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Volume 20 No. 41
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Midyear box score: The most-read SBJ, SBD stories online

As we hit the halfway mark of the year and enter our summer “dark week” — SportsBusiness Journal will not publish the week of July 9 — here’s a look at our five most-read stories in SBJ and SBD through the first six months of 2012. These are not the most important stories of the year, but a look at what people clicked to read on the Web.

Forty Under 40 — March 12: Our annual list of the successful young talent in the business is consistently among the best-read stories of the year, and this year is no different.

The deal involves Oklahoma programming on FS Southwest and FS Oklahoma RSNs.
Sooners Stake Their Claim On Two Fox RSNs — Jan. 2: In our first issue of the year, this story advanced news about how college programs would control their media distribution. This example is through a partnership with Fox, which agreed to carry at least 1,000 hours a year of Oklahoma programming on its FS Southwest and FS Oklahoma RSNs.

Wozniacki Strips Down For Underwear, Bra Line — June 4: This story, which showcased Wozniacki becoming one of the few female athletes to develop an underwear line and do a subsequent ad campaign, caught fire on Twitter, which pushed it into our top five.

Conference Attendance By School — Jan. 2: Proving the constant need for research numbers, this data showed the school-by-school average football attendance over a three-year trend for the top six conferences. Hint: The top school averaged 112,179 fans a game in 2011.

NBC Sports Net Ratings Slow Out Of The Gate — Feb. 20: One of the first extensive examinations of ratings and viewership of NBC Sports Network got a number of people talking — and click-thrus — as it offered an inside glimpse of the strategy to broaden the NBC Sports umbrella under new Chairman Mark Lazarus.

Ohio St. Tops Spring Game Attendance For BCS Schools; Oregon Sets New Pac-12 Record — May 8: Continuing the appetite for college data, this research showcased spring football attendance and showed that Ohio State led all BCS conference schools in spring game attendance this year with 81,112. It marked the first time Urban Meyer appeared on the sideline as Ohio State coach.

Sources: CBS Sports Network, Comcast Shutting Down The Mtn. — April 5: The Mtn., which launched in 2006 and was the first network dedicated to a college conference, would shutter at the end of May.

Yahoo Again Tops Latest ComScore Rankings, While ESPN Falls To Third — Feb. 8: Yahoo Sports again earned the top spot on comScore’s monthly rankings of U.S. online sports destinations, but the bigger story was the fall of to the third slot, behind The shift marked ESPN’s first month outside the top two positions in more than four years.

A Newsweek story in January examined the growth of ESPN into a dynasty.
Photo by: ALLEN KEE / ESPN
Tim Sullivan’s Dismissal From San Diego Union-Tribune Draws Strong Media Response — June 4: The news on longtime San Diego Union-Tribune columnist Tim Sullivan was required reading for sports media insiders. Some sourcing attributed the move to Sullivan’s lack of support for building a new stadium in the city. The theme that the publishers were using the newspaper to push an agenda, was picked up shortly thereafter by David Carr in The New York Times.

Newsweek Questions Whether ESPN Has Become Too Big For Its Own Good — Jan. 18: A look by the venerable newsweekly into the state of ESPN lands in our top five, as Nick Summers concluded that, having played the “underdog for the first half of its corporate lifetime, ESPN has, to many, become the dynasty it feels good to root against.” Proof, perhaps, to this story’s appeal.

Overall, a pretty mild start of the year, with few of the significant stories that filled news cycles last year. That will likely change with the Olympics upon us. So, catch a breath, have a safe and happy July Fourth holiday, and we’ll review this list in six months at year’s end.

Abraham D. Madkour can be reached at