NFL Clears Players In PED Investigation Valero Alamo Bowl Extends With Big 12, Pac-12 Chris Kirk Signs Endorsement Deal With Randrr UCLA Health To Sponsor Lakers' Practice Facility Buffalo Wild Wings Renews NCAA Partnership Roger Curtis Leaving Michigan Int'l Speedway Adidas Chair Hainer Talks Upcoming Retirement Nebraska Cuts Club Memberships For Employees Arthur Ashe Stadium's New Roof Blocking Out Sun Former NFLer Looks To Supreme Court In Appeal
SBD/November 8, 2013/MediaPrint All
Thursday night saw a lineup of marquee college football games, which in turn saw strong competition from the NFL and an NBA doubleheader. ESPN averaged a 4.1 overnight for Stanford’s win over Oregon (9:00pm ET start), which likely will end up being ESPN’s best audience for a Thursday night game since LSU-Mississippi State in ’11. FS1 had Baylor’s win over Oklahoma last night (7:30pm), with that game drawing a 1.5 overnight. When final audience figures come in, the game likely will rank among the top 2-3 broadcasts since the net launched in August. NFL Network’s Redskins-Vikings game led all sports telecasts last night with a 5.4 overnight, which is up 17% from Colts-Jaguars in the same week last year. TNT also saw strong numbers for an NBA doubleheader on Thursday. The net averaged a 2.0 overnight for Clippers-Heat and Lakers-Rockets (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).A LEAGUE OF HIS OWN: In Oklahoma City, Mel Bracht writes FS1's Petros Papadakis, who has "concentrated on West Coast games in recent years, clearly was out of his league" when calling Oklahoma-Baylor. He "kept talking about how OU was the league's most physical team," which means he "apparently hadn't seen the tape of the OU-Texas game." His "shrill voice also was annoying in a crowded three-man booth, often repeating the comments" of fellow FS1 analyst Joel Klatt (OKLAHOMAN, 11/8). Oklahoma City-based KOCO-ABC sports reporter Carson Cunningham wrote on his Twitter feed, "Not sure we need 2 analysts. I much prefer Joel Klatt than Petros Papadakis, too." Syndicated columnist Norman Chad wrote, "I've activated the closed captioning function on my TV so I can follow the OU-Baylor game. It also helps with Petros Papadakis."
ESPN’s networks and CBS are seeing gains for college football telecasts through Week 10, while NBC, NBCSN and Fox are seeing declines during the same period. CBS leads all nets with an average of 6.09 million viewers for its nine SEC games to date, highlighted by 13.6 million viewers for the Alabama-Texas A&M game on Sept. 14. The CBS average is up from 4.89 million viewers at the same point last year. The LSU-Alabama primetime matchup from ’12 is not factored in, as the two teams will play this Saturday night. The gains for CBS come as the SEC package has seen double-digit percentage declines the past two seasons. The CBS mark through Week 10 also is the net’s second-best average at this point in the season dating back to ’01 (behind only ’10). Meanwhile, ABC is averaging 4.8 million viewers for its games to date, up from 4.4 million viewers in '12. The net’s Saturday primetime package is averaging 6.36 million viewers, up 18% from 5.41 million viewers. Last Saturday’s Miami-Florida State game drew 8.35 million viewers for the net's top audience this season on the net, but still behind ESPN’s 8.65 million viewers for Notre Dame-Michigan on Sept. 7.
OFF SOME FROM '12: NBC is averaging 3.54 million viewers for its six Notre Dame games to date, down 23% from the same point last year, when the team was in the hunt for the national title. Fox’ package of nine Big 12 and Pac-12 games has averaged 2.34 million viewers to date, down from 2.7 million viewers last year, when the net had a more extensive slate of games (many of which went to FS1 this year). Fox had more games begin at 7:30pm or 7:45pm ET last year, whereas most games have started at 7:00pm this season. One of Fox’ top games -- the Oct. 26 Texas Tech-Oklahoma game -- was forced to end on Fox News after a long weather delay caused the game to bump up against the start of a World Series game.
CABLE: Each of ESPN’s cable networks is seeing an audience gain through Week 10 of the college football season. The flagship ESPN is averaging 2.7 million viewers, up from 2.61 million viewers. ESPN2 is at 1.21 million viewers, up from 1.13 million, while ESPNU’s average of 442,000 viewers is up from 424,000. ESPNews also is averaging 171,000 viewers for its first season of games specifically scheduled for the network (11 games). The net’s top game has been 378,000 viewers for Kentucky-Western Kentucky in primetime on Aug. 31. FS1 in its first year on air is averaging 453,000 viewers for 35 games, down from 673,000 viewers for a much-more-limited slate on FX last season. FS1 saw one its games affected by a weather delay on Oct. 26, with the Texas-TCU having to finish on FS2 closer to midnight. NBCSN’s package of Ivy League and CAA games have averaged 59,000 viewers, down from 86,000 at the same point last season, when the net also had Mountain West games.COLLEGE FOOTBALL GAME VIEWERSHIP THROUGH WEEK 10NETWORKTELECASTSVIEWERS (000)PREV.% +/-'12 GAMESCBS96,0944,89124.6%8ABC224,7974,3999.0%23Fox92,3442,700-13.2%14NBC63,5374,616-23.4%6ESPN532,7022,6073.6%52ESPN2391,2091,1287.2%38ESPNU414424244.2%n/aESPNews11171n/an/an/aFS135453673-32.7%15NBCSN65986-31.4%15
Sony Pictures Classics' "The Armstrong Lie," a documentary about Lance Armstrong's PED usage and subsequent fall from grace, opens in select cities on Friday, and it is an "enthralling, clear-eyed and penetrating examination not only of a fallen hero, but of drive, moral relativism and the cult of personality," according to Claudia Puig of USA TODAY, who gives the film three-and-a-half stars. The film was directed by Alex Gibney, and stars Armstrong, Wall Street Journal reporter Reed Albergotti and Betsy Andreu, the wife of Armstrong’s former friend and teammate, Frankie Andreu. Armstrong's "galling hubris is all there for audiences to watch, absorb and puzzle over" in the film. Gibney in the documentary incorporates footage and interviews from '08-09, as well as "more recent comments from fellow bicyclists, allegations by others who knew him" (USA TODAY, 11/8). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Vanessa O'Connell conducted an interview with Gibney to discuss the project, and he said of how he originally was going to handle the doping topic, "My film was completed in late 2010 or early 2011. I was happy with it. But the more stuff came out, the more un-releasable it seemed. ... At some point, it seemed silly. In the wake of the federal investigation, being artful (about the doping issue) seemed silly" (WSJ.com, 11/7).
NO BOMBSHELL REVELATIONS: ROLLING STONE's Katie Van Syckle wrote, "Although the documentary focuses less on groundbreaking scoops and more on the psychology of deceit, Gibney offers a comprehensive view of a long brewing scandal, and the corrosive power of win-at-all-costs ambition." Van Syckle chronicled the film's "10 juiciest moments" (ROLLINGSTONE.com, 11/7). In L.A., Kenneth Turan writes the documentary is a "thorough and engrossing investigation that manages to smoothly integrate footage shot for the earlier work into a very different framework." It is "at its best when it deals with the linked questions of why Armstrong decided on the comeback, a move that triggered his downfall, and why he engaged in deception for so long" (L.A. TIMES, 11/8). In N.Y., Stephen Holden writes the film is "absorbing but overlong." Instead of "bombshell revelations, of which there are none, 'The Armstrong Lie' offers a thorough history of ... Armstrong’s cycling career and the elaborate measures he took to cover his tracks." The documentary is a "reminder that celebrity and hero worship, once attained, are almost irresistibly addictive." For all of Armstrong's "gifts and hard work," he "emerges as a hollow man, corrupted by glory, protecting what remains of his reputation" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/8).
LENGTH QUESTIONS: In Austin, Pam LeBlanc wrote the film "feels a little disjointed at times and needs to be shortened by about 30 minutes." Still, it is a "well-executed synopsis of a whopper of a fall-from-grace story" (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 11/7). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Joe Morgenstern writes "The Armstrong Lie" is a "tale of ambition that's almost mad enough to be mythic." But it "wears thin before it's over; the wafer-thin nature of the cyclist's personality can't sustain a two-hour running time" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/8). NPR's Ella Taylor wrote the documentary is "fast-paced, aggressively stylized, and juiced by a driving score." Not "too deeply buried in the press notes is the casual but staggering disclosure that Armstrong would have taken a cut of the movie's returns in return for 'unprecedented' access." Taylor: "For all I know, he still will -- and paying your subject is certainly no way to make a documentary." The documentary is "rarely boring," but it is "more illuminating about the corrupt sports industry than it is about its subject" (NPR.org, 11/7).
ESPN2's "Fantasy Football Now" is "the best" NFL pregame show because it "fulfills its charter" each week, according to Richard Deitsch of THE MMQB. What is "particularly refreshing about 'FFN' is the absence of traditional pregame standards -- the over-the-top chuckling at everything a panelist opines to the awkward hawking of products or movie tie-ins." The show is "heavy on information and informed judgment and light on shtick." The show has averaged 476,000 viewers this year to date -- up 19% over '12 -- making it "the most-watched show on ESPN2 outside of college football coverage." It also has "huge social media engagement every Sunday -- something all sports networks are craving at the moment." The "FFN" full-time staff consists of hosts Robert Flores and Sara Walsh, analysts Matthew Berry and Tim Hasselbeck, and medical analyst Stephania Bell. Berry said, "We serve a very specific audience. It's a large, passionate audience but also a very specific one that looks at football differently than traditional pregame shows." ESPN Coordinating Producer Scott Clark, who oversees "FFN," said, "Everything is geared toward fantasy football and helping people with their lineups. We also try to be entertaining doing it. The questions we ask our reporters in the field are very different than the ones reporters are asked on 'Sunday NFL Countdown' or 'SportsCenter' because our questions are geared toward individual players." CBSSports.com fantasy analyst Dave Richard said, "I think fantasy football will continue to be on television because the audience demands it. The popularity of the game, the challenge of the game and the connection fans create between themselves and NFL players through the game isn't going anywhere" (MMQB.SI.com, 11/6).
FOXSPORTS.com's Peter Schrager wrote under the header, "Will Scandal Soften Hard Knocks?" HBO's "Hard Knocks" is known for "giving viewers a rare look at the rookie initiation process in an NFL locker room." Over the past few seasons, the rookie initiation segments "seem to be among the most popular on the show." They give viewers the "rare opportunity to step inside the locker room and see how NFL players interact with each other." Viewers are "given a free access card to a fraternity unlike any other." Schrager: "But will we ever see another one of those scenes again? ... Don’t be surprised if the rookie initiations that remain miss Hard Knocks' own final cutdown" (FOXSPORTS.com, 11/7).
CREDIT WHERE IT'S DUE: In Boston, Chad Finn writes there has been "some exceptional reporting on the Richie Incognito/Jonathan Martin mess with the Dolphins." At the "forefront" has been ESPN's Adam Schefter. He had the "verbatim details of the vile voice mail Incognito left for Martin, and Schefter’s collaboration early on with colleague Chris Mortensen revealed the strange relationship between Incognito and Martin." Fox Sports' Jay Glazer and NFL Network's Jeff Darlington also have "broken notable details along the way" (BOSTON GLOBE, 11/8).
A CASE OF THE MONDAYS: In California, Michael Lev notes ESPN's next "MNF" game features the winless Buccaneers, and "considering that it doesn't have a flex option and pays twice as much as NBC for NFL rights," it would seem ESPN "is getting a raw deal." Although the lack of flex scheduling "is a source of frustration at times at ESPN ... I'm told network executives generally are content with what they have" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 11/8).
FLEX YOUR MUSCLES: In St. Louis, Dan Caesar notes Fox "questionably sent the telecast" of last Sunday’s Eagles-Raiders game into the St. Louis market "instead of a contest involving" the Seahawks -- one of the Rams' chief rivals. Caesar: "Why not switch out from the lopsided snoozer and pick up what could have become the upset of the year?" Fox Sports Senior VP/Media Relations Lou D'Ermilio said that it was because of "logistics." He said that because of "technical reasons the network can only designate one game a week to switch from, and that generally is the contest that is going to the largest audience." That was Vikings-Cowboys last Sunday, which was played at 12:00pm CT and went to 38% of the nation. Had it "become a rout, viewers outside those markets could have been 'flexed' to a more competitive game" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 11/8).
ESPN's Keith Olbermann on Thursday night continued his war of words against WFAN-AM personnel, noting long-time afternoon show host Mike Francesa "livened up" his show "by talking about me, breaking the usual format in which he jock sniffs his favorite players or falls asleep while on the air." Olbermann said, "Francesa stated that I had had eight jobs in five years, which is outstandingly inaccurate, no matter which five years of my career he wants to choose. I think I once had four jobs in five years." However, Olbermann said Francesa's comment is "actually as close as he's ever gotten to a fact." Francesa on Thursday mentioned the head-to-head ratings were "ugly" between Francesa and Olbermann and Dan Patrick. Olbermann said, "He was talking about the two years when I did a daily guest spot on Dan Patrick's show on the ESPN Radio network. Apparently, Francesa was on another show at the same time in New York. This was when he was still Christopher Russo's sidekick. As an aside, Mr. Francesa, you should have never left Russo to strike out on your own. He was the brains of the operation." He added Francesa "thinks the audience ratings only in New York are the only measurement of success." Olbermann in a thick N.Y. accent said the region across the Hudson River is a "whole country who never heard of you, don't want to and won’t never" ("Olbermann," ESPN2, 11/7).
WHAT GOT KEITH RILED UP: Francesa on his show Thursday said he was mentioned by Olbermann in a rant towards fellow WFAN hosts Craig Carton and Boomer Esiason in which Olbermann noted neither show does well with ratings. Francesa said, "He didn't take shots at me, I don’t think. ... Why would Olbermann, as dumb as he is, ever say that I don’t have ratings?" He added, "I don’t have an opinion about Keith Olbermann. I do, I think he’s just kind of lost, myself. What is this, his eighth job in his last five years? So I’m not really worried about Olbermann." More Francesa: "All I can tell you is that when we went head-to-head or I went head-to-head against Olbermann, it was ugly. The ratings were ugly and they did radio shows against us and it was ugly. ... Olbermann is just a jerk. Patrick was a good guy and he is a good guy and he's a good radio guy too … but we used to bury those guys in the ratings" ("Francesa," WFAN-AM, 11/7).
DISHING IT OUT: In N.Y., Phil Mushnick weighs in on the battle and writes Olbermann is a "transient big-shot" who "continues to regard himself as far above the fray." But he is "right down there in the slop." He is "another sucker-shot, insult artist who can’t take the slightest poke in return. A bully." Olbermann "never misses a word written or spoken about him, then makes his public judgments on people based only on what they said or wrote about him." It is "the mark of the megalomaniac" (N.Y. POST, 11/8).
In L.A., Joe Flint wrote NFL Network host Rich Eisen's "just-right combination of quick wit, everyman appearance and encyclopedic knowledge of the game has won him the respect of coaches and players, and made him a fan favorite." Eisen is on air "close to 10 hours a week" and "often plays the role of ringmaster with analysts Deion Sanders, Michael Irvin and Steve Mariucci, all of whom have loud personas and could easily overwhelm a less-savvy host." Eisen is "not afraid to jump in the fray, yet knows when it's best to sit back and enjoy the fireworks." He also is a "pop-culture aficionado and loves dropping lines" from favorite movies into his broadcasts. Eisen "commands the set in a style" NBC's Dan Patrick "says is akin to a late-night host" (L.A. TIMES, 11/7).
SEARCH FOR TOMORROW: SPORTS ON EARTH's Will Leitch wrote in Fox' search to replace Tim McCarver, TBS' John Smoltz and SI's Tom Verducci "are from the Troy Aikman school of safe platitudes, establishment picks who won't rattle any cages and, for my money, won't provide much real insight." Harold Reynolds is the "universally accepted favorite for the job," but Leitch wrote, "I'm not sure he's the right pick either." Reynolds is "pretty much the definition of an establishment choice." He is "safe and easy and palatable, which means he might very well disappear on air." Leitch: "I'd love to see a crazy choice: Pedro Martinez." He was "fantastic during TBS's playoff coverage, candid and honest in a way" that TNT's Charles Barkley is for the NBA (SPORTSONEARTH.com, 11/6).
LET'S TALK SOME BALL: In N.Y., Justin Terranova writes Sage Steele, the new host of ESPN's "NBA Countdown" pregame show, "likes the conversational format" TNT's "Inside The NBA" has "mastered and hopes her show will have that ... but with an added element." Steele said, "We have the coach's perspective from Doug Collins, the player's perspective from Jalen [Rose] ... and then Bill [Simmons] as the ultimate fan. I think it's going to be really, really fun for me to try and get all those perspectives out of those guys." Terranova noted Steele has been a "SportsCenter" anchor since '07 and was "sad to say goodbye to the network's flagship program." However, she is "relishing the opportunity to focus on one sport" (NYPOST.com, 11/8).
AN HONOR TO REMEMBER: In L.A., Tom Hoffarth reports Dodgers radio announcer Charley Steiner will be "honored by the National Radio Hall of Fame on Saturday" at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago. Steiner, who worked with the Yankees and ESPN in addition to several radio outlets before joining the Dodgers in '05, said, "I'm blown away by this." He added his radio career has been a "wonderful journey and has led me to the place I always wanted to be -- with the Dodgers." Steiner will be the 16th sportscaster inducted into the HOF (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 11/8).
GO TO THE GENERAL: In Milwaukee, Bob Wolfley reports Bob Knight "will be an analyst on Thursday night Southeastern Conference telecasts on ESPN and work with Rece Davis." The move comes after The Big Lead in February reported Knight likely was finished at the net. Knight joined ESPN in '08 and "had a prominent role on the network's package of game telecasts and studio shows." Meanwhile, Bruce Pearl "returns for a second season on ESPN as a studio analyst" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL-SENTINEL, 11/8).
JUMPING THROUGH HOOPS: In Hartford, John Altavilla reported Eric Frede has been hired as the "play-by-play announcer for all SNY-produced" UConn women's basketball games. Frede replaces Andrew Catalon, who is "now working with CBS Sports Network." Frede has "served as a play-by-play announcer for Big East women's and men's basketball" in addition to ACC, Big Ten and Atlantic 10 games. Meghan Culmo and Kara Wolters "will return to their respective analyst roles," and Kerith Burke "will again be the in-game reporter" (COURANT.com, 11/7)....Boston College men's basketball announcer Jon Meterparel "will be joined by a new color analyst" for Friday's season opener against Providence. Former BC player Danya Abrams "takes over for his former teammate, Malcolm Huckaby, who is calling Horizon and Sun Belt games for ESPN" (BOSTON GLOBE, 11/8)....Former Univ. of Arizona basketball player Corey Williams will be an ESPNU analyst for Sunday night Pac-12 games this season (AZSTARNET.com, 11/6).
JERSEY SCORE: NJ.com yesterday announced the addition of four new sports reporters to its staff who will focus on the Giants, Yankees and Rutgers Univ. Jordan Raanan has begun on the website's Giants beat after eight years covering the Eagles. Dan Duggan will cover Rutgers football and men's basketball after six years at the Boston Herald. A.J. Perez will join Raanan in covering the Giants after covering the NFL for Fox Sports. Brendan Kuty will move next week from NJ.com's Morris County beat to the Yankees (NJ.com, 11/7).
ESPN averaged 1.23 million viewers for the final table at the World Series of Poker this year, marking the most-viewed final table telecast since the event went “virtually live” in ’11. This year’s final table is up 68% from last year (735,000 viewers), but down from 1.56 million viewers in ’10, when the final table aired several days later (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).WORLD SERIES OF POKER FINAL TABLE VIEWERSHIP ON ESPNYEARVIEWERS (000)13*1,23412*73511**1,22310**1,56309**2,19908**2,364
CHART NOTES: * = Aired on a 15-minute delay. ** = Aired days later.
NOTES: NBA TV averaged 396,000 viewers for six games during the opening week of NBA telecasts, up 8% from the same period last season. Lakers-Warriors on Oct. 30 was the most-viewed game of opening week with 595,000 viewers (Turner)….NBC drew 991,000 viewers for the Liverpool-Arsenal match last Saturday afternoon, marking the top EPL audience this season to date in the U.S. (NBC)….Oklahoma City-based KOKH-Fox drew a 20.5 local rating for the Oklahoma State-Texas Tech last Saturday night, topping all sports telecasts in the market for the week (NEWSOK.com, 11/6)….N.Y.-based WABC-TV averaged 582,000 local viewers for the five-hour ING N.Y. Marathon last Sunday, up 66% from the ’11 telecast. Another 145,000 viewers watched the race online at 7online.com (WABC-TV)….FS Midwest averaged a record-setting 3.5 local rating in St. Louis for Blues games during October, despite the fact that the team “played twice at the same time” as the MLB Cardinals in the MLB postseason. The best October rating before this year was a 3.1 in ’97 (BIZJOURNALS.com, 11/4).
The charts below list final Nielsen ratings from recent sports telecasts.
TELECASTDATENETTIME (ET)RAT.VIEWERS (000) "NFL on CBS": Steelers-Patriots (88%)11/3CBS4:31-7:55pm14.323,987 "NFL on Fox": (single)11/3Fox1:00-4:05pm11.920,100 World Series: Red Sox-Cardinals: Game 610/30Fox8:03-11:30pm11.319,178 "Sunday Night Football": Colts-Texans11/3NBC8:31-11:35pm10.417,040 World Series: Red Sox-Cardinals: Game 510/28Fox8:02-11:01pm8.914,446 "NFL on CBS": (regional)11/3CBS1:03-4:14pm8.613,841 College Football: Miami-Florida State11/2ABC8:07-11:42pm5.18,354 "Football Night in America"11/3NBC7:30-8:15pm3.86,157 College Football: Michigan-Michigan State11/2ABC3:31-7:00pm3.35,169 College Football: Florida-Georgia11/2CBS3:30-7:24pm3.14,918 "Fox NFL Sunday"11/3Fox12:00-1:00pm3.14,700 College Football: (regional)11/2ABC12:01-3:31pm2.33,520 "The NFL Today"11/3CBS12:00-1:03pm2.23,178 College Football: Navy-Notre Dame11/2NBC3:30-7:00pm1.72,559 College Football: Oklahoma State-Texas Tech11/2Fox7:06-10:54pm1.42,386 Breeders' Cup Classic11/2NBC8:00-9:00pm1.52,118 Liga MX: Chivas de Guadalajara-Santos Laguna10/30UniMas8:50-11:00pm0.51,010 EPL: Arsenal-Liverpool11/2NBC1:30-3:30pm0.7991 "ING NYC Marathon Highlights Show"11/3ABC4:00-6:00pm0.6909 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating: Skate China11/3NBC1:30-3:30pm0.6840 "College Football Today"11/2CBS3:00-3:30pm0.6810 Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League11/2CBS2:00-3:00pm0.5766 Liga MX: Chivas de Guadalajara-UNAM Pumas11/3UniMas5:49-8:00pm0.4624 Liga MX: Cruz Azul-Monarcas11/2UniMas6:50-9:00pm0.3554 MLS Eastern Conference Semis: Dynamo-Red Bulls: Leg 111/3NBC3:30-6:00pm0.4483 TELECASTDATENETTIME (ET)RAT.VIEWERS (000) "Monday Night Football": Seahawks-Rams10/28ESPN8:28-11:42pm6.710,762 "Thursday Night Football": Bengals-Dolphins10/31NFLN8:30-11:54pm3.96,479 NBA: Bulls-Heat10/29TNT8:09-10:45pm3.35,373 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Texas11/3ESPN3:00-6:59pm2.64,179 NBA: Clippers-Lakers10/29TNT10:46pm-1:21am2.43,571 NBA: Knicks-Bulls10/31TNT8:16-10:52pm1.82,643 "Thursday Night Football Pre-Kick"10/31NFLN8:00-8:29pm1.62,585 NBA: Heat-Nets11/1ESPN8:04-11:06pm1.62,453 "Sunday NFL Countdown"11/3ESPN10:00am-12:59pm1.72,366 College Football: Tennessee-Missouri11/2ESPN7:06-10:26pm1.42,279
NBC soccer broadcaster Arlo White said of the differences between calling games in England and the U.S., "Information, for one. We don't get the starting lineups until every else gets them an hour before the game." He added, "The view that we get varies from ground to ground. You mentioned the handheld microphones -- every time I put one on Twitter people go bonkers about it. There are technical reasons why we do it. They trap the voice of the commentators and they cut put the peripheral sound of everyone around us. ... Aside from that, not a massive amount of difference. The booths in the facilities at MLS grounds are terrific. It’s a little more agricultural at Premier League grounds, but we are looked after brilliantly" (PHILLY.com, 11/7).
LADIES NIGHTS: In Hartford, John Altavilla notes for UConn women's basketball fans outside the SNY footprint, "all but the three CBS games can be viewed online at ESPN3, currently available to more than 85 million homes to fans who subscribe to the Internet." SNY last year offered a PPV streaming service "inside and outside the SNY footprint." That will "no longer be the case" (HARTFORD COURANT, 11/8).
AT THE TOP OF THEIR GAME: VARIETY's Rick Kissell noted Fox Deportes, boosted in part by the World Series, "held off its rivals in October and has cemented its standing as the most popular Spanish-language sports network in America." The net remains ahead of both Univision Deportes and ESPN Deportes for the year to date. Fox Deportes for the month of October averaged 90,000 viewers in primetime, more than Univision Deportes (62,000) and ESPN Deportes (54,000). Fox Deportes' exclusive Spanish broadcast of the World Series averaged 215,000 total viewers and 135,000 adults 18-49, up 41% in both categories from '12 (VARIETY.com, 11/7).