SBD/May 16, 2014/Media

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  • WWE Signs Deal To Keep Popular Shows On NBCU Networks As Company's Shares Slide

    WWE in '13 earned $160.9M from broadcast rights, but downplayed the final figure

    WWE shares on Thursday "fell after the company clinched an agreement with NBCUniversal to bring its popular wrestling shows, Raw and Smackdown, back to the NBC family," according to Chris Ciaccia of THE STREET. "Raw" goes "back to the USA Network," while "Smackdown" will run on Syfy. WWE expects that it will "potentially double or triple" its '12 OIBDA to a range of $125-190M by '15 (THESTREET.com, 5/15). VARIETY's Marc Graser cited analysts as saying that WWE "has been able to double the licensing fees for its shows." The company in '13 earned $160.9M "from broadcast rights around the world," and $139.5M in '12. However, WWE in a statement "significantly downplayed the final figure." Lawyers "have been working out windowing terms of when episodes would be available on mobile platforms like tablets and smartphones, as well as when they could be rebroadcast on the WWE Network, an all-digital streaming service the company launched in February." WWE "has been shopping for a new deal for its TV shows since January, and has sought to capitalize on the kind of coin live sports and events programming are commanding since they are considered DVR-proof and generate strong ratings." Deals for WWE’s series previously have been "brokered individually on a staggered timeline, usually every three to four years." But WWE "is making all of its shows available through new licensing deals at once" (VARIETY.com, 5/15). At presstime, shares of WWE were trading at $11.36 per share, down 43% from the close of business yesterday (THE DAILY).

    FOR BETTER OR WORSE? BROADCASTING & CABLE's Jessika Walsten noted NBCU's WWE contract "was set to expire in October but the cabler's negotiating window ended in February, sparking speculation that the WWE was shopping its franchises to other distributors" (BROADCASTINGCABLE.com, 5/15). PHILLY.com's Vaughn Johnson notes after "testing the waters elsewhere, the WWE decided to keeps its television rights where they currently lie." We "don’t know if WWE made off financially as well as it had hoped when its previous deal with NBCUniversal expired." What also "isn’t known is if the structure to how WWE currently presents its product will change" (PHILLY.com, 5/15).

    Print | Tags: WWE, Media
  • Blackhawks, WGN Reach Three-Year Extension On TV Rights Deal Through '18-19

    WGN has been a Blackhawks' TV rights holder since the start of the '08-09 season

    The Blackhawks and WGN on Thursday announced a three-year extension of their TV rights deal through the conclusion of the '18-19 NHL season. The current agreement was not set to expire for two more years. The Chicago-based network has been one of the Blackhawks' TV rights holders since the start of the '08-09 season. WGN under the new deal will air 20 games each regular season. Pat Foley and Eddie Olczyk will continue as the game broadcasters (Blackhawks). Tribune President of Broadcast Media Larry Wert said that while Blackhawks’ games “do not air” on WGN America, negotiations are “underway to expand the broadcasts into adjacent markets through affiliates” (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 5/16). In Chicago, Danny Ecker noted the extension “also aligns the expiration dates of broadcast contracts the Hawks have with WGN-TV and Comcast SportsNet Chicago” (CHICAGOBUSINESS.com, 5/15).

    Print | Tags: Media, Chicago Blackhawks, NHL
  • Final Ratings: ESPN Sees Best Boxing Audience Since '06; Subway Series Up In N.Y.

    ESPN’s telecast of Saturday’s Bermane Stiverne-Chris Arreola World Heavyweight Championship averaged 940,000 viewers, making it the most-watched boxing match on any ESPN network since Aug. 4, 2006, when the Jose Soto-Anthony Peterson bout averaged 1.01 million viewers on ESPN2….YES Network averaged a 4.54 local rating in N.Y. for Monday’s Mets-Yankees game, its most-viewed telecast of the season. It also was the most-viewed and highest-rated Subway Series game on a N.Y. RSN since July 3, 2011 (THE DAILY). 

    The charts below list final ratings from recent sports telecasts. Figures for ABC were unavailable at presstime.

    TELECAST
    DATE
    NET
    TIME (ET)
    RATING
    VIEWERS
    (000)
    NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: 5-Hour Energy 400 (Kansas)
    5/10
    Fox
    8:23-11:33pm
    3.5
    5,755
    NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals: Heat-Nets: Game 3
    5/10
    ABC
    8:11-11:00pm
    3.5
    5,590
    PGA Tour: The Players Championship: Final Round*
    5/11
    NBC
    2:00-8:15pm
    2.1
    3,000
    PGA Tour: The Players Championship: Third Round
    5/10
    NBC
    2:00-7:00pm
    1.7
    2,500
    Pro Bull Riding: Last Cowboy Standing
    5/11
    CBS
    4:00-6:00pm
    0.8
    1,146
    Liga MX: Santos Laguna-Pachuca
    5/10
    UniMas
    8:54-11:05pm
    0.6
    1,059
    EPL: Manchester City-West Ham United
    5/11
    NBC
    10:00am-12:00pm
    0.5
    679
    Major League Fishing: Challenge Cup Championships
    5/11
    CBS
    3:00-4:00pm
    0.4
    518
    "EPL Goal Zone"
    5/11
    NBC
    12:00-2:00pm
    0.4
    502
    TELECAST
    DATE
    NET
    TIME (ET)
    RATING
    VIEWERS
    (000)
    NFL Draft: Round 1
    5/8
    ESPN
    8:00-11:49pm
    6.1
    9,943
    NBA Western Conference Semifinals: Clippers-Thunder: Game 2
    5/7
    TNT
    9;47pm-12:38am
    4.0
    6,188
    NBA Western Conference Semifinals: Clippers-Thunder: Game 1
    5/5
    TNT
    9:42pm-12:19am
    3.5
    5,435
    NBA Western Conference Semifinals: Thunder-Clippers: Game 3
    5/9
    ESPN
    10:36pm-1:29am
    3.2
    4,906
    NBA Western Conference Semifinals: Spurs-Trail Blazers: Game 1
    5/6
    TNT
    9:27pm-12:17am
    3.1
    4,807
    NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals: Pacers-Wizards: Game 4
    5/11
    TNT
    8:00-10:52pm
    2.9
    4,501
    NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals: Heat-Nets: Game 1
    5/6
    TNT
    7:00-9:27pm
    2.9
    4,484
    NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals: Wizards-Pacers: Game 2
    5/7
    TNT
    7:00-9:47pm
    2.7
    3,974
    NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals: Wizards-Pacers: Game 1
    5/5
    TNT
    7:00-9:42pm
    2.5
    3,651
    NBA Western Conference Semifinals: Spurs-Trail Blazers: Game 2
    5/8
    ESPN2
    9:39pm-12:08am
    2.2
    3,352
     

    NOTE: * = The Players Championship had a 90-minute rain delay during the final round.

    Print | Tags: Media
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