SBD/August 11, 2017/Media

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  • NHL Holds European Player Media Event In Stockholm For Int'l Rights Holders

    Eight of the NHL's international rights holders were scheduled to attend the event

    As the NHL expands its global footprint with games in both China and Sweden this coming season, it also is increasing its outreach to international media, holding its first-ever European player media event in Stockholm, Sweden, on Friday. The league, which has held a press event in conjunction with the NHLPA for roughly the last 10 years, typically at its N.Y. headquarters, decided to expand the initiative to include an event in Europe as well, tailored specifically to European rights holders and other media. “As we’re taking the next steps to having a greater presence internationally, it has created an opportunity for our European rights holders and other European-based media companies to connect with our league, teams and players, especially the European-born ones,” said NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly. “We know the passion the fans in those countries have for the European-born players in the NHL, and we want to make sure we strengthen that connection as much as we can.” The event -- held at the television studios of Viasat, the league’s rights holder across Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden -- was slated to feature 18 players from 16 teams. Eight of the league’s international rights holders were scheduled to attend the event, including NBC, as well as more than 30 other media outlets. The event, overseen by NHL Group VP/Event Communications & Player Development Jamey Horan and the league’s communication department, offered sit-down interviews, photo shoots and other media opportunities such as green-screen shooting and hockey demonstrations. Players also were made available to local television and radio broadcasts.

    EMBRACING EUROPEAN PARTNERS: Daly said it is common for some of the league’s biggest international rights holders to attend the North American media event, but this "provides them a much broader opportunity to engage with the players.” Daly: "We don’t want our European fans to feel like once these players have left for the NHL that they have lost all connection to them outside of watching the games on television. An event like this reinforces that, and it also gives us a chance to work even more closely with our rights holders, who are so important in helping us grow the game.” MTG Sport VP Per Nunstedt, whose company operates Viasat, said he welcomed the league’s outreach to Sweden and Europe as a whole. “For European leagues that we hold the right to, like the Premier League, it is much easier to do things like this. But to see how the NHL recognizes the fans in these countries too is very important,” Nunstedt said. “It’s no secret that the interest in hockey in Sweden is huge, so to have both players and games in the country this year and not just on television is fantastic not only for the fans, but for us as a rights holder.” MTG has held the NHL’s Nordic rights since '09 and signed a five-year extension in '15 that includes broadcast and online exclusivity for all league games and events through '21.

    NOT QUITE READY FOR CHINA: Daly said the league will look to hold a similar event in Europe next year as well, and would consider moving the location to another city. Stockholm was selected based on hosting the two games in November. However, Daly said it was perhaps too premature to consider holding the event in multiple cities, and the league is not considering expanding the tour to China yet. He said, “Ultimately, our goal is to be engaging and growing the fan base and support for the NHL all around Europe, and we see enormous benefit from an event like this."

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  • New 3D Tracing Tech Gets Plenty Of Telecast Use During Opening Day Of PGA Championship

    PGA Championship telecasts on Thursday used the new Trackman 3D tech "liberally and to good effect," according to Martin Kaufmann of GOLFWEEK. Use of the 3D tracers online and on TNT during the first round was "aggressive, and at times innovative." Trackman was placed on "all 18 tees." There also was "good use" of the ARL Virtual Eye, which "overlays a tracer on a hole graphic, adjacent to a live shot of players hitting their drives." Fox Sports "introduced" the idea at the U.S. Open last year." Thursday's broadcasts added a "nice twist by showing an aerial perspective tracer graphic from behind the tee." Kaufmann: "That’s the best angle I’ve seen on that graphic." Kaufmann added CBS Sports, which developed the Trackman tech, "tends to talk a lot about technology, but inexplicably neglects to use it at times." Kaufmann: "It has tracers on every hole, but there were key moments when they weren’t used -- most egregiously when Rory McIlroy’s group tried to drive the par-4 14th, and subsequently on the par-5 15th, par-4 16th and par-4 18th." That "can’t happen, particularly the afternoon’s featured group" (GOLFWEEK.com, 8/10).

    ACCESS, DENIED: GOLF DIGEST's Alex Myers wrote when TNT "finally came on the air" at 1:00pm ET, golf fans got to see Jordan Spieth play holes Nos. 7 through 9 to "wrap up" his opening round, which began around 8:30am. Myers: "That's it! Grand Slam pursuit or not, it's crazy that the tournament's marquee pairing of this year's three major winners thus far (Spieth, Brooks Koepka and Sergio Garcia) would get such little TV coverage" (GOLFDIGEST.com, 8/10).

    NATURE BOY
    : In Charlotte, Langston Wertz Jr. noted TNT asked Ric Flair to "introduce the PGA Championship in Charlotte, the town that he says he put on the map." Wertz: "He was really good in the intro, and he was in full Ric Flair mode" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 8/11).

    Print | Tags: Media, CBS, Turner Sports
  • HBO Developing Sneaker Store Comedy Produced By LeBron's SpringHill Entertainment

    Carter (r) has developed several film projects through SpringHill Entertainment

    HBO has "put in development an untitled half-hour single-camera comedy about the sneaker culture phenomenon," from Cavaliers F LeBron James and LRMR Management Founder Maverick Carter’s SpringHill Entertainment, according to Nellie Andreeva of DEADLINE. The project "hails from Warner Bros. TV and stems from SpringHill’s multi-year movie, TV and digital deal with Warner Bros." Written by Shawn Wines and Lemon Andersen, the untitled Sneaker Store Project "centers on two best friends and their wild employees at an up-and-coming sneaker shop outside L.A." The HBO project is "looking to expand SpringHill Entertainment’s series portfolio, which includes Starz’s half-hour comedy 'Survivor’s Remorse'" and game show "The Wall" on NBC (DEADLINE.com, 8/10). In Cleveland, Joey Morona writes the subject matter is "close to sneakerhead James' heart -- he's had his own signature line of Nike shoes since breaking into the NBA and frequently posts photos of his kicks on social media." James also owns a home in L.A., where the series is set. There is "no date when the show might premiere." James and Carter are also "developing 'There Goes the Neighborhood,' a modern-day twist on 'The Jeffersons' set in Cleveland from 'Scrubs' creator Bill Lawrence for NBC" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 8/11). YAHOO SPORTS' Lorrie Reyes wrote, "If anyone knows sneakers, it’s one of the best NBA players on the planet." James has "released 14 signature shoes with Nike, while Carter serves on the board of New York footwear and clothing designer Ronnie Fieg’s Kith" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 8/10).

    LET IT LOOSE: The PLAIN DEALER's Morona notes James is set to star in an upcoming episode of CBS' "Carpool Karaoke: The Series." James in his episode "lets it loose to Michael Sembello's 'Maniac' from the movie 'Flashdance'" with show host James Corden. The "exact date of the 'Carpool Karaoke' episode with James, in which LeBron and Corden also appear in a parody of a buddy cop movie entitled 'James and James,' is not yet known" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 8/11).

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  • Audience Analysis: "Hard Knocks" Premiere For Bucs A Mixed Bag Compared To Recent Years

    HBO averaged 671,000 viewers for the season premiere of "Hard Knocks" on Tuesday night, which this season focuses on the Buccaneers. That figure is up 32% from last season, when the premiere episode focusing on the Rams averaged 509,000 viewers. That telecast ran up against the Rio Games. Two years ago, the series premiere focusing on the Texans averaged 826,000 viewers, while the '14 premiere for the Falcons-focused show averaged 617,000 viewers.

    EASY LIKE SUNDAY MORNING: NBC on Sunday averaged 1.1 million viewers for the final round of the Ricoh Women's British Open from 11:30am-2:30pm ET, which saw I.K. Kim win the event. That figure is up big from 858,000 viewers last year, but that event had to compete with coverage of the PGA Championship on the same weekend (TNT had early PGA Sunday coverage from 9:00am-2:00pm). The 1.1 million viewers also marks the best women's golf audience for '17 to date and the best for the event since ABC drew 1.59 million viewers for the final round in '06. It was the best women's golf audience on NBC since the '14 U.S. Women's Open averaged 2.04 million viewers. This year's U.S. Women's Open final round on Fox last month averaged 790,000 viewers. That telecast ran from 2:15-6:45pm.

    A TALE OF TWO NETWORKS: ESPN last Saturday averaged 697,000 viewers for the Pro Football HOF induction ceremony from 7:00-11:45pm. This year's class included Jerry Jones, Jason Taylor, LaDainian Tomlinson and Kurt Warner. That figure is down 17% from 839,000 viewers last year for a class that included Brett Favre, Marvin Harrison, Eddie DeBartolo Jr. and Tony Dungy. While ESPN was down for the telecast, NFL Network also averaged 486,000 viewers for its coverage, up from 448,000 viewers last year.

    The chart below lists final viewership figures for select recent sports telecasts.

    TELECAST
    DATE
    NET
    TIME (ET)
    RAT.
    VIEWERS
    (000)
    NFL preseason: HOF Game:
    Cowboys-Cardinals
    8/5
    NBC
    8:11-11:04pm
    5.0
    8,247
    Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series:
    I Love New York 355 at The Glen
    8/6
    NBCSN
    3:28-5:36pm
    2.0
    3,250
    WGC-Bridgestone Invitational:
    Final Round
    8/8
    CBS
    2:00-6:00pm
    1.8
    2,660
    WGC-Bridgestone Invitational:
    Third Round
    8/7
    CBS
    2:00-6:00pm
    1.4
    2,050
    MLB: Dodgers-Mets
    8/6
    ESPN
    8:00-11:08pm
    1.0
    1,605
    "NASCAR Cup Series Postrace"
    8/6
    NBCSN
    5:36-6:30pm
    n/a
    1,597
    MLS All-Star Game
    (vs. Real Madrid)
    8/4
    Univision
    9:00-11:18pm
    0.8
    1,484
    IAAF World Track &
    Field Championships
    8/8
    NBC
    2:30-5:00pm
    0.9
    1,323
    IAAF World Track
    & Field Championships (taped)
    8/7
    NBC
    3:00-5:00pm
    0.9
    1,236
    NASCAR Xfinity Series:
    Zippo 200 at The Glen
    8/5
    NBCSN
    2:25-4:53pm
    0.8
    1,200
    Breeders' Cup Challenge
    Series: Whitney Handicap
    8/7
    NBC
    5:00-6:00pm
    0.8
    1,146
    Ricoh Women's British
    Open: Final Round
    8/8
    NBC
    11:30am-2:30pm
    0.8
    1,101
    Liga MX:
    Club America-UNAM Pumas
    8/7
    Univision
    9:59pm-12:00am
    0.5
    992
    NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing
    Series: Northwest Nationals
    8/8
    Fox
    4:00-7:15pm
    0.6
    883
    UFC Fight Night:
    Sergio Pettis d. Brandon Moreno
    8/5
    FS1
    10:00pm-1:08am
    0.5
    859
    "NASCAR Cup Series Prerace"
    8/6
    NBCSN
    1:00-2:25pm
    n/a
    855
    Ricoh Women's British Open:
    Third Round
    8/7
    NBC
    11:00am-2:00pm
    0.6
    809
    Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
    Series qualifying (Watkins Glen)
    8/6
    NBCSN
    12:00-1:00pm
    0.5
    738
    MLB: Indians-Red Sox
    7/31
    ESPN
    7:00-9:58pm
    n/a
    735
    Liga MX: Leon-Cruz Azul
    8/7
    Univision
    8:00-9:59pm
    0.4
    731
    Top Rank Boxing: Vasyl Lomachenko
    d. Miguel Marriaga
    8/5
    ESPN
    11:45pm-12:57am
    0.5
    728
    Pro Football HOF Induction Ceremony
    8/5
    ESPN
    7:00-11:45pm
    n/a
    697
    Reebok CrossFit Games (taped)
    8/7
    CBS
    1:00-2:00pm
    0.5
    675
    FIVB Women's Beach Volleyball
    World Championships (taped)
    8/7
    NBC
    2:00-3:00pm
    0.5
    672
    "E:60 Pictures: Leaf"
    8/7
    ABC
    3:30-5:00m
    0.4
    519
    "World of X Games: Rip to Cabo"
    8/7
    ABC
    2:30-3:30pm
    0.3
    434
    Bundesliga: Dortmund-Bayern Munich
    8/7
    Fox
    2:15-4:45pm
    0.3
    426

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  • Media Notes

    In St. Louis, Dan Caesar notes only four regular-season Rams games in '16 "were shown in the market," and St. Louis-based KTVI-Fox officials "again are taking a lukewarm approach." KTVI manager Kurt Krueger said, "There is some intrigue there. But it depends on their record, other games they are up against. I think there are still a lot of people in St. Louis who root against the Rams, or root for them." But Krueger said, "We're not [going] to knock out a Cowboys-Giants game for the Rams against say a team like Cincinnati" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 8/11).

    DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS: The Ft. Worth Star-Telegram is "one of Facebook's partners on a new video venture." "Titletown, TX", a "real-life version of the TV show 'Friday Night Lights,' is being featured as part of the social media power's new Watch platform." It tells the story of '16 Aledo Bearcats' "journey for their sixth state championship in eight seasons." The series "first appeared on the Star-Telegram's website" during last season (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 8/11).

    JOIN THE CLUB: In Cincinnati, Dave Clark notes Baseball HOFer Joe Morgan "joined Thom Brennaman and Jeff Brantley in the television booth" during Wednesday's Reds-Padres broadcast. Brennaman announced that Morgan will be part of the FS Ohio team "during home-game Wednesday broadcasts throughout the remainder of the season" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 8/11).

    WRAPPING IT UP: In Houston, Brent Zwerneman reports Dave South will "retire from his Texas A&M football radio play-calling duties following the upcoming season." South also will "call his final A&M basketball season, but plans to continue with his A&M baseball play-by-play duties for the foreseeable future" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 8/11).

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