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The Yankees' new radio deal, when completed, will put them on WFAN-AM "for the next 10 years for at least" $15M a year, according to a source cited by Sandomir & Rohan of the N.Y. TIMES. WFAN "could also carry" MLS expansion club NYC FC, which is a partnership of the Yankees and EPL club Manchester City. The Yankees by moving to CBS' "all-sports WFAN from all-news WCBS-AM after this season ... will bump the Mets from WFAN, ending an association between the team and the station that began with the station’s inception" in '87. Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said it was "fairly accurate" that the team was leaving WFAN. He indicated that for "a while longer, Mets radio rights would be in limbo." Wilpon said that it would "probably take about six weeks to complete a deal with a new station." He added that the Mets "could be hurt if they moved to a station lacking a signal powerful enough to reach the geographic swath" of the N.Y. market. Former CBS Radio Chair & CEO Joel Hollander said that he "doubted the Mets would replace the Yankees at WCBS." The price tag of $15M or more "underscores the Yankees' greater advertiser and audience appeal -- and the desire by CBS Radio to keep them from leaving." WCBS this year is paying the Yankees about $14M, almost "double what WFAN is paying the Mets" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/11). In N.Y., Bob Raissman cites sources as saying that the Yankees-WFAN contract "would be for 10 years ... paying the Yankees between" $15-20M per year. This would give the Yankees the "most lucrative radio deal in baseball." The "final hurdle" was WFAN locking up NYC FC rights, which "is separate from the Yankee deal." It is a "three-year deal believed to be the highest radio contract for a MLS team" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/11).
VOICES CARRY: On Long Island, Neil Best notes all indications are that John Sterling "would remain" the Yankees' play-by-play man. Less certain is the "status of his partner, Suzyn Waldman, but if the Yankees give their blessing, they likely will continue an on-air partnership that began" in '05. Regardless of "where the Mets go, Howie Rose and Josh Lewin probably would remain on the broadcast team" (NEWSDAY, 9/11).
WILL RISK BE WORTH REWARD? The DAILY NEWS' Raissman wrote a 10-year deal is "quite an investment, a gamble/risk, on a product that’s going to need some fixing, a team with some major holes at a number of positions moving forward." The Yankees execs who negotiated this deal "must have been wearing golden fleeces." By the third year of this radio contract, "who knows what the Yankees will look like with the absence of franchise icons" such as SS Derek Jeter, and Ps Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte. WFAN will be "hard-pressed to make money over the course of the contract" with a $15-20M per-year sum to cover. Raissman: "Just ask the suits at Boston’s WEEI who saw their station turned upside down by a 10-year deal with the Red Sox worth $18 million per." Raissman added, "If it is possible, expect to be hearing even more commercials packed in between pitches of Yankee radiocasts next season if the WFAN deal goes down" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/11).
Fox finished with a 16.6 final rating and 28.5 million viewers for its NFL national window on Sunday, marking the net’s best Week 1 audience on record for a national window. Sunday’s telecast, which featured Packers-49ers, was up 8% compared to the net’s national window in Week 1 last year, which featured the same matchup. The national window was also the best audience for any program on TV since ABC’s “Academy Awards” telecast in February. Fox’ regional coverage in the early window averaged a 9.0 rating and 14.7 million viewers, marking the net’s best viewership for Week 1 and second-best rating.
MANIC MONDAY: ESPN’s Eagles-Redskins opener finished with a 10.1 rating and 16.5 million viewers, marking the best audience for a “MNF” opener since the net acquired "MNF" rights prior to the ’06 season. Eagles-Redskins topped the previous best Week 1 audience set by Ravens-Jets in ’10 (9.4 rating, 15.0 million viewers) and was up from a 7.0 rating and 10.9 million viewers for Bengals-Ravens in the “MNF” opener last year. The game also beat the audience for all but one “MNF” telecast last season. Overall, Eagles-Redskins ranks as the fourth-best audience on cable TV for ’13 to date. In the late “MNF” window, Texans-Chargers earned a 7.1 rating and 11.1 million viewers, up from a 6.8 rating and 10.5 million viewers for Chargers-Raiders in the late window last year.
MIXED BAG: NBC finished with a 15.0 rating and 25.4 million viewers for the Giants-Cowboys “SNF” telecast, down 9% and 8%, respectively, from a 16.5 rating and 27.6 million viewers for the comparable Steelers-Broncos game last year, which featured the return of QB Peyton Manning. Despite the drop, “SNF” was the most-viewed primetime program across all nets last week. Meanwhile, NBC’s Ravens-Broncos telecast last Thursday finished with a 14.9 rating and 25.1 million viewers, marking the third-best rating for an NFL Kickoff game. The game was also up 1% and 5%, respectively, from a 14.7 rating and 23.9 million viewers for Cowboys-Giants last year, which aired on a Wednesday night to accommodate the Democratic National Convention. Ravens-Broncos also was the second-best audience in primetime across all nets last week (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).
THE HUB TUNED IN: CBS earned a 30.8 local rating in Boston for Patriots-Bills on Sunday, marking the second-best early-afternoon opener for the Patriots since '01. The only other Patriots opener with a 1:00pm ET start to top those numbers in the last 12 years was last season's game against the Titans (33.5 local rating) (Patriots).
COWHER DOESN'T COWER: THE MMQB's Richard Deitsch wrote of CBS analyst Bill Cowher's work on "The NFL Today,": "Each year I’m more impressed with his work on a show that has long been a mixed bag." Cowher "did a nice job" on Sunday "diagramming how to defend the Pistol formation and explained in lay terms why the read-option provides a level of comfort for young quarterbacks who are used to playing in open space." Deitsch: "Each time I interview Cowher, I become more convinced he’s never going back into coaching." Meanwhile, CBSSN's Amy Trask wrote in an e-mail that she "would grade herself as a C-minus" in regard to her "That Other Pregame Show" debut on Sunday. Trask: "I gave myself an F in some regards, and in a few instances, an A. There was not enough A and B work to offset the D and F work, so that’s why there is a minus sign next to the C." She added that one of the things she "needs to work on is not pausing before answering questions" (MMQB.SI.com, 9/10).
CARDS GET NEW SHOW: FS Arizona is adding a first-of-its-kind postgame show called "Cardinals OT," which debuts this Sunday. The 60-minute program will be taped from Univ. of Phoenix Stadium after home games and replayed later that night so fans attending the game are able to watch it as well. The show will be hosted by Jody Jackson, and she will be joined by analysts Glenn Parker and Bertrand Berry. Radio announcers Dave Pasch and Ron Wolfley also will appear on the show, along with Paul Calvisi. Brad Steinke will fill in for Jackson during Sunday's debut (FS Arizona).
NBC’s “SNF” Exec Producer Fred Gaudelli discussed how to handle head injuries during broadcasts. Appearing on Slate's "Hang Up and Listen" podcast, Gaudelli said he was "100 percent sensitive" to airing head hits during the game broadcast. He added player safety is the NFL's "No. 1 issue." Gaudelli compared showing head injuries to "replaying a car accident five times.” He said, “How many times do you really want to replay it? Five years ago, I would have done it." Gaudelli noted sideline reporter Michele Tafoya is "well aware of the independent neurologists on each sideline" who are able to review the game tape of a particular play and "that's part of our coverage plan when things of that nature happen." Meanwhile, Gaudelli said of declining ratings: “I just think they're the normal cycles that come part-and-parcel with entertainment and the television industry. I think that when you're putting up 22, 23, 24, 25 million people, there are very, very, very, as you well know, few shows on TV that can do that on a consistent basis” ("Hang Up and Listen," SLATE.com, 9/10).
S.F.-based mobile marketing outfit Phizzle has created a new multi-channel digital campaign solution, the Phizzle Platform. The new product combines and tracks fan interactions across multiple channels, including e-mail, social media, text, loyalty programs and mobile app, and creates unified fan profiles. The development of the Phizzle Platform, more than two years in the making, represents a significant pivot for the company, which had previously been more focused on mobile marketing products for teams based on texting technology. "We'll still also be doing what we did before, but in order to really grow the company, this was the direction we needed to go," said Phizzle CEO Ben Davis. "We think this answers a real need in the industry to have a simple, automated solution to get a true, 360-degree view of the fan."