Bleacher Report

Sports Media Weekly No. 164- Pete Dougherty, Albany Times Union & Michelle Beadle, NBC Sports

Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I are back for a brand-spanking-new edition of Sports Media Weekly.

Ken and I are joined for our news segment this week by old friend Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union.

We begin the show by looking at the news out of CBS this week announcing that Greg Anthony and Clark Kellogg will be swapping roles on the network’s coverage of college basketball.  Anthony will move to the sidelines along side Jim Nantz while Kellogg will return to his previous role as studio analyst.

Next we see through the release earlier this week from ESPN showing their viewership increases for the past month beginning August 17th…ironically the same day Fox Sports 1 launched.  Coincidence…we think not.  We follow with the news from Steve Lapore of SB Nation that Fox Sports 1 has begun tinkering with its line-up.

We shift gears to online journalism and the news of the Bleacher Report‘s recent roster moves to bolster its NBA coverage.  The most notable hire was of Howard Beck, formerly of the New York Times.

We close the segment by looking at the apparent apology from the CBS affiliate in Orlando seeking in forcing viewers there to watch the away games of the Jacksonville Jaguars as required by the NFL.

For the second half of the show Ken talks with Michelle Beadle of NBC Sports.  Michelle is very candid about the changes made to her show The Crossover and talks about her ideas for expanding her role at the network.

Sports Media Digest- September 18, 2013

Wash, Rinse, Repeat- NFL Week 2 King of the Ratings

The NFL announced that once again NFL action topped the television ratings for week 2.  The top three programs for the week was NFL games; CBS’s national game on Sunday (primarily Broncos/Giants) had an audience of 26.4 million viewers, followed by Sunday night’s 49’ers/Seahawks game at 20.5 million and ESPN’s Monday night Steelers/Bengals at 16.5 million.

In 29 of the 32 local NFL markets, NFL games were the number one rated show:

Week of 9/9 – 9/15  





Market Game





New Orleans Saints at Buccaneers 09/15/2013




Seattle 49ers at Seahawks 09/15/2013




Denver Broncos at Giants 09/15/2013




Milwaukee Redskins at Packers 09/15/2013




Kansas City Cowboys at Chiefs 09/15/2013




Washington DC Eagles at Redskins* 09/09/2013




San Diego Texans at Chargers* 09/09/2013




Indianapolis Dolphins at Colts 09/15/2013




Philadelphia Eagles at Redskins* 09/09/2013




Chicago Vikings at Bears 09/15/2013




Buffalo Panthers at Bills 09/15/2013




Detroit Lions at Cardinals 09/15/2013




Baltimore Browns at Ravens 09/15/2013




Boston Jets at Patriots** 09/12/2013




Minneapolis Vikings at Bears 09/15/2013




Houston Texans at Chargers* 09/09/2013




Cleveland Browns at Ravens 09/15/2013




Nashville Titans at Texans 09/15/2013




San Fran-Oakland 49ers at Seahawks 09/15/2013




Tampa Saints at Buccaneers 09/15/2013




Dallas Cowboys at Chiefs 09/15/2013




Phoenix Lions at Cardinals 09/15/2013




New York Broncos at Giants 09/15/2013




Atlanta Rams at Falcons 09/15/2013




Charlotte Panthers at Bills 09/15/2013




Miami Dolphins at Colts 09/15/2013




Jacksonville Jaguars at Raiders 09/15/2013




Cincinnati Broncos at Giants 09/15/2013 17.1



Pittsburgh Broncos at Giants 09/15/2013 15.6



Bleacher Report Bolsters NBA Writing Staff with Four Prominent Hires

The Bleacher Report announced today that it has added four writers to cover its NBA beat this season.

Prominent among them is Howard Beck, who is leaving the New York Times to serve as the site’s national NBA lead writer.

Also hired were Kevin Ding, formerly of the Orange County Register to cover the L.A. Lakers; Ethan Skolnick formerly from a number of South Florida papers to cover the Miami Heat; and Jared Zwerling who will serve as the lead NBA analyst and contribute features, breaking news and video analysis.

MLB Network to Televise The Lyman Bostock Story

MLB Network will produce a special looking back on the life and career of Minnesota Twins and California Angels outfielder Lyman Bostock who was murdered four seasons into his career at the age of 27.

Bob Costas will narrate the special, which features the first on-camera interview with Bostock’s widow, Yuovene Whistler, since the night she lost her husband.

The Lyman Bostock Story airs Sunday at 10:00p.m. ET.

ESPN, ATP Extend Agreement on Expanded Coverage of Three Events

ESPN and the ATP World Tour have announced  a long-term agreement that will expand coverage of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif.; Sony Open Tennis in Miami; and the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals currently played in London.

More than 44 hours of coverage of the events will be carried live on television, along with more live action from every ATP World Tour Masters 1000 and 500 tournament will be on ESPN3 – totaling up to 1,200 hours annually.

“ESPN is thrilled to expand coverage of three of the biggest events outside the Major Championships – Indian Wells, Miami and the ATP World Tour season finale,” said Jason Bernstein, ESPN senior director, programming & acquisitions who oversees both ESPN3 and ESPN’s tennis business.  “ESPN3 presents more live tennis action than any other U.S. outlet year-round, with multiple simultaneous matches available on broadband and via WatchESPN no matter where you are.”

Mark Young, CEO ATP Americas and Chief Media Officer, said, “We’re delighted to sign this extended agreement with ESPN, paving the way for even greater TV coverage and viewership in the US of our biggest events.  ESPN is a terrific broadcast partner for the ATP and, with more fans tuning into ATP World Tour events than ever before, it’s a very exciting time to be a part of the Tour.”

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.”

Sports Media Digest- August 5, 2013

Bleacher Report Hires Mike Freemen–  The Bleacher Report today announced the hiring of noted sports journalist Mike Freeman.  Freeman, who recently worked for along with stints at the New York Times, Washington Post and Boston Globe, will serve as the Bleacher Report’s lead NFL columnist.

Woods WGC Rout Results in Increased Ratings for CBS–  CBS Sports reports that this weekend’s World Golf Championship event at Firestone Country Club, where Tiger Woods ran away from the field, resulted in increased ratings compared to a year ago.  The network today announced that ratings for Saturday and Sunday’s rounds were up 173% and 138% respectively over 2012.

Kwan Hired by Fox Sports for Winter Olympics Coverage–  Fox Sports announced today that it has hired former Olympic figure skating champion Michelle Kwan as an analyst for the network’s coverage of next year’s Winter Olympics.  Kwan will provide analysis during figure skating events and contributes daily commentary prior to and throughout The Games across all FOX Sports platforms including FOX Sports 1. “I’m thrilled to be a part of the FOX Sports team,” said Kwan. “FOX Sports is known for being fresh, innovative and fun, and that’s the approach I plan to bring in my role. I want to give fans an insider’s look at figure skating and the entire Olympics experience.”

Julie Stewart-Binks to host Fox Sports’ Daily Soccer Show–  Fox Sports announced today that Julie Stewart-Binks will serve as the host of Fox Sports 1’s daily soccer studio program Fox Soccer Daily. Binks will be joined by soccer analysts Eric Wynalda, Warren Barton and Brian McBride.Fox Soccer Daily, which begins on August 19th at 4:00p.m. ET.


Sports Media Weekly No. 145- Paulsen, Sports Media Watch and Dan Levy, The Bleacher Report

Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I are back for another edition of Sports Media Weekly.

We are joined for our “third man in” news segment by Paulsen of Sports Media Watch.

We begin the show by talking about the final ratings for CBS and Turner for the recently-completed NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament.  We look back at what was the best and worst of the coverage by both networks.

We wrap-up the segment by looking at plans by TNT to cover tomorrow night’s Thunder/Warriors NBA telecast without a play-by-play announcer, only analysts Steve Kerr, Reggie Miller and Chris Webber.

Our second guest this week is Dan Levy, national lead writer for the Bleacher Report. Dan fills us in on how his role has evolved at the Bleacher Report and the impact Turner has had on the operation after it purchased the site.

Dan also used his appearance to announce a new project, the creation of a graphic novel entitled The Rise of the Umpire Robots.  Dan will enlist a star-studded roster of sports writers to help with the project, which will be funded via Kickstarter very soon.

Sports Media Digest- August 6, 2012

Viewership Returns to Record Levels for NBC Olympics Coverage-  NBC Sports reported today that Sunday night’s prime time audience for the Olympics averaged 31.3 million viewers, making it the most-watched non-U.S. hosted second Sunday since 1976.  The audience was 17% higher than 2008.  The rating of 17.5 was 9% above the Beijing Games.

Online Viewers to NBC’s Olympics Continue to Explode-  With this being the first online socially engaged Olympics, NBC is reaping the benefits of eyeballs watching the Games on their computers or mobile devices.  Through the first week, has surpassed one billion page views across its computer, mobile and tablet platforms, including the two NBC Olympics apps, NBC Olympics Live Extra and NBC Olympics.  That number is 38% higher than the 2008 Games in Beijing.  Total video streams to date is at 102.6 million, surpassing the entire 2008 Games when 75.5 million streams were downloaded.

Brokaw Documentary to Debut Saturday During the Olympics on NBC-  NBC’s Tom Brokaw will host the airing of Their Finest Hour, a documentary which explores the debt Americans owe to the British people especially during the early stages of World War II. As a tribute to England as the host of the 2012 Olympics, the documentary hopes to shed light on a piece of history that may be unknown to the American viewer.  NBC’s coverage of the Olympics this Saturday begins at 10:00a.m. ET.

Kuselias and Stashower to Join NBC Sports Radio Network- NBC Sports Group and Dial Global announced that Erik Kuselias and Jon Stashower will be part of the new NBC Sports Radio Network.  Kuselias will be the host of The Erik Kuselias Radio Show  which will air live, Monday-Friday, between 7pm-10pm ET. Stashower has been named as the morning anchor for the NBC Sports Radio National Updates which will air live Monday-Friday, 6a-11a ET. Each will launch on Tuesday, September 4th, along with other soon-to-be-announced programming.

Turner Sports Adds Bleacher Report to its Digital Line-Up-  Turner Sports announced today that it has acquired the sports site Bleacher Report (B/R). B/R has 10 million unique visitors a month to its site.  “Bleacher Report is a strategic acquisition that further enhances Turner’s portfolio of sports offerings, as well as reflects our continuing commitment to bring fans greater content across all screens throughout the entire year,” said David Levy, president of sales, distribution and sports of Turner Broadcasting.

SiriusXM Radio’s Coverage of the PGA Championship-  SiriusXM Satellite Radio has announced its plan for live coverage of this week’s PGA Championship.  Coverage of golf’s final major begins Thursday, Aug. 9, through Sunday, Aug. 12, on channel 93 on XM and channel 208 on Sirius Premier.  Thursday and Friday action begins at 12:00p.m. ET while Saturday and Sunday coverage gets underway at 2:00p.m. ET.  Earl Forcey will host alongside analyst John Maginnes, with hole-by-hole updates from roving reporters Mark Carnevale, Dennis Paulson and Bill Rosinski.

Giants/Cardinals on Wednesday Night Baseball-  This week’s Wednesday Night Baseball on ESPN will feature the San Francisco Giants at the St. Louis Cardinals.  Game time is 8:00p.m. with Dave O’Brien, Nomar Garciaparra and reporter Pedro Gomez.

Sports Media Weekly No. 109- Jim Williams, Washington Examiner & The Bleacher Report

We are back with another edition of Sports Media Weekly.

Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I are joined for the entire program this week by Jim Williams.  Jim works as the sports media and business reporter for Washington Examiner and is also a columnist at the Bleacher Report.

We start the show talking about the move last week by Erin Andrews to leave ESPN to join Fox.  We all agree that it would have been difficult for Erin to explore her varied interests by staying with the World Wide Leader.

We then shift to the Olympics and NBC’s unveiling last week of its roster of announcers for the Games.

With baseball at it’s mid-season mark we touch upon a report by the NY Times’ Richard Sandomir that Major League Baseball should have much to gain when it opens up its next round of TV rights negotiations.  NBC is expected to be a big player for baseball, something the network has not been for quite some time.

We wrap-up the show by talking about ESPN’s coverage of Wimbledon and the call by the NFL to shift the Sunday late double header game from a 4:15 to a 4:25p.m. ET kickoff…

Sports Media Weekly Podcast No. 69- Dan Levy, Bleacher Report

For this week’s Sports Media Weekly Podcast we start off the program win our guest.

Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I welcome Dan Levy, National Lead Writer for the Bleacher Report.  Dan (of On The DL and Press Coverage Fame) joins us to talk about his new job and how his attitudes toward the blog network has changed since there’s been a change of leadership.  Dan also lets us in on some changes coming to the site, including the return of his podcast.

Ken and I then talk about CBS’ NFL announcing teams, the departure of Brian Kenny and Sam Ryan from ESPN and CBS, NBC’s college football line-up, and the upcoming U.S. Open coverage by Tennis Channel and ESPN.