ESPN's Jed Drake Talks World Cup Prep Miami (Ohio)Trustees OK $13M Facility Sporting Park Enjoys Banner Year SEC Network Launch Campaign Previewed Cobb County Getting Road Improvements More Big Free-Agent Deals In MLB Sources: Fox Keeps UEFA Champions League Sports World Pays Tribute To Mandela Classified Advertisements Financial Boon In Store For Arizona State?
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The EPL "will pay out record sums in TV money this season with the bottom club guaranteed at least" $60.5M (all figures U.S.) and the league champion earning more than $93M, according to Martyn Ziegler of the London INDEPENDENT. The EPL's new overseas TV deals "will see top-flight clubs earning on average nearly" $8.2M per year more than last season. The league "has never confirmed the overall value of its overseas rights," but they have doubled from about $1B from '07-10 to around $1.96B "over the next three seasons." That is "about 10 times the amount Germany's Bundesliga receives for foreign TV rights, five times what Italy receives and three times the amount Spain's La Liga earns." Ziegler notes the EPL "has the most equitable distribution of the major European leagues with the smallest difference between the champions and the bottom club in terms of the split of TV money" (London INDEPENDENT, 5/10).
JULY, JULY: SPORTSPROMEDIA.com's Chris Dickens reported ESPN's U.K. channel has "snatched British rights to two July soccer tournaments away from domestic pay television giants Sky." The Copa America and Emirates Cup "will be shown on the ESPN UK channel, both having been staples of Sky Sports' output during previous British summers." Sky Sports "has held television rights to every edition of the Emirates Cup, a four-team friendly tournament played at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium," since its inception in '07. The Copa America "has been a fixture on Sky Sports since 1997" (SPORTSPROMEDIA.com, 5/9).
FRIEND OF THE DEVILS: In London, Sam Wallace reports Sky Sports officials are "hopeful their new signing," former Manchester United D Gary Neville, "can start his job early to be at Wembley as co-commentator" for the May 28 Barcelona-Manchester United UEFA Champions League Final. Having Neville work the game "would be a huge coup for Sky who would be able to call upon the insight of a man who knows as well as anyone what makes United tick." Wallace notes Neville was due to make his Sky debut next season, but he "could start as early as Saturday" when ManU has the "chance to wrap up" a record 19th EPL title by earning at least a tie against Blackburn (London TELEGRAPH, 5/10).
INCREASED VISIBILITY: MARKETING magazine's John Reynolds reports UEFA has "hired branding agency Lambie-Nairn to 'extend the visibility' of its Euro 2012 competition and attract viewers from rival entertainment channels, such as those dedicated to gaming." Lambie-Nairn will design UEFA's "opening, closing and advertising bumper sequences, along with on-screen match graphics shown in the tournament." It also will "adapt the Euro 2012 logo" (MARKETINGMAGAZINE.co.uk, 5/10).
In N.Y., Bob Raissman reports announcer Gus Johnson is "officially out at CBS and headed to Fox." A source last night said, "CBS declined to match Fox's offer. They let Johnson's people know today." A CBS source said that "not only money, but politics was an issue." Some CBS college basketball announcers reportedly "were not thrilled with Johnson's rise to March Madness' most popular voice" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/10). CBS in a statement said, "We were not able to reach an agreement with Gus. We wish him continued success" (THE DAILY).
STOP & SMELL THE ROSES: NBC earned an 8.5 rating and 14.5 million viewers for the race segment of Saturday's Kentucky Derby from 6:06-6:54pm ET, down 13.3% and 12.1%, respectively, from a 9.8 rating and 16.5 million viewers last year, which was the most-viewed Derby in 22 years. This year's 8.5 rating is the lowest for the race since an 8.4 rating for Barbaro's win in '06. The telecast was again popular among women, as 51% of viewers ages 18+ were women. Versus averaged 380,000 viewers for pre-race coverage from 11:00am-4:00pm, down from ESPN's pre-race coverage last year which averaged 1.2 million viewers. Versus also averaged 235,000 viewers for its coverage of the Kentucky Oaks on Friday, up 4% from the race last year when it aired on Bravo. Also, see the top 10 metered-markets for NBC's telecast (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).
CHATTING THEM UP: Golf Channel yesterday formally announced a new primetime series featuring CBS broadcaster David Feherty, which is currently in production and scheduled to debut the week of June 20. The 12-part series, entitled "Feherty," will feature interviews with individuals from sports, entertainment and politics. The show is the first original Golf Channel series created since the net became a member of the NBC Sports Group in January. Feherty also will serve as a contributing analyst during Golf Channel's "Live From" coverage (Golf Channel).
PLENTY OF CHANGES FOR HORNS: In Houston, David Barron reported the Univ. of Texas "will change radio affiliates this fall" in the city to ESPN Radio 97.5 Houston "after more than 15 years on" KILT-AM. The change "follows by several weeks" the announcement that Texas will launch a television network in partnership with ESPN, the Longhorn Network, "but is not believed to be related to that transaction." KILT is owned by CBS Radio (CHRON.com, 5/9).