SBD/May 25, 2012/Media

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  • NBC's "SNF" Leads Primetime; First Time A Sports Series Is TV's Most-Watched

    NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” was the most-watched primetime show during the '11-12 TV season, becoming the first sports series to finish a season ranked No. 1. "SNF" averaged 20.9 million viewers for its games during the official TV season, which ran from Sept. 19-May 23. Fox' “American Idol” ranked second. “SNF” was also the top-ranked primetime program for the TV season in Nielsen household rating, as well as among all key adult and male demos (NFL). "SNF" also ranked No. 4 overall in primetime among women 18-49, behind only NBC's "The Voice" and Fox' two nights of "American Idol." Among women 18-34, "SNF" ranked third, behind "The Voice" and the Wednesday airing of "American Idol" (THE DAILY). ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY's James Hibbard noted NBC for the season“officially ranks third among the Big Four networks among the key adults 18-49 demographic.” ABC slipped to fourth, with NBC “having edged out its rival by a mere tenth of a rating point.” NBC benefited from “SNF” as well as “airing the season’s highest-rated special event," Super Bowl XLVI. The Super Bowl alone is “worth at least a tenth of a rating point on a network’s season average.” ABC points out that "if it wasn’t for the Super Bowl, the network would have firmly beaten NBC.” Since NBC is not airing the Super Bowl next year, the “question is whether the network can sustain this season’s overall gain without the support of the big game” (EW.com, 5/24).

    TOP FIVE MOST-VIEWED PRIMETIME PROGRAMS
    DURING '11-12 TV SEASON
    RANK
    NET
    PROGRAM
    VIEWERS (000)
    1
    NBC
    "Sunday Night Football"*
    20,900
    2
    Fox
    "American Idol" (Wed.)
    18,000
    3
    CBS
    "NCIS"
    17,300
    4
    ABC
    "Dancing With The Stars"
    17,200
    5
    Fox
    "American Idol" (Thurs.)
    16,500

    NOTE: Figure does not include "SNF" games airing before start of TV season on Sept. 19

    MOST-VIEWED PRIMETIME PROGRAMS AMONG WOMEN 18-34
    DURING '11-12 TV SEASON
    RANK
    NET
    PROGRAM
    1
    NBC
    "The Voice"
    2
    Fox
    "American Idol" (Thurs.)
    3
    NBC
    "Sunday Night Football"

    Print | Tags: Media, NBC, NFL
  • NHL Network's Stanley Cup Final Coverage Will Begin Tuesday With Media Day

    The NHL Network has finalized its plans for Stanley Cup Final coverage, which kicks off with Media Day Tuesday. The net will have a three-hour live show during Media Day, and as a bonus, fans can go to NHL.com and choose among three podiums to watch players at their press conferences. “It’s a unique opportunity to bring it to viewers live,” said NHL Network Exec Producer Mark Preisler. “We’ll take fans inside the Media Day with complete coverage, plus they’ll have fun on NHL.com by jumping from podium to podium.” There will also be a one-hour highlights show on Media Day Tuesday at 7:00pm ET. Starting with Game One of the Cup Final on Wednesday, NHL Network will have three hours of pregame coverage. "Cisco NHL Live," hosted by E. J. Hradek, runs two hours and will be followed by "NHL Tonight’s" one-hour pregame show, with host Kathryn Tappen and analysts Kevin Weekes and Barry Melrose. Preisler is especially excited about the return to L.A. of Melrose, who coached the Kings when they advanced to the Cup Final in '93. “Having Barry back in L.A. is big for us and should be a lot of fun,” said Preisler. “He’ll bring a lot of good perspective about 1993 and what the Kings mean to the area.” Joe Micheletti and Doug Weight will provide analysis on the Eastern Conference champion. Steve Mears and Darren Pang will cover the Kings (Christopher Botta, SportsBusiness Journal).

    MIC CHECK: The GLOBE & MAIL’s Bruce Dowbiggin writes the position of reporter between the NHL benches “is becoming a victim of its own success as some critics demand the filters be taken off the hot audio.” NBC Sports’ Pierre McGuire, who has faced some criticism for not reporting what was said during a confrontation between Rangers coach John Tortorella and Devils coach Peter DeBoer during Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals, said that he has a “straightforward policy” in what he reports. McGuire: “The standard is simple. I will report that a player is hurt, but I will not say what body part is injured. With the coaches verbal jousting … I will say there is a confrontation but not say what they are saying towards one another.” The CBC’s Glenn Healy, who also is located between the benches, said, “I am still a player. What’s said there, stays there. That stuff has no bearing on the game. I can promise you there were no complete sentences in there. We don’t need to turn hockey into TMZ or whatever.” TSN VP & Exec Producer Live Events Paul Graham: “We are guests at the dinner table. We are granted permission to access between the benches by the NHL and the teams, so we go in there knowing we have to respect certain situations we are privy to based on our location. We leave it to our analysts to judge what pertinent information goes to air.” Dowbiggin notes that confrontation between Tortorella and DeBoer, “while profane, had news value.” Conveying that in some fashion “surely should not break the covenant between reporter and league” (GLOBE & MAIL, 5/25). In N.Y., Phil Mushnick writes, "Being up close and personal was what McGuire's 'Inside The Glass' status was predicated upon, no? So where was NBC's producer to demand that he provide even a bit more than nothing from inside the glass?" Mushnick: "McGuire and NBC had turned his 'privileged position' into a worthless one -- one that not only didn't answer obvious questions but led to added questions about NBC's inability to sensibly deal sensibly with the sensible in its audience" (N.Y. POST, 5/25).

    THE DOCTOR IS IN: The N. Y. POST's Mushnick writes NBC play-by-play analyst Mike Emrick makes in-game ads sound "smooth." During Game Five, the net focused on Devils assistant coach Adam Oates, and NBC's Ed Olczyk said, "A great coach of the power play." Emrick added, "And unbeknownst to him, it's sponsored by Jack Daniels" (N.Y. POST, 5/25). In L.A., Tom Hoffarth writes Emrick is "widely considered to be the Vin Scully of hockey vernacular, taking it to another level by creating his own verbiage and then cranking the emotional meter to punctuate a particular hectic scene on the ice." Meanwhile, the Kings are working on a plan "that could channel the voices of Bob Miller and Jim Fox somewhere during the Finals, aside from them continuing to do a postgame show for Fox Sports Net or Prime Ticket" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 5/25). 

    MAKE IT STOP: CBSSPORTS.com’s Ray Ratto wrote Tortorella, DeBoer and Kings coach Darryl Sutter can, “without even colluding, finally kill the idea of the coach's in-game interview.” All three hate “being bothered during a game by microphone-bearing wildlife, give lousy answers to whatever question is posed, be it insightful or insipid, and can't leave fast enough.” Ratto: “The value of the in-game interview is essentially zero. This is true for every sport that allows it, but hockey coaches being the least open to it, they are the ones best positioned to destroy it.” And whether Sutter is matched against DeBoer or Tortorella, “they can provide the service that they, and we the viewers, so desperately need” (CBSSPORTS.com, 5/23).

    Print | Tags: Media, NHL
  • USA Today's Morgan Says Cuts Are Designed To Become Aligned Toward Breaking News

    USA Today Sports Media Group Senior VP/Content & Editor-in-Chief Dave Morgan said this week's editorial staff restructuring was part of an ongoing process to become much more aligned toward breaking news and develop a fully fledged digital content strategy. "This kind of process is never easy, but we're looking very broadly at our overall strategic direction, and we want much more to be about breaking news, setting the agenda, and being very digitally focused. We're implementing an entirely new set of goals and strategies, and completely redefining what the organization is," Morgan said. The outlet parted ways this week with 15 staffers out of a total editorial roster of nearly 100, with departures including writers Michael McCarthy, Tom Weir, Tom Pedulla and Mike Dodd. Several other staffers have also chosen to leave voluntarily, including Olympics writer Vicki Michaelis, who is moving to the Univ. of Georgia to become a sports journalism professor. But company execs said USA Today Sports will bulk up its headcount to about 115 people by September, not counting additional employees brought in through its new joint venture with MLBAM and recent purchases such as Big Lead Sports.

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  • People & Personalities: Padres' Broadcasters Provide Shining Light In Tough Season

    Scanlan played nine years in MLB and is an "aggressive acquirer of new knowledge"

    In San Diego, Tim Sullivan wrote the Padres “work best right now as a radio product,” particularly since color analyst Bob Scanlan “entered the booth.” Scanlan is "worth lending an ear," as he "tells you things you wouldn’t know and couldn’t have guessed unless you had played the game professionally." Scanlan, who played nine years in MLB, injects "without seeming intrusive, speaking succinctly and on point and, unlike so many former ballplayers in broadcasting, is an aggressive acquirer of new knowledge” (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 5/24). Also in San Diego, Chris Jenkins profiles FS San Diego announcer Mark Sweeney, who “fulfills myriad roles” for the net. However, the one that “most incorporates his particular perspective on game is that three-inning stretch where he provides analysis from alongside the Padres dugout.” A 14-year MLB veteran, Sweeney was a “must-see interview subject, comfortable answering even the toughest questions and willing to share his insights without issuing a stream of baseball clichés or evade-speak.” Sweeney’s “extensive experience with the Padres made him seem a natural fit" when FS San Diego landed the new Padres contract (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 5/24).

    OLYMPIC WARRIOR: CSNBAYAREA.com's Matt Steinmetz reports Warriors announcer Bob Fitzgerald “will be doing play-by-play for men’s and women’s basketball for NBC Sports at the 2012 London Olympics.” Fitzgerald will do play-by-play for 32 total games. He said that he will be “working the men’s games with" 76ers coach Doug Collins and the women’s games with Basketball HOFer Ann Meyers. TNT's Craig Sager will handle the sideline reporting. Steinmetz noted this “will be the fourth Olympic call of Fitzgerald’s career,” having worked the ‘08 Beijing Games (men’s water polo), the ‘04 Athens Games (men’s and women’s basketball) and the ‘96 Atlanta Games (swimming) (CSNBAYAREA.com, 5/24).

    BEADLE BAILEY: ESPN’s Michelle Beadle is leaving the net on May 31 for NBC Sports Network and "Access Hollywood," and in Boston, Chad Finn notes Beadle soon will “try to find” the chemistry she developed with Colin Cowherd on “SportsNation” elsewhere. Beadle said, “A lot of things are being tossed around right now, but I like that I’m being asked my opinion and have some input." She added, "My big thing is I like to be in a spot where I can have an opinion every single day, and I’m hoping to keep that going because, you know, it’s not normal yet for women in this business to have an opinion, and I was very grateful that I got to do that.” Beadle: “For me, I understand that ESPN is where a lot of sports broadcasters want to go, but for me personally, it’s not just the NBC Sports brand, it’s everything that NBC entails. There’s room to do so much under one umbrella” (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/25).

    JOIN THE CLUB
    : FS North announced that Tom Hanneman has joined the net as a studio host for the T’Wolves, Twins, Wild and Univ. of Minnesota hockey. Hanneman spent the past 23 seasons on T’Wolves broadcasts, including the past 11 as the team’s TV play-by-play announcer (FSN). In Minneapolis, Kent Youngblood notes Hanneman “fills the role vacated when Anthony LaPanta was named the TV voice of the Wild.” FSN Senior VP & GM Mike Dimond said that a “national search has already begun to replace Hanneman, a collaborative process between FSN and the Timberwolves.” The job of calling UM hockey games on FSN also is open, and Dimond said that he “would like to have both positions filled by Aug. 1” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 5/25).

    COME ON BOARD: The Illinois DAILY HERALD announced Mike North is joining its staff as a “twice-weekly columnist and thrice-weekly video producer” beginning June 19. North was the co-host of the “Monsters in the Morning” radio show with former NFLer Dan Jiggetts, as well as a sports talk radio show at WSCR-AM in Chicago. North’s columns “will be published Tuesdays and Fridays, and his three weekly sports videos will be carried” on the newspaper’s website every Monday, Wednesday and Friday (Illinois DAILY HERALD, 5/24).

    DAILY DOSE: The BOSTON GLOBE's Finn notes Randy Scott, who “helped stabilize ‘NESN Daily’ with his sharp writing and amiable manner during his year and a half with the network, is leaving for ESPN, where he’ll begin in mid-June as an anchor on ESPNNews.” Finn writes, “It’s a terrific, deserved opportunity for him, and a smart hire by ESPN” (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/25).

    Print | Tags: Media
  • Final Ratings: Thunder-Lakers Series Sets Local Record In Oklahoma City

    TNT earned a 34.1 local rating in Oklahoma City for the Thunder's series-clinching Western Conference Semifinals Game Five on Monday against the Lakers. The rating marks a record in the market for a Thunder telecast, beating the mark set by Thunder-Lakers Game Two (30.3 rating). The five-game series averaged a 28.3 in Oklahoma City, also a Thunder record. The previous series record was set last year for the Western Conference Finals against the Mavericks (OKLAHOMAN, 5/22).

    CHELSEA LATELY: Fox finished with a 1.1 final Nielsen rating and 2.0 million viewers for last Saturday's UEFA Champions League final, which saw EPL club Chelsea defeat Bundesliga club Bayern Munich in penalty kicks. That figure is down from a 1.4 rating (2.6 million viewers) for last year's FC Barcelona-Manchester United match, but up from a 1.0 rating (1.6 million viewers) for Inter Milan-Bayern Munich in '10. Saturday's telecast peaked at 2.5 million viewers during the final three minutes of the broadcast (Fox).

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

    TELECAST
    DATE
    NET
    TIME (ET)
    RAT.
    VIEWERS (000)
    Preakness Stakes (race segment)
    5/19
    NBC
    6:00-6:45pm
    5.2
    8,100
    NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals:
    Heat-Pacers: Game Four
    5/20
    ABC
    3:30-6:15pm
    4.8
    7,625
    Preakness Pre-Race
    5/19
    NBC
    5:00-6:00pm
    2.7
    3,880
    NBA Western Conference Semifinals:
    Spurs-Clippers: Game Three
    5/19
    ABC
    3:30-6:15pm
    2.3
    3,182
    MLB: (regional)
    5/19
    Fox
    7:12-10:20pm
    1.9
    2,913
    PGA Tour: Byron Nelson
    Championship: Final Round
    5/20
    CBS
    3:00-6:00pm
    1.9
    n/a
    Preakness Pre-Race
    5/19
    NBC
    4:30-5:00pm
    1.5
    2,240
    PGA Tour: Byron Nelson
    Championship: Third Round
    5/19
    CBS
    3:00-6:00pm
    1.1
    n/a
    Mexico Primera Division:
    Santos Laguna-Monterrey
    5/19
    Telef.
    8:50-11:20pm
    1.1
    2,270
    UEFA Champions League Final:
    Chelsea-Bayern Munich
    5/19
    Fox
    2:45-5:30pm
    1.1
    2,000
    NHL Eastern Conference Finals:
    Rangers-Devils: Game Three
    5/19
    NBC
    1:00-3:45pm
    1.0
    1,499
    NHL Western Conference Finals:
    Coyotes-Kings: Game Four
    5/20
    NBC
    3:00-6:00pm
    0.9
    1,380
    PBR: Pueblo Invitational
    5/20
    CBS
    2:00-3:00pm
    0.7
    n/a
    WNBA: Mercury-Lynx
    5/20
    ABC
    12:30-2:30pm
    0.6
    687
    "Red Bull King of the Rock"
    5/19
    CBS
    2:00-3:00pm
    0.4
    n/a
    TELECAST
    DATE
    NET
    TIME (ET)
    RAT.
    VIEWERS (000)
    NBA Western Conference Semifinals:
    Thunder-Lakers: Game Two
    5/16
    TNT
    9:43pm-12:26am
    4.6
    7,445
    NBA Western Conference Semifinals:
    Thunder-Lakers: Game Three
    5/18
    ESPN
    10:53-pm-1:33am
    4.6
    7,377
    NBA Western Conference Semifinals:
    Thunder-Lakers: Game One
    5/14
    TNT
    9:43pm-12:22am
    4.3
    6,687
    NBA Western Conference Semifinals:
    Thunder-Lakers: Game Four
    5/19
    TNT
    10:30pm-1:13am
    3.9
    6,366
    NBA Western Conference Semifinals:
    Spurs-Clippers: Game One
    5/15
    TNT
    9:46pm-12:18am
    3.4
    5,040
    NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals:
    Celtics-76ers: Game Four
    5/18
    ESPN
    8:04-10:50pm
    3.1
    4,751
    NBA Western Conference Semifinals:
    Spurs-Clippers: Game Two
    5/17
    ESPN
    9:40pm-12:11am
    3.2
    4,683
    NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals:
    Heat-Pacers: Game Two
    5/15
    TNT
    7:00-9:46pm
    2.9
    4,457
    NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals:
    Heat-Pacers: Game Three
    5/17
    ESPN
    6:58-9:40pm
    3.0
    4,453
    NBA Western Conference Semifinals:
    Spurs-Clippers: Game Four
    5/20
    TNT
    10:30pm-1:20am
    2.8
    4,443

    Print | Tags: Media, Nielsen Media Research
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