CBS Sports

Sports Media Digest- October 1, 2013

During TV Premiere Week Sunday Night Football Wins in the Primetime Ratings

NBC Sports reports today that Sunday’s Patriots-Falcons matchup on Sunday Night Football (SNF) was the most-watched primetime program in “Premiere Week” drawing an average of 20.5 million viewers.

Sunday’s SNF  had a rating of 12.5  and was primetime’s top show in the Adults and Men 18-49, 18-34 and 25-54 demographics.

ESPN/ABC Earn Top Ratings for Saturday College Football

For the fifth consecutive Saturday night college football action on ABC and ESPN was the top rated program for the evening.

The Saturday Night Football telecast on ABC – Ohio State over Wisconsin 31-24 – averaged 6,751,000 viewers and a 4.0 household US rating, helping the network to the top spot on September 28.

ESPN’s primetime games finished a combined second for the night; with Alabama beating Ole Miss 25-0 at 6:30 p.m. ET averaging 4,022,000 viewers and a 2.3 HH US rating while Stanford’s 55-17 victory over Washington State at 10 p.m. averaged 1,851,000 viewers and a 1.2 HH US rating.

CBS Sports Network Gets Wider Carriage on Time Warner Cable Systems

CBS and Time Warner cable have announced a deal to provide wider distribution of the CBS Sports Network to Time Warner cable subscribers.  CBS Sports Network has been added to Time Warner Cable’s DTV-Digital TV package on most systems, beginning today.

CBS Sports Network is now seen in over 53 million homes and is available to more than 99 million households across the country.


MLB Playoffs Forces Shift of Chargers/Raiders from CBS to NFL Network

The NFL announced yesterday that this Sunday’s Chargers/Raiders game in Oakland will kick-off at 8:35p.m. PT to accommodate a change in field conditions warranted by the Oakland A’s Divisional Series playoff game.  The A’s play Saturday and it will take the crew at the Coliseum all day Sunday to covert the field from baeball to football.

The change will mean the game will not air on CBS are originally scheduled but instead will be telecast on the NFL Network.  CBS announcers Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts will still call the game as scheduled.

MLB Network Adds Guest Analysts for Postseason Coverage

Current Major Leaguers Raul Ibanez, Mark DeRossa, Mark Texeira, and Adam Jones will join White Sox announcer Ken Harrelson as guest analysts during the MLB Network’s coverage of baseball’s postseason.

The MLB Network will provide 165 hours of programming covering the 2013 Postseason which includes MLB Network’s two exclusive LDS game telecasts this Friday, October 4, with Bob Costas, Jim Kaat and Sam Ryan on the call, and on Monday, October 7, with Matt Vasgersian, Kaat and Ryan.

Fox Sports Partners with USA Rugby

Fox Sports and USA Rugby have entered into an agreement with USA Rugby to televise the U.S. Eagle’ss match against the New Zealand Maori All Blacks November 9th at PPL Park in Philadelphia.

The game will be taped  televised on Fox Sports 1 November 10th at Noon ET.

“USA Rugby is very excited about FOX Sports 1 airing the match from Philadelphia,” USA Rugby Chief Commercial Officer Jon Persch said. “FOX Sports 1offers USA Rugby the greatest number of viewers with the new channel being offered in 90 million homes. On top of that, FOX Sports has had a monumental impact covering the world’s most elite sporting events and we are thrilled to share this marquee matchup with FOX Sports.”

Week 4 NFL Schedule, With Announcer Assignments

Here is the week four schedule in the NFL, along with the announcers calling each game:

Week 4
Thursday, Sep. 26
San Francisco at St. Louis 8:25 pm NFL Network Brad Nessler, Mike Mayork
Sunday, Sep. 29
Baltimore at Buffalo 1:00 pm CBS Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts
Arizona at Tampa Bay 1:00 pm FOX Sam Rosen , Heath Evans, Molly McGrath
Pittsburgh at Minnesota 1:00 pm CBS Jim Nantz, Phil Simms
N.Y. Giants at Kansas City 1:00 pm FOX Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch, Erin Andrews
Indianapolis at Jacksonville 1:00 pm CBS Kevin Harlan, Solomon Wilcotts
Seattle at Houston 1:00 pm FOX Chris Myers, Tim Ryan, Jennifer Hale
Cincinnati at Cleveland 1:00 pm CBS Marv Albert, Rich Gannon
Chicago at Detroit 1:00 pm FOX Thomm Brennaman, Brian Billick, Laura Okmin
N.Y. Jets at Tennessee 4:05 pm CBS Greg Gumbel, Dan Dierdorf
Washington at Oakland 4:25 pm FOX Dick Stockton, Ronde Barber, Kris Budden
Philadelphia at Denver 4:25 pm FOX Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver
Dallas at San Diego 4:25 pm FOX Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa
New England at Atlanta 8:30 pm NBC Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth
Monday, Sep. 30
Miami at New Orleans 8:40 pm ESPN Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden

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.

Week 3 NFL Schedule, With Announcer Assignments

Here is the week 3 NFL schedule, along with the announcers calling each game:

Week 3
Thursday, Sep. 19
Kansas City at Philadelphia 8:25 pm NFL Network Brad Nessler, Mike Mayock
Sunday, Sep. 22
Houston at Baltimore 1:00 pm CBS Greg Gumbel, Dan Dierdorf
Detroit at Washington 1:00 pm FOX Dick Stockton, Ronde Barber, Kris Budden
San Diego at Tennessee 1:00 pm CBS Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts
Arizona at New Orleans 1:00 pm FOX Sam Rosen, Heath Evans
Tampa Bay at New England 1:00 pm FOX Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch, Erin Andrews
Cleveland at Minnesota 1:00 pm CBS Kevin Harlan, Solomon Wilcotts
N.Y. Giants at Carolina 1:00 pm FOX Thom Brennaman, Brian Billick
Green Bay at Cincinnati 1:00 pm FOX Joe Buck, Troy Aikman
St. Louis at Dallas 1:00 pm FOX Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston
Atlanta at Miami 4:05 pm FOX Chris Myers, Tim Ryan
Buffalo at N.Y. Jets 4:25 pm CBS Marv Albert Rich Gannon
Jacksonville at Seattle 4:25 pm CBS Bill Macatee, Steve Tasker
Indianapolis at San Francisco 4:25 pm CBS Jim Nantz, Phil Simms
Chicago at Pittsburgh 8:30 pm NBC Al Micahels, Cris Collinsworth
Monday, Sep. 23
Oakland at Denver 8:40 pm ESPN Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden

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.”

Johnny Football, Manning Bowl Lead to Big Viewership for CBS

CBS aired two of the most-anticipated football games of the early season and the result was impressive viewership numbers.

Saturday’s SEC blockbuster between Alabama and Texas A&M had an overnight rating of 9.0, the highest-rated college football game on the network in 23 years.

Yesterday’s NFL late national game, primarily the Broncos and Giants featuring Peyton and Eli Manning, gave CBS a rating of 17.8, the highest in 15 years and 24% above a year ago.

Kellogg, Anthony to Swap Roles on CBS College Hoops Coverage

CBS Sports announced today a change in roles for two of its college basketball analysts.

Studio analyst Greg Anthony and number one game analyst Clark Kellogg will change roles, with Anthony working along side Jim Nantz at game sites and Kellogg returning to the studio.

Kellogg had been lead game analyst since 2008, replacing Billy Packer.  Anthony has been a studio and game analyst since 2008.

“Greg and Clark are two of the most respected, knowledgeable and passionate voices in college basketball,” says CBS Sports Chairman McManus. “They are both excellent game and studio analysts. It’s a luxury to have them both on our team. We believe this shuffling of our line-up allows both Greg and Clark to play more to their individual strengths, enhancing our overall coverage.”


Sports Media Weekly No. 163- Mike McCarthy, Ad Age & Tracy Wolfson, CBS Sports

We have a full agenda for this weeks Sports Media Weekly  program.

Joining Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and me for our news segment is sports business reporter Mike McCarthy of Ad Age.

We begin the show with news from the NFL, which saw a total of 108 million viewers watch action from week one, the largest combined audience to watch the first week of the regular season ever.

We follow by looking at some of the new NFL Sunday pre-game shows and how, despite the rising number of these programs, viewers never seem to get enough of the NFL.

Next we bring up the news that Peter King of SI and Bill Simmons of ESPN will no longer refer to the Washington NFL football team as the Redskins, joining those who feel the name is offensive to the Native American community.  We discuss how, and who, could tip the scales in forcing the NFL and Redskins owner Daniel Snyder to change the team’s name.

With Time Warner and CBS resolving their issues over carriage fees just before the beginning of the NFL season, we hypothesize whether the NFL will be a factor as ESPN and the Dish Network head toward their contract expiring on September 30th.

We move to baseball and the impact the Yankees, and the suspension-appealing Alex Rodriquez, will have on the buzz around this post-season if they are able to secure one of the two American league Wild Card spots.

We conclude the news segment looking at the investigative report by Sports Illustrated on the Oklahoma State football program and whether these pieces ever have legs in exposing broader problems in the college ranks.

In the second half of the show Ken talks with CBS Sports reporter Tracy Wolfson.  Tracy will be working perhaps the two top football games of the week; the SEC match-up between Alabama and Texas A&M and the Manning Bowl featuring Peyton and Eli Sunday in New York.

Week 2 NFL Schedule, With Announcer Assignments

Here is the week 2 NFL schedule, along with the announcers calling each game:

Week 2
Thursday, Sep. 12
N.Y. Jets at New England 8:25 pm NFL Network Brad Nessler, Mike Mayock
Sunday, Sep. 15
St. Louis at Atlanta 1:00 pm FOX Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa
San Diego at Philadelphia 1:00 pm CBS Greg Gumbel, Dan Dierdorf
Dallas at Kansas City 1:00 pm FOX Chris Myers, Tim Ryan, Jennifer Hale
Miami at Indianapolis 1:00 pm CBS Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts
Tennessee at Houston 1:00 pm CBS Kevin Harlan, Solomon Wilcotts
Washington at Green Bay 1:00 pm FOX Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver
Cleveland at Baltimore 1:00 pm CBS Marv Albert, Rich Gannon
Carolina at Buffalo 1:00 pm FOX Dick Stockton, Ronde Barber, Kris Budden
Minnesota at Chicago 1:00 pm FOX Thom Brennaman, Brian Billick, Laura Okmin
New Orleans at Tampa Bay 4:05 pm FOX Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch, Erin Andrews
Detroit at Arizona 4:05 pm FOX Sam Rosen, Heath Evans, Molly McGrath
Jacksonville at Oakland 4:25 pm CBS Spero Dedes, Steve Tasker
Denver at N.Y. Giants 4:25 pm CBS Jim Nantz, Phil Simms
San Francisco at Seattle 8:30 pm NBC Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth
Monday, Sep. 16
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati 8:40 pm ESPN Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden

Record Viewership for Week 1 NFL Games

The NFL reports that the first week audience for NFL games topped out at 108.4 million viewers, making last week the most-watched week one of the NFL ever.

Here are some details from NFL PR:

  • With 28.5 million average viewers, the FOX national telecast (mostly Packers-49ers) posted its best Kickoff Sunday ever, surpassing 28.0 million for Packers-Eagles in 2010.
  • ESPN’s  Monday Night Football opener (Eagles-Redskins) was the most-watched Week 1 game ever on ESPN with 16.54 million viewers and posted the highest rating ever for a season opener on ESPN (11.8).
  • On Sunday afternoon, an average of 19.8 million viewers watched NFL games on CBS and FOX, making it the highest Kickoff Sunday audience for the networks, surpassing the previous record average of 19.0 million in 2010.

Once again NFL action was the top-ranked television program in the 30 NFL markets:

Week of 9/2 – 9/8  





Market Game





Milwaukee Packers at 49ers 09/08/2013 50.8 75 1
New Orleans Falcons at Saints 09/08/2013 49.0 75 1
Denver Ravens at Broncos 09/05/2013 43.7 70 1
Indianapolis Raiders at Colts 09/08/2013 38.3 63 1
Baltimore Ravens at Broncos 09/05/2013 36.9 61 1
Pittsburgh Titans at Steelers 09/08/2013 36.3 65 1
Dallas Giants at Cowboys 09/08/2013 36.2 54 1
Minneapolis Vikings at Lions 09/08/2013 35.5 68 1
Buffalo Patriots at Bills 09/08/2013 34.7 64 1
Kansas City Chiefs at Jaguars 09/08/2013 32.4 57 1
Seattle Seahawks at Panthers 09/08/2013 31.4 65 1
Chicago Bengals at Bears 09/08/2013 31.0 60 1
Boston Patriots at Bills 09/08/2013 30.8 63 1
Cincinnati Bengals at Bears 09/08/2013 29.7 52 1
Cleveland Dolphins at Browns 09/08/2013 27.3 53 1
Nashville Titans at Steelers 09/08/2013 25.6 45 1
Atlanta Falcons at Saints 09/08/2013 25.4 48 1
Detroit Vikings at Lions 09/08/2013 25.4 52 1
Phoenix Cardinals at Rams 09/08/2013 24.6 44 1
St. Louis Cardinals at Rams 09/08/2013 24.1 41 1
Charlotte Seahawks at Panthers 09/08/2013 23.0 43 1
San Fran-Oakland Packers at 49ers 09/08/2013 22.0 50 1
Washington, DC Giants at Cowboys 09/08/2013 20.9 36 1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Jets 09/08/2013 20.5 39 1
New York Giants at Cowboys 09/08/2013 19.5 32 1
San Diego Giants at Cowboys 09/08/2013 19.2 33 1
Houston Giants at Cowboys 09/08/2013 18.4 30 1
Miami Dolphins at Browns 09/08/2013 18.1 35 1
Philadelphia Giants at Cowboys 09/08/2013 17.9 28 1
Jacksonville Chiefs at Jaguars 09/08/2013 17.9 35 1