SBD/Issue 59/Sports Media
Comcast Committed To Cable, Broadcast After NBC Uni Acquisition
Published December 7, 2009
WAITING FOR APPROVAL: The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Paul Bond reports GE "plans to buy at least $59[M] worth of ads each year for five years once the deal" closes. GE also will buy $50M in ads "for the 2012 Olympics, bringing the total five-year commitment" to at least $345M (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 12/7). CABLEFAX DAILY writes a "big question is whether approval of the deal might be contingent on Comcast losing the terrestrial loophole exemption" for Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia. Comcast Exec VP/Content Acquisition David Cohen "knows the issue will come up but doesn't believe it relates to the transaction." Cohen: "When NFL and DirecTV are prepared to make Sunday Ticket available to the cable industry on a non-discriminatory basis, we're prepared to give up the terrestrial exemption'" (CABLEFAX DAILY, 12/7).
NBC Could Still Be Backed By GE
When It Bids For '14, '16 Games
NOT IMPRESSED: MEDIAPOST's David Goetzl noted USA Today's sports media columnist Michael Hiestand in an appearance on a Toronto radio station on November 25 indicated he liked NBC Sports & Olympics Chair Dick Ebersol, but then "kept ripping him." Hiestand: "I have to take my hat off to Dick for self-promotion over the years. If you look at NBC in this decade what exactly have they done now?" Goetzl noted Hiestand suggested in the interview that there was "profligacy under Ebersol's watch," saying there is "so much fat in that budget" (MEDIAPOST.com, 12/4). Hiestand, on NBC: "They got Arena Football and said it's the most exciting game ever if it was just televised right. They picked up the NHL, which continues to get essentially zero ratings. They were one of the big backers of the XFL till its ratings fell apart and then they said, 'No, it was all Vince McMahon's idea.' Their Notre Dame ratings are setting all-time lows. If you took out the Michael Phelps ratings in Beijing, those were sort of so-so, same with Torino in '06. ... I'm not really sure what it is that he would do that other people won't do because when it comes to buying sports rights, me and my dog could pick up Olympic rights if we bid a buck more than the opponents" (FAN590.com, 11/25).