SBD/April 29, 2011/Media

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  • Padres Reportedly Have Deal In Place For Fox To Become TV Partner After This Season

    The Padres "have a deal in place with Fox" to replace Channel 4 San Diego as the team's TV partner after this season, according to sources cited by John Maffei of the NORTH COUNTY TIMES. Sources said that an agreement is "so close to being consummated that ... it has been turned over" to MLB Commissioner Bud Selig's office for approval. One report has Fox paying $1.4B over 20 years, which would be $70M per season. Channel 4 was paying about $15M a season and offered about $16-18M on a new deal. The Padres "were asking for something between" $25-30M, so the $70M figure is "hard to comprehend." While the exact dollar figure is unknown, there "seems to be little doubt that the Padres will land on Fox, which is expected to establish a San Diego network, much like Fox Sports Net and Fox Sports Prime Ticket" in L.A. Fox "would have to find a spot on cable providers Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable in San Diego." Meanwhile, the Padres' radio deal with XX Sports Radio 1090 "will expire at the end of this season." The Padres are "believed to be asking for $6 million in rights fees," though the station "currently pays a little more than $5 million and is having a hard time making a profit now" (NORTH COUNTY TIMES, 4/29).

    Print | Tags: San Diego Padres, Fox, Media
  • Ingram's Emotional Reaction To Dad's E-Mail The Highlight Of NFL Draft Coverage

    ESPN's Suzy Kolber had the "definitive moment" of the NFL Draft's first round Thursday night after the Saints drafted former Alabama RB Mark Ingram, according to Jason McIntyre of THE BIG LEAD. Kolber "went to her smart phone and read an email from Mark Ingram’s incarcerated father to his son, and in seconds the former Heisman Trophy winner was reduced to tears" (THEBIGLEAD.com, 4/29). SI.com's Jimmy Traina writes Ingram reading the e-mail was "the night's most emotional moment" (SI.com, 4/29). In Pennsylvania, Ray Eckenrode writes Ingram's "emotional answer to Suzy Kolber's loaded question about his father ... made a nice TV moment" (ALTOONA MIRROR, 4/29). CBS NEWS' Stephen Smith writes the "reaction is no surprise considering the bond the two share." The younger Ingram  in '09 said, "He's not only my father, he's my best friend too" (CBSNEWS.com, 4/29).

    WHO SHOULD YOU CHOOSE? USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand writes NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock "deserves look-ins from viewers as draft coverage continues through coming weeks." Mayock correctly predicted the first five picks, and he was "prescient in quickly predicting that Atlanta had traded up to get Cleveland's No. 6 pick -- to take Alabama's Julio Jones, who Mayock had originally predicted to be the sixth pick." But USA TODAY's Michael McCarthy writes ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. is "still the guy that everybody, including Mayock and ESPN colleague Todd McShay, has to knock out before they can claim the heavyweight draftnik crown." Kiper also "correctly called the first five picks this year," and McCarthy writes, "Love him or hate him, Mel Kiper is still Mr. NFL Draft" (USA TODAY, 4/29). But THE BIG LEAD's McIntyre writes ESPN's coverage Thursday night was missing the "back-and-forth between Kiper and … anyone." McIntyre: "With nobody to disagree with, Kiper also seemed reduced to simply liking every pick" (THEBIGLEAD.com, 4/29).

    RATINGS DELAYED: Overnight ratings for NFL Draft coverage on ESPN were not available at presstime (THE DAILY). CABLEFAX DAILY's Heiges & Arenstein write "given the league's labor unrest and possibility of cancelled games," it was "anybody's guess" whether ESPN would exceed the 5.3 rating for last year's Thursday night coverage (CABLEFAX DAILY, 4/29).

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Football, Media
  • Final Nielsen Ratings From Recent Sports Telecasts

    NBA Playoff telecasts led all sports telecasts last week. ABC's Sunday NBA doubleheader topped broadcast TV sports for the weekend with Celtics-Knicks Game Four (7.0 million viewers) and Heat-76ers Game Four (5.0 million viewers). NBA games also took each of the top 10 spots for the most-viewed sports telecasts on cable TV last week, with TNTs Lakers-Hornets Game Four leading the way with 6.3 million viewers. NBC averaged 1.6 million viewers for Sunday's Flyers-Sabres NHL Eastern Conference Quarterfinal Game Six, marking the most-viewed NHL non-Conference Final game in 12 years. The net also averaged 1.6 million viewers for the Capitals-Rangers Game Five from Saturday (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).

    TELECAST
    DATE
    NET
    TIME (ET)
    RAT.
    VIEWERS (000)
    NBA Eastern Conference First Round:
    Celtics-Knicks: Game Four
    4/24
    ABC
    3:41-6:30pm
    4.3
    7,020
    NBA Eastern Conference First Round:
    Heat-76ers: Game Four
    4/24
    ABC
    12:53-3:41pm
    3.1
    5,025
    PGA Tour: The Heritage: Final Round
    4/24
    CBS
    3:15-6:30pm
    1.9
    2,960
    MLB: (regional)
    4/23
    Fox
    4:09-7:19pm
    1.8
    2,794
    NHL Eastern Conference Quarterfinals:
    Flyers-Sabres: Game Six
    4/24
    NBC
    3:00-6:32pm
    1.4
    2,567
    PGA Tour: The Heritage: Third Round
    4/23
    CBS
    3:00-6:00pm
    1.3
    1,801
    NHL Eastern Conference Quarterfinals:
    Capitals-Rangers: Game Five
    4/23
    NBC
    3:00-6:00pm
    1.0
    1,553
    "NBA Countdown"
    4/24
    ABC
    12:30-12:56pm
    0.8
    n/a
    National Heads-Up Poker Championship
    (taped)
    4/24
    NBC
    12:00-2:00pm
    0.7
    990
    Champions Tour: Liberty Mutual
    Legends of Golf: Final Round
    4/24
    CBS
    1:00-3:15pm
    0.6
    856
    Champions Tour: Liberty Mutual
    Legends of Golf: Third Round
    4/23
    CBS
    1:00-3:00pm
    0.5
    639
    "ESPN Sports Saturday"
    4/23
    ABC
    4:00-6:00pm
    0.5
    n/a
    Laureus Sports Awards (taped)
    4/24
    NBC
    2:00-3:00pm
    0.4
    492
    TELECAST
    DATE
    NET
    TIME (ET)
    RAT.
    VIEWERS (000)
    NBA Western Conference First Round:
    Lakers-Hornets: Game Four
    4/24
    TNT
    9:47pm-12:36am
    3.9
    6,281
    NBA Western Conference First Round:
    Lakers-Hornets: Game Two
    4/20
    TNT
    10:45pm-1:29am
    3.4
    5,352
    NBA Eastern Conference First Round:
    Bulls-Pacers: Game Two
    4/18
    TNT
    9:39pm-12:32am
    3.2
    4,908
    NBA Eastern Conference First Round:
    Knicks-Celtics: Game Two
    4/19
    TNT
    7:09-9:47pm
    3.0
    4,730
    NBA Western Conference First Round:
    Lakers-Hornets: Game Three
    4/22
    ESPN
    9:39pm-12:11am
    2.8
    4,578
    NBA Eastern Conference First Round:
    Magic-Hawks: Game Four
    4/24
    TNT
    7:09-9:47pm
    2.7
    4,506
    NBA Eastern Conference First Round:
    Heat-76ers: Game Three
    4/21
    TNT
    8:09-10:44pm
    2.5
    3,875
    NBA Western Conference First Round:
    Mavericks-Trail Blazers: Game Two
    4/19
    TNT
    9:47pm-12:12am
    2.5
    3,846
    NBA Western Conference First Round:
    Thunder-Nuggets: Game Three
    4/23
    ESPN
    10:19pm-1:07am
    2.4
    3,664
    NBA Eastern Conference First Round:
    Bulls-Pacers: Game Four
    4/23
    TNT
    2:38-5:22pm
    2.2
    3,534
     

    SKATING AT FULL STRENGTH: Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia averaged a 12.6 local rating and 383,000 HHs in the Philadelphia market for Flyers-Sabres Game Seven, marking the most-watched Flyers game in the channel's history. The previous record was set by Game Seven of last year's Flyers-Bruins Eastern Conference Semifinal. CSN Philadelphia through the first round is averaging a 7.8 local rating for its Flyers playoff coverage, up 47% from last year (CSN). NESN earned a 17.7 local rating in Boston on Wednesday night for Bruins-Canadiens Game Seven, marking a Bruins single-game ratings record on the net. NESN's seven telecasts for the series averaged an 11.9 local rating, marking the net's highest-rated Bruins playoff series ever (NESN). Sun Sports earned a 4.5 local rating in the Tampa-St. Pete market on Wednesday night for Lightning-Penguins Game Seven, marking the highest-rated Lightning playoff game on the net in eight years (TAMPABAY.com, 4/29).

    SUPER TUESDAY: CSN Chicago earned its highest-ever local rating in the Chicago market on Tuesday, when it aired Game Five of the Bulls-Pacers First Round series, Game Seven of the Canucks-Blackhawks Western Conference Quarterfinal series and White Sox-Yankees on CSN+. Canucks-Blackhawks earned a 13.3 local rating, the net's highest-ever Blackhawks rating, exceeding the record set by Game Six of the series last Sunday. Bulls-Pacers earned a 10.9 local rating, the net's second-highest Bulls rating ever, behind a 13.7 rating for Game Three of the series (CSN). CSN Chicago averaged around 467,000 HHs for the Blackhawks telecast and 383,000 HHs for the Bulls telecast (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 4/28).

    LOVING THEIR GAMES: TNT through Tuesday was delivering the most-watched and highest-rated NBA playoffs in league history on cable. The net also was delivering double-digit growth in affluent viewers with a household income of $100K+ or $125K+ across adults 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54. The growth for both affluent categories is the most of any pro sports league for the playoffs or regular season. Additionally, NBA TV's Grizzlies-Spurs Game Five on Wednesday night averaged 835,000 viewers, marking the net's most-viewed program this season. By comparison, the net's viewership for the non-exclusive coverage of Grizzlies-Spurs was up 131% over ESPN's non-exclusive coverage of A's-Angels on the same night (THE DAILY).

    Print | Tags: Media, Nielsen
  • Media Notes

    ESPN and Bill Simmons announced the first wave of writer and editor hires for his new website, Grantland.com, set to launch in June. The name of the site honors late sportswriter Grantland Rice. Dan Fierman, most recently a Senior Editor at GQ, will be lead Editor for Grantland.com, joined by Lane Brown and Jay Caspian Kang. Authors Chuck Klosterman, Malcolm Gladwell and Dave Eggers will be consulting editors to Grantland, with Klosterman writing exclusively for the site. Simmons and ESPN also announced seven writers as part of the staff, with more full-time contributors to be announced prior to launch (ESPN).

    ONE BIG, HAPPY FAMILY: Versus.com is now fully integrated into NBCSports.com, a further outgrowth of the NBC-Comcast merger earlier this year. The integration began earlier this month in which all of the combined entity's hockey content, including the ProHockeyTalk.com blog and playoff analysis from Versus talent, was pooled into NBCSports.com. The latest step takes everything else from Versus.com and puts it within the NBCSports.com portal. The integration did not create any further staff reductions or relocations, NBC officials said (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal).

    BACK IN THE RING: Showtime announced Thursday that James Brown "will be added to its regular announcer crew to host" its Manny Pacquiao-Shane Mosley PPV bout next Saturday. Also for next weekend's bout, Showtime "will offer its first boxing coverage live online." The online feed "will carry the same $55 charge as TV coverage but will let online users choose between TV camera shots" (USA TODAY, 4/29).

    AUSSIE RULES: The Australian Football League on Thursday "trumpeted its position as the most powerful sporting competition in the country by securing" a record US$1.37B broadcast rights agreement with Foxtel, the Seven Network and Telstra for the next five years. Per the deal, "every game will be televised live in every Australian state throughout the season." The $1.37B deal is up US$405.3M from the last broadcast deal (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 4/29).

    HOOP IT UP: In New Jersey, Al Iannazzone notes the NBA "was criticized roundly for how last summer’s free agency went down," but this season national TV ratings "went through the roof because everyone wanted to see LeBron James and the Heat in good times and bad." As a result, "many are tuned into the NBA now because of these playoffs." Iannazzone: "You have to believe these playoffs are going to get better -- before things in the NBA potentially get worse" (Bergen RECORD, 4/29).

    Print | Tags: Media
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