SBD/April 21, 2017/Media

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  • NFL Loads Primetime Schedule With Top Draws After Ratings Dip Last Season

    Both the Cowboys and Packers have the maximum number of five primetime games

    The NFL's ratings slide last season "clearly impacted the league's schedule-making process," as the league "packed its prime-time schedule with its best draws," according to Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com. The league formally released its '17 schedule Thursday night, and 10 teams "have the maximum number of five prime-time games, not including potential flex scheduling later in the season." That list includes the "obvious candidates" like the Cowboys, Packers, Patriots and Steelers. The Cowboys -- the NFL's ratings "gold mine -- also have nine late-afternoon kickoffs that traditionally draw larger audiences." Meanwhile, the Browns and Jaguars do not have any scheduled primetime games, marking the first time since '12 "that a team didn't play at least once on Thursday." The league after going to a full season of Thursday night games in '12 "indicated it would ensure every team played at least once on Thursday for fairness" (ESPN.com, 4/21). PFT’s Mike Florio gives the NFL "credit for going back to the drawing board and looking for ways to enhance ratings." That keeps fans from "having to endure really bad football on Thursday nights." Florio: "I would be in favor of knocking even more teams out of primetime. ... For the most part, fans don't want to see them, including Browns and Jaguar fans, in primetime. Why get embarrassed in primetime? You can get embarrassed on Sunday afternoon when nobody’s watching” ("PFT," NBCSN, 4/21).

    BACK IN THE SPOTLIGHT: In Oakland, Jimmy Durkin notes the Raiders will play five primetime games this season, which "would be the most in franchise history." In addition to three "SNF" games, the Raiders' one "MNF" appearance comes on Christmas Day, when they travel to face the Eagles. They also have a "TNF" game Oct. 19 at home against the Chiefs (EAST BAY TIMES, 4/21). THE MMQB's Peter King writes the league "will be in a TV mess if the Raiders are not the emerging star team they appeared to be" at the end of '16 (MMQB.SI.com, 4/21). USA TODAY wrote Raiders fans, who are "having their team taken from them in the pursuit of greener -- money -- pastures," get to "show the nation how they feel about it" with two home primetime games (USATODAY.com, 4/20).

    WHY STOP A GOOD THING? The Cowboys will host the Giants in Week 1 for the third consecutive season, and in Ft. Worth, Clarence Hill Jr. writes the matchup has "proved to be a ratings bonanza for the NFL." Last season, the Giants-Cowboys opener on Sunday afternoon was the "third-highest rated (15.5) game of the regular season and drew the fifth-most viewers (27.5 million)." The "SNF" matchup between the NFC East rivals is the "fifth time in the past six years the two teams have started the season against each other" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 4/21). USA TODAY wrote fans may be a "bit sick of Giants at Cowboys in this spot," but they have learned to "live with the league’s lack of imagination" (USATODAY.com, 4/20). Meanwhile, in Dallas, Barry Horn notes Tony Romo will call two Cowboys games this season for CBS -- when the team hosts the Chiefs on Nov. 5 and the Chargers on Thanksgiving Day (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 4/21).

    NOT QUITE READY: In Tampa, Tom Jones writes one day after the Buccaneers were named to be the featured team on HBO's "Hard Knocks," the NFL "gave them a harder knock." The Bucs will play in two primetime games next season. Jones: "This, as much as anything, tells you what the NFL thinks of the Bucs. Not quite ready for prime time" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 4/21). In N.Y., Brian Costello notes the Jets have just one primetime appearance this season, their fewest since '07, when they "had none" (N.Y. POST, 4/21).

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  • Jaguars, Local TV Stations Agree To Broadcasting Deal For Preseason Games

    Details of the Jagurs deal were not made known except that it is for multiple years

    Sister stations WJAX-CBS and WFOX-Fox have "landed rights to air" the Jaguars' preseason games, according to Drew Dixon of the FLORIDA TIMES-UNION. The two Cox Media Group-owned stations have "been carrying most of the regular season games for years," but WJXT-Ind. had been "running most of the preseason contests until this year." Broadcaster Brian Sexton will "be the play-by-blay voice for the coverage of the games." Details of the deal were not made known except that it is for multiple years. "Jaguars All Access" will "air Monday nights" at 7:00pm ET on WJAX. "Jags Wired" "will air" Tuesday's at 11:35pm on WFOX. "Jaguars Weekend" "launches game-day coverage" beginning at 10:30am Sundays on WFOX (JACKSONVILLE.com, 4/20).

    FAMILY TIES: The Packers announced WTMJ-NBC will continue to produce, broadcast and distribute most of the team's preseason games and weekly programming. The channel will now produce and broadcast "Packers Family Night, presented by Bellin Health," the team's annual family-focused event at Lambeau Field that includes a full practice and a game-like atmosphere. WGBA-NBC, sister station of WTMJ, will also continue to broadcast preseason games and weekly programming. Additionally the station will include the "Family Night" broadcast to its programming (Packers).

    Print | Tags: Media, Jacksonville Jaguars
  • WBZ-FM Tops WEEI Among Boston Area Men Ages 25-54 In Nielsen Winter Ratings

    WBZ-FM "finished first in the coveted men 25-54 demographic in the Boston market" from Jan. 5-March 29, while WEEI-FM was third, according to Chad Finn of the BOSTON GLOBE. WBZ finished "ahead of WEEI in all four day parts in Boston, but in a certain way these numbers are actually weighted toward WEEI." WEEI's share "includes its streaming number," but WBZ does not. There is "nothing dubious or deceptive about this," as it is a matter of the two stations "using different but equally authentic methods of measuring its streaming audience." Entercom, WEEI’s parent company, "subscribes to a Nielsen service called Total Line Reporting, which combines the over-the-air and online audience shares into one number." That is something most stations do. CBS Radio, WBZ' parent company until its merger with Entercom becomes official in a couple of months, is the "rare network that does not subscribe to TLR." Instead, its radio and online audiences "show up on the Nieslen Audio sheets as separate numbers." In theory, that "doubles the amount of advertising unites available to sell." The bottom line this time around is that WBZ "topped WEEI across the board in the men 25-54 demo -- the one that has been the standard measure in sports radio" (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/21).

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  • NWSL's Go90 Streams So Far Only Available Via Apps, But Desktop Plans In The Works

    Ads inadvertently popped up in the go90 stream during the Boston-K.C. match

    Verizon's go90 streams of NWSL games are "causing some headaches" for fans so far this season, according to Jamie Goldberg of the Portland OREGONIAN. While fans can "still access games for free on go90, the streams are currently only available on the mobile app for iOS and Android devices." Viewers with Chromecast or AppleTV can "cast the live streams from their phones to their televisions, but there is no way for fans in the United States to watch games on a desktop or laptop computer for now." That is "something the NWSL is working to resolve." A+E Networks Exec VP/Digital Media and NWSL Media Board Member Evan Silverman said that the league "recognizes that fans want there to be a platform to stream games on their computers and the league is hopeful that fans will have that option -- likely through the go90 website at first -- within 'a matter of weeks.'" Silverman: "That's something that's extremely important to us." Goldberg notes fans "encountered a few other hiccups with go90 in week one as advertisements inadvertently popped up in the stream during the middle of a game between the Boston Breakers and FC Kansas City." But the league has said that was a "technical issue that has been resolved and shouldn't happen again" (Portland OREGONIAN, 4/21). 

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  • People & Personalities: Univ. Of Washington Play-By-Play Announcer Bob Rondeau Retiring

    Rondeau has called UW football games for 36 years and men's basketball for 31 years

    In Tacoma, Christian Caple reports Univ. of Washington play-by-play announcer Bob Rondeau "will retire" following the '17 season. Rondeau has called UW football games for 36 years and men's basketball for 31 years. He was awarded in '16 with the Chris Schenkel Award by the National Football Foundation, and was also included into UW's Athletics HOF (Tacoma NEWS TRIBUNE, 4/21). UW IMG Sports Marketing GM Steve Gahler said that a "national search for Rondeau’s successor will begin immediately." A new hire ideally "would be in place by the end of the summer." Gahler said that UW is "open to the possibility of hiring two new broadcasters -- one specifically for football and one for men’s basketball" (SEATTLE TIMES, 4/21).

    MEANT TO BE: In N.Y., Justin Terranova notes former MLBer Todd Zeile will "see an increased role as an SNY studio analyst this season" for Mets games, appearing in a regular rotation with Nelson Figueroa and Jim Duquette. This will be Zeile's "steadiest role in baseball" since retiring after the '04 season. Zeile: "I wanted to stay in California and do things that were sort of contrarian to my days in baseball." Terranova notes Zeile had "maintained a relationship with the Wilpon family after his career." When he "committed to staying in New York for the next six months to work on a project in the sports video gaming field, he found an opportunity at SNY waiting" (N.Y. POST, 4/21).

    FAREWELL, MOTOR CITY
    : Longtime Detroit-based WXYT-FM host Terry Foster said that he is "leaving his wildly successful drive-time sports-talk show." Foster has been "considering retirement from sports-talk radio for several months, since shortly after returning to the airwaves in January, following an extended absence while he recovered from a stroke." Foster and his co-host Mike Valenti have "teamed up" since '04 (DETROIT NEWS, 4/21).

    INTERESTING TIMING: In Buffalo, Alan Pergament notes Sabres RW Brian Gionta "will be a studio analyst" during Friday night's Stanley Cup Playoff coverage on NBCSN. It will be "interesting to see how candid he will be" if he talks about the team firing GM Tim Murray and whether he believes star player Sabres C Jack Eichel had any "influence on the decision or if he had any influence as the captain" (BUFFALO NEWS, 4/21).

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  • Audience Analysis: Saturday Night Marks Fox' Second-Lowest UFC Viewership Yet

    Fox on Saturday night drew just under 2 million viewers for "UFC on Fox 24," marking the net's second-lowest audience for a UFC card since it began airing telecasts for the MMA outfit in late '11. The primetime telecast, which featured a card headlined by Demetrious Johnson's defeat of Wilson Reis, was down sharply from last spring's UFC on Fox telecast, which drew 2.49 million viewers for a card headlined by Rashad Evans-Glover Teixeira. Despite the drop, the UFC card still finished ahead of competition from Game 2 of the Predators-Blackhawks Western Conference Quarterfinals on NBC. However, it was well below the 3.16 million viewers for Game 1 of the Grizzlies-Spurs Western Conference First Round series on ESPN.

    AUDIENCE FOR SPRING UFC ON FOX PRIMETIME TELECASTS
    #
    DATE
    HEADLINE FIGHT
    VIEWERS (000)
    3
    5/5/12
    Nate Diaz-Jim Miller
    2,418
    7
    4/20/13
    Benson Henderson-Gilbert Melendez
    3,742
    11
    4/19/14
    Travis Browne-Fabricio Werdum
    2,529
    15
    4/18/15
    Luke Rockhold-Lyoto Machida
    2,745
    19
    4/16/16
    Rashad Evans-Glover Teixeira
    2,487
    24
    4/16/17
    Demetrious Johnson-Wilson Reis
    1,996

    The chart below lists final audience figures from select recent sports telecasts on broadcast TV.

    TELECAST
    DATE
    NET
    TIME (ET)
    RAT.
    VIEWERS
    (000)
    NBA Western Conference First Round:
    Trail Blazers-Warriors: Game 1
    4/16
    ABC
    3:29-6:09pm
    3.7
    6,519
    NBA Western Conference First Round:
    Thunder-Rockets: Game 1
    4/16
    TNT
    9:17-11:43pm
    3.0
    5,161
    NBA Eastern Conference First Round:
    Bulls-Celtics: Game 1
    4/16
    TNT
    6:40-9:17pm
    2.9
    5,138
    NBA Eastern Conference First Round:
    Pacers-Cavaliers: Game 1
    4/15
    ABC
    2:59-5:37pm
    2.5
    4,036
    NBA Western Conference First Round:
    Grizzlies-Spurs: Game 1
    4/15
    ESPN
    8:03-10:39pm
    1.9
    3,156
    NBA Western Conference First Round:
    Jazz-Clippers: Game 1
    4/15
    ESPN
    10:39pm-1:12am
    1.8
    2,910
    NBA Eastern Conference First Round:
    Bucks-Raptors: Game 1
    4/15
    ESPN
    5:30-8:03pm
    1.6
    2,592
    NBA Eastern Conference First Round:
    Hawks-Wizards: Game 1
    4/16
    TNT
    1:09-3:52pm
    1.5
    2,581
    PGA Tour: RBC Heritage: Final Round
    4/16
    CBS
    3:00-6:00pm
    1.4
    2,274
    "UFC on Fox 24":
    Demetrious Johnson def. Wilson Reis
    4/15
    Fox
    8:00-10:24pm
    1.2
    1,996
    MLB: Dodgers-Cubs
    4/10
    ESPN
    10:00pm-1:40am
    n/a
    1,817
    MLB: Cardinals-Yankees
    4/16
    ESPN
    8:00-11:26pm
    1.1
    1,759
    NHL Western Conference Quarterfinals:
    Predators-Blackhawks: Game 2
    4/15
    NBC
    8:09-11:00pm
    0.9
    1,675
    PGA Tour: RBC Heritage: Third Round
    4/15
    CBS
    3:00-6:00pm
    1.1
    1,543
    NHL Western Conference Quarterfinals:
    Wild-Blues: Game 3
    4/16
    NBC
    3:15-6:15pm
    0.9
    1,542
    NHL Eastern Conference Quarterfinals:
    Bruins-Senators: Game 2
    4/15
    NBC
    3:00-6:15pm
    0.7
    1,120
    UFC Prelims
    4/15
    Fox
    6:00-8:00pm
    0.7
    1,105
    NBA: Rockets-Clippers
    4/10
    TNT
    10:43pm-1:12am
    n/a
    1,076
    Liga MX: Club America-Queretaro
    4/15
    Univision
    9:55pm-12:00am
    0.5
    1,070
    NBA: Hawks-Pacers
    4/12
    ESPN
    8:01-10:35pm
    n/a
    1,050
    Liga MX: Tigres UANL-Chivas
    4/11
    UniMas
    9:55-11:58pm
    0.5
    968
    Liga MX: Club America-Necaxa
    4/12
    UniMas
    9:55pm-12:00am
    0.5
    889
    Liga MX: Tigres UNAL-Pumas UNAM
    4/15
    Univision
    7:55-9:55pm
    0.4
    761
    "World of X Games: Baltic Ski"
    4/15
    ABC
    1:30-2:00pm
    0.5
    652
    "World of X Games: Bike Project"
    4/15
    ABC
    2:00-2:30pm
    0.5
    622
    "Red Bull Crashed Ice"
    4/16
    NBC
    1:30-3:00pm
    0.4
    598
    MLS: Orlando City SC-Galaxy
    4/15
    Fox
    2:45-5:00pm
    0.3
    346
    EPL: Manchester City-Southampton
    4/15
    NBC
    12:30-2:30pm
    0.5
    326

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