ESPN Moving Full Shows To Arizona NFL: Deflategate Inquiry Ongoing Rolex 24 Sees Increasing Impact SI Lays Off Remaining Photographers NFLPA Grievance Challenges Conduct Policy Winter X Draws Record Thursday Crowd Veteran ESPN Exec John Walsh Set To Retire Weekend Plans With Disney's Christen Harris OSU Celebration Meets NHL All-Star Brady, Belichick Deny Deflategate Involvement
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Showtime, Golden Boy Promotions and Mayweather Promotions announced Thursday that the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Canelo Alvarez fight last Saturday “shattered the all-time record for highest-grossing pay-per-view fight,” generating $150M in revenue from 2.2 million PPV buys, according to Dan Rafael of ESPN.com. The $150M total “broke the record” set by Mayweather's victory against Oscar De La Hoya in ‘07. That fight generated $136M from “an all-time record 2.48 million pay-per-view buys.” Adjusted for inflation, Mayweather-De La Hoya “would be worth $153 million in today's dollars.” The $150M and 2.2 million buys for Mayweather-Alvarez “will likely increase as all of the buys are accounted for, giving the fight an outside chance to also break the buy record.” Mayweather-De La Hoya was “initially announced at 2.15 million buys and then amended a couple of months later when more of the numbers were tallied.” Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer said, "This is a vote of confidence for the sport and one would have to be an idiot to keep saying this is a dying sport like some people have said.” The Nevada State Athletic Commission indicated that the sellout crowd of 16,146 at MGM Grand Garden Arena “generated an all-time record gate of $20,003,150, topping the $18,419,200 generated by Mayweather-De La Hoya.” Rafael reported Mayweather-Alvarez would “fall second behind the inflation-adjusted gate” of $20.7M in ticket sales sold for Mayweather-De La Hoya. Mayweather-Alvarez also “set a Las Vegas closed-circuit record, selling out 26,163 tickets for a gross of $2,615,360” (ESPN.com, 9/19). The numbers the fight generated "from being shown at more than 500 movie theaters nationwide in the U.S.” has yet to be released (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 9/20).
Sports journalist Graham Bensinger "continues to follow a path few others have traveled, going out on his own in a high-risk, potentially high-reward, business of hosting, selling, marketing and running his own television sports interview program," according to Dan Caesar of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. The show, “In Depth with Graham Bensinger," began its fourth season this month and "is on its grandest stage yet." After having "appeared on the Internet and a variety of cable outlets, he decided to move the program to over-the-air television this season, syndicating it himself." Bensinger estimated that he "spent 220 days on the road in the last year" selling the show. He has increased his output from 12 shows a year to 26 this year, and his business "has grown from a one-man operation to one that now has 11 full-time employees." A good "chunk of the budget goes toward lining up guests." He recently hired longtime "Jim Rome Show" Producer Jason Stewart "as his booker." Bensinger said, “The budget has gone from in the first season what a lot of people would consider to be a nominal amount to this season if you screw up, it’s life-changing money." Bensinger said that he has "had interest from 'two large TV station groups' about acquiring a minority stake in the operation." Bensinger came to prominence at 19 when his interview with then-Eagles WR Terrell Owens in '05 led to the team suspending Owens (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 9/20).
Learfield Sports is launching a new mobile app called “College Football 2GO” that will offer radio play-by-play of Learfield’s 50 schools and a wrap-around studio show featuring highlights from college football games. The studio show “End Zone Radio” will take listeners in and out of multiple games over the course of a Saturday from 12:00-7:00pm ET. Bill Pollock and T.J. Carpenter will co-host. The app is free to download. If listeners want to hear full radio play-by-play of a game, “My Team Audio” is available for a subscription fee of $12.99 a month or $29.99 for the season. Learfield Sports Digital, in association with Texas-based developer Phunware, built the app. This marks the second app produced by Learfield Digital, which earlier this year came out with “Big Ten Connect.” The new app is available through the iTunes App Store and Google Play for smartphones and tablets. Among Learfield’s properties are Alabama, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Penn State and Stanford.
CBS led all NFL Week 2 telecasts with a 15.8 final rating and 26.4 million viewers for its national window, which featured Broncos-Giants. The net’s “The NFL Today” pregame show is averaging a 2.3 rating (3.3 million viewers). Fox finished with a 12.8 rating (21.9 million viewers) for its Sunday singleheader. Through two weeks, Fox’ game telecast audience is up 8% over last year and ranks as the net’s best start ever to an NFL season. The “Fox NFL Sunday” pregame show is averaging a 3.3 rating (5.1 million viewers) through two weeks, up 6%. The Seahawks’ 29-3 defeat of the 49ers on “SNF” averaged 20.5 million viewers, leading NBC to a nightly win among all nets despite a 60-minute weather delay during the first quarter. ESPN’s Steelers-Bengals “MNF” game earned a 9.1 rating (14.3 million viewers), peaking during the 10:00-10:15pm ET window. The game led ESPN to primetime win among all nets. After three telecasts, “MNF” is averaging an 8.8 rating and 14.1 million viewers), up 10% and 14%, respectively (THE DAILY).
LOCAL NFL RATINGS: The Lions-Cardinals game drew a 21.6 local rating in the Phoenix market last Sunday, marking the team’s best Week 2 rating on record (Cardinals)....49ers-Seahawks drew a 44.8 rating in Seattle, the city's "best numbers ever" for an NBC "SNF" game (SEATTLETIMES.com, 9/19).
DOWN THE STRETCH THEY COME: MLB Network averaged 450,000 viewers for Yankees-Red Sox last Friday, marking the net’s most-watched MLB game this season to date and eighth-best all-time (THE DAILY)….NESN is averaging a "solid" 7.3 rating on Red Sox telecasts this year, “up 13 percent over last year” through 138 games. The Red Sox in September are averaging a 9.2 rating on NESN “through the first 13 games of the month, including two single-game ratings above 11” (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/20).
NOTES: ESPN2 drew a 17.6 local rating in Oklahoma City for the Oklahoma-Tulsa game last Saturday, ahead of a 16.3 rating on KWTV-CBS for Alabama-Texas A&M and an 8.6 on FS Oklahoma for Lamar-Oklahoma State. The 8.6 marked OSU’s “lowest rating this season” (OKLAHOMAN, 9/17)....NBCSN finished with 227,000 viewers for the fifth iteration of the World Series of Fighting last Saturday, down slightly from the fourth telecast in August (MMAWEEKLY.com, 9/17).
The charts below list final ratings from recent telecasts.
TELECASTDATENETTIME (ET)RAT.VIEWERS (000) "NFL on CBS": Broncos-Giants (89%)9/14CBS4:20-7:30pm15.826,400 "NFL on Fox": (single)9/14Fox1:00-4:05pm12.821,900 "Sunday Night Football": 49ers-Seahawks**9/14NBC8:31pm-12:13am12.220,543 College Football: Alabama-Texas A&M9/13CBS3:30-6:00pm8.5n/a "NFL on CBS": (regional)9/14CBS1:00-4:20pm8.0n/a "Football Night in America"9/14NBC7:30-8:15pm4.67,562 "Fox NFL Sunday"9/14Fox12:00-1:00pm3.35,100 College Football: Notre Dame-Purdue9/13ABC8:07-11:39pm3.04,789 College Football: UCLA-Nebraska9/13ABC12:00-3:30pm2.74,193 "The NFL Today"9/14CBS12:00-1:00pm2.2n/a College Football: Ohio State-Cal9/13Fox7:06-10:41pm2.03,253 College Football: Tennessee-Oregon9/13ABC3:30-6:45pm2.03,164 FIFA World Cup qualifer: Mexico-U.S.9/10UniMas7:33-10:10pm1.83,540 "College Football Today"9/13CBS3:00-3:30pm1.7n/a "Fox Sports 1 on 1: Adrian Peterson"9/14Fox4:30-5:30pm1.62,400 PGA Tour: BMW Championship: Third Round9/13NBC3:00-6:00pm1.41,900 MLB: (regional)9/13Fox12:30-4:00pm1.31,900 PGA Tour: BMW Championship: Final Round*9/14NBC1:30-6:00pm0.71,040 EPL: Everton-Chelsea9/13NBC12:30-3:00pm0.6917 "College Football special"9/13CBS2:30-3:00pm0.5n/a Liga MX: Chivas de Guadalajara-Tijuana9/15UniMas5:50-8:00pm0.5943 Liga MX: Cruz Azul-Tigres UANL9/14Univ.5:50-8:00pm0.5757 LPGA: Evian Championship: Final Round9/14NBC12:00-1:30pm0.5637 Lucas Oil Off Road Racing9/13CBS1:30-2:30pm0.3n/a TELECASTDATENETTIME (ET)RAT.VIEWERS (000) "Monday Night Football": Eagles-Redskins9/9ESPN6:58-10:39pm10.116,524 "Monday Night Football": Texans-Chargers9/9ESPN10:39pm-1:45am7.110,951 "Thursday Night Football": Patriots-Jets9/12NFLN8:30-11:54pm5.58,791 NASCAR Sprint Cup: Chicagoland^9/15ESPN3:15-4:44pm2.43,623 "Thursday Night Football Pre-Kick"9/12NFLN8:00-8:30pm2.43,604 College Football: Wisconsin-Arizona State9/14ESPN10:38pm-2:10am1.62,529 College Football: Louisville-Kentucky9/14ESPN12:01-3:14pm1.52,279 College Football: Vanerbilt-South Carolina9/12ESPN7:25-11:09pm1.42,277 "Sunday NFL Countdown"9/15ESPN10:00am-1:00pm1.62,266 FIFA World Cup qualifer: Mexico-U.S.9/10ESPN7:41-10:01pm1.42,243
NOTES: * = Final round concluded on Monday on Golf Channel due to weather delays, with the cable net averaging 942,000 viewers. ** = Excludes one-hour weather delay during first quarter. Air times were 8:31-9:05pm and 10:05-12:13am ET. ^ = The race aired from 3:15-4:44pm on ESPN and then from 10:00-pm-1:15am on ESPN2.
In Dayton, David Jablonski reports the Reds have signed radio play-by-play announcer Marty Brennaman to a “three-year contract extension." By the time that deal expires, Brennaman “will have been the voice of the team for 43 years of his 74 years.” Brennaman joined the Reds radio team in ’74 and received the Ford Frick Award in ‘00 at the Baseball HOF (DAYTON DAILY NEWS, 9/20).
BELLY TO BELLY: In N.Y., Richard Sandomir notes Yankees radio play-by-play announcer John Sterling is a “singular, divisive, much-debated personality,” who seems likely to “move with the Yankees’ radio rights next season” from WCBS-AM to WFAN-AM. If Sterling returns, with or without analyst Suzyn Waldman, it “will not be because he is a great broadcaster.” He is “frequently awful and laughable -- yet unforgettable in his overblown way.” His return would “seem to be predicated on lengthy service as a Yankees homer” (N.Y. TIMES, 9/20).
TOO MANY EYES: Packers QB Aaron Rodgers said he is “not at all” a fan of the camera in the Packers’ locker room for TV interviews before and after games. Rodgers: “They should get their booms and their cameras out of the team huddles as well before the game. Especially when they are pushing me away to get inside.” He added of last week’s Broncos-Giants game, “There are two brothers who are going to shake their hands after the game. They can’t even get to each another. I mean, how these people get credentials is unbelievable. They let them on the field. They can’t even walk over to shake hands with each other. That to me is ridiculous” (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 9/19).