Sports Media Digest- August 7, 2012

ESPN Kicks-Off NFL Preseason Coverage Thursday–  ESPN’s Monday Night Football preseason schedule begins this Thursday as the Green Bay Packers take on the San Diego Chargers.  Game time is 8:00p.m. ET with the new two man booth of Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden along with new sideline reporter Lisa Salters.  at 7:00p.m. ET Chris Berman will host the hour-long Monday Night Countdown with analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, andKeyshawn Johnson and NFL Insiders Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen.

AT&T U-Verse Extends Deal with NFL Network-  AT&T U-Verse has signed a mulit-year contract extension to continue to carry the NFL Network and NFL RedZone.  NFL Network is available in the AT&T U-verse U200 package and above on HD channel 1630 and SD channel 630. NFL RedZone, which airs on Sundays throughout the regular season, is offered in the HD Premium Tier on HD channel 1629.“We are thrilled to continue offering the popular NFL Network and NFL RedZone channels to U-verse TV customers, just ahead of football season,” said Jeff Weber, president of content and advertising sales, AT&T Converged Services. “This agreement is an example of how we continue to deliver exciting, quality content to customers.”

MLB Productions and NBC Sports to Produce New Baseball Show-  Major League Baseball Productions is workjing with NBC Sports to produce a new weekly baseball television series entitled Caught Looking. The program, which will debut on the NBC Sports Network Wednesday, August 15, at 9:00 p.m. ET, with a new episode scheduled to air each subsequent week on Thursdays through October 4, will give baseball fans an exclusive look inside a specific weekend series, as cameras follow players, managers and front office personnel from both teams.  On November 8, NBC Sports Network will air a special postseason episode of Caught Looking which will feature the two teams playing in the 2012 World Series.

NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series Races on ESPN-  ESPN will have coverage of this week’s NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races from Watkins Glen, New York.  ESPN will have a live telecast of Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race, with NASCAR Countdown at noon and the green flag at 1:18 p.m ET.  Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series event will air on ABC at 2 p.m.   Allen Bestwick (Sprint Cup) and Marty Reid (Nationwide) will call the action with analysts Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree .

Fox Sees Viewership Increases for UFC-  Fox Sports reports that viewership for the UFC this past Saturday garnered a rating of 1.4 and an audience of 2.44 million viewers.  The audience was slightly higher than Fox’s last UFC telecast in May.  The network scored a 19% increase over the May telecast in viewership in the key male demographic of 18-34. College Network Adds University of Virginia-  The College Network has announce that it will be producing and managing the official athletics site for the University of Virginia,  The College Network manages the atletic sites of some 150 institutions.

Golf Channel to Commemorate Golf’s Original ‘Big 3’-  The Golf Channel will be airing a documentary based on the impact Byron Nelson, Sam Snead, and Ben Hogan had on the world of golf.  American Triumvirate will air on Monday, August 13th at 9:00p.m. ET, what would have been Hogan’s 100th birthday.  The three golfers were born three months apart in 1912 and the film will look at the careers and lives of each man and who they were beyond the record books.  The film will be narrated by actor Kurt Rusell.

More Cable Providers to Carry Pac-12 Network-  The Pac-12 Network has announced that it has reached a long term agreements with Astound and Wave Broadband to carry the network to cable subscribers in Washington, Oregon, and Northern California.  Astound and Wave collectively serves over 325,000 subscribers.  Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Sports Media Digest- April 25, 2012

Stanley Cup Playoff Action Continues on NBC-  NBC will be televising three opening round Stanley Cup Playoff game sevens over the next two days on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) and NHL Network.  Tonight at 7:30p.m. ET Mike Emrick, Ed Olczyk and Pierre McGuirre will call the finale of the series between the Capitals and Bruins.  Tomorrow Emrick, Olczyk and McGuirre will telecast the Senators at Rangers at 7:00p.m. ET on NBCSN.  At 8:30p.m. Dave Strader and Brian Englom will call the game seven between the Devils and Panthers on NHL Network.

NFL Turning Point Renewed for Three Seasons-  The weekly collaborative project between the NBC Sports Network and NFL Films, NFL Turning Point, has been renewed by the network through the 2014 season.  Dan Patrick will return as host of the program which looks at the turning point of a key NFL game each week.  The 2012 edition of the program debuts September 12th.

CBS to Stream Draft Program-  CBS will be providing live online coverage of the NFL draft through its Draft Show Live program.  Lindsay McCormick will host the program along with Pete Prisco and Will Brinson.
Jason Horowitz will also host segments featuring College Football Insider Bruce Feldman, NFL Draft expert Rob Rang, and former St. Louis Rams General Manager Billy Devaney.

NBA TV Sets Record Viewership for 2011-2012 Season-  NBA TV reports that the 2011-2012 NBA season was the most watched season in network history.  The network’s 96-game regular-season schedule averaged 337,000 viewers and 266,000 households, up 33% and 34% respectively over last season.  The network also reports double digit increases in viewership across all key network age demographics.

ESPN will air Manchester United at Manchester City on Monday  The battle for first place in the Barclay’s Premier League will come to a head this Monday when the top two clubs meet on ESPN.  Manchester City will host Manchester United beginning at 2:30p.m. ET on ESPN.  Ian Darke and Steve McManaman will provide the English language coverage of the match. José Hernández and Tato Noriega will call the match in Spanish language on ESPN Deportes.

Revolution/Red Bulls This Week’s MLS Contest on NBCSN-  The NBC Sports Network MLS gaeme of the week will feature the New England Revolution at the New York Red Bulls.  Arlo White and Kyle Martino will handle the call of the game with Russ Thaler handling pre and post game coverage.  The telecast will be this Saturday at 3:30p.m. ET.

Boxing Returns to HBO This Weekend-  HBO will return to the ring this weekend for championship boxing.  Bernard Hopkins will battle Chad Dawson II and Seth Mitchell will face Chazz Witherspoon beginning at 10:15p.m. ET this Saturday.  Jim Lampley, Max Kellerman and Emanuel Steward will be ringside for all the action.

Team USA International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Men’s World Championship to Air on NBC Sports Network-  The NBC Sports Network will be televising 13 games of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Men’s World Championship.  The network will televise each game featuring Team USA as well as the semi-finals and final matches.  The tournament runs from May 4th through May 20th.

CBS Set For Its 57th Consecutive Masters

CBS Sports has laid out its plans to cover its 57th consecutive Masters Tournament.

Live coverage on CBS will take place Saturday at 3:30p.m. ET and Sunday at 2:00p.m. ET  For the 27th consecutive year Jim Nantz will cover the Masters for CBS (his 25th year as host).  He also handles coverage of the Highlight Shows, originating from Butler Cabin on the grounds of Augusta National. Three-time Masters champion Sir Nick Faldo joins Nantz in the 18th hole tower as lead analyst. Peter Oosterhuis will describe the action at the 17th hole; Verne Lundquist, the 16th hole; David Feherty,  the 15th hole and Highlight Shows;  Bill Macatee,  the 14th hole; Peter Kostis,  the 13th hole; and Ian Baker-Finch will tell the story at the 11th and 12th holes.

On Grant Boone and Matt Gogel call the live streaming video action for Amen Corner , along with Jerry Foltzand Billy Ray Brown for 15 & 16 and Andrew Catalon and Billy Kratzert for  Featured Group and Jennifer Mills, Peter Oosterhuis and Kratzert call the action for Masters On The Range.

Sports Media Digest- March 28, 2012

Golf Channel Has Most Watched Quarter Ever-  The Golf Channel has announced that viewership in the first quarter of 2012 was its most watched ever.  The network reports that it reached a total of 25 million viewers from January through March.  All segments of its programming, from tournament coverage to studio shows, have seen ratings increases over 2011.  Ratings records have been set at seven of the 14 PGA Tour events so far in 2012.

Sweeney Joins MLB Network as Analyst-  The MLB network has announced that is has hired former five time all-star Mike Sweeney to its roster of baseball analysts.  Sweeney joins the roster of MLB Tonight analysts tonight at 9:00p.m. ET.

Gruden’s QB Camp Opens Friday With Andrew Luck- This year’s edition of Gruden’s QB Camp opens this Friday as the former NFL head coach looks at the prospects of Stanford quarterback and projected #1 pick Andrew Luck.  The 30-minute special debuts Friday at 7:00p.m. ET.  The next edition of Gruden’s QB Camp will take place Monday at 9:00p.m. with his look at Heisman Trophy Winner Robert Griffin III.

NBCSN Has MLS Action Friday and Saturday-  NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) will have live coverage of Major League Soccer this Friday night and Saturday.  Friday’s action kicks-off at 7:30p.m. ET with F.C. Dallas at D.C. United.  Saturday night’s match features the New Englnad Revolution at the L.A. Galaxy.  Arlo White and Kyle Martino will call both games with Russ Thaler handling pre-game, halftime, and post-game duties. is the Backbone for All Eight Men’s and Women’s Final Four Teams-  The College Network is partnering to run the athletic websites of the final four teams in the men’s and women’s Division I tournament.  The College Network produces approximately 150 official athletic sites for colleges and universities across the United States

Snowboarding Returns to NBC Sports This Weekend-  NBC Sports will be providing coverage of snowboarding’s Red Bull Supernatural this Saturday at 1:00p.m. ET.  Sal Masakela returns as host.

Universal Sports to Televise World Table Tennis Championships on Pay-Per-View– Universal Sports will be producing the 2012 ITTF World Team Table Tennis Championships from Dortmund, Germany, with live pay-per-view coverage available through DIRECTV, DISH, and AvailTVN. will stream 70 hours of action from Rounds 4 and 5, the 1/8 Finals, Quarterfinals, Semifinals and Finals between March 28 and April 1. The site’s three levels of subscriptions include a single day package for $19.99, the Semifinals and Finals (final two days) for $34.99 or the full five-day package for $79.99.

Sports Media Digest- March 26, 2012

Woods Win at Bay Hill Sparks Strong Ratings for NBC- Tiger Woods’ victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational yesterday scored NBC an overnight rating of 4.8, up a whopping 129% over coverage of the event from 2011.  It’s also the best overnight rating for the Bay Hill event since Woods won the tournament in 2009.  Ratings for Friday’s coverage of the tournament on the Golf Channel came in at 1.4, 75% higher than a year ago.

Bracket Stats from and CBS  As we get further along in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament both CBS and ESPN are puching the success rates, or lack thereof, of the participants in their respective bracket competitions.  On, only 0.4 of the 6.45 million brackets submitted have correctly selected the Final Four.  Similar results were seen on CBS’s bracket competition, where only 0.35% of the 5.1 million entries selected the Final Four.  In both instances Kentucky remains the favorite to win it all.

Building and Installation of Final Four Court to be Spotlighted on CBS Sports Network- CBS Sports Network will air a one hour documentary into the making and installation of the floors to be used at the NCAA Men’s Final Four in New Orleans.  Court of Champions explores the court’s journey from a sustainable forest on a Native American Reserve in Wisconsin to the Superdome in New Orleans.  The documentary will debut on CBS Sports Network Sunday April 1st at 9:00p.m. ET.

NIT Semifinals Tomorrow on ESPN2-  Lost in all the hoopla of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, the national semifinals of the NIT will take tomorrow night in ESPN2.  Game one will begin at 7:00p.m. ET as UMass takes on Stanford.  Following game one Minnesota will take on Washington.  The championship game will take place Thursday night at 7:00p.m. on ESPN.

Magic at Knicks NBA Match-up on Wednesday-  ESPN’s Wednesday night NBA action will feature the Orlando Magic at the New York Knicks.  The game tips-off at 8:00p.m. with Dan Shulman and Doris Burke on the call.

Father/Son Golf Tourney Returns to NBC-  After a three year hiatus, The Father/Son Challenge will return and air on NBC.  The tournament had a 14 year run pairing a golf professional with his son.  The tournament returns via a title sponsorship by PNC Bank.  To qualify for the PNC Father/Son Challenge, participants must have won either a major championship or Players Championship in their career. The professional’s partner must not have held a Tour card at any point in their career.  The 36 hole Father-Son Challenge will be played Dec. 15th and 16 at The Ritz-Carlton Club at Grand Lakes Resort in Orlando.

Sports Media Digest- February 13, 2012

CBS Sees Big Bump In Ratings for Pebble Beach PGA Tourney-  CBS Sports reports that the overnight ratings for yesterday’s final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro Am came in 5.1, 96% higher than the 2011 tournament.  Bouyed by the pairing of Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, the rating was the highest for the tournament in 15 years.  Saturday’s third round rating was 2.8, up 56% over 2011.

Horowitz Gets Promotion at ESPN-  ESPN executive Jaime Horowitz has been promoted to Vice President of Original Programming and Production.  Horowitz has been with ESPN since 2006 and has served recently as coordinating producer for studio and event production.  In this new role, Horowitz will focus on identifying new programming needs and then coordinating the production effort to strategically meet those needs. The scope will include creating new shows, producing segments to enhance existing shows and oversight of potential new projects.

TNT Double Header for Thursday-  Celtics at Bulls and Clippers at Trailblazers are this week’s Thursday NBA double header on TNT.  Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller and Craig Sager will have the call of the opener at 8:00p.m. ET.  The 10:30p.m. tip-off of game two will have Marv Albert, Steve Kerr and Cheryl Miller at the mic.

New Television Network to Focus on High School Sports-  Come this fall there will be a new television network devoted to high school sports.   PlayOn! Sports (PlayOn) announced today that it will launch the first nationwide network dedicated exclusively to high school sports, including a 24-hour television channel, and products for broadband, mobile, and video-on-demand platforms. PlayOn is the nation’s largest rights holder, producer, distributor, and aggregator of high school sports events, and this groundbreaking initiative will create a high school destination for viewers, distributors and advertising partners.

Pat Kirwin Joins CBS  The online arm of CBS Sports announced today that it has hired NFL analyst Pat Kirwin to write for CBS  Beginning February 15th Kirwin will be writing weekly columns as well as providing NFL news and analysis and dissecting game matchups during the regular season and playoffs.  Kirwin will continue to host his Movin the Chains radio program on Sirius XM Radio.

MLB Network Adds Trio to On-Air Staff-  The MLB network has announced that it has hired three new faces to be part of its on-air staff. Lauren Shehadi joins the network off a stint as host on CBS and CBS Sports Network where she worked on the network’s coverage of SEC football.  Alanna Rizzo comes from Root Sports Rocky Mountain where she reported on the Colorado Rockies and the University of Colorado basketball.  Scott Braun comes over from ESPN where he worked as a play-by-play announcer for ESPNU and ESPN3.

Sports Media Digest- January 17, 2012

We did not have a digest yesterday so we have two days of news to share from the sports media world…

NBA Double Header Set For TNT-  TNT is touting this Thursday’s NBA double header.  Action begins at 8:00p.m. ET with the Los ANgeles Lakers at the Miami Heat.  Marv Albert, Steve Kerr, and Craig Sager will have the call.  Game two tips off at 10:30p.m. ET with Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller,and Cheryl Miller.

CBS Sports Network has College Hoops Twin Bill Wednesday-  CBS Sports Network will air a pair of college basketball games tomorrow night.  At 8:00p.m. ET Memphis will be at UCF with Dave Ryan and Pete Gillen on the call.  The night cap will feature Todd Harris and Steve Lapham calling #16 San Diego State at New Mexico with a tip at 10:00p.m. ET.

NFL Network has East-West Shrine Game and Senior Bowl-  NFL Network has set up its coverage of the year end East-West Shrine game and the Senior Bowl.  This will be the second consecutive year the NFL Network provides exclusive coverage of the East-West Shrine Game.  It will take place from Tampa this Saturday, January 21st at 4:00p.m. ET. Paul Burmeister provides the play-by-play, while Mike Mayock and Charles Davis serve as game analysts. Rebecca Haarlow provides reports from the sidelines. The quartet will be joined by Heath Evans one week later for coverage of the Senior Bowl, January 28th at 4:00p.m. ET.

Loomis New SVP for Production at MLB Network-  The MLB Network has announced that Mark Loomis has assumed the duties of Senior Vice President for Production.  The former Coordinating Producer for golf on ESPN and Thursday Night Football for the NFL Network, Loomis will be in charge of overseeing the look and presentation of MLB Network’s game coverage and studio programming.

CBS Opens Fantasy Sports Platform for Third Party Development-  CBS has announced that it has opened up its fantasy sports service  so third party developers and companies can create apps for their products and services.  Six companies, including and Bloomberg Sports, have signed on as initial  partners and will have  apps available when’s Fantasy Baseball product launches on Jan. 31st.


CBS to Pull Out All the Stops Again for March Madness

2009mmodlogoMuch was made last year of’s introduction of expanded on-demand coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.  CBS plans much more this year.

Over 200 websites took advantage last year of the ability to partner with CBS to embed their on-demand video player.  Over 4 million unique viewers accessed some portion of the NCAA Tournament online through the CBS platform.

CBS is hoping that number will explode this year though the development of tools for the blogging community;

Available starting March 10, the suite will allow developers to choose from an array of professional content from CBS Sports and add it to their site or blog. Options include applications dedicated solely to brackets, live scores, news or each of the Division I Men’s Basketball programs, all offering links that give direct access to the NCAA March Madness on Demand video player.

“NCAA March Madness on Demand has become much more than a and NCAA production, it’s now an event that the whole Internet is embracing,” said Jason Kint, Senior Vice President and General Manager, “With increased distribution across the CBS Interactive network of sites, now a top-10 Web property globally, NCAA March Madness on Demand will again have extremely positive growth in 2009 as we take the games to the fans, wherever they want to watch.”

CBS seems to have learned what many other media outlets have not…that when you own the rights to an event as large as the NCAA Tournament, there are business opportunities available in partnerships with other media entities.  Apparently CBS understands that the number of eyeballs viewing the tournament on-demand online can translate to increased revenue.