NBC Sports Audience Up For EPL Coverage, While Cancellation Of "Crossover" Questioned
NBC and NBCSN are averaging 391,000 viewers for EPL telecasts after five weeks. That figure is up from 230,000 viewers through the same point last year, when games aired exclusively on cable TV (ESPN, ESPN2, Fox Soccer). The Manchester United-Manchester City match last Sunday earned 852,000 viewers on NBCSN, marking the net’s top audience for any program for the week and the second-best cable TV EPL audience on record in the U.S. The ManU-Man City match also marked NBCSN’s most-viewed show since the NHL Stanley Cup Final in June (THE DAILY). In Boston, Christopher Gasper wrote, "I’m loving the coverage of the English Premier League on NBC Sports Network. There is room in America for two types of world-class football on Sundays" (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/24).BEADLES FOR SALE: In L.A., Tom Hoffarth noted the timing of the cancellation of NBCSN's "The Crossover" is "interesting in that it came just a short time" after host Michelle Beadle talked to Sports Media Journal "about all the challenges she faced in trying to self-promote a show she was flying solo" since former co-host Dave Briggs was taken off the show in May. Beadle "took a bundle to cross over to NBC from ESPN after her success on 'Sports Nation'" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 9/27). In New York, Pete Dougherty writes Beadle was "given insufficient time to build a following" (Albany TIMES-UNION, 9/27).
FACING CRITICISM: In L.A., Meredith Blake reports NBCSN is "facing a flurry of criticism" over last Sunday's episode of "Under Wild Skies" in which host Tony Markis, an NRA strategist, "shoots and kills an African elephant." The net has "decided not to rebroadcast this particular episode, but will continue to air" the series. The show is "not produced by the network" but is a time buy (L.A. TIMES, 9/27).