SBD/January 3, 2011/Media

Media Notes

Foley (l), Olczyk Sign Three-Year Extensions To Continue Calling Blackhawks Games

ESPN2 earned a 1.5 overnight rating for Thursday's Connecticut-Stanford women's basketball game, in which Stanford snapped Connecticut's 90-game winning streak, becoming the highest-rated regular-season women's basketball game ever on an ESPN network. The game surpassed the previous high of a 1.4 overnight for Connecticut-Duke in February '03 (ESPN).

KEEPING THE STATUS QUO: The Blackhawks "have re-signed TV play-by-play broadcaster Pat Foley and analyst Eddie Olczyk to three-year contract extensions." Foley and Olczyk "have a combined 38 years of experience in the Blackhawks organization on the ice and in the broadcast booth." Since Foley and Olczyk were paired together at the start of the '08-09 season, Comcast SportsNet Chicago ratings for Blackhawks games "have increased over 130 percent while contests on WGN-TV have increased over 85 percent" (CHICAGOBREAKINGSPORTS.com, 12/30).

TURF WAR: The GLOBE & MAIL's Bruce Dowbiggin wrote the "biggest Canadian sports story in the coming year will be played off the fields and rinks as Rogers Communications and CTV/TSN size each other up in the wake of some unprecedented managerial shuffles" last year. Dowbiggin: "Can they co-exist -- as they did for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver -- or will we see the start of a war for rights and control of the next NHL, CFL and soccer World Cup TV rights packages?" Rogers Media President Keith Pelley and Rogers Media President of Broadcasting Scott Moore "did not jump to Rogers to be a comfortable second to TSN in the sports field." With Rogers' five channels and "full coffers, the time is ripe for an aggressive push to make Sportsnet No. 1." Rogers "has exclusive promotional deals with the western Canadian NHL teams and is rumoured to be angling for a piece of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment" (GLOBE & MAIL, 1/3).

GOING INTO OVERTIME: Time Warner Cable and Sinclair Broadcast Group announced late Friday that they "had reached an agreement to extend a midnight Friday deadline for a new contract until Jan. 14, averting an interruption of some programming to Time Warner customers that carry Sinclair stations." Sinclair also announced that it "had agreed to the same extension with Bright House Networks, which also was confirmed late Friday night" (BUFFALONEWS.com, 1/1).

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