SBJ/March 20 - 26, 2006/Media

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  • AdTracker: Kansas City Royals

    Agency: In-house
    Tag lines: “This Is Kansas City” and “Your Team. Your Town. Your KC Royals”
    Media: “This Is Kansas City” TV spots on local stations and cable systems, including the Royals SportsTelevision Network; “Your Team” spots predominantly via the Royals Radio Network; print ads in The Kansas City Star.
    Time line: “This Is Kansas City” spots began airing in February and will run through the start of the regular season. “Your Team” ads will follow.
    Target: The campaign ties Royals players to the Kansas City community and aims to reinforce the ballclub’s history and commitment to the area.
    Sample ads: Players highlight Kansas City landmarks, saying “This Is Kansas City”; local celebrities George Brett, Frank White, Buck O’Neil and Tom Watson are featured.


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  • Bracket backing: Selection shows get sponsors, but few viewers

    The NCAA’s Corporate Champion and Corporate Partner companies (in bold below) had a greater ad presence during CBS’s unveiling of the men’s basketball tournament bracket on Sunday, March 12, than they did during ESPN’s unveiling of the women’s bracket, which aired for the first time this year on a Monday, March 13. Ratings for both shows were down compared with last year.

    RATINGS REVIEW
    CBS / men's bracket
    Avg. rating / share
    Change
    ESPN / women's bracket
    Avg. rating
    (no. of HHs)
    Change
    2006
    4.7/9*
    -17.5%*
    0.9 (NA)
    -35.7%
    2005
    4.9/10
    -2.0%
    1.4 (1,275,000)
    -17.6%

    Note: ESPN marks are coverage-area ratings.
    * Overnight rating, compared with 2005 overnight of 5.7/11. Final rating was not available at Media Tracker press time.
    NA: Not available at Media Tracker press time.


    AD SUPPORT
    CBS/men's bracket
    Company/brand
    Per company: Total ad time (no. of spots)
    Cisco Systems, Pontiac
    1:00 (2)
    Merrill Lynch
    1:00 (1)
    Coca-Cola, Enterprise
    0:30 (2)
    Applebee's, AT&T, CDW, Cingular, Infiniti, Kraft (DiGiorno), Lowe's, Mazda,
    0:30 (1)
    McDonald's, Sonic, Staples, State Farm, SunCom, The Hartford, T. Rowe Price, U.S. Army, DirecTV
    0:10 (1)
     
    ESPN/women's bracket  
    Company/brand
    Per company: Total ad time (no. of spots)
    State Farm
    1:30 (3)
    PepsiCo (Diet Mountain Dew), Unilever (Degree Men), YellowPages.com
    1:00 (2)
    Proctor & Gamble (Metamucil Plus Calcium)
    0:30 (2)
    Allstate, Cisco Systems, Coca-Cola, Hotels.com, Marriott (Courtyard),
    0:30 (1)
    MSNBC ("Countdown"), NCAA, Pontiac, Steak 'n Shake, Suzuki, YellowBook.com  

    Note: Ad rundowns do not include sponsored segments of the broadcast or network promotions.
    Sources: SportsBusiness Daily archives, Charlotte feeds of WBTV-CBS and Time Warner Cable.
    Research by: Katherine Johnson-Reid and Paul Sanford, SportsBusiness Daily

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  • Keystone Light now served at FSN’s ‘Best Damn’ show

    Fox Sports Net has signed a seven-figure deal with Molson Coors Brewing Co. to make Keystone Light a sponsor of the “Best Damn Sports Show Period,” replacing longtime sponsor Labatt.

    Could there be a better fit for the decidedly low-brow BDSSP than Coors’ low-end brand, a beer that’s best drunk by the case and out of view of the opposite sex?

    Sponsor integration will all play off Keystone Light’s campaign tag line: “Always smooth, even when you are not.”

    Three times each week, one of the show’s personalities will host a Keystone Light segment in the “basement” of the show’s set. They’ll give out awards called “The Unsmoothies,” given to someone from sports or entertainment for a moment of indiscretion, lack of coordination or other faux pas. They’ll also bestow some unlucky recipient with “BDSSP’s Unsmooth Moment of the Week,” based on an embarrassing blooper or outtake from a show the previous week.

    The agreement, which kicks off next month, marks the fourth major sponsorship BDSSP has added this year. In January, Coca-Cola’s Full Throttle, Earthlink and Best Buy picked up exclusive real estate in the show. Earthlink converted what was once the Labatt “bar” on the set to a branded cyber café. Cyber café? Sounds a little hoity-toity for a show best know for its locker-room humor. Then again, the Internet is a great source for two of BDSSP’s viewers’ favorite pastimes, sports and sex.

    The Big Ten wants its own branded network,
    something ABC/ESPN can’t easily deliver.
    BIG TEN WINDOW CLOSING: The exclusive negotiating window between ABC/ESPN and the Big Ten Conference expires in the next few weeks. Sources say the Disney networks have had an offer on the table for several weeks and gotten no specific response, and most insiders expect the conference to test the market before signing any deal.

    The conference has made it clear that it wants to own its own branded sports network, and that’s something ABC/ESPN can’t easily deliver.

    Fox not only has expertise in running a regional sports network but could guarantee distribution through Fox-owned DirecTV. Fox is expected to use the promise of a Big Ten network as it tries to land the broadcast network rights, which is what Fox covets most as an adjunct to its Bowl Championship Series deal.

    The Big Ten declined to comment, saying it won’t say anything about the television negotiations until a deal is in place.

    DIRECTV, SNY TALKS: DirecTV is far more likely to end up carrying the new SportsNet New York than is rival Dish Network, said a source with knowledge of SNY’s affiliate negotiations. Although an SNY spokesperson said, “We are currently in discussions with all cable and satellite providers in our footprint,” talks with DirecTV are active and heading toward a deal while there’s little progress with EchoStar’s Dish, the source said.

    The SNY negotiating team is being headed by Dana Zimmer, senior vice president of affiliate relations at Comcast Corp., which is a shareholder of SNY and manages the network.

    SNY launched last Thursday with distribution already secured from Comcast and its other primary shareholder, Time Warner. It also was closing in on an agreement with Cablevision that would nearly double its distribution from just over 3 million homes to 6 million. A DirecTV deal was expected to come soon after Cablevision’s. But Dish has already gone four years without the Yankees’ YES Network in New York and appears to be taking the same posture with SNY.

    Andy Bernstein can be reached at abernstein@sportsbusinessjournal.com.

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  • Nielsen weekly sports ranking

    TIGER WINS, BUT RATINGS TAMED: NBC’s weekend coverage of the Ford Championship at Doral, featuring a Tiger Woods victory, averaged 4.54 million households, down 4.3 percent from the network’s 2005 coverage. More than 4.07 million households tuned in for Saturday’s third-round coverage, that round’s biggest audience since 1985. Sunday’s final round was watched by 5.01 million households, down 16.5 percent from last year.

    Top 10 Network Sports Telecasts
    Rank Net. Program Date Rating Share
    Households Watching
    (000s)
    1 NBC PGA: FORD CHAMP. AT DORAL (FINAL ROUND)
    3/5
    4.5
    10
    5,012
    2 NBC PGA: FORD CHAMP. AT DORAL (THIRD ROUND)
    3/4
    3.7
    9
    4,074
    3 FOX NASCAR: BUSCH SERIES TELCEL-MOTOROLA 200
    3/5
    3.4
    8
    3,784
    4 CBS NCAA BASKETBAL: VILLANOVA-SYRAC./FLA.-KY.
    3/5
    2.2
    6
    2,387
    5 ABC NBA: PHOENIX-DALLAS
    3/5
    2.0
    4
    2,255
    6 CBS NCAA BASKETBALL: LOUISVILLE-UCONN
    3/4
    1.8
    5
    1,957
    7 NBC SPECIAL: AMERICAN CUP GYMNASTICS
    3/4
    1.6
    5
    1,785
    8 CBS NCAA BASKETBALL: ILLINOIS-MICHIGAN STATE
    3/4
    1.6
    5
    1,776
    9 ABC NBA: INDIANA-PHILADELPHIA
    3/5
    1.6
    4
    1,709
    10 CBS NCAA BASKETBALL: UCLA-STANF./N.C. ST.-WAKE F.
    3/4
    1.4
    3
    1,568


    TOBACCO ROAD HIGH: ESPN’s Saturday prime-time North Carolina-Duke game set a record for the largest men’s college basketball audience in ESPN’s 26-year history, drawing an average of 3.13 million households. The game was also the network’s fourth most-watched basketball game of any kind. It generated cable’s ninth-biggest audience of the week and topped sister network ABC’s prime time offering of “A Beautiful Mind” by 50,000 households.

    Top 10 Cable Sports Telecasts
    (RATING)
    Rank
    Net
    Program Date National Cov. Area Share
    Households Watching
    (000s)
    1 ESPN NCAA BASKETBALL: NORTH CAROLINA-DUKE 3/4
    2.8
    3.5
    6
    3,134
    2 ESPN NCAA BASKETBALL: DUKE-FLORIDA STATE 3/1
    1.5
    1.8
    3
    1,654
    3 ESPN SPORTSCENTER LATE (11 P.M. ET) 3/4
    1.3
    1.6
    3
    1,449
    4 TNT NBA: DALLAS-SAN ANTONIO 3/2
    1.3
    1.6
    3
    1,416
    5 ESPN NCAA BASKETBALL: PITTSBURGH-WEST VIRGINIA 2/27
    1.1
    1.3
    2
    1,177
    6 ESPN COLLEGE GAMEDAY (8 P.M. ET) 3/4
    1.0
    1.3
    2
    1,139
    7 ESPN NCAA BASKETBALL: OKLAHOMA ST.-OKLAHOMA 2/27
    1.0
    1.2
    2
    1,103
    8 ESPN NBA: PHILADELPHIA-HOUSTON 3/1
    0.9
    1.1
    2
    1,011
    9 ESPN NCAA BASKETBALL: ILLINOIS-MINNESOTA 2/28
    0.9
    1.1
    2
    980
    10 SPIKE ULTIMATE FIGHTER UNLEASHED 2/27
    0.9
    1.1
    2
    969

    Rating — Estimated percent of all TV households of persons tuned to a specific program source. One ratings point equals 1,102,000 homes.
    Share — Estimated percent of all households using television at that time which are tuned to a specific program source.
    Source: Nielsen Media Research

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  • Tough class: Hoops ratings decline

    Fox Sports Net scored the only ratings gain this season over last year with its Pac-10 package among networks with national men’s college basketball coverage. Networks are listed below by average rating posted.

    Network
    Change
    2005-06
    Avg. rating/share
    (No. of HHs)
    No. of
    telecasts*
    2004-05
    Avg. rating/share
    (No. of HHs)
    2003-04
    Avg. rating/share
    (No. of HHs)
    CBS
    -10.5%
    1.7/4
    30
    1.9/5
    1.8/4
    ABC
    -25.0%
    1.2 (1,358,000)
    5
    1.6/4
    1.7/4
    ESPN
    0.0%
    1.1 (965,000)
    110
    1.1 (966,000)
    1.0 (847,000)
    ESPN2
    0.0%
    0.5 (423,000)
    124
    0.5 (425,000)
    0.5 (407,000)
    FSN:
    ACC
    -26.6%
    0.47 (339,000)
    20
    0.64 (483,000)
    0.60 (473,000)
    Pac-10
    +9.7%
    0.34 (259,000)
    14
    0.31 (212,000)
    0.25 (191,000)

    Notes: Ratings presented here are for regular-season coverage and do not include conference tournament games.
    * Because of regional coverage, the ABC and CBS figures represent the number of windows in which the networks aired men’s basketball.
    Source: Networks
    Research by Katherine Johnson-Reid, SportsBusiness Daily

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