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FS1 last week posted its most-watched week both in primetime and total day since its August inception, buoyed by a record-setting audience for Oklahoma-Baylor football, plus UFC and NASCAR events. The channel averaged 630,000 viewers in primetime and 157,000 viewers total day last week, surpassing the previous high between Aug. 26-Sept. 1 (384,000 prime; 153,000 total day). Oklahoma-Baylor last Thursday now is FS1's most-watched telecast ever with 2.1 million viewers, surpassing every college football game on sister net FX in '12. The previous most-watched program on FS1 was "UFC Fight Night" on Aug. 17 with 1.8 million viewers. "Fox Sports Live" recorded its best weeknight viewership ever for the first and second hours, averaging 161,000 and 85,000 viewers, respectively. Last Thursday's edition of "Fox Sports Live," which followed Oklahoma-Baylor was the most-watched weeknight episode of the show to date with 341,000 viewers (Fox Sports). In Oklahoma City, Mel Bracht reported the Oklahoma-Baylor game "topped the week with a 20.6 local rating" on FS1, the "highest in-state rating for the new channel." Meanwhile, the Kansas-Oklahoma State telecast Saturday afternoon, also on FS1, got a 9.3 local rating (NEWSOK.com, 11/12). In California, Michael Lev writes FS1 "has a long way to go," but its higher ratings last week are an "encouraging sign" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 11/15).
BLOOMIN' ONIONS: On Long Island, Neil Best writes FS1 "had the sense to name Bill Raftery its lead analyst" in college basketball, "providing instant credibility and a bridge to the past." It was "nice for Raftery, too." When Fox bought rights to the Big East, it "quickly moved to sign Raftery, pairing him with Gus Johnson as its top team." They debuted together last Friday for Boston College vs. Providence, one of 35 to 40 games Raftery will work for Fox. Given Fox' "self-appointed mandate as home of sports TV 'fun,' the playful, catchphrase-spouting Raftery, who is 70 but does not act his age, is a nice fit." He also will "continue to work for CBS, including the NCAA Tournament, a perk he said made his decision to go to Fox easier." Raftery added that Fox' "commitment to the Big East reminds him of its early days on ESPN, where the league played a key role in the evolution of a new media entity." He said, "The nice thing for everybody is that it's the only college conference they have total rights to. Fox has input into what games they want on, and the league starts with financing" (NEWSDAY, 11/15).
Yankees SS Derek Jeter on Thursday announced that he "would start a publishing imprint, Jeter Publishing, a partnership with Simon & Schuster," according to Julie Bosman of the N.Y. TIMES. Jeter portrayed the move as "a way to explore a project that combines his interests in business and in books, film and TV." He said, "This sort of sets the blueprint for postcareer." The publishing imprint will include "nonfiction books for adults, like biographies and titles on business and lifestyle; children’s picture books; middle-grade fiction; and books for children who are learning to read." Jeter suggested that the book enterprise "might lead to other ways of presenting content, like films or television." Jeter Publishing’s first books are "expected to be released in 2014." Jeter Publishing has been "quietly in the works for most of the last year." Jeter's agency, Excel Sports Management, talked to "several publishers about the possibility of an imprint." Jeter: "I’ve always had an interest in business, and my interest in business has really expanded over the years. And I have an interest in content. So this gives me the opportunity to really combine the two." Jeter Publishing will work with Wicked Cow Entertainment, a firm that "manages strategy for sports and entertainment brands and will be looking for 'brand extensions' for books." Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Exec VP & President Jon Anderson said one of the first books planned is a "Derek Jeter guide to baseball" for young readers. The plan includes "updating the book each year." Jeter said that he "intended to be deeply involved in the details of every book" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/15). Jeter said, "I understand how important content is this day and age. You get an opportunity to share people's stories -- it doesn't necessarily have to be baseball -- that I find interesting" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 11/15).
SMELL GOOD, PLAY GOOD: In N.Y., Rheana Murray notes Jeter on Thursday "launched his latest fragrance," called Derek Jeter Driven Rush. It is an "appropriate follow-up to his earlier scent, simply Driven." Avon, which launched the collection, said that both are "odes to the athlete's drive, charisma and passion" (NYDAILYNEWS.com, 11/15).
ESPN’s fall slate of “30 for 30” documentaries saw a significant audience drop compared to the package of films that aired during the same period last year. The net averaged 997,000 viewers for its six docs this fall, which aired each Tuesday from Oct. 1 through Nov. 5. That average is down 35% from the five films last fall, which averaged 1.53 million viewers. The top “30 for 30” audience this fall was 1.34 million viewers for the premiere of “No Mas” -- a retrospective about the second Sugar Ray Leonard-Roberto Duran bout. The lowest draw this fall was 699,000 viewers for “Free Spirits,” which looked at the former ABA Spirits of St. Louis. Meanwhile, ESPN on Thursday announced that “Youngstown Boys,” a film about the career paths of former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel and RB Maurice Clarett, will air following the Heisman Trophy ceremony on Dec. 14. The net last year aired a doc on Bo Jackson following the event.VIEWERSHIP FOR ESPN "30 FOR 30" FILMS AIRING IN THE FALL (PREMIERES)DATEFILMVIEWERS (000)10/1/13"Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau"77110/8/13"Free Spirits"69910/15/13"No Mas"1,34310/22/13"Big Shot"1,07810/29/13"This Is What They Want"86611/5/13"Bernie & Ernie"1,12510/2/12"Broke"2,52810/9/12"9.79*"1,31310/16/12"There's No Place Like Home"1,00710/23/12"Benji"1,48810/30/12"Ghosts of Ole Miss"1,023
The charts below list final ratings from recent sports telecasts.
TELECASTDATENETTIME (ET)RAT.VIEWERS (000) "NFL on CBS": Broncos-Chargers (91%)11/10CBS4:47-7:33pm14.324,069 "Sunday Night Football": Cowboys-Saints11/10NBC8:31-11:34pm12.321,090 "NFL on Fox": (single)11/10Fox1:00-4:05pm12.220,300 "NFL on CBS": (regional)11/10CBS1:03-4:21pm8.012,679 College Football: LSU-Alabama11/9CBS8:00-11:38pm6.911,903 "Football Night In America"11/10NBC7:30-8:15pm5.08,512 "Fox NFL Sunday"11/10Fox12:00-1:00pm3.14,800 College Football: Nebraska-Michigan11/9ABC3:30-6:47pm3.14,762 College Football: Mississippi State-Texas A&M11/9CBS3:30-7:36pm2.94,531 "The NFL Today"11/10CBS12:00-1:00pm2.13,101 College Football: Notre Dame-Pitt11/9ABC8:07-11:52pm2.03,034 College Football: Texas-West Virginia11/9Fox7:06-11:14pm1.52,647 College Football: (regional)11/9ABC12:01-3:30pm1.82,601 "College Football Today"11/9CBS3:00-3:30pm0.71,061 College Football: USC-Cal11/9Fox3:00-6:30pm0.71,000 Women's soccer friendly: U.S.-Brazil11/10NBC3:30-6:00pm0.6955 Liga MX: Club America-Toluca11/9Univ.5:55-8:00pm0.5944 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating: Japan11/10NBC1:30-3:30pm0.5793 EPL: Norwich City-West Ham11/9NBC12:30-2:30pm0.5717 Red Bull Signature Series: Dreamline11/9NBC5:00-6:00pm0.4668 MLS Eastern Conference Final: Dynamo-Sporting KC: Leg 111/9NBC2:30-5:00pm0.4634 "College Football Special"11/9CBS2:30-3:00pm0.4599 Lucas Oil Off Road Racing11/9CBS1:30-2:30pm0.4559 TELECASTDATENETTIME (ET)RAT.VIEWERS (000) "Monday Night Football": Bears-Packers11/4ESPN8:28-11:42pm10.116,102 "Thursday Night Football": Redskins-Vikings11/7NFLN8:30-11:31pm4.06,473 College Football: Oregon-Stanford11/7ESPN8:58pm-12:07am3.65,732 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Phoenix11/10ESPN3:00-6:30pm2.74,271 "Monday Night Countdown"11/4ESPN6:30-8:28pm2.33,308 College Football: Auburn-Tennessee11/9ESPN12:00-3:08pm1.82,766 "Thursday Night Football Pre-Kick"11/7NFLN8:00-8:30pm1.62,622 NBA: Clippers-Heat11/7TNT7:16-9:55pm1.52,404 NBA: Lakers-Rockets11/7TNT9:55pm-12:39am1.52,322 College Football: BYU-Wisconsin11/9ESPN3:30-6:49pm1.32,182
In St. Louis, Dan Caesar notes the Rams radio broadcasts are in their fifth season on WXOS-FM, but with the contract "set to expire after this season there is at least one known other suitor." WXOS "wants to keep the broadcasts" but KTRS-AM also is "interested in the rights." KMOX-AM also "could be a factor, though the station already has Cardinals and Blues broadcasts and adding the Rams would cause some logistical problems for the CBS Radio affiliate." But times have "changed from when stations routinely paid teams big rights fees; a lot more sharing of expenses or financial risk in one form or another is more common now" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 11/15).
ONE OF A KIND: In Buffalo, Alan Pergament notes WGRZ-NBC on Wednesday was "the only network affiliate to carry the lengthy" Sabres news conference live announcing the firings of GM Darcy Regier and coach Ron Rolston and the hiring of President of Hockey Operations Pat LaFontaine and interim coach Ted Nolan. Time Warner Cable's YNN "also carried it live." WGRZ "deserves some congratulations for ignoring the bottom line to air the event on TV at some cost." It was "legitimately 'Breaking News'" (BUFFALO NEWS, 11/15).
GET WELL SOON: The Trail Blazers said that radio play-by-play announcer Brian Wheeler "will miss the team's upcoming four-game trip to Boston, Toronto, Brooklyn and Milwaukee because of illness." It will mark Wheeler's "first absence in his 16-year career with the Blazers" (OREGONLIVE.com, 11/14). Meanwhile, in Milwaukee, Bob Wolfley noted Marquette Univ. men's basketball radio announcer Steve True on Wednesday was "struck by a car that blew through a red light and plowed into the side of True's car." True on Thursday morning was "said to be up and alert and in good spirits" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 11/14).
BACK ON THE AIRWAVES: In Boston, Gayle Fee noted former WEEI-FM host Glenn Ordway has "taken a gig on Sirius XM Radio where he will host Saturday and Sunday mornings on the Mad Dog Sports Radio channel" (BOSTONHERALD.com, 11/14).