SBD/Issue 28/Sports MediaPrint All
Buck Receives Praise For Call Of
A-Rod's Home Run In Fifth Inning
Fox' coverage of Yankees-Angels ALCS Game Four last night marked the network's "best use of technology and human talkers yet," from having "replays that showed the umpires terribly wrong three times to Joe Buck's prescient call on Alex Rodriguez's home run" in the fifth inning, according to Diane Pucin of the L.A. TIMES. During Rodriguez' at-bat, Buck said Rodriguez "seems to be picking up the ball REALLY well as he hits one into left, back at the wall ... Rodriguez goes deep and it's 5-0 New York." Pucin noted "on the word 'Really,' Rodriguez clubbed the ball," and it was "as if he and Buck had rehearsed the entire thing" (LATIMES.com, 10/20). On Long Island, Neil Best writes Fox provided "another sharp production, from its excellent shots of the umpires' three blown calls to Joe Buck noting Alex Rodriguez's positive body language seconds before A-Rod's latest home run." The audio between Angels manager Mike Scioscia and the home plate umpire "discussing the positioning of the Angels' catcher was great inside stuff -- especially when it immediately led to a change in Mike Napoli's catching style” (NEWSDAY.com, 10/21). In N.Y., Bob Raissman writes that during Game Four it "seemed Fox cut down its use of the triple split screen, which includes the pitcher, batter and catcher going through the signs." The catcher box is "sponsored, so Fox is making some moolah off a needless distraction" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/21).
CODE OF SILENCE? The DAILY NEWS' Raissman writes Fox "provided clear-cut evidence" of the missed umpire calls during the game, and both Buck and analyst Tim McCarver "acknowledged the mistakes and explained what happened." But while neither have "ever been shy about expressing a strong opinion," when it came to the umpiring last night, a topic that "has received national attention, the Fox voices hit the mute button." Raissman: "Maybe McCarver and Buck just did not want to raise an issue that has to be a tremendous embarrassment to Major League Baseball" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/21).
BEHIND THE SCENES: In Philadelphia, Mike Mazzeo offers an "all-access" look at the TBS "production and broadcast teams" from Monday's Dodgers-Phillies NLCS Game Four. Mazzeo: "Ever wonder how a pregame show gets put on the air? ... Here is what we found out" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 10/21).
Carey Wants Cable Operators
To Start Paying To Carry Fox
ESPN Draws 13.471M Viewers For Broncos-
Chargers "MNF," Up 17.7% From Last Year
SEPTEMBER TO REMEMBER: With the start of the NFL season last month, ESPN posted its best month ever across multiple platforms in September. Move Analytics data indicated that ESPN360.com had its most-viewed month ever, with more than 250% growth in total hours of viewing and a greater than 180% increase in viewers, compared to September '08. comScore data indicated that ESPN.com also logged its best month ever in September -- the site generated nearly 2.2 billion total minutes and 28.8 million unique visitors, up 54% and 21%, respectively, over September '08. ESPN.com's September figures surpass previous all-time highs by 52% and 19%, respectively. Meanwhile, ESPN Mobile visitors for the month were up 82% compared to last year, while streaming audio for ESPNRadio.com reached nearly 8 million hours for the month, up almost 61% from September '08 and beating the previous record set in May '09 by nearly 40% (ESPN).
NET IMPACT: ESPN.com's Gregg Easterbrook wrote the NFL Network's RedZone Channel is a "fabulous product," and it "raises some puzzling conundrums." The channel is a "huge missed opportunity for Fox and CBS," as each net "had the opportunity to whip viewers around to highlights of other games, but rarely did so." Not enough households receive Red Zone Channel "to assess its ratings impact," but Easterbrook wrote it is his guess that once the channel is "widely seen, many football viewers will prefer it to what's on the regular NFC and AFC broadcasts -- especially when the local affiliate chooses to show some awful woofer and a hot game is in progress elsewhere" (ESPN.com, 10/20).
NEEDS COACHING: SPORTINGNEWS.com's Dan Levy wrote "MNF" analyst Jon Gruden is "totally unnecessary," and Levy blames "coach speak." Gruden during his pregame opening during Monday's Broncos-Chargers game utilized coach speak, and Levy wrote he understands it is "not easy to talk on live television, but this is the standup they can prepare days in advance" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 10/20).
Versus is averaging 313,000 viewers through its first eight NHL game telecasts this season, up 18.6% from 264,000 viewers through the first eight games last year. This season's telecasts on the net began with two primetime games in the U.S. on October 1 which averaged 417,000 viewers. Last year's season began with two Sunday afternoon telecasts of games being held in Europe, which averaged 112,000 viewers. This year's Europe games were played on a Friday afternoon (October 2), averaging 189,000 viewers. The Capitals-Bruins season-opening telecast averaged 501,000 viewers. For the '08-09 season, only three telecasts on Versus topped a half-million viewers.'09-10 NHL RATINGS, VIEWERSHIP ON VERSUS TO DATEDATEGAMECABLE RATINGVIEWERS (000)10/1Capitals-Bruins0.550110/1
Sharks-Avalanche0.433210/2 Panthers-Blackhawks*0.110010/2 Blues-Red Wings**0.327810/5 Rangers-Devils0.326910/6 Capitals-Flyers0.440510/12 Flames-Blackhawks0.217710/13 Red Wings-Sabres0.5467
NOTES: * = Game was played in Helsinki, Finland. ** = Game was played in Stockholm, Sweden.
FSN Utah Will Broadcast Record 77 Jazz
Games This Season, All In HD
McHale Joining NBA TV's
Tuesday Night "Fan Night" Crew
BACK BEHIND THE MIC: In Minneapolis, Judd Zulgad notes McHale will make his debut next Tuesday on Opening Night, when NBA TV will “carry a two-hour studio show, leading into TNT’s coverage” of Celtics-Cavaliers. McHale has “previous broadcasting experience, having spent two seasons working on Wolves telecasts before taking over day-to-day basketball operations” in ’95 (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 10/21). McHale said, “It will be fun and keep me busy; I’m looking forward to it. They (Turner) are great people and have been fun to get to know.” It is unclear how long McHale will continue broadcasting (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 10/21).
McHale, fired in the spring as T'Wolves coach, will also make occasional appearances on TNT’s NBA studio show. McHale on the “Fan Night” show will replace Gary Payton and Johnson replaces Ahmad Rashad, who will see his role at NBA Digital shift somewhat to creating more feature and behind-the-scenes programming (Fisher).
(l to r) Bodenheimer, Gifford, Goodell
And Tirico Attend B&C HOF Ceremony
ESPN Suspends Phillips One
Week After Admitting Affair
KING OF THE COURT: In N.Y., Howard Beck reports Championist.com ranks the NBA's "top Twitter users," and Cavaliers C Shaquille O'Neal is the "undisputed king of NBA Twitterdom, with more than 2.4 million followers -- twice as many as his closest rival," Magic C Dwight Howard. Celtics F Paul Pierce is the "only other member of the million-follower club from the NBA, with 1.24 million." Lakers F Lamar Odom ranks fourth on the list with 201,781 followers, followed by Lakers G Derek Fisher at No. 5 with 149,354 followers (N.Y. TIMES, 10/21).
NUMBERS GAME: The GLOBE & MAIL's Grant Robertson writes a "new method for tracking TV ratings has shaken up the television sector" in Canada, and sports "has emerged as a big winner." Randomly selected viewers "now carry pager-like devices on their hips," and Canada's three biggest sports networks -- TSN, Rogers Sportsnet and The Score -- "have each seen ratings jumps of about" 50%. Score Media President & CEO John Levy "believes this is because the pagers are better at counting groups of people at home or in bars where the audio signal is loud enough to be detected." Levy: "In addition to being more accurate, we're getting out-of-home viewing in these ratings. It has allowed us to vary our rates a little bit. We did take them up as a result" (GLOBE & MAIL, 10/21).