SBD/November 18, 2011/Media

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  • NFL Net Gets Third-Best Overnight Ever With Broncos Comeback Against Jets

    Thursday night's Jets-Broncos gmae trails only two Cowboys games on NFL Network

    NFL Network earned a 4.9 overnight Nielsen rating for last night's Jets-Broncos game that featured the Broncos winning on a last-minute touchdown. The game marks the third-best overnight for any game on the net since it began regular-season matchups in '06. Jets-Broncos trails only Cowboys-Saints from December '09 (5.9 rating) and Packers-Cowboys from November '07 (5.5 overnight). Compared to Bears-Dolphins in Week 11 last year, Jets-Broncos is up 26% from a 3.9 overnight (Austin Karp, THE DAILY). SI’s Richard Deitsch wrote on his Twitter feed during last night's game, “I'm not sure I can quantify with words how much better Mike Mayock is than Matt Millen and Joe Theismann.” FoxSports.com’s Jason Whitlock wrote, “Brad Nessler is great. Mike Mayock was awful. And not just awful bcuz he never figured out Jets out of timeouts.”

    TOO MUCH, TOO SOON: Thursday's game in Denver came after the Jets played a Sunday night game at home last weekend, and Jets S Jim Leonhard said, "I don't think Thursday night games are good ever, let alone in a situation like this. A big thing going into the (NFL labor) talks this last time was player safety. You don't get much more unsafe than playing two games in five days or whatever." He added, "I get it. You can't tell me it's about anything other than money. It is not about anything other than being on TV and generating revenue" (N.Y. POST, 11/18).

    NOTHIN' BUT A GOOD TIME: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell appeared on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Friday morning, and the net's Joe Kernen noted that the league is “scoring a ratings touchdown so far this season: Games on average [are] bringing in more than twice as many viewers as regular prime-time programs.” Kernen said of the highest-rated shows in ’11, “I wouldn't know what to do as a network executive because it's like 19 out of 20. NFL is delivering it. That's about it on network TV.” Goodell replied, “Joe, you're right, 18 of the top 20 shows have been NFL shows.” Goodell: “It's the magic of the game and it’s the passion and diversity of our fan base. They love football and our game is so unpredictable.” He added the “league is so competitive now” and “competitiveness is what fans want, the unpredictable nature of our game” ("Squawk Box," CNBC, 11/18).

    LOCAL MARKETS: In Milwaukee, Bob Wolfley noted the Vikings-Packers "MNF" game "had the highest rating for a regular-season Packers telecast since" '97 (JSONLINE.com, 11/15)....In St. Louis, Dan Caesar notes Rams' games are averaging a 20.2 local rating in the market, marking the second-best average through nine games since '06, behind only last year's 25.0 rating at the same point (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 11/18).

    Print | Tags: Media, NFL
  • TWC Sports' David Rone Says Acquiring MLS Galaxy Rights Crucial For Channels

    Rone said Galaxy games will be produced for TWC's two new RSNs

    Time Warner Cable Sports' 10-year, $55M deal for rights to the MLS Galaxy will be made official later Friday at a press conference in L.A. Time Warner Cable Sports President David Rone said the MLS games will be produced for the two new RSNs, which will be called Time Warner Cable Sportsnet and Time Warner Cable Deportes. "Soccer, in general, is becoming more and more prevalent in the States," Rone said. "Spring and summer programming, which we're in the process of building out; a relationship with AEG; and resonance with the Hispanic community: all of that comes together and it creates enormous value for our networks." When asked about other rights that interest TWC, Rone said the Dodgers were at the top of his wish list. "If we had the opportunity, we would be highly desirous in acquiring the media rights to the Los Angeles Dodgers," he said. "My interest hasn't waned."

    Q: Why does the Galaxy deal make sense for you?
    Rone: We are launching not just one, but two 24/7 RSNs. They will be two separately programmed regional sports networks that will have at their core some foundational programming that we will share across both networks. That foundational programming began with our partnership with the Lakers and now extends to this partnership with the Galaxy. When you think about this historic first-ever Spanish-language RSN that we're calling Time Warner Cable Deportes, there's nothing from a sports standpoint that resonates with the Hispanic community more than soccer. With the Galaxy being the brightest of the bright teams in the MLS ­-- and now being a championship team with stars like David Beckham and Landon Donovan --­ it made all the sense in the world to us to have at our core a partnership that really centers itself in soccer, parlay it across two networks and, as importantly, strike the kind of relationship we have now with AEG, given their prominence in the sports world overall but in particular in Los Angeles.

    Q: Explain why having a relationship with AEG is so important.
    Rone: I've know [President & CEO] Tim Leiweke, [COO] Dan Beckerman and the group at AEG for 12-15 years now. No one's more aware of their prominence in L.A. than I am. [TWC Sports Senior VP/GM] Mark Shuken and I had a responsibility for appropriately programming and bringing these networks to life. The Galaxy was a natural. Tim knew we were there. I knew Tim was there. This was one of the first calls we made. The combination of the programming and who owns it . Mr. Anschutz and the AEG organization ­ it made a lot of sense for us on a lot of different levels.

    Q: Reports are that the deal is for $55M over 10 years.
    Rone: I can't comment on the rights fees. We have confidentiality agreements.

    Q: How did you value these rights?
    Rone: The rights are very valuable to Time Warner Cable Sportsnet and Time Warner Cable Deportes. These two networks are on the rise. Soccer, in general, is becoming more and more prevalent in the States. Spring and summer programming, which we're in the process of building out; a relationship with AEG; and resonance with the Hispanic community: all of that comes together and it creates enormous value for our networks.

    Q: Given the reports, the Galaxy now have the highest rights fees in all of MLS.
    Rone: I think that's probably correct. And I think that was probably correct prior to our deal. I believe they were already the highest earning media rights team in MLS. Nothing will have changed there.

    Q: Other than the amount they're getting paid.
    Rone: Yes. That changed.

    Q: What does that say about the value of MLS rights?
    Rone: The league is on a rise in general. What this deal should say about MLS and soccer rights in general is that we're rapidly getting to a point, particularly with the launch of a 24/7, fully dedicated regional sports network to Spanish language programming, where soccer is going to become more and more valuable to the marketplace. We now are creating for that community and market, we are creating language-specific programming and a platform that you can therefore amortize and multi-platform rights like the Galaxy.

    Q: What was your pitch to get the Galaxy rights?
    Rone: Our approach to these foundational programming partnerships is that we're going to provide the fans and viewers with greater depth around these teams than they've ever had before. That certainly was very interesting to the Galaxy as it was to the Los Angeles Lakers. In past relationships, they've been very fortunate to get their events on the air. But there wasn't much other programming outside of Lakers and Galaxy games on television. You'll see more Lakers and Galaxy programming and a greater depth and access into those teams and organizations than viewers and fans have ever seen on television before. It's clear to me that's why the Galaxy came.

    Q: What other rights are on your wish list?
    Rone: The Los Angeles Dodgers are at the top of that wish list, as you can fully imagine.

    Q: What's going on with that right now, given the events of this week?
    Rone: I don't think it has changed in the past week at all. I [was at SBJ's Media and Technology conference] almost a week ago. You asked me if we had an interest and what was our interest level in the Dodgers. I told you, 'Absolutely, we had an interest.' If we had the opportunity, we would be highly desirous in acquiring the media rights to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
    That remains the same today.

    Q: Have you had talks with the Dodgers yet?
    Rone: No. My understanding is that it won't be the Dodgers that we will be having discussions with.

    Q: The Dodgers top your wish list. What other rights are out there?
    Rone: I'd like to decline commenting on that. As you know, these things are most successfully done when they are done under the radar. But you can suffice it to say that we plan on being continually active as it relates to the acquisition and creation of programming for these networks.

    Print | Tags: Media
  • Al Michaels, Ron Jaworski Named Best NFL Announcers In USA Today Reader Poll

    USA TODAY has released the results of its third annual NFL TV announcers poll as voted on by readers, and the paper's Michael McCarthy noted there were some "surprises as the online voting went down to the wire Thursday night." ESPN’s Ron Jaworski “made a charge at the end to nab best game analyst for the first time,” beating out NBC's Cris Collinsworth by a 23%-22% difference. NBC's Al Michaels earned 39% of the vote for best play-by-play announcer, winning the category "for the third consecutive year” CBS’ Jim Nantz finished second with 19%. NBC's "Sunday Night Football" team of Michaels, Collinsworth, and sideline reporter Michele Tafoya "won best game crew for the third consecutive year (34%), with ESPN's 'Monday Night Football' crew of Jaworski, Jon Gruden, Mike Tirico and Suzy Kolber coming in second (22%).” "Fox NFL Sunday" won best pregame show for the third straight year with 33%, ESPN's Chris Berman with 26% “won best pregame show host for the third consecutive year” and ESPN's Adam Schefter with 33% “won best ‘insider’ for the third consecutive year” (USATODAY.com, 11/17).

    EXPERTS PICKS: USA TODAY’s McCarthy and Michael Hiestand listed their personal picks for the NFL TV announcers poll. Hiestand is "with the voters’ pick" of Michaels for best play-by-play announcer, while picking Fox’ Troy Aikman as best analyst, "although NBC’s Cris Collinsworth brings desperately needed glib humor to coverage of America’s secular religion.” Schefter is his choice for best reporter “mainly because he churns out on-air tonnage all week, although runner-up Jay Glazer of Fox has the most memorable TV presence and scores scoops.” McCarthy picks CBS’ Nantz "by a nose" over Michaels, as both "give games a big-event feel.” CBS' Phil Simms is the "top game analyst in my book,” as he “rips players and coaches when they deserve it and points out what they’re doing right without using TV jargon.” Glazer is McCarthy's pick for best reporter, as he "consistently gets the most scoops.” ESPN's Schefter, Chris Mortensen and John Clayton “split the insider vote three ways," the same with NBC’s Peter King and Mike Florio (USA TODAY, 11/18).

    Print | Tags: Media, ESPN, CBS, NBC
  • Lions Hire Detriot News Reporter To Run Editorial Operations On Team Website

    Twentyman will cover team daily, appearing on online and traditional media outlets

    The Lions hired Tim Twentyman, who covered the team for the Detroit News, to run the club’s editorial operations at DetroitLions.com. He had reported for the newspaper for eight years. In addition to Twentyman’s daily news coverage, he will also appear on online and traditional media outlets. On gamedays, he will report live from the stadium on the Ford Lions Report, the Lions' pregame show that airs on WXYZ-ABC at 11:00am ET and on the Lions Radio Network’s pregame show. The team's flagship station is WXYT-FM. Lions President Tom Lewand in a statement said, “He will not be an extension of our public relations department. Tim will cover our team and offer timely, compelling content in much the same manner as any beat writer would but with better and unique access.” The Bengals have had their own beat writer for years, and most teams have ramped up their own internal sites with reporters who are billed as independent.

    Print | Tags: Media, Detroit Lions
  • "Roll Tide/War Eagle" Has Top Audience Among ESPN Fall Slate Of Documentaries

    ESPN Films wrapped up its fall slate of documentaries last week with “Roll Tide/War Eagle,” a film about the Alabama-Auburn football rivalry. The telecast averaged 1.7 million viewers on Nov. 8, marking the most-viewed of the fall films. In the context of “30 for 30” broadcasts, “Roll Tide/War Eagle” would have ranked fifth overall in viewership. The film also continues a trend of strong audiences for ESPN’s college sports documentaries. “The Fab Five” remains the most-viewed ESPN doc with 2.7 million viewers last March, followed by “Pony Excess” last December (2.5 million viewers), “The U” in December ‘09 (2.4 million viewers) and “The Best That Never Was” in November ‘10 (2.2 million viewers).

    ESPN FILMS: FALL SLATE OF DOCUMENTARIES
    PREMIERE
    FILM
    RATING
    VIEWERS (000)
    11/8
    "Roll Tide/War Eagle"
    1.2
    1,698
    10/25
    "The Real Rocky"
    1.0
    1,386
    9/27
    "Catching Hell"
    1.0
    1,379
    11/1
    "Unguarded"
    1.0
    1,377
    10/11
    "The Dotted Line"
    0.6
    810
    10/18
    "Charismatic"
    0.5
    672
    10/4
    "Renee"
    0.4
    508

    Print | Tags: Media, ESPN
  • Final Ratings: Fox Deportes Benefits From UFC; NESN Earns Season High For Bruins

    The premiere of UFC on Fox last Saturday (5.8 million viewers) was a gain for the net’s normal audience in that time period, but Fox finished below ABC (aired Oregon-Stanford) and CBS for the night among total viewers. Fox also finished below ABC in the 18-34 demo. However, Fox did beat NBC in primetime, which had the Maryland-Notre Dame game. The UFC event also had positive returns on other Fox Sports media platforms. The pre-fight show on Fuel TV from 7:00-9:00pm ET averaged 83,000 viewers, marking the net’s top audience this year-to-date and best audience among males 18-49 since the net became nationally rated. Fox Deportes averaged 487,000 viewers for the Junior Dos Santos-Cain Velasquez bout, marking the best audience for any fight in Spanish-language cable history and the net’s best audience overall since a Chelsea-Manchester United EPL match on Sept. 18. On FoxSports.com, the UFC event marked the highest levels of activity outside of Super Bowls (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).

    NOTES: CBS averaged 2.6 million viewers for Florida-South Carolina in the 12:00pm window last Saturday, marking the net’s smallest SEC football audience in at least the last five seasons. The game was below ESPN’s record-setting Nebraska-Penn State audience (5.4 million viewers) in the window, but did beat ABC’s regional coverage (2.4 million viewers)….Versus averaged 1.3 million viewers for TCU’s upset of Boise State last Saturday afternoon, marking the net’s most-viewed Mountain West Conference game ever and third-largest college football audience overall....Golf Channel averaged 667,000 viewers for last week’s Australian Open event, which saw Tiger Woods leading the event after two rounds. That audience marks the net’s second-best audience for a non-PGA Tour event this year, behind only the European Tour’s Dubai Desert Classic last February. The four-round average is also up 273% from the comparable Australian Masters in ’10, a tournament in which Woods also played…. NESN earned a 5.3 local rating for the Devils-Bruins game on Tuesday night, marking a season high and the third-best regular-season Bruins rating ever for the net. Bruins games on NESN are averaging a 3.9 rating, up 46% from the same point last season (Karp)....Over 7.1 million Canadian viewers "watched some CFL playoff action" during the opening round last weekend. TSN and RDS combined for an audience "exceeding 1.6 million viewers" for the Tiger-Cats OT win over the Alouettes in the East Semifinal last Sunday, while the Eskimos-Stampeders West Semifinal "drew an average of 1.4 million" (CP, 11/14).

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

    TELECAST
    DATE
    NET
    TIME (ET)
    RAT.
    VIEWERS (000)
    "NFL on Fox": Giants-49ers (70%)
    11/13
    Fox
    4:15-7:44pm
    15.6
    25,938
    "Sunday Night Football": Patriots-Jets
    11/13
    NBC
    8:31-11:37pm
    12.9
    20,918
    "NFL on CBS": (single)
    11/13
    CBS
    1:00-4:05pm
    11.5
    19,003
    "NFL on Fox": (regional)
    11/13
    Fox
    1:00-4:15pm
    7.7
    12,444
    "The OT"
    11/13
    Fox
    7:44-8:00pm
    7.2
    11,800
    NCAA Football: Oregon-Stanford
    11/12
    ABC
    8:07-11:40pm
    5.4
    8,726
    "Football Night In America"
    11/13
    NBC
    7:30-8:15pm
    5.1
    8,236
    "UFC on Fox": Heavyweight title:
    Dos Santos d. Velasquez
    11/12
    Fox
    9:00-10:00pm
    3.1
    5,675
    "Fox NFL Sunday"
    11/13
    Fox
    12:00-1:00pm
    3.6
    n/a
    NCAA Football: (regional)
    11/12
    ABC
    3:39-7:34pm
    3.5
    5,525
    "The NFL Today"
    11/13
    CBS
    12:00-1:00pm
    2.7
    n/a
    NCAA Football: Auburn-Georgia
    11/12
    CBS
    3:32-6:56pm
    2.6
    4,190
    Soccer friendly: Mexico-Serbia
    11/11
    Uni
    8:50-11:12pm
    1.6
    3,208
    NCAA Football: Florida-South Carolina
    11/12
    CBS
    12:00-3:32pm
    1.7
    2,617
    NCAA Football: (regional)
    11/12
    ABC
    12:00-3:39pm
    1.5
    2,397
    NCAA Football:
    Maryland-Notre Dame
    11/12
    NBC
    7:40-10:42pm
    1.3
    2,077
    "Courage in Sports Awards" (taped)
    11/13
    CBS
    5:00-6:00pm
    1.2
    1,773
    Figure Skating: Fashion On Ice (taped)
    11/13
    NBC
    4:00-6:00pm
    0.9
    1,294
    Figure Skating: ISU Grand Prix (taped)
    11/13
    NBC
    2:00-4:00pm
    0.6
    863
    "Dew Tour Highlight Show" (taped)
    11/12
    NBC
    5:00-6:00pm
    0.5
    699
    Soccer friendly: France-U.S.
    11/11
    Uni
    2:55-5:00pm
    0.4
    627
    "World of Adventure Sports" (taped)
    11/12
    NBC
    4:00-5:00pm
    0.4
    569
    TELECAST
    DATE
    NET
    TIME (ET)
    RAT.
    VIEWERS (000)
    "Monday Night Football": Bears-Eagles
    11/7
    ESPN
    8:30-11:57pm
    10.7
    16,847
    NCAA Football: Nebraska-Penn State
    11/12
    ESPN
    12:04-3:36pm
    3.6
    5,426
    "Thursday Night Football":
    Raiders-Chargers
    11/10
    NFLN
    8:30-11:45pm
    3.3
    5,277
    NASCAR Sprint Cup:
    Kobalt Tools 500 (Phoenix)
    11/13
    ESPN
    3:00-6:07pm
    2.9
    4,766
    "Monday Night Countdown"
    11/7
    ESPN
    7:00-8:30pm
    2.5
    3,860
    NCAA Basketball: Carrier Classic: North Carolina-Michigan State
    11/11
    ESPN
    7:00-9:47pm
    2.4
    3,859
    NCAA Football:
    Virginia Tech-Georgia Tech
    11/10
    ESPN
    7:56-11:11pm
    2.3
    3,055
    NCAA Football:
    Alabama-Mississippi State
    11/12
    ESPN
    7:42-10:56pm
    1.7
    2,857
    "College GameDay"
    11/12
    ESPN
    10:00-11:48am
    1.8
    2,430
    "Sunday NFL Countdown"
    11/13
    ESPN
    10:00am-1:00pm
    1.6
    2,252

     

    Print | Tags: Media, Nielsen Media Research
  • Media Notes

    In L.A., Tom Hoffarth notes the MLS Galaxy's "grand plan today to officially announce the details of a 10-year, $55 million media agreement with Time Warner Cable that begins in March 2012 could rock the sport's business foundation almost as much as when the team signed David Beckham to a five-year deal back in '07." Industry insiders "surmise the asking price for the TWC channels, on whatever system they appear on, could cost subscribers between $2.50 and $3 a month." Hoffarth: "Does TWC take it as a business loss for awhile? Can it possibly make it up with advertising dollars? The business plan appears questionable at best." Fox Sports West/Prime Ticket "paid less than $300,000 for the rights to fewer than 20 regular-season games this season." The new TWC deal "pays almost as much per game" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 11/18).

    THE BOOK OF DAVID: GOLFWEEK.com's Martin Kaufmann is keeping a running diary of Golf Channel's Presidents Cup coverage and writes David Feherty’s "skills as an analyst -- I’d rank him among the top three in the game -- sometimes get overlooked because people perhaps dismiss him as a jokester." Kaufmann: "I've been particularly impressed with Feherty’s work so far this week. He’s found a pleasing balance between levity and insight. His pre-game explanation of how the wind would affect play on the greens was filled with details about green height (1/10th inch), the impact of the roller, and how that would affect putts and approach shots. He finishes by predicting 'bogeys will win holes.' Later, he calls K.J. Choi, who won his foursomes match with Adam Scott, 'the ideal partner' because he’s so dependable" (GOLFWEEK.com, 11/18).

    CHICAGO STYLE: ESPN.com's Brett Okamoto reported the "second UFC live event on the Fox network is expected to take place Jan. 28 at the United Center in Chicago." It will mark "just the second time the Chicago area has played host to a UFC event." The Jan. 28 date will be the "first of four shows contracted for Fox in 2012." Future broadcasts are "expected to air longer than one hour and feature multiple fights" (ESPN.com, 11/17).

    PREPARING TO SAY GOODBYE? In Houston, David Barron notes the '12 MLB season for Astros radio announcer Milo Hamilton upcoming "conceivably will be his last." Hamilton, who will be entering his 28th season with the Astros and 57th calling MLB games, said he will "probably not" make the move to the AL with the team in '13. Hamilton said, "It may be that I'll be around in some capacity. We're going to wait and see" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 11/18).

    Print | Tags: Media
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