SBD/Issue 151/Sports Media

Media Notes

Theater Operators Believe That Live Events,
Including 3D Broadcasts, Will Continue To Grow

In L.A., Richard Verrier notes although live events at movie theaters are "not yet a big money maker for the major chains," theater operators are betting that "they will be one day, and are booking more such events on slow weekday nights." An "eye-opening event for many theater operators was last year's live 3-D broadcast of the BCS national college football championship game, which was shown in 80 theaters, selling out in 19 of them, and generated four times the per-screen revenue than any film that night." But "there are hurdles," as box office revenue alone "isn't enough to cover costs, often requiring third-party sponsors to defray expenses." Securing rights from leagues such as the NBA and NHL is "difficult and expensive." Hence the focus on "niche sports, like the UFC" (L.A. TIMES, 4/20).

INSIDE ACCESS: In N.Y., Richard Perez-Pena reported a "new byline started appearing this month" in Gannett's New Jersey papers on articles about the Devils, "with a note under each piece stating that the author, Eric Marin, is employed by the Devils, not Gannett." While the arrangement between Gannett and the Devils "may be a promotional coup for the team, it puts the papers in the odd position of publishing news coverage supplied by the entity being covered." Gannett "does not pay for the articles, and there are no restrictions on how it may edit them." The Asbury Park Press Exec Editor Hollis Towns said that if the Devils "were involved in a serious controversy, the papers would not publish an article about it supplied by the team" (N.Y. TIMES, 4/19).

DIGITAL FEUD: THE BIG LEAD noted Houston Chronicle Rockets beat writer Jerome Solomon yesterday in a blog post "blasting" the team wrote, "See, in most cities, and with most other professional franchises, not winning anything significant for more than 10 years makes people angry. Not winning has just made most Rockets fans dream of how great it will be next year. You poor things." THE BIG LEAD noted in a "different era," Solomon's post "would have came and went without much fanfare." But Rockets GM Daryl Morey is "active on Twitter and decided to respond." Morey on his Twitter feed wrote to Solomon, "Chron circulation is down every year since you joined. Wow, 'analysis' w/o thought, context, or an alternative plan is easy!" (THEBIGLEAD.com, 4/19).

CHANNEL SURFING: CBSSPORTS.com's Dennis Dodd wrote while it "might be a stretch to mate Texas with the SEC at the moment, it is significant that the 'Longhorn Channel' is still a possibility." Univ. of Texas AD DeLoss Dodds said, "We're working on a channel, 'network' is not a good word. Texas ought to have our top games on a bigger entity (but) we need to keep some football and basketball and baseball and women's basketball and have our own state-of-Texas deal" (CBSSPORTS.com, 4/19).

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