Chargers-Raiders "MNF" telecasts in the San Diego market, which was carried on ESPN and the local CBS affiliate, marked the fourth-highest rated regular-season Chargers telecast in the market in the past decade (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 9/18)....KHOU-CBS earned a 14.3 local rating in Houston for Jets-Texans, the "lowest home audience" in the NFL for opening week (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 9/18).
GONE BUT NOT FAVRE-GOTTEN: WITI-Fox earned a 19.5 local rating in the Milwaukee market for the Vikings-Browns game, marking the highest-rated regular-season non-Packers game on the network since a 27.5 for Cowboys-Redskins in December '07. Meanwhile, WTMJ-NBC drew a 41.5 local rating in Milwaukee for Bears-Packers "Sunday Night Football," higher than any Packers game last season except for a 45.5 for the Vikings-Packers season opener in September '08 (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 9/16).
YES WE CAN: YES Network is averaging a 4.74 local rating for Yankees telecasts this season through Wednesday night, up 10% over the same period last year. The Yankees pregame show is up 29% over last year, the postgame show is up 7% and "Yankees Batting Practice Today" is up 33%. YesNetwork.com page views also have increased 270% over the same period last year. Meanwhile, from May 27-September 11, primetime Yankees telecasts on YES ranked No. 1 in key demos in the N.Y. DMA 42 of 45 nights (YES).
Carton Says Average Fan Will Always
Think Yankees Tickets Are Overpriced
Q: What are your listeners' reactions to the Yankees freezing or lowering most season-ticket prices for next year? Do listeners feel that they are still overpriced?
Carton: The average fan is always going to think they are overpriced. I think the fact that the Yankees recognized that and are trying to remedy the bad PR that they got was perceived well. But if you go from $1,000 a ticket to $600 a ticket, you're not including many more people in your potential pool of buyers. It was not met with an avalanche of reaction one way or the other.
Q: Along similar lines, how do listeners feel about the Yankees' playoff ticket pricing structure?
Carton: Well, like most successful, popular teams, the majority of those tickets go to season-ticket holders, so you're talking about probably less than 1% of the Yankee fan base that can get their hands on playoff tickets. But when you're the Beatles, you're Elvis, and you have tickets people want, why shouldn't you be able to set the marketplace?
Q: Have the Yankees lost fans because of their ticketing practices in the new ballpark?
Carton: The blue-collar fan base is certainly not going to as many games, but that's probably across the board in all sports right now. No one's going to say, "Oh, I'm not rooting for the Yankees anymore." They just may not get to go to as many games, which stinks, but it's a sad reality of sports, not just the Yankees.
Q: Do listeners tend to react positively or negatively to the new Yankee Stadium hosting non-baseball events like a possible college bowl game?
Carton: Listeners want a World Series championship. They don't care if Notre Dame's playing a game there. They don't care if the NHL does their Winter Classic there in two years. Right now, the only thing people care about is, can the Yankees win a World Series? And everything else doesn't exist.
Download podcasts of "Boomer & Carton" here.
CBS this season will stream its entire SEC football schedule live on CBSSports.com, beginning with Saturday's Tennessee-Florida game. The games will be offered free of charge and will include a live chat feature, video preview segments and on-demand highlights throughout the game (CBS). Meanwhile, the Big Ten Network (BTN) will stream at least 200 live events on its Web site this college sports season, doubling its commitment to several Olympic sports (BTN).
Writer Says John Henry's Blog On
NESN.com Worth A Bookmark
LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD: Score Media Inc. in partnership with Gillette will debut a new TV series titled "Gillette Drafted: The Search for Canada's Next Sportscaster," Monday at 11:30pm ET on The Score. The program's winner will earn a one-year contract with Score Media to become a multi-platform sportscaster, contributing to The Score, theScore.com and ScoreMobile. The winner also will receive a one-year spokesperson contract with Gillette (Score Media).
NOTES: Westchester Journal News Yankees beat writer Peter Abraham wrote he is leaving the paper after nearly 10 years to work for the Boston Globe. Abraham will be covering baseball and the Red Sox and blogging for Boston.com (LHBLOGS.com, 9/17)....San Diego's XEPRS-AM has hired former KLSD-AM radio host Lee Hamilton to "host a four-hour talk show every weekday" from 3:00-7:00pm PT beginning October 5. XEPRS will be the third area station to "host Hamilton's show over the past two decades" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 9/18).