SBD/Issue 46/Sports Media

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  • NFL Week 10: Fox Earns Season-Best Overnight With Cowboys-Giants

    Fox earned a 17.6 overnight Nielsen rating for its NFL national window yesterday, which featured Cowboys interim coach Jason Garrett making his debut with the team against Giants. The rating is the net's best NFL overnight for the '10 season and highest since the same matchup in Week 13 last year. The 17.6 figure is up 4.1% from a 16.9 overnight for the Fox' national window in Week 10 last year, which featured Cowboys-Packers. The 50-minute runover into primetime for the late window also helped Fox to a second-place finish among all nets last night. The net earned an 8.9 overnight for its early window, down 2.2% from '09. NBC earned a 14.2 overnight rating for its Patriots-Steelers "SNF" telecast last night from 8:30-11:30pm ET, down 6% from a 15.1 overnight for Patriots-Colts in Week 10 last year. "SNF" was the No. 1 program on Sunday night for the 10th straight week, and marked the fourth-best "SNF" overnight of the season. The rating peaked at a 15.5 from 9:30-10:00pm just before halftime. The telecast earned a 49.2 local rating in Pittsburgh and a 37.0 rating in Boston. CBS saw year-over-year gains for coverage in the singleheader window, up 4.5% from '09 (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).

    '10 TELECAST
    '09 TELECAST
    % +/-
    Cowboys-Giants (83%)
    Cowboys-Packers (85%)

    HIGH PRAISE: In N.Y., Phil Mushnick writes "almost every word" CBS analyst Phil Simms spoke during yesterday's Jets-Browns game was "applicable to the next play, especially about how the Browns were trying to use the Jets' aggressive defense to their advantage early in the game." Mushnick: "Simms made us wiser, had us watch things off the ball, out of the corners of both eyes." Fox' Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, who called Cowboys-Giants, "should do what Simms does: Wait for replays; don't present guesses as facts" (N.Y. POST, 11/15).

    NO CONFLICT: In Dallas, Barry Horn noted Cowboys radio analyst Babe Laufenberg is friends with interim coach Jason Garrett, and now Laufenberg "will have to analyze" Garrett's work. But Laufenberg said that he will not "give the coach any breaks." Laufenberg: "If the Cowboys are bad, he is as cognizant of it as anyone. And he knows my job is to report. We've never discussed it" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 11/13).

    NFL Network Draws 5 Million Viewers For
    Thursday Night's Ravens-Falcons Game

    THURSDAY NIGHT RECORD: NFL Network drew 5.0 million viewers for Ravens-Falcons "Thursday Night Football," not including over-the-air networks in Baltimore and Atlanta, topping last year's Bears-49ers Thursday night opener by 28%. Ravens-Falcons ranked as the most-watched season-opener in five seasons of "Thursday Night Football" (NFL Network). In Baltimore, David Zurawik reported the game drew 429,000 HHs in the market. Of that total, 330,000 were tuned to WBAL-NBC, while the remainder watched on NFL Network (, 11/12). In Albany, Pete Dougherty wrote the "bigger question" is, "How big an audience would the game attract if NFL Network were more widely distributed? It still isn't part of Time Warner" (, 11/12).

    TALKING IN CIRCLES: Syndicated columnist Norman Chad writes, "NFL Network does many things I love. Tragically, its presentation of NFL games is not one of them. And this year, NFL Network has undertaken a social experiment of potentially apocalyptic consequences: It has created a three-man booth, two of the men being Matt Millen and Joe Theismann, which means, in effect, a 4 1/2-man booth. Putting Millen and Theismann in the same booth is like putting sugar and honey in your green tea." Millen and Theismann "talk in so many circles, they ought to be broadcasting from a Ferris wheel." They "say too much to say too little" (Mult., 11/15). 

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  • Cam-era Ready: CBS Ties Season-High Rating With Georgia-Auburn

    CBS Earns 5.4 Overnight Rating
    For Georgia-Auburn Telecast

    CBS earned a 5.4 overnight Nielsen rating for Saturday's Georgia-Auburn college football game, tying the net's Sept. 25 broadcast of Alabama-Arkansas and ABC's Oct. 30 regional broadcast of Oregon-USC and Ohio State-Minnesota as the highest-rated college football telecast on a broadcast net this season. The overnight for Georgia-Auburn was up 15% from a 4.7 for last year's comparable Florida-South Carolina game (CBS). USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand notes only ESPN's Sept. 6 telecast of Boise State-Virginia Tech had a higher overnight this season. Meanwhile, CBS announcers Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson during the game "largely avoided opining on accusations against" Auburn QB Cam Newton "that include academic cheating and having sought money while being recruited out of junior college" (USA TODAY, 11/15). Auburn leading up to the game would not say whether Newton would play due to the investigation surrounding him, and in Alabama, Charles Goldberg wrote before the game, "We're guessing CBS ratings will be through the roof as people check Newton's status" (, 11/13).

    NEW SEC IPAD APP: The SEC and XOS Digital have released a new iPad application for the '10-11 athletic seasons containing exclusive video, live statistics and standings, polls, photo galleries and other content. The tablet effort further extends the SEC Digital Network, created last year by the two entities to represent a new revenue stream and means of outreach for the conference and member schools. Game highlights will be available through the application shortly after games conclude. The application, carrying an introductory price of $6.99, additionally holds a presenting sponsorship from CDW LLC (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal).

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  • CBS Developing Sitcom Based On The Life Of ESPN's Colin Cowherd

    CBS is "developing a half-hour comedy based on the life of ESPN radio and TV host Colin Cowherd," according to Michael Schneider of DAILY VARIETY. Bill Martin and Mike Schiff will be the writers and Exec Producers of the sitcom, while Eric and Kim Tannenbaum also are Exec Producers. Cowherd also will "serve as a producer" of the show, which comes from CBS TV Studios. Cowherd hosts ESPN Radio's "The Herd With Colin Cowherd," as well as ESPN2's "SportsNation" (DAILY VARIETY, 11/15). HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's James Hibberd reported the Cowherd script "sold as a multi-camera comedy to CBS" (, 11/14).

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  • Media Notes

    Reds Would Consider
    Adding Morgan To Booth

    In Cincinnati, David Holthaus reports the Reds "appear interested in adding" Joe Morgan to their broadcast team for the '11 season. Reds COO Phil Castellini said, "We'd absolutely consider it. It would be a home run for our organization and for our fans. But it has more to do with Joe." ESPN last week declined to renew the "Sunday Night Baseball" contract of Morgan, the former Reds star who consults the team on players and community programs. Morgan said, "I don't know if that's what I want to continue to do. I've got some other opportunities. My employment for the Reds is already defined" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 11/15).

    RADIO FLYER? In N.Y., Bob Raissman noted the Yankees' radio contract with WCBS-AM expires at the end of the '11 MLB season, and there have "yet to be any serious negotiations" between the two sides. WCBS "probably wants to keep the Yankees," but it is likely ESPN Radio 1050 N.Y. will "stick its beak into the mix." Raissman noted for ESPN Radio 1050, the "process of trying to chip away at WFAN, longtime Mets rights holder, has not been easy." There also has been "talk about the Yankees buying a radio station." But with the "radio biz in the toilet, and in the current lousy economic climate, that is not likely to happen" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 11/14).

    PICKING UP THE PACE: The GLOBE & MAIL's Bruce Dowbiggin noted NHL Network is "being fine-tuned by the league." The NHL brought in former NFL VP/Programming Charles Coplin to oversee all media content as Exec VP/Content. Coplin "does not necessarily see the network hiring big names the way did with Bob Costas and Peter Gammons, but he does see a stepped-up role in reporting news." He said, "If the right person or persons make sense, we may bring in someone who brings name recognition. But most of all, we want to be the place where people go to hear about the big stories -- particularly in the United States" (, 11/14).

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    Join your fellow social media users at the SportsBusiness Journal/Daily Tweetup at the conclusion of Tuesday’s sessions at the FSA Sports Media & Technology conference next week in New York City. Learn how your industry colleagues are generating business through social media. If you’re registered to attend the conference, sign up to attend the Tweetup and have a chance to win an iPad. Visit to register and get more info about the event by following #SMTTweetup.

    ------------------------------------- EVENT -------------------------------------

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