ESPN Moving Full Shows To Arizona NFL: Deflategate Inquiry Ongoing Rolex 24 Sees Increasing Impact SI Lays Off Remaining Photographers NFLPA Grievance Challenges Conduct Policy Winter X Draws Record Thursday Crowd Veteran ESPN Exec John Walsh Set To Retire Weekend Plans With Disney's Christen Harris OSU Celebration Meets NHL All-Star Brady, Belichick Deny Deflategate Involvement
SBD/Issue 85/Sports MediaPrint All
Carrion (l) Says IOC Seriously Considering
Delaying U.S. Bids For '14, '16 Games Rights
LET'S DO THE TIME WARP AGAIN: In Seattle, Ron Judd wrote under the header, "Here We Go Again With NBC's Not-Live 'Live' Coverage." The net is "delaying broadcast of the main event for three hours" to viewers on the West Coast, as primetime coverage will begin every night between 7:00-8:00pm ET/PT. The move is the "same intentional falsehood the peacock network foisted upon the not-fooled public during the Beijing Games." Either NBC "has already reinvested some of that Conan O'Brien money in new time-shifting broadcast technology, or the 'live' designation is a lie to those of you unfortunate enough to live on the West Coast." Judd: "We can only hope the people responsible for [getting] the next Olympic TV contract take note" (SEATTLETIMES.com, 1/14). NBC Sports & Olympics VP/Communications Chris McCloskey said, "Our extensive research has clearly shown that West Coast viewers, more than any other region, wants to see the Olympics when they're available to watch, and that is when they are home, which in almost all cases means prime time." But with NBC expecting to "lose $200[M] with its Olympics coverage," the L.A. TIMES' Diane Pucin writes, "We who love the Olympics want them to be a big television event. But maybe you deserve to lose money if you feel as if live coverage isn't good for the western outposts" (L.A. TIMES, 1/15).
STREAM WEAVER: PAIDCONTENT.org’s Staci Kramer wrote the more than 400 hours of streaming event coverage is an "astonishing amount of live video" compared to the Turin Games. However, that is "far less than the 2,000 hours of live coverage of the Beijing Olympics.” Kramer: "More important, it’s a lot less than NBC has the right to deliver.” The development “isn’t surprising,” as NBCU President & CEO Jeff Zucker last summer said that live streaming “devalues top events like the Olympics or Super Bowl -- and there wasn’t a model that exists [that] could show him how to avoid that.” Given projections that NBC “may lose money on an Olympics for the first time, it’s hard to see that changing” (PAIDCONTENT.org, 1/14).
Primetime Start For Ravens-Colts Saturday
Gives CBS Both Late Games This Weekend
BIG CHEESE: CBS earned a 16.9 final Nielsen rating and 27.4 million viewers last Sunday for its coverage of the Ravens-Patriots AFC Wild Card, up 13% and 15%, respectively, from a 15.0 rating and 23.9 million viewers for the net's Ravens-Dolphins Wild Card last year. The NFL's four Wild Card games last weekend averaged 29.9 million viewers, making it the most-viewed opening weekend of the NFL Playoffs since '94. The 29.9 million viewers also represented a 16% increase over 25.8 million viewers for last year's Wild Card round (THE DAILY). In Milwaukee, Bob Wolfley reports last Sunday's Cardinals-Packers NFC Wild Card game earned a "monstrous" 49.1 local rating on WITI-Fox in Milwaukee, the "highest rating for any wild-card game on any Milwaukee station" since a 51.2 local rating for Packers-49ers in January '02. Cardinals-Packers also had a "whopping" 70 share (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 1/15).
Writer Calls Simms (r) The "Best
Football Analyst In The TV Business"
HITTING ITS GROWTH SPURT: CABLEFAX DAILY reports Nielsen Universe estimates for January '09 and December '09 indicate that NFL Network "saw the biggest percentage gain in subs among metered networks," increasing 30.6% to nearly 55 million HHs in December. That is "not a surprise given its deal with Comcast that got it off a sports tier," but another factor was the "launch of NFL RedZone, which affiliates can only get if they take NFL Net." NFL RedZone "helped bring new distributors on board, like Massillon," and the net is "hoping to entice a few more operators this year." NFL Network VP/Affiliate Distribution John Malkin: "All of the operators I'm talking to are engaged, they want to talk more about RedZone, [they] all are very well aware of the successful season we've had. ... I expect a good year" (CABLEFAX DAILY, 1/15).
McGwire's Belief Steroids Did Not Aid Strength
Forced Costas To Change Interview Strategy
Ebersol Says Conan Is Being Ousted
Because Of His Disappointing Ratings
McHale's (c) Main Role Is In-Studio Analyst
On NBA TV's "Fan Night" Program
STILL IN THE GAME: KOTAKU.com's Owen Good reported former ESPN MLB analyst Steve Phillips, who was fired by the net in the wake of his affair with a production assistant, "remains in the commentary booth for 'MLB 2K10,'" according to previews of the game. Good wrote Phillips' presence in the game is "not surprising, nor can 2K Sports be blamed for ... keeping Phillips on." When the "scandal came to light in late October," it likely was "too late to replace him." The videogame is scheduled to be released March 2 (KOTAKU.com, 1/13). YAHOO SPORTS' Kevin Kaduk wrote, "Maybe it's too expensive at this point to go back and wipe his voice, but it's still kind of weird that he could be in the game" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 1/14).
TRADING PLACES: USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand notes ESPN college basketball announcers Dan Shulman and Dick Vitale Wednesday will call the Spurs-Jazz game the "same night that ESPN NBA announcers call a college game -- Wake Forest-North Carolina -- in ESPN's second annual on-air basketball assignment-swap night." Also, ESPN NFL analyst Tim Hasselbeck and his wife, ABC's "The View" co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck, will "swap roles," as Elisabeth Tuesday will "appear on ESPN's 'NFL Live' while Tim drops in on 'The View'" on January 28 (USA TODAY, 1/15).
SUSPENSION LIFTED: The GLOBE & MAIL's Bruce Dowbiggin reported Leafs TV producer Mark Askin was "initially suspended for two games" for his criticisms of the CBC's "HNIC" and Don Cherry on Twitter, but "by the end of last week, Askin had sent his mea culpas to 'Hockey Night,' and the suspension was lifted." Askin's comments were "controversial, but still fair -- everywhere, that is, but in Canadian broadcast circles, where dishing the dirt on competitors is considered not a done thing" (GLOBESPORTS.com, 1/14).
READY FOR A BIGGER ROLE? In L.A., Chris Erskine writes TNT NBA analyst Charles Barkley is "becoming the Oprah Winfrey of sports." Erskine: "And I don't mean that just because he shows up almost everywhere. I mean it because he's amazing." During Barkley's "triumphant hosting of 'Saturday Night Live' last week," he "transitioned into comedy better than most comedians." Barkley "might be NBC's answer to what to do about all those 10 p.m. slots that suddenly opened up" with the pending return of Jay Leno to late night (L.A. TIMES, 1/15).
The charts below list final Nielsen ratings from recent sports telecasts (THE DAILY).TELECASTDATENETTIMERAT.NFC Wild Card: Cardinals-Packers1/10Fox4:41-8:06pm19.6NFC Wild Card: Cowboys-Eagles1/9NBC8:06-11:12pm18.0
AFC Wild Card: Ravens-Patriots1/10CBS1:04-4:13pm16.9 AFC Wild Card: Jets-Bengals1/9NBC4:37-7:41pm15.2 "Fox NFL Sunday"1/10Fox4:00-4:30pm7.1 "NFL on NBC Studio Show"1/9NBC4:00-4:37pm5.0 "The NFL Today"1/10CBS12:00-1:00pm4.1 NCAA Basketball: Kansas-Tennessee1/10CBS4:30-7:00pm2.5 High School Football: U.S. Army All-American Bowl1/9NBC1:00-3:59pm1.4 Progressive Skating & Gymnastics Spectacular (taped)1/10NBC4:00-6:00pm1.3 PBR: Built Ford Tough Series:
New York City Invitational1/10NBC2:30-4:00pm0.7
U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix (taped)1/10NBC1:30-2:30pm0.6 Women's NCAA Basketball: North Carolina-Connecticut1/9CBS4:14-6:04pm0.5 Women's NCAA Basketball: Ohio State-Michigan State1/9CBS2:00-4:14pm0.5TELECASTDATENETTIMEU.S.CABLEVIEWERS (000)GMAC Bowl:
Central Michigan-Troy1/6ESPN7:00-11:10pm2.42.73,518"Sunday NFL Countdown"1/10ESPN11:00am-1:00pm2.22.53,115
"College GameDay"1/7ESPN7:00-8:00pm1.51.82,355 NBA: Cavaliers-Nuggets1/8ESPN10:36pm-1:24am1.41.62,250 NCAA Basketball:
NBA: Lakers-Clippers1/6ESPN11:10pm-1:06am1.41.62,039 NBA: Celtics-Hawks1/8ESPN8:02-10:36pm1.21.41,987 NBA: Cavaliers-Trail Blazers1/10ESPN9:00-11:38pm1.21.41,779 "NFL Countdown"1/9ESPN11:00am-12:00pm1.31.51,631 NCAA Basketball:
SOARING HIGH: The Falcons "for the second consecutive year ... have seen a significant rise in TV ratings." The team finished the '09 season 9-7 and failed to make the playoffs, but ratings improved 7% over the '08 season, when the team finished 11-5. The team averaged 498,000 HHs per game this season. The Falcons this season "did accomplish consecutive winning seasons for the first time," and the team's ratings "have increased 57[%] since 2007, the largest increase of any NFL team" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 1/14).
COOL BREEZE: In Chicago, Lewis Lazare reports the Blackhawks "have more than doubled their Nielsen ratings for games telecast on" Comcast SportsNet (CSN) Chicago in the last year. A CSN spokesperson said that game telecasts have averaged a 2.1 local rating for 28 games through Wednesday, up 102% over the same period last season (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 1/15). Meanwhile, CSN Chicago on January 7 earned a 3.4 local rating for Blackhawks-Bruins, marking its highest regular-season Blackhawks rating ever (CSN).
BIG APPLE: YES Network finished the '09 broadcast year as the most-watched RSN on a total-day basis (Monday-Sunday, 6:00am-2:00am ET) for the seventh consecutive year, experiencing a 10.3% growth over '08. YES averaged 82,000 primetime HHs in the N.Y. market for the year, up 13.9% over 72,000 HHs in '08 (YES)....SportsNet N.Y. following last Saturday's Jets-Bengals AFC Wild Card game drew a 0.9 local rating and more than 128,000 viewers from 7:30-8:45pm ET for "Jets Post Game Live," marking the highest-rated "Jets Post Game Live" show ever (SNY).
ABC/ESPN Moving All But Three Of Its 17
Sprint Cup Races To Cable This Year
AIR WAVES: In Pittsburgh, Bob Smizik reports a new sports-talk radio station in the city is “in the advanced planning stages and could be on the air as early as next month.” The CBS Radio Group is “planning to launch the station on the FM dial,” either on WBZW or WZPT. Pittsburgh’s two current sports-talk stations – ESPN Radio 1250 and Fox Sports Radio 970 – both are on the AM dial. It is unknown “how much local programming will be carried by the new station,” but a source indicated that it “will be considerable, and in that respect comparable to 1250 ESPN” (POST-GAZETTE.com, 1/15).
BROTHERLY LOVE: HBO Sports has begun production on “Broad Street Bullies,” a documentary about the ’74 and ’75 Stanley Cup-champion Flyers teams. The documentary is set to debut during the Stanley Cup Playoffs in May (HBO Sports).