SBD/November 10, 2010/MediaPrint All
CBC Sports Exec Dir and CBC Revenue Group GM Scott Moore yesterday revealed that he is leaving the network, and he reportedly "will move to Rogers to work for" Rogers Media President Keith Pelley as the "person in charge of all Rogers TV properties -- including Sportsnet, CITY TV and its specialty channels," according to sources cited by Bruce Dowbiggin of the GLOBE & MAIL. The news is a "major shock for CBC as it gears up to make its bids for the next Olympic TV cycle and then to retain its portion of the NHL broadcast contract in Canada." Moore is "highly regarded in the industry, and CBC will need to find someone quickly with credibility to handle those crucial bid processes." Moore also was "in the process of evolving 'Hockey Night in Canada's' role at the CBC," and "how his departure changes that is unclear." Sources said that a "combination of factors might have influenced his move." Moore was "recently passed over for the presidency of CBC in favour of Kirstine Stewart," and the CTV/Rogers Canadian Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium "has announced it's coming back to bid for the 2014/2016, making a CBC bid to get back into the Olympic game very problematic." Also, the CBC's NHL package is "being targeted by a possible Rogers and/or TSN tag team on the next negotiations." Dowbiggin reports the CBC "has announced that responsibility for CBC Sports is being assumed on an interim basis by senior director David Masse," while Jack Tomik "will lead the CBC Revenue Group, responsible for marketing, sales and business development." Meanwhile, Rogers Sportsnet President Doug Beeforth yesterday announced that he is "leaving the network at the end of this year" (GLOBESPORTS.com, 11/9).
PELLEY'S BIG MOVE: In Toronto, Chris Zelkovich profiled Pelley, the former Canadian Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium President. When Pelley "walked away from the top job at the CTV-Rogers Olympic consortium three months ago, the shock waves went off the Richter scale at CTV," as he "had spent 16 years at CTV-owned TSN and many assumed he was in line to replace" CTV CEO Ivan Fecan. While none of Pelley's former TSN colleagues would comment on his latest move, "all are watching to see if the guy who's become one of the best fixers in the sports and media business can patch things up with outraged Toronto Blue Jays fans still smarting over the launch of Sportsnet One." Pelley is "thrilled about the prospect of overseeing an improving Blue Jays team, wants to promote the team across Rogers' many platforms and sees the Buffalo Bills series growing to include participation by the Argos and Toronto's university teams." He is "promising even more Jays coverage in the future as Sportsnet One grows, including magazine shows and spring training coverage" (TORONTO STAR, 11/7).
Versus is "rolling out a new late-night TV hockey show" called "NHL Overtime," according to Michael McCarthy of USA TODAY. The one-hour show will premiere Nov. 15 and "will take over the Monday-Thursday 11 p.m. ET time slot" previously occupied by "The Daily Line." It will feature "game highlights, postgame player interviews, features and discussion," and will "also delve into intercollegiate and international hockey." Versus Exec VP/Programming, Production & Business Operations Marc Fein "declined to comment on air-talent for the show" (USA TODAY, 11/10). YAHOO SPORTS' Greg Wyshynski reported "some of the ex-NHLers that have been featured as guest commentators" on Versus' "Hockey Central" are the "types of analysts you can expect to see" on "NHL Overtime." The show will air on "nights when the network isn't carrying an NHL game," and will differ from "Hockey Central," the net's "postgame show on game nights." Sources indicated that "Hockey Central" remains "focused on game highlights and recaps with little room for discussion or analysis," while "NHL Overtime" seems "geared more towards 'talkin' hockey,' with debate over big issues, 'hot stove' reports on news and more in-depth coverage of that night's game." Sources said that "NHL Overtime" is "a 'desk' show rather than the kind of informal chat" on "The Daily Line" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 11/9).
ESPN earned a 9.2 U.S. rating and 15.016 million viewers for Steelers-Bengals "MNF," down 7.1% and 6.2%, respectively, from a 9.9 rating and 16.002 million viewers for Steelers-Broncos in Week Nine last year. "MNF" led all broadcast and cable programs in all key male and adult demos for the night and helped ESPN win the night among all networks in those same categories. ESPN's "MNF" through nine weeks (10 games) is averaging a 9.2 U.S. rating and 14.665 million viewers, up slightly from the same period in '09. Meanwhile, ESPN.com had more than 226 million page views and 304 million minutes generated with NFL content on Sunday and Monday, up 21% and 38%, respectively, from the comparable days last year. ESPN's mobile website drew nearly 67 million page views (up 55%) and more than 106 million minutes (up 69%) spent with NFL content and the ScoreCenter App (ESPN).
GETTING OFF TRACK: In Orlando, George Diaz notes NASCAR Sprint Cup Series TV viewership "continues to slide from last season," and the Oct. 31 Amp Energy Juice 500 at Talladega Superspeedway is the "latest example." Last year's race "attracted 6.6 million viewers," but it "dropped to 5.17 million viewers this season." There are "a lot of reasons floating around as to why ratings are down, and many of them are viable." But Diaz writes, "The biggest reason from my perspective is this: Dale Earnhardt Jr., the sport's most popular driver, continues to be the real Mr. Irrelevant" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 11/10).
AHEAD OF THE PACE: In Indianapolis, Anthony Schoettle reported Pacers ratings on FS Indiana through four games were up more than 10% over last year. The team's Oct. 27 season opener against the Spurs earned a 2.7 local rating in Indianapolis, up 11% over a 2.45 rating for last year's opener against the Hawks. The Pacers' Oct. 30 home opener against the 76ers earned a 3.3 local rating, up 19% from last year. FS Indiana officials "pointed out that this year's home opener went head-to-head" with Giants-Rangers World Series Game Three and "plenty of college football, whereas last year's was played on a Friday night and did not." The Pacers' season opener "went head-to-head with Game 1 of the World Series" (IBJ.com, 11/5).