Fox Sports 1

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.”

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.

College Football on Fox Sports

Here is the slate of college football games, along with announcer assignments, this weekend on the networks of Fox Sports:



GAME NETWORK Play by Play Analyst Sideline
Saturday, Sept. 19

12:00 PM

Virginia Tech at East Carolina FOX Sports 1 Adam Alexander Chris Simms
Saturday, Sept. 19

12:30 PM

Louisiana-Monroe at Wake Forest FS South Wes Durham Brian Stann Jenn Hildreth
Saturday, Sept. 19

4:00 PM

Ball State at North Texas FSN Mark Followill Brian Baldinger JC Pearson
Saturday, Sept. 19

6:00 PM

Iowa at Iowa State FOX Sports 1 Justin Kutcher James Bates Brady Poppinga
Saturday, Sept. 19

6:30 PM

#4 Ohio State at Cal FOX Gus Johnson Charles Davis Kristina Pink
Saturday, Sept. 19

7:30 PM

Lamar at #12 Oklahoma State FSN Ron Thulin Dave Lapham Jim Knox
Saturday, Sept. 19

10:00 PM

Oregon State at Utah FOX Sports 1 Craig Bolerjack Joey Harrington Ryan Nece

Sports Media Digest- September 3, 2013

NBCSN to Debut New Weekly NFL Studio Show

The abundance of NFL studio shows continues to grow as NBC announced today that a new show will soon launch on the NBC Sports Network.

FNIA Coach’s Clicker will debut Wednesday, September 11th at 6:30p.m. ET with Liam McHugh hosting and Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison providing an in-depth preview of the upcoming week’s biggest games, including the Sunday Night Football contest.

“Every week, FNIA Coach’s Clicker will provide the deepest dive on the biggest games of the week,” said Sam Flood, executive producer, NBC Sports & NBCSN. “Tony, Rodney and Liam will take NFL fans inside the film room to break down the most critical Xs-and-Os elements of the upcoming week. While NFL Turning Point looks back at the most critical moments of the previous week’s biggest games, FNIA Coach’s Clicker will look ahead.”

Colin’s New Football Show Debuts September 8th

ESPN announced today that the new football show featuring ESPN Radio’s Colin Cowherd will debut this Sunday at 9:00a.m. ET on ESPN2.

Colin’s New Football Show is a 60-minute program where Cowherd discusses the college and NFL stories of the week.

Colin’s New Football Show will be entirely from Colin’s perspective,” said Jamie Horowitz, vice president, original programming and production.  “It’s a cool and alternative pregame show with Colin, a football outsider on the inside, letting fans know the key stories of the day in his own style.”
Cowherd added, “This won’t be your typical pregame show because I’m hosting it and I’ve never played in the league and I don’t even know that many people who did play in the league. We know what we are, and what we’re not. And we’re not going to take ourselves too seriously.  The show is me and smart, funny guys hopefully coming on the show and making it better. I’m really excited for it.”

NBA TV has Exclusive Coverage of Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

NBA TV will have exclusive coverage of this weekend’s Basketball Hall-of-Fame induction ceremony from Springfield, MA.

The telecast will begin at 2:00p.m. ET with the induction of NBA stars Gary Payton and Bernard King; ABA legend Roger Brown; 30-year NBA executive and former President of USA Basketball Russ Granik; six-time NBA All-Star and 1968 NBA Coach of the Year Richard Guerin;  basketball pioneer Dr. E.B. Henderson; University of Houston five-time NCAA Final Four head coach Guy Lewis; college coaching legend and three-time National Coach of the Year Sylvia Hatchell; two-time NCAA champion and seven-time NCAA Final Four head coach Rick Pitino; one of FIBA’s 50 Greatest Players Oscar Schmidt; five-time WNBA All-Star Dawn Staley; and UNLV coaching legend and 1990 NCAA Champion Jerry Tarkanian.

Latest Edition of Fox Sports’ Being to Spotlight NYPD Football Team

The next installment of Fox Sports’ Being: series will take a look at the New York City Police Department football team.

Being: The Finest will debut Tuesday, September 10th at 9:00p.m. ET.  The program follows the New York City Police Department’s semi-professional football team from the beginning of its season in April through its regular-season finale against The Bravest, the New York City Fire Department’s squad, in the Fun City Bowl at Hofstra University on June 2. The documentary is narrated by Tony Hernandez, the club’s general manager and an active NYPD narcotics detective.

“The bonds that grow between cops are strong,” Hernandez said. “Our team uses football to make them even stronger. We work together. We play together. We sacrifice together. You never know when life is going to throw you something nasty, something unfair. I like to think our team, our brotherhood, makes it a little easier to deal with at all.”

The Dino Costa Show Changing Time and Channel on SiriusXM Radio

SiriusXM Radio announced today that The Dino Costa Show  is moving to a new time and channel on the SiriusXM platform.

Starting this Thursday the program will be heard on SiriusXM Sports Zone (Sirius channel 92, XM channel 208) from 7:00a.m. to 11:00a.m. ET. Previously The Dino Costa Show was on nightly as part of the line-up on  SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio channel.

“When I joined SiriusXM nearly five years ago, my objective was to deliver listeners across North America a brand of sports commentary and opinion that they had never heard before, something that was a radical departure from the status quo,” said Costa.  “I feel I have accomplished that and gained a more than appreciable audience over that time.  Creating and delivering the kind of a show I do would not have been possible anyplace other than SiriusXM and it is an honor and a privilege to be with what I consider to be the mightiest radio broadcaster on planet earth.  I enjoyed my time with Mad Dog Sports Radio and now I look forward to new challenges and conquests and feel more enthused than ever at the prospects of making SiriusXM Sports Zone a destination channel for our valued subscribers. This is the start of something very big!”

Sports Media Weekly No. 161- Ed Sherman, The Sherman Report & ESPN Media Day Interviews

We have multiple guests on this week’s edition of Sports Media Weekly.

Joining Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and me for our news segment is Ed Sherman of the Sherman Report.

Our top story of the week is still evolving as it was announced late today that ESPN is backing our of its partnership with PBS’ Frontline show in producing an investigative documentary on concussions in the NFL.  ESPN claims the move is over a lack of editorial control on the project.  We speculate that there must have been a major disagreement between the parties.  We will follow the story as it progresses.

We then look at last Saturday’s launch of Fox Sports 1.  The three of us agree that as much as people want to send out flash judgments of what they’ve seen over the first five days on the air, it’s better to judge the success of the network over the long haul.

We wrap-up the news segment by reviewing my trip yesterday to ESPN as part of the network’s Media Day.  We discuss the state of ESPN, particularly through the words of ESPN President John Skipper, who held an hour-long Q&A session with reporters over lunch.

The day at ESPN also included panels on college football, the NFL, and a look at ESPN’s new digital studio, which will host SportsCenter beginning next year.

The second half of the show features my interviews with four members of ESPN:

  • SVP of Programming, College Sports Burke Magnus on the upcoming college football season
  • SVP of Content, Digital and Print Media Rob King on the network’s online properties
  • NFL Live host Trey Wingo
  • SportsCenter anchor Steve Levy who is celebrating his 20th year at the network

PROGRAMMING NOTE-  There will no Sports Media Weekly program next week.  Ken and I will return after Labor Day.

Sports Media Digest- August 22, 2013

NBC Digital Sees Best Traffic Month Ever in July

NBC Sports reports that its digital division saw record traffic during the month of July. Total viewership during the month topped pout at 102.6 million visits.

Here are the numbers as reportewd by NBC PT: recorded its best month ever in uniques and visits with 20.4 million and 51.8 million, respectively. Many SportsTalk sites also experienced their best-ever July:

  • ProFootballTalk recorded its best month ever in uniques and visits, with 9.8 million uniques, up 115 percent year-over-year, and 27.4 million visits, up 106% year-over-year.
  • ProBasketballTalk posted its best month ever in visits and page views for the third consecutive month, fueled by NBA free agency news. ProBasketballTalk had 10.8 million visits and 18.5 million page views in July.
  • HardballTalk had its best month ever in all key metrics, as its 3.8 million uniques marked the first time that the site exceeded 3 million, driven by the suspensions tied to the Biogensis fallout.
  • ProHockeyTalk scored its best month in visits for the third consecutive month, with 2.9 million visits, breaking the 2 million mark for the second time.
  • ProSoccerTalk saw its best month ever in all key metrics for third consecutive month, and the site’s 1.3 million uniques was the first time it surpassed one million.
  • MotorSportsTalk finished with its best month ever in page views since launching in February 2013 with 941,000., the digital website for 2012’s fastest growing cable network, posted its second consecutive month with more than 30 million page views and fifth consecutive month with more than 3 million uniques.  GolfChannel also generated more than 1 million video starts and drew a 25 percent uptick in unique visitors, compared to last year.

The NBC Sports Regional Networks’ digital platforms also spiked in growth, earning their best month ever in visits and page views, with 17.5 million visits and 31.7 million page views, up 62 percent and 25 percent year-over-year, respectively. CSN Philadelphia and CSN New England contributed remarkable advances, though all of the Comcast SportsNet regionals notched increases in uniques, visits and page views. Four NBC Sports Regional Networks posted their best month ever in a key metric:

  • Patriots and Celtics coverage pushed CSN New England to 4.1 million visits and 6.2 million page views in July, marking all-time highs for each metric.
  • CSN Philadelphia drew 1.9 million video starts, another record high.
  • 49ers and Raiders training camp stories boosted CSN Bay Area to 1.4 million uniques, its best month ever.
  • CSN Houston recorded its best month ever since its October launch in page views with 1.1 million as the Houston Rockets landed free-agent megastar Dwight Howard

NBC Sports Group apps also grew in July:

  • The NBC SportsTalk app delivered a record 6.2 million visits (the record was set in March 2013 at the height of NFL free agency) and 66 million page views and – its second best performance to date.
  • The NBC Sports Digital apps recorded their best month ever in visits and page views, with 18 million visits, up 55 percent year-over-year, and 117.8 page views, up 43 percent year-over-year.
  • NBC Sports Live Extra, NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktop, mobile and tablets, has surpassed 6.1 million downloads.
  • Golf Channel mobile apps generated more than 500,000 uniques, the most ever for the platform in a month, and the second highest page views for a month ever with more than 28 million.
  • “The continued traffic growth across NBC Sports Digital properties shows our strategy focusing around video, NBCSportsTalk and mobile is working.  It also validates our important and growing partnership with Yahoo! Sports,” said Rick Cordella, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Digital, NBC Sports Group.

“The continued traffic growth across NBC Sports Digital properties shows our strategy focusing around video, NBCSportsTalk and mobile is working.  It also validates our important and growing partnership with Yahoo! Sports,” said Rick Cordella, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Digital, NBC Sports Group.

Fox Sports 1 and MLB to Produce Behind-the Scenes Access Leading to the Playoffs

Fox Sports and Major League Baseball have announced a collaboration which will give baseball fans an exclusive look behind the scenes with a specific team fighting to reach the Postseason and win the World Series.

Mission October will follow players, coaches and front office personnel over the course of a weekend series, and each show will be produced and edited as the weekend series unfolds, allowing for episodes to air on Monday evenings each week.

“Our fans crave behind the scenes access to their favorite stars, and they want to see it right away. Mission October satisfies both of those desires, and we know MLB Productions is up to the task of this extremely quick editing schedule,” said Chris Tully, Senior Vice President, Broadcasting, Major League Baseball. “We’re thrilled to be working with Fox Sports 1 on this series, which will provide a unique glimpse each week inside the inner workings of our Clubs during this most critical time of the season.”

“This is what the Pennant race is all about. Fighting tooth and nail to get the opportunity to play in October. It’s a privilege that MLB and the players have let our viewers be this close to the action at this most crucial and exciting time of the season. You will really get to see the race for October from the inside out,” said Michael Bloom, Senior Vice President, Original Programming, Fox Sports 1.

The eight-part series will debut Monday at 7:30p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.

Fox Sports 1 Set for Launch Saturday

All the fine details are being put in place for the launch Saturday at 6:00a.m. ET of Fox Sports 1.

Fox announced today this it has secured carriage agreements with every major U.S. video provider, making Saturday’s launch one of the largest ever.  Deals with Time Warner Cable, DirecTV, and Dish Network were secured yesterday.

“We are thrilled that virtually all pay-television customers across America will have access to FOX Sports 1,” said Mike Hopkins, President, Distribution, Fox Networks.  “This network launch is a major milestone for Fox and will alter the sports television landscape.  We are grateful to our distribution partners for making this all possible.”

Fox also listed its full first day schedule (all times ET; L denotes Live):

Time                                       Event/Program

6:00-7:00 AM                        FOX COLLEGE FOOTBALL KICKOFF
7:00-7:30 AM                        FANTASTIC FINISHES
7:30-8:00 AM                        FANTASTIC FINISHES
8:00-8:30 AM                        NASCAR LIVE (L)
8:30-9:30 AM                        NASCAR SPRINT CUP PRACTICE (L)
9:30-11:00 AM                     NCWTS QUALIFYING (L)
12:00-12:30 PM                   NCWTS SETUP (L)
12:30-2:30 PM                     NCWTS RACING (L)
2:30-3:00 PM                        FOX SPORTS 1-ON-1: STRAHAN-BRADY
3:00-3:30 PM                        FANTASTIC FINISHES
3:30-4:30 PM                        FOX COLLEGE FOOTBALL KICKOFF
4:30-5:00 PM                        UFC ULTIMATE INSIDER
5:00-6:00 PM                        UFC FIGHT NIGHT PREFIGHT: SHOGUN VS. SONNEN (L)
6:00-8:00 PM                        UFC FIGHT NIGHT PRELIMS: SHOGUN VS. SONNEN (L)
8:00-11:00 PM                     UFC FIGHT NIGHT: SHOGUN VS. SONNEN (L)
11:00 PM-2:00 AM              FOX SPORTS LIVE (L)

Sports Media Weekly No. 160- Ken Schott, Schenectady Daily Gazette, David Wanger, Fox Sports & David Berson, CBS Sports

We have another jam-packed version of Sports Media Weekly this week.

Joining Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and me for our news segment is Ken Schott, TV-Radio Columnist for the Schenectady Daily Gazette.

We begin the show looking at the upcoming launch this Saturday of Fox Sports 1.  We all give our opinion as to what we can expect from the new sports network as well as looking at the prospect of Fox Sports 1 reaching its goal of launching in 90 million homes with the news that Time Warner Cable, DirecTV and Dish Network have signed carriage agreements today with Fox.

We follow last week’s news of Fox securing the rights to USGA events by discussing the report that Fox is looking to tap Greg Norman as the network’s lead analyst when it begins coverage of USGA events in 2015.

We move on to the world of NBC Sports as we look forward to the network’s coverage of the English Premier League.  The new season begins Saturday with NBC televising all league games across a myriad of networks.

We then look at the breaking news from The Big Lead that Jason Whitlock will soon be returning to ESPN in a multi-platform role.  Another case of a former disgruntled ESPN employee coming back home.

We conclude our news segment looking at how a local New York capital region sports talk show host got swindled by an impostor posing as former Yankee and current minor league coach Shane Spencer.

Ken had the opportunity this week to speak with two sports network executives.  Ken first talks with Bill Wanger, Senior Vice President of Programming and Research at Fox Sports.  The two discuss the launch this Saturday of Fox Sports 1.

Ken then speaks with David Berson, President of CBS Sports.  Among the topics Ken and David touch upon is how the CBS Sports Network plans to compete with ESPN, NBC Sports Network and Fox Sports 1.

Sports Media Digest- August 13, 2013

ESPN Re-Signs Cohn and Spake

ESPN today announced that it has re-signed longtime SportsCenter anchor Linda Cohn and reporter/host Shannon Spake to new contracts.

Cohn has been with ESPN since 1992 and will continue to serve as host of SportsCenter and will also host select Rangers pre-and post-game shows for ESPN New York 98.7.

Spake has been with the network since 2006 and will serve a sideline reporter for ESPN and ABC college football games and for Super Tuesday SEC and SEC Tournament basketball games, as well as hosting NASCAR Now and contributing reports to SportsCenter.

“We are pleased to retain two personalities who enhance our accomplished assembly of studio and on-site personalities,” said Mark Gross, Senior Vice President & Executive Producer, Production. “Linda’s experience and versatility will be key as we prepare to move into our newest SportsCenterstudio next year, while Shannon brings a hands-on enthusiasm to our college game coverage and NASCAR programming.”

Fox Sports 1 Announces Launch of “Wide World of Sports”-Type Show

Fox Sports 1 announced today the launch of a new program patterned after ABC’s Wide World of Sports.

The Jones and Moseley Show will take viewers to some of the most exiting and innovative sporting events across the world.

Former NFL player Dhani Jones and Olympic gold medalist Jonny Moseley will host the show.

“It’s a true cavalcade of events from throughout the world,” said Melissa Forman, Executive Producer of The Jones and Moseley Show. “Combined with our high-tech studio and appealing co-hosts, this show brings together unique sports, extreme daredevil acts, championship play and adventure travel with irreverent humor, relevant information and raw emotion.”

The Jones and Moseley Show debuts on Fox Sports 1 August 25th at 6:00p.m. ET. Future episodes will air September 1st, September 15th, and September 29th.

Fox Sports Announces Talent Line-Up for Fox Sports Live

Fox SportsFox Sports today announced its roster of talent that will work on its nightly news show Fox Sports Live which will debut on Fox Sports 1 on August 17th.

Announced earlier this spring was the hiring of Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole to anchor the telecast.  Charissa Thompson will serve as host of a nightly panel of sports analysts which include former NBA star Gary Payton, NFL players Donovan McNab and Ephraim Salaam and tennis legend Andy Roddick.

Breaking news and updates come throughout the day from Don Bell and Ryan Field, with contributions from correspondents Molly McGrath and Julie Stewart-Binks.

“We are so excited to welcome Gary, Donovan and Ephraim to Fox Sports and we’re thrilled to have Charissa back in the family,” said FOX Sports Executive Vice President, Studio Production, Scott Ackerson. “The group officially unveiled today, with Andy, represents some of the best in their fields, and we are confident that they’ll provide a fresh, unique perspective to the sports news of the day, creating engaging and entertaining television.”