SBD/Issue 43/Sports Media

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  • ESPN's Steelers-Broncos Second-Most Viewed "MNF" Game In '09

    Steelers-Broncos "MNF" Game Trails Only
    Packers-Vikings Telecast In Viewers
    ESPN earned an 11.5 cable rating and 16.002 million viewers for Steelers-Broncos "MNF," marking the second-most viewed program on cable TV in '09, trailing only the net's October 5 Packers-Vikings "MNF" telecast, which earned a 15.3 rating and 21.839 million viewers. Steelers-Broncos also ranks as the fifth-most viewed telecast in cable history, and the game helped ESPN win the night Monday among all broadcast and cable networks in all key male demos and adults 18-34. Steelers-Broncos was up 13% in ratings and viewership from the comparable Steelers-Redskins "MNF" game last season. ESPN is now averaging a 10.6 rating and 14.573 million viewers through 10 telecasts this season, up 16% and 18%, respectively, from this point last season. The 10 telecasts also represent cable's 10 biggest audiences this year (THE DAILY).

    FOX TROT: DAILY VARIETY's Rick Kissell writes World Series Games Five and Six last week "carried Fox to another demo victory" in adults 18-49, the network's "record fifth victory in the fall." Fox "has assumed a lead for the season that it is unlikely to relinquish" in the demo. CBS "benefited a bit from an NFL overrun on Sunday" to finish second behind Fox in adults 25-54 and "won again in total viewers, two categories it leads for the season as well." But NBC's Cowboys-Eagles "SNF" telecast "emerged as the top demo draw overall" last week, as the telecast earned an 8.5 rating in adults 18-49 and 21.88 million total viewers, marking the "second best numbers for any 'SNF' game this fall" (DAILY VARIETY, 11/11).

    LACKING A CHARGE: SPORTS MEDIA WATCH wrote after two weeks of “massive ratings” for the national Sunday afternoon broadcast, CBS' national broadcast of Chargers-Giants to 87% of the country on Sunday drew the "second-lowest numbers of the season." The game earned an 11.8 rating and 19.3 million viewers on CBS, down 18% and 17%, respectively, from a 14.3 rating and 23.3 million viewers for the comparable Cowboys-Giants Week Nine game on Fox last year. Chargers-Giants stands as the "second-lowest rated, second-least viewed NFL national game of the season, behind only Steelers-Bengals in Week 3, also on CBS.” This is “only the second time this season that the national game has drawn fewer than 20 million viewers” (, 11/10).

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  • NASCAR Moving Awards Banquet To Speed To Have A Live Broadcast

    Speed Will Broadcast This Year's Sprint Cup
    Series Awards Banquet Live
    NASCAR officials confirmed that Speed "will now broadcast the Sprint Cup Series' annual awards banquet" instead of ESPN on December 4, according to Jim Utter of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER. NASCAR asked for the banquet, which is being held at the Wynn Las Vegas, "to be moved off an ESPN network" after the net indicated it was "not going to be able to air the event ... live." NASCAR Dir of Corporate Communications Ramsey Poston: "Either partner would have done a great job with the Awards Ceremony but Speed could schedule it as a live broadcast and ultimately that was most important." Utter reports Speed will televise the awards ceremony live from 9:00pm-1:00am ET, and will re-air the telecast December 5 at 1:00pm and December 6 at 1:00pm (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 11/11).

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  • Media Notes

    Announcer Jim Lampley said it currently "doesn't appear like I'm going to the Vancouver Games" as part of NBC's coverage. Lampley, who has worked the last three Olympics as NBC's daytime host, is being replaced by Al Michaels. Lampley has worked a "record 14 Olympic TV assignments" (Michael Hiestand, USA TODAY, 11/11).

    NOT PULLING PUNCHES: YAHOO SPORTS' Dave Meltzer wrote if there is a "lesson coming from the ratings of Saturday night's Strikeforce debut on CBS, it is that Fedor Emelianenko did not flop as a draw on a major United States fight card, which some were expecting." The Emelianenko-Brett Rogers bout drew 5.46 million viewers, "making it the ninth-most watched MMA fight in history." But UFC President Dana White said the numbers "prove that no one out there gives a (expletive) about" Emelianenko, as the UFC is "pulling those numbers on Spike." Meltzer noted of the eight episodes of the current season of the UFC's "Ultimate Fighter" on Spike, two had "higher ratings than this show" (, 11/10).

    VIDEO OVERLOAD: In N.Y., Brian Stelter writes news Web sites are "starting to look a lot less like newspapers and a lot more like television." and are "featuring video much more prominently on their home pages, often prompting visitors to press play before they begin to read." A "major reason is commercial," as at a time when "other categories of advertising dollars are shrinking, video ads are booming." News sites are "adding more video inventory to keep pace with the demands of advertisers," and analysts said that they "expect the flow of online advertising dollars to video to continue." Research firm eMarketer projected 35-45% growth for the segment "for each of the next five years, topping out" at $5.2B in '14 (N.Y. TIMES, 11/11).

    ADDING TO THE TEAM: has hired former Boston Globe writer Gordon Edes to cover the Red Sox for the site. Edes will contribute news, analysis, columns, a blog and video and audio coverage on and across ESPN platforms. He most recently wrote for Yahoo Sports (ESPN).

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