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January 21, 2015 12:07 PM
Among the comments:
■ "This gives the league another opportunity to try some new things. I think everyone saw that from the jerseys and the inspiration they had there. … There's also a big opportunity here for analytics or 'fancy' stats."
■ "The expectation is that there'll be some more outdoor games (other than the Winter Classic). … It seems like a lot of signs are pointing to Colorado getting a game. It makes a lot of sense. … Two cities that I would say to keep an eye on are St. Louis and Buffalo."
January 20, 2015 09:00 AM
January 19, 2015 10:00 AM
January 14, 2015 10:00 AM
Among the comments:
■ "So far it's been a mixed bag of good and bad. I don't think there's much doubt that it's not quite performing how Rogers had hoped."
■ "People are still confused as to what games are on, when they're on, what channel they're on. … Networks assume everybody is really computer literate and up on all these things. The fact is, half of sports fans out there couldn't even tell you what channel they're watching — you know, it's channel 7, they don't know what network it is, nothing. It's going to take a long time, and a lot longer than they expected."
■ "I think the NHL, I won't say they killed the golden goose, but they wounded it badly last year with a game-of-the-week outdoors almost. I think the novelty has worn off."
January 12, 2015 10:16 AM
Among the comments:
■ "This was so heavily anticipated, yet when it came out … and you look at the reaction to this vs. the reactions we were seeing in September and October, it's quite different. There's quite a stark difference."
■ "It is the first instance where one of its owners, I don't want to say has gone rogue, but certainly gone outside of what the NFL had laid down as its territory."
■ "Not attending the unveiling of a proposed stadium certainly doesn't sound like you're giving it a good-faith effort. … It's almost a bizarre situation where the city and the state are dealing with the NFL and the team doesn't want anything to do with it."
January 7, 2015 09:51 AM
Among the comments:
■ "The NHL … since they started doing these back in about 2008, I think has been sort of further refining what it means or what the experience is like for a fan who goes to these games. This has been the first year when I think they really nailed it."
■ "The event has become, probably across all sports, probably a top two or three thing you've got to see in your life if you like the experience of being out in a space."
■ "From a revenue standpoint, an interest standpoint, viewer standpoint, fan standpoint, it was going to be hard to top last year. It was sort of a perfect storm, literally and figuratively."
January 6, 2015 10:02 AM
January 5, 2015 02:31 PM
After the passing of popular ESPN personality Stuart Scott, countless tributes have come from those in sports and media. Below are many of the compelling comments and memories shared by peers of the late broadcaster in the hours since his death:
“There were times when I anchored with him, I didn't know what he was saying, but I knew there were people that did understand what he was saying. To have the guts and the courage, that's what's remarkable. I hope we remember Stuart for that, to believe in yourself because in this cookie cutter world that we call sportscasting … Stuart went in and wasn't afraid to have a voice” (“The Dan Patrick Show,” 1/5).
"A Jewish kid walking on the set and being teamed up with a guy who I’d seen on television, but I’d never met before, a proud African-American Chicagoan by way of North Carolina due to his school bleeding Carolina blue. The two of us became married on television, essentially. He referred to himself as my TV wife. … Lived his life the way his parents wanted him to live it, the way he felt he should live it. He broadcast the same way, a groundbreaking broadcaster in the world of sports television” (“NFL GameDay Morning,” NFL Network, 1/4).
"He was a lovely guy. He always had a smile on his face. He was always happy to see you. He engaged. When you saw Stuart in the hall, he stopped and he talked to you. ... He just was a genuinely good guy. So clearly, his spirit is going to be missed around the place” (“The Herd,” ESPN Radio, 1/5).
"He was such an amazing person, aside from the fact that he was just phenomenal at what he did. Really, just a trail blazer in the sports industry" ("SVP & Russillo," ESPN Radio, 1/5).
"We arrived at the stadium this morning and walked right into the news that just crushed us all, the passing of Stuart Scott. ... A career of tremendous accomplishment and class and a life filled with courage. What a man. What a loss today” (“Bengals-Colts,” CBS, 1/4).
"He was in many ways a pioneer. He was a friend to anybody who knew him. He was somebody who was fearless -- fearless on the air, fearless covering sports and fearless for the way he dealt with cancer” (Fox, 1/4).
"As a person who wanted to be a broadcaster, he was a role model for me. He talked on ‘SportsCenter’ like me and my friends talked. He did it his way and was great at it. For me, as a colleague and before we became a colleague, I'm not ashamed to say and he won't even know this -- he was a role model for me and hundreds of other African-American journalists/athletes now, who wanted to be legitimate, and want people to take what we say seriously, just like him. Realize that there never will be another Stu” (“Postseason NFL Countdown,” ESPN, 1/4).
"One of the things Stu told me when I first took this job was to not change who I was. Be exactly who I'm supposed to be. Looking at him and knowing that he was able to bring the hip-hop culture, that urban feel to television sports broadcasting -- something that's never been done before -- gave me the hope that I didn't have to be some corporate guy” (“Postseason NFL Countdown,” ESPN, 1/4).
“As extraordinary a talent as he was on air, that which impressed me the most was how valiantly he fought his battle against cancer because he passionately wanted to continue being the father that he was to his two daughters. Stuart Scott was 49 years old and folks he truly was as cool as the other side of the pillow” (“The NFL Today,” CBS, 1/4).
"Known for his great energy and sharp wit, he helped reinvent the language of sports” (“Nightly News,” NBC, 1/4).
"A groundbreaker. In an industry where corporate types try to tell you how to go about your business, I believe that was his greatest accomplishment. He was always himself and he was unapologetic about it” (“Fox Sports Live,” FS1, 1/4).
January 5, 2015 09:00 AM
January 2, 2015 11:43 AM
ESPN’s first-ever College Football Playoff semifinal telecasts drew overnight ratings comparable with recent BCS National Championship on the cable net. ESPN began with Oregon’s 59-20 rout of Florida State, drawing a 15.5 overnight for the Rose Bowl telecast. That figure tops the 15.3 overnight for FSU’s win over Auburn in the BCS title game last year and is just below the Alabama-Notre Dame title game from ’13 (15.7 overnight). Each BCS title game on ESPN aired on a Monday night.
CLOSING OUT THE NIGHT: Meanwhile, Ohio State’s 42-35 upset win over Alabama in the Allstate Sugar Bowl drew a 15.3 overnight. Both CFP semifinal telecasts finished higher than the Alabama-LSU BCS title game in ’12 (13.8 overnight). The final BCS title game on broadcast TV -- ABC’s telecast of Alabama-Texas in ’10 -- drew an 18.2 overnight for a Thursday night telecast.
RISING UP: When final figures are announced this afternoon, the Oregon-FSU game will likely rank among the top three most-viewed cable TV broadcasts of all time. FSU-Auburn last year remains the third-best audience ever on cable, behind the BCS title games from ’11 (Auburn-Oregon) and ’13.
IN THE STANDS: The Rose Bowl drew 91,322 fans to Pasadena this year, down from 95,173 last year for the Michigan State-Stanford matchup, which was the event’s best figure since ’98. Meanwhile, the Sugar Bowl drew 74,682 fans to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, marking the game’s best attendance since LSU-Notre Dame drew 77,781 fans in ’07.
CFP SEMIFINALS HAVE WINNERS ON THE FIELD, BUT SOME LOSERS OFF IT
* USA TODAY’s Nancy Armour writes the CFP “proved its worth on its very first try,” and “all but the most disgruntled TCU fan has to admit after Thursday’s games that both Oregon and Ohio State are worthy of the opportunity.”
* The FLORIDA TIMES-UNION’s Garry Smith wrote Florida State playing in the Rose Bowl for the second straight season “has strained the pocketbooks of even the most well-heeled Seminole Boosters and made the trip to Pasadena … a financial impossibility for the families of most FSU players.”
Winter Classic Overnights Down; 40,000-Plus Jam Into Nationals ParkEarlier on New Year’s Day, NBC drew a 2.3 overnight for the Capitals’ 3-2 win over the Blackhawks at Nationals Park, marking a record-low figure for an NHL Winter Classic, dating back to the event’s inception in ’08. The previous low was a 2.4 for Rangers-Flyers in ’12. There was no game in ’13 due to the lockout. Blackhawks-Capitals also is down 21% from a 2.9 overnight for Maple Leafs-Red Wings last year. Chicago drew an 11.4 local rating for the game, while DC ranked third with a 5.7 rating. Buffalo was the No. 2 market with a 6.4 local rating. While ratings were down, the Winter Classic drew 60,500 unique visitors on the NBC Sports Live Extra app, up 17% from last year.
NO CHILLY RECEPTION: MLB.com’s Quinn Roberts wrote the game “drew 42,832 to Nationals Park, validating D.C. as a hockey town.” Players during the national anthem “stood on a sheet of blue ice meant to represent the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool.” THE HOCKEY NEWS’ Jared Clinton wrote though the first outdoor game in ’08 will “always be the most memorable … 2015’s Winter Classic will certainly be remembered as one of the outdoor games that stand the test of time.” The “pageantry was given a healthy bump thanks to the team entrances, and the game itself was one of the better outdoor contests the league has seen.”