The Sports Blogger 2009- Part 3

smjblogger2009Here is our third and final report based on the results of our survey of sports bloggers.  In case you missed it, here is part one.  And part two.

In this final installment we look at the reading, viewing, and listening habits of the bloggers who responded to our survey.  We also asked them of their their expectations of a game telecast as well as their preferences of play-by-play announcers and studio hosts.

As has been the case in the first two parts of this series, after each question I will add my answers and some commentary…let’s get to it…

QUESTION: Do you still read a printed newspaper?

Yes     51%
No      49%

QUESTION: How often?

1 or 2 days a week     59%
Daily                         23%
3-6 days a week         18%

I vote yes…3 to 6 days a week.  But I often find myself with some weeks not reading a paper at all.  It’s interesting to notice that those in the younger demographics tended to read papers as much as those in the older demos.  What does that say about the future of the newspaper?  In my opinion still not good, given that those in my age group (36-45), are probably turning away from the printed paper in greater numbers than the younger bloggers are picking up a broadsheet or tabloid.

QUESTION: Do you listen to sports radio?

Yes     57%
No      43%

QUESTION: How often?

1 or 2 days a week     39%
Daily                         39%
3-6 days a week         22%

I do listen to sports radio…and do so daily.  I live in southern New England, and I am a Boston sports fan, so I listen to WEEI whenever I can.  Especially in the car.  As with the newspaper question, those who listen to sports radio is fairly balanced among the age demographics.

QUESTION: How often do you watch SportsCenter?

Never                    30%
1-2 days a week     30%
Daily                      20%
3-6 days a week     20%

I watch parts of  SportsCenter daily.  The issue with me is that I never watch an entire episode of the show.  I will catch the first few stories then turn to the web for the rest.  Again there appears to be no discernible difference in the viewing patterns among the different age categories surveyed.

QUESTION: If you have access to all your usual media resources, in the event of a breaking sports story, where do you turn to first for more information?

The Web       89%
Television       8%
Other             3%

No surprises here.  I would also turn to the Internet first for the latest.  When it comes to a breaking news story, however, I would tend to turn to the television first, especially if the news is visual, like a fire or natural disaster.  Even in those cases I would also be online trying to get more information.

QUESTION: If you were looking for a particular topic on the web, through which format would you prefer to receive the information?

Text            83%
Video Clip    17%
Audio Clip      0%

These answers surprise me a bit.  With all us bloggers as connected as we are, it amazes me that few seem to embrace the multimedia aspect of what’s online.  Even though the disparity was so wide, the younger demographics appeared to be more willing to take to video than those who are older. And no one willing to listen to an audio podcast?  Interesting.

My answer is that I prefer text.  But if there is a video embeded in the story, I would often disregard the words to view the video.  Maybe it’s because I work in the video field.  I also enjoy audio podcasts…especially while working out.  Should I re-think my plans to produce more podcasts and videos?  Let me know.

QUESTION: Other than your own work, which blogs do you read on a daily basis?

There were too many blogs to list here.  Although not my favorite, Deadspin was probably listed the most.  Others were based on the blogger and their subject matter.   Among the sites on my Google Reader are Neil Best’s Watchdog, Fang’s Bites, Awful Announcing, The Big Lead, Eye on Sports Media, Maury Brown’s Biz of Sports Network, CNBC’s Darren Rovell,  and other newspaper sports media columnists.

QUESTION: Do you use an online social network?

Yes     95%
No        5%

QUESTION: Which ones? (More than one answer allowed)

Facebook      89%
Twitter          70%
LinkedIn        38%
MySpace        22%

I have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  I really don’t use these to their fullest…but I need to do so.  The few who voted “No” were actually in the younger demographics (18-25 and 26-35).

QUESTION: What are your expectations of the entire crew when watching a sporting event on a national television network?

A solid performance with few mistakes      48%
I don’t care about the telecast,                  33%
I am looking for an exciting game
Perfection from all                                    10%
Other                                                       9%

I look for a solid performance with few mistakes.  People make mistakes.   So why do bloggers find delight when a network or announcer makes a mistake?  I have experience as a sports broadcaster.  As much as many of us think we can do the job, believe me it’s not as easy as it looks.

QUESTION: Who is your favorite national play-by-play announcer?

Al Michaels (NBC)                        40%
Other                                          30%
Jim Nantz (CBS)                          13%
Mike Tirico (ABC/ESPN)                 7%
Joe Buck (Fox)                              5%
Brent Musburger (ABC/ESPN)         5%

Names in the “Other” category included Marv Albert and Gus Johnson.  I really have no favorite.  All these guys do an admirable job.  I’m not in favor of a guy who relies on catch phrases during a telecast.  In my opinion none of these men appear to make the games about themselves.

QUESTION: Who is the best studio host?

Bob Costas (NBC)        38%
Other                          35%
James Brown (CBS)     24%
Chris Berman (ESPN)    3%
Stuart Scott (ESPN)       0%
Curt Menafee (Fox)       0%

TNT’s Ernie Johnson actually received a few votes in the “Other” category.  I fall with the majority in voting for Costas.

That’s it for the survey.  I would have loved to have asked other questions, but if I did, the survey would have been too long.

I want to again thank all the sports bloggers who took the time to complete the survey.  Your responses are indeed telling.  We’ll probably do this again…not only with bloggers but readers as well.  Stay tuned!



  1. I would bet that non-sports bloggers have an even smaller % reading the printed Newspaper. I know as a blogger – I’ve gone from 3 papers to one daily and 2 on Sunday.

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