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SBD/October 6, 2016/SMT Conference
Fox Execs Continue To Be Bullish About Bayless Addition, Say SB Ad Sales Going Well
Published October 6, 2016
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STILL EARLY IN RATINGS GAME: Shanks said it is too early to make firm conclusions on the causes of declining NFL ratings so far this season. But he said the presidential race remains a significant factor. “Everybody that competes with news is feeling the impact,” Shanks said. He likened the current Clinton-Trump race and its impact upon the sports media landscape to something more akin to the '00 Gore-Bush race than anything else more recent. Among the more particular issues is viewership for broader national games, which are more reliant on out-of-market viewers that are not necessarily ardent fans of the competing teams. The '16 NFL season is also serving as a run-up for Super Bowl LI, which will be aired on Fox. Shanks said ad sales so far are pacing as expected. “If anybody has trouble selling the Super Bowl, that would be the story," he said." "Sales are going fine." Shanks added that demand and ad pricing for the digital stream of the game is “rivaling some of the top linear TV entertainment out there.”
* Horowitz has added oversight of Fox Sports’ digital properties following the departure of Pete Vlastelica to Activision Blizzard. Horowitz quipped that Fox Sports’ recent digital alliance with SI "fulfills a lifelong dream of being colleagues with Richard Deitsch.” Deitsch has been a frequent critic of the opinion-based programming that Horowitz oversees.
* Shanks is looking to renew rights with the UFC when they expire in ’18. “If you don’t renew, they kick the (expletive) out of you,” Shanks joked.
* Shanks also said expansion was not the best option for the Big 12 conference.