Sports Media Digest- August 19, 2013

Sox/Yankees Highest Rated SNB on ESPN

ESPN reports that last night’s Yankees/Red Sox Sunday Night Baseball (SNB) telecast was the highest rated SNB game of the season.

Last night’s game registered a 2.5 overnight rating, up 25 percent from a 2.0 for last year’s comparable Sunday Night Baseball telecast, which was also a Yankees-Red Sox game.

CBS and Mountain West Reach Deal on Coverage of Football Championship

CBS Sports has reached a a multi-year deal with the Mountain West Conference to telecast its football championship game.

CBS will televise this fall’s championship on Saturday, December 7th at 10:00p.m. ET.

“The new Mountain West football structure, which will culminate in an exciting match-up between two divisional champions, is one of many recent initiatives for the Conference as we enter our next era,” said Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson.  “We are pleased that CBS Sports will serve as a tremendous platform for this marquee event, providing an opportunity to showcase the caliber of Mountain West football.”

“We’re thrilled to extend our relationship with the Mountain West and broadcast their inaugural football championship game,” said Dan Weinberg, Senior Vice President, Programming, CBS Sports.  “It’s a great addition to our college football programming and we look forward to providing fans with a full day of championship coverage for many years.”

The CBS Sports Network will air 23 games this season featuring teams from the Mountain West.

Bleacher Report Bolsters Coverage of the NFL

The Bleacher Report will be expanding its coverage of the National Football League this season.  The main additions will be in  new Fantasy Football stream in its top-rated Team Stream™ mobile and tablet app, as well additions to its NFL editorial staff and enhancements to its NFL video franchises.

Former NFL player Matt Bowen will join Bleacher Report as an NFL analyst.  Bowen will provide in-depth analysis of news around the league as well as previews on key matchups each week.  He will also be a regular video contributor for the site. In addition to his work with Bleacher Report, Bowen will continue to be a correspondent for the Chicago Tribune.

“We are committed to providing the best, most comprehensive experiences to our fans and these enhancements made to Bleacher Report’s coverage of the NFL are representative of how we’re delivering on that commitment,” said Dave Finocchio, founder and chief content and product officer, Bleacher Report, and VP, Turner Sports. “This major category launch to Team Stream, the addition of established, well-respected talent, and the growth of our video franchises will provide an even better experience for our fans.”

ESPN Creates Another Post-Season Bowl Game

ESPN announced today that it has created the Camellia Bowl, a postseason college football game matching-up the Sun Belt Conference against the Mid-American Conference (MAC) beginning in December 2014. The game will be played yearly at the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Ala., before the Christmas holiday and be televised nationally on ESPN or ESPN2.

“The Raycom All-Star game helped shine a new light on the city of Montgomery, and we took notice,” said Pete Derzis, Senior Vice President & GM, ESPN Regional Television. “From stadium improvements and opportunities for quality hospitality, to the downtown hotel properties, rich history and the wonderful museums like the Rosa Parks Center, it all came together for us. We have two conference partners excited about the bowl, a community we believe is hungry for a quality postseason event and civic and business leaders that have a great can-do spirit.”

“The Sun Belt Conference marks a significant moment in its history by partnering with the Mid-American Conference, ESPN, and the city of Montgomery for what will be a tremendously successful bowl game,” said Karl Benson, Sun Belt Conference Commissioner.  “Montgomery has all the ingredients for a great bowl game and experience for our student-athletes and fans – a great venue in the renovated Cramton Bowl, a vibrant downtown with many new hotels and restaurants, and a location in the middle of the SBC footprint that will make travel very convenient for fans throughout our league.  With every football season the SBC continues to show its strength and deserving place amongst college football’s best and soon a talented SBC team will represent our league well in this exciting new bowl game.”

“The Mid-American Conference is proud to partner in the creation of the Camellia Bowl beginning with the 2014 season,” said Dr. Jon Steinbrecher, Mid-American Conference Commissioner.  “The historic Cramton Bowl will be a great venue for our student-athletes and fans.  Additionally, Montgomery’s entertainment district will provide a fun and lively bowl experience for all involved.  I want to thank all parties involved for their diligence in creating this event, especially Montgomery mayor Todd Strange.”

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