BCS Championship Game

Sports Media Weekly No. 176- Ed Sherman, The Sherman Report

Only two editions of Sports Media Weekly remain and this week Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I are joined by Ed Sherman of The Sherman Report.

We begin the program looking at news that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) may be taking a look at relaxing the blackout rules sports leagues impose on local television coverage of sports if the local’s team’s arenas are not sold out.

We next take a look at the college bowl season which gets underway this week and ESPN’s plans for what it calls a “Megacast” of the BCS Championship Game.

NBC today announced its 1,539+ hours of coverage for the Sochi Winter Olympics which begin in February.  In the news it was announced that all major events will be telecast live and then re-played in prime time–a move the three of us agree will benefit viewers and should not negatively impact NBC’s prime time ratings.

We wrap-up the news segment by looking at how ESPN has won a duPont Award for a segment on Outside the Lines while the show appears to be less of a priority in Bristol.

Ken and I will return on Monday, December 30th for our look back at the top sports media news of 2013 and what we can expect for the new year.

And yes, Ken and I do discuss my announcement of the closing of Sports Media Journal on January 1st.

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Sports Media Weekly No. 133- CBS Super Bowl XLVII Preview

We have a very special edition of Sports Media Weekly,

Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I begin the show looking back at the strong ratings numbers for ESPN for Monday night’s BCS Championship game between Alabama and Notre Dame.  Both of us wonder what might have been in terms of viewership had the game been competitive.

As a follow-up we look at the apology given by ESPN for the comments at the game made by Brent Musburger during a shot of Katherine Webb, the reigning Miss Alabama and the girlfriend of Alabama QB A.J. McCarron.  Ken and I thought the apology was unwarranted.

We stay with ESPN in discussing the firing this week of First Take analyst Rob Parker, who had been suspended by ESPN last month for comments regarding the Redskins’ Robert Griffith III.

We wrap up our news segment by looking back at the NFL’s Wild Card weekend and ahead to the Divisional Playoffs this weekend.

We have multiple guests this week.  Ken had the opportunity to travel to New York yesterday to meet with the CBS crew as it prepares for its coverage of Super Bowl XLVII.  Joining Ken are CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus, CBS Sports Radio co-hosts Brandon Tierney and Dana Jacobson, and play-by-play announcer and studio host Greg Gumbel.

Despite Blowout, BCS Championship Game Ratings Up from 2012

No ratings record for last night’s BCS Championship game for ESPN.  But the ratings were strong.

Here is the initial report from ESPN PR:

ESPN’s Discover BCS National Championship  – No. 2 Alabama’s 42-14 victory over No. 1 Notre Dame on Monday evening — delivered a 15.7 overnight rating, a 14 percent increase from the 2012 game between Alabama and LSU (13.8 overnight rating), according to Nielsen. This metered-market rating – the highest for all of cable television in two years, since the January 2011 BCS National Championship on ESPN, helped drive the network’s five-game BCS average to a 9.0 metered market rating.  That represents a 6 percent increase over a year ago (8.5 for the five-game average). Additionally, the game was the highest-rated program on Monday, helping ESPN win the night among all networks.

In terms of local markets, the Discover BCS National Championship was the third highest-rated ESPN bowl game telecast on record in Birmingham with a 55.1 rating. Overall, 17 different markets set local ratings records by delivering the highest rating ever for a bowl game on ESPN (records go back to 2000).  Last night’s top five rated markets were Birmingham, New Orleans, Knoxville, Nashville and Atlanta.  National ratings information, including television and online viewership should be available later today.

BCS Championship Gives ESPN Second Biggest Cable Audience of All Time

Last night’s BCS Championship game between LSU and Alabama on ESPN registered an overnight rating of 16.2, making it the second highest rated cable television program of all time, behind last year’s championship between Oregon and Auburn (17.8 rating).

The audience for the game was 24.2 million viewers, also second behind last year’s game which attracted 27.3 million viewers.

In the local markets of the teams Birmingham had a rating of 61.2 while New Orleans had a rating of 53.3.

ESPN also reports huge audience numbers watching the game online.  The average minute audience across all WatchESPN platforms was 261,000, up 40% over the 2011 BCS Championship.  More than 523,000 people watched the game on WatchESPN.

Bowl Preview- BCS Championship Game, LSU vs. Ohio State

OK, I know this game is still two weeks away.  But if there is one game we needed to provide an early preview for, it’s this one.  The BCS Championship Game between LSU and Ohio State is the culmination of the college football bowl season.

Let’s get a preview of the game though the local media covering both the Tigers and the Buckeyes.

Louisiana State University (11-2)

The Tigers have the good fortune of playing in the difficult SEC and gaining a berth in the Championship Game despite having two loses.  The LSU Athletic Department website has plenty of coverage devoted to the game.  Even though the University is on break, you may be able to find out more on the game from the LSU Reveille newspaper or campus radio station KLSU.

Being housed in Louisiana’s capital of Baton Rouge affords the Tigers extensive local media coverage.  The newspaper of record is The Advocate.  The paper provides comprehensive coverage of the Tigers in both its sports section and on a special LSU webpage.

You can bet that Baton Rouge’s two sports radio stations will have plenty to say about this contest.  Find out how much by visiting WSKR and WBIR.  The game broadcast can be heard state wide on the LSU Radio Network.

The local television market in Baton Rouge also has its pulse on this game.  Check out updates at WBMG, WVLA, and WAFB.

The great thing about the really big collegiate programs is that they usually have many fan-generated blogs.  LSU is no different.  Find out what they’re saying at And the Valley Shook, Tiger Smack, and Fan Blogs.  If there are others we should take a look at, please let us know through your comments.

Ohio State University (11-1)

The Big Ten Champs were at the top of the polls for most of the year and may come into this game a bit rusty after not playing a game since November 17th.  Get the latest direct from the team from it’s web page.  While on the OSU campus, get the scoop from The Lantern (complete with its own blog) and college radio station WOSU.

Like LSU, OSU resides in the Ohio capital of Columbus.  Media coverage, therefore, is extensive.  The Columbus Dispatch dominates within the capital region.  It’s sports section is a must read when it comes to the Buckeyes.  The paper has special sections dedicated to OSU sports in general, and the football program in particular.

Columbus sports radio leader WBNS has some heavyweights among its talkers who can provide considerable insight on the Buckeyes.  Among them are former Buckeyes Chris Spielman and Kirk Herbstreit.  Spend some time listening in, especially as we get closer to the game.  The game broadcast can be heard on the stations who are part of the Ohio State Radio Network.

Follow the Buckeyes on local television on WBNS TV, WCMH, and WSYX.

The Buckeyes also have some of the best fan blogs on the web.  Find out what we mean by visiting Buckeye Commentary, Around the Oval, The Buckeye Blog, Buckeye Banter, and Fan Blogs.

There you have it.  Make a point to check in on any or all of these links as we get closer to the game.  Then amaze your friends at how much you know about both teams!