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Volume 24 No. 178


Beth Mowins earned "positive reviews" on social media last night for her call of the Chargers-Broncos "MNF" game, where she "became the first woman to ever call a game for the famed television franchise," according to David Ubben of SPORTS ON EARTH. Mowins "carried the show in her MNF debut" alongside analyst Rex Ryan and sideline reporter Sergio Dipp, both of whom also were making their first "MNF" appearances (, 9/12). ESPN The Magazine's Mina Kimes tweeted, "Been watching the NFL since I was a little girl, and seeing @bethmowins up there makes my heart sing." Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel: "Shouldn't be a surprise @bethmowins crushed MNF. She's always been good at her job." The Athletic's Sam Vecenie: "Shout out Beth Mowins. She did incredible work tonight dragging Rex Ryan over the line. ... Give her a better partner next time." SI's Robert Klemko: "Hating on the knowledgable and crisp Beth Mowins while giving mumbling Rex Ryan a pass is a great way to tell on yourself." Procter & Gamble's Secret Deodorant brand posted a video on social media congratulating Mowins, with commentary from Gayle Sierens, the first woman to call NFL play-by-play, as well as Jets Dir of Football Administration Jacqueline Davidson, NBC's Michele Tafoya, Bengals Exec VP Katie Blackburn, Fox' Charissa Thompson, NFL Special Assistant to the Commissioner Kimberly Fields and ESPN's Samantha Ponder.

: In Boston, Chad Finn writes Ryan proved "spectacular debuts for NFL analysts -- such as Tony Romo's Sunday for CBS -- are approximately as rare as Jets Super Bowl wins." Ryan's voice "lacked clear authority" and he sounded at times "as if his energy meter was running low." He also suffered through some "self-inflicted technical mistakes," including one time in the second half making a "rookie mistake of responding out loud to the voice in his ear from the production truck." Finn: "He belongs in the studio" (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/12). In N.Y., Mark Sanchez writes Ryan "bombed on his opening night," as he "did not seem confident in his speech and looked like the rookie analyst he is." His "flat jokes and foggy analysis" was even "more jarring after Tony Romo's smash debut" (, 9/12). Also in N.Y., Ari Gilberg notes fans "heavily criticized Ryan for his lack of insight and low-energy demeanor." Fans "began bashing" Ryan on Twitter "before the first quarter even ended" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/12).

I DIPP, YOU DIPP, WE DIPP: In N.Y., Joseph Staszewski notes Dipp "lit up social media as he nervously stumbled and bumbled his way through his first report late in the first quarter" (N.Y. POST, 9/12). In DC, Des Bieler notes Dipp’s "initial hesitation sparked plenty of 'Boom goes the dynamite!' comments online." Others began "lamenting the fact that Dipp was apparently not allowed back on the air" (WASHINGTON POST, 9/12). In Chicago, Phil Rosenthal writes Dipp "stole the show," as his lone report "had the feel of one of those photos theme parks try to sell when you get off a roller coaster." Dipp was "drafted into double duty on top of his regular work" for ESPN Deportes, but the move "may not have been as efficient as his bosses envisioned" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/12). The Richmond Times-Dispatch's Mike Barber tweeted, "Rex Ryan is learning on fly. Sergio Dipp is out his league. That this telecast is watchable tells you how amazing Beth Mowins is at her job." Galvanize VP/Digital Marketing Andy Glockner: "It's not really fair to saddle Beth Mowins with a guy who can barely speak English and Sergio Dipp." 

: In Ft. Worth, Drew Davison notes Hurricane Irma is "delaying Nielsen’s TV ratings for Sunday’s prime-time lineup." There is "no word yet on how well -- or not well" -- Giants-Cowboys did on NBC's "SNF." The NFL’s ratings are already "off to a slow start for the opening week" after Chiefs-Patriots on Thursday night. Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones "pointed to the recent hurricanes ... as the reasons why viewership may be down for now." Jones said, "I know a lot of other things that normally get ratings are considerably down as people are struggling with these storms. Under the circumstances, I don’t feel comfortable worrying about ratings" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 9/12). In Chicago, Phil Rosenthal wrote with "more than 1 million people in Florida without power and coverage of the storm making landfall dominating several channels, it’s reasonable to think that it might affect viewing the things they usually watch." However, U.S. Open women’s tennis and college football did "better than they usually do, even with Irma" (, 9/11).

The NFL apologized to Canadian fans yesterday for "inadequate service" after switching part of its live distribution from "traditional television packages" to London-based streaming outfit DAZN, according to Emily Jackson of the FINANCIAL POST. DAZN in July acquired the exclusive rights to NFL Sunday Ticket and NFL RedZone after its parent company Access Industries Holdings "inked a multi-year deal with the NFL." But in DAZN's first effort on Sunday, many fans were "left frustrated by dropped feeds, choppy video with mismatched sound and 'live' streams that lagged behind the television broadcast." NFL VP/Int'l Media Michael Markovich said that the league is "urgently assessing the information and data from the weekend and will also do so for Monday night’s games." Markovich: "We will then define the right next steps." Jackson noted no DAZN exec was available yesterday to "discuss what went wrong and how it will proceed going forward." DAZN experienced similar problems in Japan when it "launched its coverage of J. League soccer" (FINANCIAL POST, 9/11). POSTMEDIA NETWORK's John Kryk noted Colts-Rams on Sunday "wasn’t available by game time on the DAZN app." Some devices "apparently can’t get any games." No matter the platform, many "complain that the streaming feed hiccups and rebuffers far too much," or the "picture is pixelated." The announcers for Chiefs-Patriots last Thursday were "muted on all platforms of the English-language DAZN feed for more than half an hour" (POSTMEDIA NETWORK, 9/11).

Univ. of Michigan Digital & Creative Lead Brian Wagner (@UMichAthletics) got his start in social media while attending USC. As a student manager for the football team, Wagner began blogging about the team’s travel and was getting hundreds of views a day. That led to a realization that "this is something I could get into.” After graduating, he moved on to Seahawks coach Pete Carroll’s consulting firm, Win Forever, where Wagner ran the website, blog and social media efforts. He then joined the Univ. of Washington athletics department, managing digital media for two years before heading to Ann Arbor in July ’15. Wagner said all social and digital posts for UM need to stand up to the “power of the block M.” There is a brand playbook for the athletic department, as well as a digital version that details how the program wants to act in relationship to the brand. He said it is important to "understand what you give fans." Wagner said for UM, that would be "memories, joy, escape and community."

Must-follow: Tom Brady on Instagram. He does a really great job with social and has a good team with him. He understands the power of social.
Favorite app: I can’t live without Google Drive.
Average time per day on social media: This is what’s sad and my biggest challenge in life, because my work is social media. I would say about 16 hours.

What has changed since joining Michigan:
Two things come to mind right away. The evolution of, specifically, Instagram Stories, which is now maybe 13 months old. It’s funny to think about how big of a thing it is in our daily life in what we do -- dropping content in that channel. We’re getting more referrals from Instagram Stories than Twitter and Facebook. I would not have predicted that. The other change is the rise of video. The quality of video being produced has gone up five notches.

Being brand appropriate:
Everything we put out on any digital platform, whether it’s social or email or websites, it has to represent that block M. It has to represent Michigan. We know that Michigan is tradition. We work to be storytellers and work to be a team. We also have a great university and an academic side that we need to represent. Every piece of content has to represent one or all of those features.

UM’s investment in digital and social media:
We have a five-person digital team. When I got here, three of those employees were for the website, really just posting the content that our communications folks created. Since then, I’ve been able to reposition one of those folks (Brandon Allendorfer) to help me in the social space, which is good. Keith Bretzius, our digital director, handles all of our email marketing. For the football team, they also now have a graphic designer and a video coordinator. They see that as a recruiting tool.

Collaborating with football:
I run all of our football social, but I’m housed in the athletic administrative offices. Now with some new staff members over there, I’m able to be around the program a little more, which is great to show fans and recruits what it is like to be part of the Michigan football team. In the past couple years, that had been a little more difficult because the access hadn’t been there. It has become a very collaborative effort. We meet weekly to talk content.

Platforms for success:
Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Twitter is so viral. We have been the No. 2 most-followed account among college football teams. We have huge follower numbers with all of our accounts, which wouldn’t surprise anyone, but we get great engagement as well. We're making sure we get X-amount of comments or likes on something -- not just impressions. We know the impressions will come. We’re also seeing a lot of success with videos on Facebook. It can easily get into the hundreds of thousands of views. Instagram really utilizes our great photos of practice or games. Training or working out continues to blow up our football account. We didn’t launch the Instagram account until last September, but eclipsed 100,000 followers in the last week.

If you know anyone who should be featured for their use of social media, send their name to us at

CBS Sports Chair Sean McManus said CBS Sports Network "intends to continue its simulcast of WFAN’s morning show, even if there is a change in the cast" in the wake of co-host Craig Carton’s arrest and indefinite suspension last week. On Long Island, Neil Best notes CBSSN has "simulcast Boomer Esiason and Carton" since January '14 and the cable net "generally carries WFAN’s morning show even when Esiason or Carton -- or both -- are off and replaced by fill-ins." That has "continued since Carton’s last show on Sept. 5" (NEWSDAY, 9/12).

NESTING PLACE: In Baltimore, Jeff Barker writes the Ravens have "launched the team’s exclusive programming -- including 'Ravens Report' and 'Ravens Wired' -- on a new platform: Apple TV." The Ravens are "one of the first NFL teams to launch an app on Apple TV, the set-top box that streams video." The free app was "launched in partnership" with Texas-based tech company Bottle Rocket. CSN Mid-Atlantic, an "important Ravens outlet" since '10, "no longer carries the team’s weekly in-season programs." Ravens’ programming "still is available" on WBAL-AM (Baltimore SUN, 9/12).

NO SPORTS HERE: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Amol Sharma cites sources as saying that cable channels owned by Discovery Communications, Viacom, AMC Networks, A+E Networks and Scripps Networks Interactive will be "part of a new streaming service expected to have a 'soft launch' in coming weeks." Subscriptions will cost "less than $20 a month." The entertainment-focused service is "meant to appeal to consumers who want a collection of nonsports programming," but leaving out sports "risks excluding a significant audience" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/12).

HITTING THE RIGHT NOTE: Nielsen-owned data outfit Gracenote has debuted app program interfaces and widgets allowing third-party websites, mobile apps and TV shows to embed information regarding the upcoming PyeongChang Games. The available content will include event schedules, medal tables, athlete information and historical data (Eric Fisher, Staff Writer).