SBD/March 11, 2011/Media

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  • Incoming CBC Sports Boss Ready To Defend TV Rights, Acquire New Properties

    Orridge says CBC will dig deep
    to keep marquee sports properties
    Incoming CBC Exec Dir of Sports Properties Jeffrey Orridge Thursday said he will "take a considerate approach to property retention and acquisition," according to Etan Vlessing of the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Orridge, who will begin working for the net on April 4, "will represent the CBC at key upcoming TV contract negotiations" with the NHL, where "rival cable sports channel TSN is rumored to possibly take a run at the 'Hockey Night in Canada' property." The CBC is a "known-quantity with the NHL." Orridge: "There's a significant amount of trust that already exists. We can be relied on. We have a history there." The CBC "has aired 'Hockey Night in Canada,' a showcase of NHL games on Saturday night, since 1952." But recently, the network "has seen rivals TSN and Rogers Sportsnet pick off national and regional rights to Major League Soccer games for teams in Toronto and Vancouver." The CBC is "weighing a possible bid" for Canadian broadcast rights to the '14 and '16 Olympics "after being vastly outbid by rivals" CTVglobemedia and Rogers Communications for the '10 and '12 Games. Orridge "insists the CBC will go it alone on bidding for marquee TV sport properties, or seek partners, where it makes sense." He said that the "bottom line" is the network "will dig deep to keep its marquee TV sport properties, and find more" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 3/11).

    Print | Tags: Canadian Broadcasting Corp., TSN, Media
  • PGA Tour Ratings Up 36% From Last Season With Young Stars, TV-Friendly Pairings

    PGA Tour ratings up thanks in part to pairings such as Woods-Mickelson

    PGA Tour Exec VP/Communications & Int'l Affairs Ty Votaw said that the Tour's average TV ratings are up 36% over last season and 19% from '09, according to Michael McCarthy of USA TODAY. Golf is "benefiting from viewer interest in young stars such as Rickie Fowler," and it also is "creating more TV-friendly player pairings" such as the group of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Graeme McDowell in the first two rounds of this week's WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral. Research indicates that viewers are "watching 29% longer." Votaw: "Every single day of every single tournament of every single week is up over the last year, and Tiger's not been a factor in any of those tournaments." Votaw said that there is "no doubt a prowling Tiger spikes ratings," but McCarthy notes TV numbers are "up whether he's in the field or playing well" (USA TODAY, 3/11). Golf Channel's Brandel Chamblee said of the Woods-Mickelson-McDowell group, "I think what happened in the NFL last year got a lot of people's attention because everybody was saying that all of television entertainment enterprises are going to get watered-down and here comes the NFL with a huge spike last year in ratings. ... The PGA Tour, perhaps moved by that, acquiesced to the demands that everybody's been making for years and years and years: 'Give us the best players on Thursday and Fridays'" ("Golf Central Pregame," Golf Channel, 3/10).

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  • ESPN Earns High Praise For Documentary On Michigan's Fab Five

    Documentary praised despite Webber's absence from project

    ESPN's "The Fab Five" is "as complete a telling as anyone has done" of the Fab Five's Michigan basketball legacy, according to Mark Snyder of the DETROIT FREE PRESS. The "all-inclusive documentary," debuting Sunday at 9:00pm ET, is a "stunningly thorough history of the era." Snyder: "Told in six chapters, it covers more ground than one would expect." Former Michigan F and NBA TV's Chris Webber is the "central figure of the group," but he "refused to participate in the filming." Snyder wrote while Webber's absence is a "major dent for the film," the documentary "lets others tell his story" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 3/6). YAHOO SPORTS' Jeff Eisenberg wrote the 100-minute documentary is "being billed as the most candid and thorough look at the Fab Five that has ever been produced." It "touches on everything" from the scandal involving UM booster Ed Martin, to former Michigan G Ray Jackson "talking about being 'the fifth wheel,' to the cultural impact of one of college basketball's most famous teams." Eisenberg: "Even without Webber's presence … the documentary should be gripping TV" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 3/9). In Michigan, Michael Rothstein noted while movies "have been made and books have been written about the Fab Five," former Michigan G and ESPN NBA analyst Jalen Rose "believes this is a more complete telling of their saga, with a rare" interview of former Michigan coach and current San Diego State coach Steve Fisher. The film is "at points insightful and at other times explosive" (ANNARBOR.com, 3/8). On Long Island, Neil Best wrote "The Fab Five" is "excellent." Best: "The two-hour commitment is worth your time if you have an interest in the team, in the era and/or in the history of baggy shorts" (NEWSDAY.com, 3/9).

    RUNNIN' DOWN A DREAM: In Denver, Dusty Saunders wrote HBO's hourlong documentary "Runnin' Rebels of UNLV" is a “must see.” The movie, which debuts Saturday at 9:30pm,  profiles the UNLV men's basketball program under former coach Jerry Tarkanian. The film, "while not defending UNLV, tries hard, through several 'positive' interviews to provide an equal time platform regarding the outgoing scandals" (DENVER POST, 3/7). In California, John Maffei writes the documentary is a "very revealing look at Tark's Runnin Rebels" (NORTH COUNTY TIMES, 3/11). In Boston, Chad Finn writes "The Fab Five" and "Runnin' Rebels of UNLV" are both "outstanding documentaries ... that you'll enjoy." But the "slight nod" goes to HBO's documentary, "mostly because a void is left in 'Fab 5' by Chris Webber's refusal to participate" (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/11).

    MARCH UPSET: In Houston, David Barron notes "Runnin' Rebels of UNLV" comes from a network that is "generally known for clear-eyed, hard-nosed documentaries," while "The Fab Five" was "co-produced by Rose." So you “would think the HBO film would be a revelation and the ESPN film a whitewash.” But there is “no question that the ESPN film provides by far the richer viewing experience.” HBO's documentary "clearly has a point of view, and its point of view is that UNLV was treated unfairly." Barron writes that is "hardly the nuanced view that I have come to expect from an HBO Sports film. ... What a disappointment." Barron expected "The Fab Five" to be an “apology for bad behavior in the same fashion as Billy Corben's The U, about the University of Miami football program.” But to his "surprise, it's not." Barron: “If you've got time for only one documentary this weekend, and I never thought I would say this, forget HBO" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 3/11).

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Basketball, Media
  • People & Personalities: ESPN, Cris Carter In Talks For Contract Extension

    Carter appears on ESPN's "Sunday NFL Countdown" pregame show

    USA TODAY's Michael McCarthy reports ESPN and NFL analyst Cris Carter are "in negotiations for a contract extension" that would keep Carter on "Sunday NFL Countdown" next season. Vision Sports Group Founder Maury Gostfrand, Carter's agent, confirmed that his client's contract "is up and that the two sides are talking about a new deal." Gostfrand: "ESPN has extended an offer to Cris to continue on 'NFL Countdown,' and we are currently in negotiations." McCarthy notes if the negotiations "don't work out, that could open up a high-profile slot on the NFL pregame show" (USA TODAY, 3/11).

    SOCCER VOICES: MLS Sporting K.C. announced that British announcer Callum Williams will join the club this year as its "brand new play-by-play announcer." Williams "has been with BBC Radio covering the sport throughout" the U.K. (KANSASCITY.com, 3/10)....The Timbers announced that Josh Strong will be the club's TV announcer and former ITV analyst Robbie Earle will serve as TV analyst. Andy McNamara will serve as radio announcer, and Greg Flakus and former Timbers player Ross Smith "will serve as alternating analysts for home and away games" (OREGONLIVE.com, 3/10).

    PERSONALITIES: In California, John Maffei notes Armen Keteyian, CBS News' "chief investigative correspondent," has "signed a new multiyear contract" with the net. With CBS Sports Chair Sean McManus "back in sports full-time after a stint as head of both CBS Sports and News, there is a good chance Keteyian ... will do more sports" (NORTH COUNTY TIMES, 3/11)....In N.Y., Phil Mushnick notes ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla, who called Thursday's Connecticut-Pittsburgh Big East men's basketball tournament game, "was seen standing, his arms raised in triumph after Kemba Walker's buzzer-beater won it for UConn." Mushnick: "Strange reaction from a pro broadcaster" (N.Y. POST, 3/11).

    Print | Tags: Media
  • Final Nielsen Ratings: NFL Network Viewership For Combine Up 27% From '10

    The chart below lists final Nielsen ratings from recent sports telecasts. All ratings listed are U.S. ratings (THE DAILY).

    TELECAST
    DATE
    NET
    TIME (ET)
    RAT.
    VIEWERS (000)
    NASCAR Sprint Cup: Kobalt Tools 400
    3/6
    Fox
    3:30-6:21pm
    5.9
    10,076
    NBA: Lakers-Spurs
    3/6
    ABC
    3:36-6:00pm
    3.2
    5,120
    NBA: Bulls-Heat
    3/6
    ABC
    12:56-3:36pm
    3.0
    4,759
    NCAA Basketball: Duke-North Carolina
    3/5
    CBS
    8:00-10:07pm
    2.7
    4,611
    NASCAR Nationwide Series:
    Sam's Town 300
    3/5
    ABC
    3:00-5:00pm
    2.2
    3,459
    NCAA Basketball: Wisconsin-Ohio State
    3/6
    CBS
    4:21-6:12pm
    1.9
    3,093
    PGA Tour: Honda Classic: Final Round
    3/6
    NBC
    3:11-6:00pm
    1.7
    2,502
    NCAA Basketball: Kentucky-Tennessee
    3/6
    CBS
    12:00-2:18pm
    1.5
    2,241
    PGA Tour: Honda Classic: Third Round
    3/5
    NBC
    3:00-6:01pm
    1.5
    2,114
    NCAA Basketball: MVC Championship:
    Indiana State-Missouri State
    3/6
    CBS
    2:18-4:21pm
    1.2
    1,843
    NCAA Basketball: Villanova-Pittsburgh
    3/5
    CBS
    4:15-6:30pm
    1.2
    1,792
    NCAA Basketball: Kansas-Missouri
    3/5
    CBS
    12:00-2:08pm
    1.2
    1,790
    NCAA Basketball: (regional)
    3/5
    CBS
    2:08-4:15pm
    1.1
    1,616
    Gymnastics: AT&T American Cup
    3/5
    NBC
    1:00-3:00pm
    1.0
    1,420
    "NBA Countdown"
    3/6
    ABC
    12:30-12:56pm
    0.9
    n/a
    NHL: Flyers-Rangers
    3/6
    NBC
    12:30-3:11pm
    0.8
    1,245
    "NASCAR Countdown"
    3/5
    ABC
    2:30-3:00pm
    0.7
    n/a
    TELECAST
    DATE
    NET
    TIME (ET)
    RAT.
    VIEWERS (000)
    NBA: Heat-Spurs
    3/4
    ESPN
    9:44pm-12:05am
    1.8
    2,914
    NBA: Magic-Heat
    3/3
    TNT
    8:16-10:53pm
    1.8
    2,715
    NBA: Celtics-Bucks
    3/6
    ESPN
    8:59-11:33pm
    1.5
    2,307
    NBA: Knicks-Hawks
    3/6
    ESPN
    6:30-8:59pm
    1.3
    1,945
    NCAA Basketball: Vanderbilt-Kentucky
    3/1
    ESPN
    9:05-11:12pm
    1.1
    1,927
    NCAA Basketball: Clemson-Duke
    3/2
    ESPN
    9:03-11:09pm
    1.2
    1,848
    NBA: Bulls-Magic
    3/4
    ESPN
    7:00-9:44pm
    1.2
    1,800
    NCAA Basketball:
    Notre Dame-Connecticut
    3/5
    ESPN
    2:19-4:06pm
    1.2
    1,794
    NCAA Basketball: Kansas State-Texas
    2/28
    ESPN
    9:08-11:26pm
    1.1
    1,759
    NCAA Basketball: Florida-Vanderbilt
    3/5
    ESPN
    6:14-8:10pm
    1.1
    1,606
     

    IN LIKE A LION: NESN averaged a 4.6 local rating in the Boston market for the Bruins' March 3 game against the Lightning and a 4.5 rating for their March 5 contest against the Penguins, marking the net's two best Bruins ratings of the season. The previous high was a 4.3 rating for the Feb. 9 Canadiens-Bruins game. Meanwhile, NESN's first three Red Sox Spring Training games averaged a 2.4 local rating, up 85% over the first three exhibition games last season (THE DAILY).

    NOTES: NFL Network totaled 6.6 million viewers for its coverage of the '11 NFL Scouting Combine, up 27% over 5.2 million total viewers in '10 and up 78% over 3.7 million total viewers in '07 (NFL Network)....The CBC, TSN, Rogers Sportsnet Ontario and Leafs TV are averaging a combined 1.103 million viewers for Maple Leafs broadcasts, up 7.8% from last season. Regional Maple Leafs broadcasts are averaging 596,000 viewers, up 13.5% from 525,000 viewers last season (Maple Leafs)....NBA TV averaged 681,000 viewers for Tuesday's Trail Blazers-Heat game, marking the net's most-viewed regular season game to date (NBA TV)....Big Ten Network averaged a 0.19 rating in its eight metered markets for coverage of the Big Ten women's basketball tournament, up 36% from last year (Big Ten Network).

    Print | Tags: Nielsen, Media
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