SBD/Morning Buzz

Morning Buzz

NFLPA, NFL To Present Evidence On Guaranteed TV Contracts
ESPN Earns 11.7 Overnight For First Rose Bowl Game On Cable
Winter Classic Gets 2.8 Overnight As Game Moves To Primetime
A-B Reaches Multiyear Deal To Retain MLB Sponsorship Deal

NFLPA, NFL TO PRESENT EVIDENCE IN COMPLAINT OVER TV CONTRACTS

A special master tomorrow will review the NFLPA's complaint over the league's roughly $4.5B in TV contracts, which are guaranteed even if no games are played next season. The union will seek to prove that the owners "took less money than they could have got from the networks in exchange for the money being guaranteed." Witnesses will be called tomorrow and evidence presented by both sides. If the NFLPA wins, it will ask that the $4.5B "be held in escrow until a new deal is reached"
(FANHOUSE.com, 1/2).


ESPN EARNS 11.7 OVERNIGHT FOR FIRST ROSE BOWL EVER TO AIR ON CABLE

ESPN earned an 11.7 overnight Nielsen rating for its broadcast of the TCU-Wisconsin Rose Bowl, the first time the game has aired on cable. The game also earned 214,000 viewers on ESPN3.com. Last year’s Ohio State-Oregon Rose Bowl drew a 13.8 overnight rating on ABC. ESPN’s Oklahoma-Connecticut Tostitos Fiesta Bowl telecast drew a 6.7 overnight rating in its first appearance on cable. Fox earned a 9.2 overnight for the comparable Florida-Cincinnati Allstate Sugar Bowl in '10, which also aired in the late Jan. 1 window. Last year’s Boise State-TCU Fiesta Bowl telecast earned an 8.6 overnight on Fox in the Monday night slot (THE DAILY).

Meanwhile, Oklahoma-Connecticut drew a crowd of 67,232 at Univ. of Phoenix Stadium, the “smallest crowd for a Fiesta Bowl” since the '97 Penn State-Texas matchup. That game drew 65,106 fans at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe (FANSTER.com, 1/2). THE DAILY presents a roundup of attendance marks for all six New Year’s Day bowl games.

BOWL
STADIUM
ATTENDANCE
Rose Bowl presented by Vizio
Rose Bowl
94,118
Progressive Gator Bowl
EverBank Field
68,325
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Univ. of Phoenix Stadium
67,232
Capital One Bowl Florida Citrus Bowl
61,519
Outback Bowl Raymond James Stadium
60,574
TicketCity Bowl Cotton Bowl
40,121

"SPECTACULAR" SCENE AT '11 NHL WINTER CLASSIC, SAYS GARY BETTMAN

Crowd Of 68,111 Attends Capitals-Penguins
NHL Winter Classic At Heinz Field

NBC earned a 2.8 overnight Nielsen rating for Saturday night’s Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, which saw the Capitals defeat the Pengiuns 3-1. That rating is up 7.8% from a 2.6 overnight for the Flyers-Bruins game last year, which aired from 1:00-4:00pm ET on New Year’s Day (THE DAILY).

The game's move to an 8:00pm ET start “paid off in ways that might prove more memorable than the outcome.” The game drew a crowd of 68,111 at Heinz Field, and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said, "It was a tremendous game, and the scene was spectacular." However, the rainy conditions caused the ice surface to fail to "fully solidify for the game, as large puddles brought sluggish skating and sloppy puck movement" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 1/2).

Meanwhile, Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field is a “front-runner” to land the '12 Winter Classic (“Hockey Night In Canada,” CBC, 1/1). Comcast-Spectacor President & COO Peter Luukko yesterday noted the Flyers have yet to be contacted by the NHL, but said, “We would certainly like to play a game in Philly next year or in the future" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 1/3).


ANHEUSER-BUSCH REACHES MULTIYEAR DEAL TO REMAIN MLB’S OFFICIAL BEER

Anheuser-Busch’s sponsorship of MLB is "back on track" after the two sides announced late Thursday that they have "agreed to a multiyear renewal that keeps" Budweiser as the league’s official beer. The brewer and the league “agreed to drop a federal lawsuit over the disputed deal just days before lawyers … were set to square off in a New York courtroom.” Terms of the deal were not disclosed (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 12/31).


UNIV. OF KANSAS TODAY TO INTRODUCE SHEAHON ZENGER AS ATHETIC DIRECTOR

Univ. of Kansas today will introduce Sheahon Zenger as its next AD. Zenger, who received his undergraduate degree from Kansas State and a doctorate degree from Kansas, has spent the past six years as Illinois State Univ. AD (KU). Zenger will begin his new job Feb. 1, and high on his to-do list “will be to restore trust with KU’s donors and fans after an embarrassing year” that included a ticket-selling scandal and controversies surrounding former AD Lew Perkins (K.C. STAR, 1/3).


MARIA SHARAPOVA TODAY ANNOUNCES FIVE-YEAR RACKET DEAL WTH HEAD

Maria Sharapova today announced a new five-year deal with Head racquets. The deal will be "similar" to the one she previously had with Prince, "somewhere in the range of $2 million annually." Sharapova will have her own signature line of racquets, as well as a junior line. Sharapova last month ended her 10-year relationship with Prince (TENNISREPORTERS.net, 1/1).


GOLF CHANNEL DEBUTS "MORNING DRIVE" FEATURING KUSELIAS, WILLIAMS

Williams (l) And Kuselias Hosting Live,
Weekday Show On Golf Channel

Golf Channel today at 7:00am ET debuted "Morning Drive," a two-hour weekday show hosted by Erik Kuselias and Gary Williams. Golf Channel Senior VP/Programming, Production & Operations Tom Stathakes said of the format, "We'll start from the world of golf, but look at other sports and entertainment." The show will include commentary from Pro Football HOFer Jerry Rice and Cowboys QB Tony Romo, among others (MULTICHANNEL.com, 1/2). Holly Sonders will provide on-air news updates on the show during the bottom of the hour (Golf Channel).

Here are some highlights from the first show:

  • Kuselias opened the show pointing out all the various aspects of the studio set and said, “It’s a fun show, it’s a cool set. … Our motto is, if it’s compelling, if it’s interesting, it will find a way on our show” (Golf Channel, 1/3).
  • Kuselias and Williams led with a back and forth on the upcoming PGA Tour season and expectations for the '11 season, but also went on to discuss the NFL playoffs for an extended time period during the opening news hole (Golf Channel, 1/3).
  • Arnold Palmer was an opening-day guest. Guests later this week are scheduled to include PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem, LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan, Phillies CF Shane Victorino,Vikings K Ryan Longwell and Donald Trump
    (MULTICHANNEL.com, 1/2).

CHARLOTTE'S WFNZ-AM ROLLING OUT NEW WEEKDAY PROGRAMMING

Charlotte's WFNZ-AM is rolling out a new program lineup today. Replacing Mark Packer as afternoon drivetime host will be Taylor Zarzour, whose new show "The Drive" will air from 3:00-7:00pm ET with Marc James as a co-host. Former NFLer Muhsin Muhammad and station veteran Frank Garcia will co-host "Bustin' Loose with Frank & Moose" at noon weekdays. Also today, the station will debut "The David Glenn Show" from 7:00-10:00pm (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 12/25).


SPEED READS….

The PGA Tour this week will announce that it has “signed a four-year renewal with the Hawaii Tourism Authority to remain as an official marketing partner” through the ’14 season. HTA has been a marketing partner since ’01 (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 1/3 issue).

Knicks-Magic Game Sets Amway
Center Attendance Record

World Wrestling Entertainment today will announce that it is “resurrecting ‘WWE Tough Enough,’ a competition to cast a new member to the organization’s roster.” USA Network will pair the program with “Monday Night Raw” (NYTIMES.com, 1/3).

An announced crowd of 19,090 attended Thursday night’s Knicks-Magic game at Amway Center, marking a “new home franchise attendance record” (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 12/31).

An estimated crowd of 10,000 attended the Capitals-Penguins alumni game Friday at Heinz Field. The game ended in a 5-5 tie (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 1/1).

A crowd of 7,165 Saturday attended the Arizona State-Oregon men’s basketball game, the final game at McArthur Court. Oregon’s next men’s basketball game will be played Jan. 13 at the $200M, 12,500-seat Matthew Knight Arena (OREGONLIVE.com, 1/2).

ESPN is running an ad in today’s Wall Street Journal touting coverage of tonight’s Stanford-Virginia Tech Discover Orange Bowl, which kicks off at 8:00pm ET (THE DAILY).


QUICK HITS….

“We didn't produce any legends yesterday” – Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany, referring to one of the conference’s new division names, after going 0-5 in New Year’s Day bowl games (SI.com, 1/2).

“Yes, there will be a lockout” – Lions WR Nate Burleson, responding to question about CBA talks between the NFLPA and NFL (DETROIT NEWS, 1/2).

“It’s just those circumstances. It’s not unfortunate. We recognize the effort we need to make to follow the spirit of the Rooney Rule. I’m for that in so many ways. We want to follow the Rooney Rule” – Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones, on the reason for not officially hiring interim coach Jason Garrett (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 1/3).

“The hypocrisy of the mayor knows no boundaries. Literally two and a half weeks ago, to vote against funding for the complex, and now to be congratulating the team and boasting about the playoff game. … Does he have no shame?” – Jackson County Sports Complex Authority Exec Dir Jim Rowland, who is running against Mark Funkhouser in the K.C. mayoral race (K.C. STAR, 12/31).

“It’s like driving your car in a downpour” – Capitals LW David Steckel, on playing in rainy conditions during the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Heinz Field (SPORTING NEWS TODAY, 1/2).


OVERHEARD DURING SUNDAY'S NFL SHOWS….

"The problem there with Carolina is they want to go on the cheap with everything. They haven't signed a free agent in years, cut their cap down last year, so they're going to look for an assistant that they don't have to pay an awful lot of money to" – Fox’ Jay Glazer, on the Panthers’ replacement for coach John Fox ("Fox NFL Sunday," Fox, 1/2).

“If I signed a $90 million contract, why would you give me a $100,000 to go to the Pro Bowl? With $90 million, I expect you to go the Pro Bowl" – ESPN’s Tom Jackson, on an incentive in Bears DE Julius Peppers’ contract ("Sunday NFL Countdown," ESPN, 1/2).

"If this rivalry had a logo, it would be a clenched fist" – NFL Films President Steve Sabol, on the Bears-Packers rivalry ("NFL Gameday Morning," NFL Network, 1/2).

"If the Patriots make it to the Super Bowl, do you know how long Tom Brady's hair is going to be?" – NBC’s Dan Patrick ("Football Night In America," NBC, 1/2).


TWITTER ME THIS….

 

NHL Panthers President & COO Michael Yormark: “Need to send our canadian fans home with a loss tonight and show their media what a great hockey market this is!”

N.Y. Daily News’ Bob Raissman: “During ‘predictions’ segment CBS no on on panel dared predict Cowher's future. Gutless. The NFL Today.”

N.Y. Times’ Richard Sandomir: “Could NHL investigate putting fans close to rink in future WClassics? Atmosphere a bit disembodied w/ fans so far back.”

ESPN.com’s Jim Caple: “Imagine the media outcry if baseball had a playoff team with a 71-91 record.”

If you see a tweet we won’t want to miss, send it to us at editorial@sportsbusinessdaily.com.


THIS WEEK IN SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL….

This week’s in-depth examines western lifestyle sports.

  • Execs discuss the forecast for the sports industry in '11.
  • NASCAR tracks, networks teaming up to pitch title sponsorships to races.
  • College conferences looking to grow revenues through rights to archived games.
  • Several sports execs offer up their New Year’s resolutions.

TODAY'S EVENTS….

Pregame festivities surrounding the Jan. 10 Auburn-Oregon Tostitos BCS National Championship game at Univ. of Phoenix Stadium kick off this week at the Scottsdale Waterfront. The Bud Light Fiesta begins today and runs through Friday. ESPN today will begin telecasting from the SouthBridge Plaza (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 1/1).


IN OTHER NEWS….

Hollywood studios this past weekend concluded “the second-worst year at the box office since 1996.” Despite inflation and 3D tickets driving revenue above $10B, attendance fell 5.4% compared to last year, “the largest drop since attendance fell 8.1% in 2005” (USA TODAY, 1/3).


THE BACK PAGES….

The Morning Buzz offers today’s back page sports covers from some of the nation’s major metropolitan tabloids:

N.Y. Post
N.Y. Daily News
Newsday
Philadelphia Daily News
Boston Herald

FINAL JEOPARDY!

Friday's "Final Jeopardy!" category was "Political Terms."

"A 1912 speech said the Bull Moose Party 'comes from' these; 'it has grown from the soil of ... people's hard necessities.'"


LAUGH TRACK….

THE MONOLOGUES:

CBS’ “Late Show” and NBC’s “The Tonight Show” were preempted by New Year’s Eve specials.


FINAL JEOPARDY….

What is 'grass roots?'"


If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please let us know at:
pbounds@sportsbusinessdaily.com.

The Morning Buzz provides an early update of the news and headlines each Monday through Friday at approximately 9:00am ET. If you would like to sign up for an e-mail alert to the Morning Buzz, go to My Account and personalize your e-mail alert options.

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