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Volume 25 No. 134

Media

Panthers-Steelers also helped deliver Fox a seventh straight win in primetime on Thursday
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Fox and NFL Network combined for a 10.5 overnight rating for the Steelers' 52-21 win over the Panthers on "TNF," up 12% from Seahawks-Cardinals in Week 10 last year on NBC/NFL Net (9.4 rating). Two years ago, the Week 10 "TNF" game, Browns-Ravens, aired solely on NFL Net. Panthers-Steelers also delivered Fox a seventh straight win in primetime on Thursday. The 10.5 rating also is up 14% from Fox' "TNF" season average (9.2) (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).

DANCE WITH THE ONE WHO BROUGHT YA? In St. Louis, Dan Caesar notes NFL television ratings are "up a bit this year to reverse a trend of recent seasons, but there have been some duds on the recent national schedule and more are on the way." The "trend of clunkers" began with last week's Raiders-49ers on "TNF," which "matched last-place teams that each had won one game beforehand." Additionally, last Monday's Titans-Cowboys game "pitted below-.500 teams" against each other. While Panthers-Steelers on paper was a good matchup, NBC has a "SNF" matchup of teams that "don’t have winning records" in Cowboys-Eagles. To make matters worse, the Giants-49ers "MNF" contest this week is a "horror show." There "isn’t another blockbuster prime-time telecast looming until Nov. 19," when the Rams face the Chiefs in Mexico City (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 11/9).

CALL IT LIKE YOU SEE IT: THE RINGER's Kevin Clark wrote under the header, "How Mike Pereira Changed The Way We Watch Football Forever." Fox' rules analyst has "developed into a trustworthy guide, the Walter Cronkite of telling America whether the receiver maintained control of the ball as he hit the ground." Shortly after Pereira announced that he would be "leaving his job overseeing officiating" in '09, he "got a phone call" from then-Fox Sports Chair David Hill. The two men had "developed a good rapport during yearly officiating seminars." The call, "as Pereira remembers it, was brief: 'Pereira, it’s Hill, you aren’t retiring. We’ll have something for you. Goodbye.'" Now, Pereira is "like the mayor of the Fox lot on game days" (THERINGER.com, 11/7).

KEEPING IT LIGHT: THE ATHLETIC's Jeff Pearlman profiled NFL Network's "Good Morning Football" host Kyle Brandt, who has "emerged as one of the brightest new faces in sports television." Brandt, also the solo host of his new weekly program, “The Kyle Brandt Football Experience," is "engaging and spirited," and most of all "unwilling to take himself particularly seriously" (THEATHLETIC.com, 11/8).

The SEC named Evolution Media and CAA its exclusive media advisors as part of a long-term agreement. Evolution and CAA's television division will assist the conference in its future broadcast rights negotiations (SEC). THE BIG LEAD's Ryan Glasspiegel noted the "most insanely undervalued sports media rights package" right now is CBS' package of SEC football games, which is a $55M per year deal that runs until '23. Despite the amount of time left on the current deal, almost every network "would be interested in CBS’s SEC package at the right price." The "last undervalued property that hired CAA for their media rights was WWE, which was making" $130M per year from USA to air "Raw" and "Smackdown." Next year, "Smackdown" is "moving to Fox, and USA is paying way more to keep 'Raw.'" The new rights deals reportedly "total an average" $468M annually (THEBIGLEAD.com, 11/8).

More than 1 million people "ditched their cable and satellite TV packages" in Q3, the "most ever in a quarterly earnings period," according to Sara Fischer of AXIOS. AT&T, Comcast, Charter and Dish combined "lost 887,000 subscribers this quarter, mostly driven by big losses at Dish and AT&T." Dish "lost 367,000 customers, its highest quarterly loss ever," while AT&T "lost 359,000 subscribers for the quarter, far surpassing analyst estimates of 245,000 subscribers lost." Nielsen shows there are "roughly 120 million TV homes in the U.S.," and about "90 million of them (75%) still pay for traditional TV." However, that percentage has been "decreasing as more people cut the cord." Many pay-TV providers are "hoping to offset losses with gains in subscribers to digital TV alternatives," like AT&T's DirecTV Now or Dish Net's Sling TV. However, those companies "haven't been able to come close to closing the gap" (AXIOS.com, 11/8).

The Warriors' nine-member social media team "will grow to 12 this year," as there is an entire team of digital employees "behind every seemingly-fleeting social post," according to Shayna Rubin of THE ATHLETIC. Fans might see members of the Warriors' social team "taking Boomerangs during warmups and lurking in the tunnel for prime positioning" to capture G Stephen Curry’s "famous long-range pregame 3." But that is "only just a sliver of what’s on the social team’s docket." They go on "most (not all) roadtrips with the team, and travel on the chartered flight, too." If they "don’t travel, at least one of them is tied to the couch" posting like they "would any other game." The Warriors are the "second-most followed NBA team on Twitter" behind the Lakers. The Warriors’ follower count "jumped exponentially in correlation with their recent success -- from 110,000 in September 2012 to 5.92 million followers" at the beginning ofthis month. In that same time span on Facebook, the Warriors "jumped from 360,000 to 11.09 million likes," and they "have 9.8 million followers on Instagram." Rubin noted the Warriors in '13 launched their own Weibo account, a Chinese-based social media platform, and it now "has just over 5 million followers." The move "made them the first NBA team to expand their social reach in China." The Warriors also "utilize a software that alerts them when any of their social posts heat up." From a "marketing and advertising standpoint, those numbers, and the experiences involved, are impossible to ignore" (THEATHLETIC.com, 11/6).

ESPN is "updating its Snapchat strategy from two episodes of 'SportsCenter' to a morning edition of 'SportsCenter' and an afternoon edition called 'ESPN Daily' to air every weekday." ESPN's Snapchat show currently "averages 2.5 million unique viewers per episode, compared to 2 million in January, and receives between 17 and 18 million unique viewers per month" (DIGIDAY.com, 11/6).

EVERYTHING'S BIGGER: In Houston, David Barron notes the "four all-sports stations" plus the KILT-FM stream combined for a 9% audience share in the men 25-54 demo during the 3:00-7:00pm CT afternoon drive in October. That includes a "seven-tenths boost from simulcast and streaming." By comparison, "morning drive" (6:00-10:00am) is at 7.3%. Much of that reflects the "continued success" of the Fred Faour-A.J. Hoffman show on ESPN Radio 97.5 Houston and the addition on KBME-AM of Sean Salisbury, who appears to "be on track to be the station's bellwether that it has needed in that time slot" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 11/9).

TOUGH TIME FOR TIGERS: In St. Louis, Dan Caesar notes the annual Missouri-Illinois men's basketball game during the Christmas holiday season has been "relegated to Big Ten Network after years of having been a staple on ESPN or associated networks." The hype last year around Missouri, and F Michael Porter Jr., led to them making "two appearance on CBS and 14 on ESPN or ESPN2." However, the team has "regressed again, with zero games this season set for CBS." And as of now they have only "one on ESPN or ESPN2, although those networks are taking a 'wait-and-see' approach" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 11/9).

NOTES: Tampa Bay Times sports columnist Tom Jones is joining Poynter as a senior media writer (Poynter)....NBA G League Salt Lake City Stars C Willie Reed "joined AT&T SportsNet" for the live broadcast of Raptors-Jazz on Monday. Reed "appeared on the pregame show" and on the "sidelines while job shadowing the crew" (DESERETNEWS.com, 11/7).