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Sports Media Digest- March 14, 2013

SiriusXM Radio’s Coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament– SiriusXM Radio will be broadcasting every game of the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament. Action can be heard on Sirius channels 91, 92, 93, 94 and 85 and XM channels 91, 190, 191, 192 and 85. Tournament match-ups and SiriusXM channel assignments will be available at www.siriusxm.com/collegesports starting Monday, March 18.

Strong Viewership Numbers in February for Big Ten Network– The prime time ratings during the month of February on the Big Ten Network (BTN) was the best ever for the network.  Fueled by Big Ten college basketball, the numbers were up 20% over February of 2012 and up over the record ratings the network experienced in January.

Fans to Determine Greatest Play in NFL History Through Bracket Tournament on NFL.com–  NFL fans can vote for the greatest play in NFL history through a bracket-type exercise on NFL.com.  The 64-NFL play bracket is comprised of 41 offensive plays, 13 defensive plays, seven special team plays, and three plays in which an offensive player performs a defensive act. Eleven Super Bowl plays are among the field selected.  Fans can start voting on the round of 64 on Monday, March 18 at nfl.com/bracketology. The Championship round will conclude on Monday, April 8 when the greatest play in NFL history will be crowned.

NASCAR Sprint Cup from Bristol on Fox-  The next stop in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series will originate from Bristol Motor Speedway and be telecast on Fox this Sunday.  Pre-race coverage begins at 12:30p.m. ET with Chris Myers and Darrell and Michael Waltrip.  Darell Waltrip will join Mike Joy and Larry McReynolds in the booth for the call of the race. Steve Byrnes, Krista Voda and Matt Yocum patrol the pits for reports on teams and pit while Jeff Hammond serves as the roaming reporter.

Fox Soccer to Telecast CONCACAF Gold Cup–  Fox Sports has announced that Fox Soccer Channel will be the home to the 25 matches of the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup this summer.  Coverage begins July 7th with a double header from the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

Fox Soccer has Premier League Twin Bill Sunday–  Fox Soccer will telecast a pair of Premier League matches this Sunday.  The opener kicks-off at 9:00a.m. ET with Fullam at Tottenham.  Chelsea and West Ham will battle at 11:30a.m. ET.

Boxing Saturday Night on HBO–  HBO Sports will produce another World Championship Boxing telecast Saturday night at 10:15p.m. ET featuring Timothy Bradley Jr. VS. Ruslan Provodnikov and Jessie Vargas vs. Wale Omotoso.

Sports Media Digest- March 7, 2013

NBC Sports Network Continues to Rid the Success of the Blackhawks–  NBC Sports announced today that last night’s NHL telecast on the NBC Sports Network between the Chicago Blackhawks a and the Colorado Avalanche had an average audience of 720,000 viewers, up 57% over the NHL telecast from last year.  The Blackhawks also gave NBC its best-ever audience for a single regular-season game (excluding Winter Classics) with a audience of  1.9 million viewers for Sunday’s game with the Red Wings.

NFL.com to Start Producing Weekly Draft Show–  NFL Digital announced that a new NFL Draft special will be produced weekly over on NFL.com.  NFL.com LIVE: Mock Draft Weekly will be produced beginning tomorrow at 1:00p.m. ET and every Friday until April 19th.  The 30-minute show will feature host Matt Smith and former NFL scouts Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks.  Former NFL linebacker Akbar Gbajabiamila NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock will also make appearances.

CBS Sports Network to Produce Documentary on 1988 Kansas Jayhawks–  The CBS Sports Network has produced a one-hour documentary looking back at the championship run of the 1988 Kansas Jayhawks.  The Miracles: The 1988 Kansas Jayhawks, will debut Monday at 8:00p.m. ET.

The Fight Game with Jim Lampley Returns Saturday on HBO–  Following its coverage of boxing Saturday night, HBO Sports will produce a live edition of The Fight Game with Jim Lampley. Coverage begins at 11:30p.m. ET with a satellite interview with welterweight titleholder Timothy Bradley, who returns to the ring March 16 for the first time since defeating Manny Pacquiao; a recap of Bernard Hopkins’ quest to win a world title at age 48; a new “Gatti List”; and the show’s version of the pound-for-pound rankings.

Super Bowl XLVII Online Tops 3 Million Streams

CBS Sports and the NFL announced today that online viewership of Super Bowl XLVII, the second year the game could be viewed on a computer or mobile device, topped 3 million streams across CBS Sports.com, NFL.com and NFL Mobile on Verizon Wireless.

Last year’s game between the Patriots and Giants registered over 2 million streams.

Viewers generated nearly 10 million live video streams, up more than 100 percent from last year, resulting in a record 114.4 million minutes streamed, which was up 46 percent over last year’s game.

“Our live stream of Super Bowl XLVII not only set online viewership and social-media records but set the standard for a second-screen sports experience,” said Jim Lanzone, president of CBS Interactive. “Our goal was to create an environment that would serve as the perfect complement to CBS Sports’ coverage of the game. We’re extremely proud of this historic experience.”

“This year’s record-setting engagement demonstrates that our fans are always looking for more ways to engage with NFL content,” said Hans Schroeder, NFL senior vice president of media strategy and development.

Sports Media Digest- July 24, 2012

ESPN Sees Highest Ratings for Open Championship-  ESPN announced today that the ratings for this past weekend’s Open Championship were the highest since it began airing event.  Sunday’s final round earned a 3.6 household coverage rating,  up 38 percent over last year.  Saturday’s telecast  earned a 3.1 rating,  up 48 percent from 2011.  ESPN’s telecasts of the opening rounds on Thursday and Friday also saw double-digit increases.

NBC Sports Network to Produce Morning Highlights Show-  NBC Sports announced that the NBC Sports Network will be producing The ‘Lights, a new morning highlights show.  The ‘Lights will be produced as a 20-minute sports report, and will not feature an on-camera anchor or set. The show will use a unique presentation of simultaneous video clips, graphics and voiceovers to deliver the scores and information. The ‘Lights will repeat every 20 minutes, from 7:00-9:00 a.m. ET, and will be updated as necessary.  The program debuts August 13th.

NFL.Com to Offer Fans Access to Coaches Video-  NFL.com will be putting the coaches video of every game online through the NFL Game Pass and NFL Game Rewind products.  Two exclusive camera angles, “All-22” and “High End Zone” views, will be available for every play in 2012, as well as every play from the archived 2011 season.  The video will be accompanied with a telestrator function which will allow fans to analyze plays by drawing over a still frame with a touch of a finger and then sharing their commentary with friends.  The league also announced that its full range of subscription products will be made available on the iPad and select Android tablets.

Nantz to Receive National Association of Basketball Coaches Foundation Award-  CBS’ Jim Nantz will be the recipient of the National Association of Basketball Coaches Foundation Court of Honor Award at a ceremony in NEw York on September 17th.  The Court of Honor Award is presented to an individual who has roots in college basketball, values those roots, and has gone on to distinguish himself in his profession, exhibiting the highest standards of leadership.

Sports Media Digest- March 27, 2012

NBC Announces Official Information on NFL Season Kick-Off- The news of the date was announced last month, but NBC and the NFL have announced more details on the opener to the 2012 NFL season.  The game will be played Wednesday, September 5th as the Super Bowl champion New York Giants host the Dallas Cowboys.  NBC will begin coverage at 7:30p.m. ET with its pre-game show NFL Kickoff 2012 with kick-off at 8:30 p.m. ET.

Golf Channel Signs Three-Year Extension To Air Kraft Nabisco Championship-  The Golf Channel has signed a three year extension with the LPGA for the exclusive television rights of the first LPGA major of the year, the Kraft Nabisco Championship.  The network provided coverage of the event last year, and had the highest first round rating for the tournament in 18 years.  The Golf Channel begins coverage of this year’s event Thursday and Friday at Noon ET and Saturday and Sunday at 4:30p.m. ET.

NBA TV Has Record Viewership for First Quarter-  NBA TV has announced that its first quarter viewership was the highest in the history of the network.  Through 73 games on the network the audience reached 344,000 total viewers (+36%) and 270,000 households, up 36% each from a year ago.  Viewership for NBA TV’s Fan Night telecasts were up 22% over 2011.

NBA on TNT Double Header Thursday-  TNT is set for this week’s Thursday NBA double header. The opener at 8:00p.m. ET will pit the Dallas Mavericks at the Miami Heat in a 2011 Finals rematch Kevin Harlan will be courtside along with Reggie Miller and Craig Sager. The second game of the night  at 10:30p.m. ET will see the Oklahoma City Thunder travels to Los Angeles to take on the Lakers. Marv Albert, Mike Fratello and Cheryl Miller will have the call.  Thus far this season the ratings for TNT’s Thursday night twin bills are up 13% over last year.

Nantz to Receive Coaches Award- CBS lead announcer Jim Nantz will be honored this weekend as the recipient of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Metropolitan Award. The award has been given out since 1941 an honors those who provide long and outstanding service to men’s college basketball.  Nantz will receive his award Sunday at a ceremony in New Orleans.

NFL Media Properties Get Re-Branded Logos-  The NFL has announced that many of the various media properties under the control of the league are getting new logos.  The NFL Network, NFL Red Zone, NFL.com, NFL Mobile, and NFL Films will all have similar looks incorporating the updated NFL shield.  Here are the new and old logos:

Sports Media Digest- March 22, 2012

ESPN to Produce a Special Prime Time Tebow-Themed Edition of First Take ESPN is hopping on the Tim Tebow to New Yorks Jets bandwagon by producing a special prime time edition of First Take that will air tomorrow night.  Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith will co-host First Take- #TebowTakesManhattan beginning at 7:00p.m. ET.  The duo will discuss Tebow’s possible with the Jets “both sensible and senseless”.

News on Manning, Tebow, Saints Drive Viewers to NFL Media Properties-  The strong news week in the NFL…the signing of Peyton Manning in Denver, the trading of Tim Tebow to the Jets, and the stiff suspensions for members of the Saints resulted in strong numbers for the NFL Network and NFL.com. Viewership on the NFL Network on Monday-Tuesday jumped 235 percent over the comparable Mon-Tues. last March, including a 213 percent increase in primetime viewership with an average of 216,000 viewers.  Wednesday’s overnight ratings spiked 333 percent over last year. NFL.com, NFL Mobile Only From Verizon and other NFL mobile products — posted a 502 percent increase in page views compared to the comparable Mon.-Wed time period last March.

MLB Network to Air Opening Japan Series-  The MLB Network will be providing coverage as the Seattle Mariners and the Oakland A’s open up the 2012 regular season in Japan.  The opening two-game series will air on tape delay, with the first game on Wednesday, March 28 at 9:00 a.m. ET and the second game on Thursday, March 29 at 9:00 a.m. ET.  MLB Network will televise ROOT Sports’ feed of both games, which will be available on MLB Network in the Athletics’ home television territory.  The games will be blacked out on MLB Network in the Mariners’ home television territory.

NBA Twin Bills for ESPN Friday and Sunday-  ESPN will have NBA double header action tomorrow and Sunday.  It all kicks-off at 8:00p.m. tomoor night as Mike Breen and Hubie Brown call the Celtics at 76’ers.  Tomorrow’s nightcap features the Jazz and Nuggets at 10:30p.m. ET with  Mark Jones and Chris Mullin calling the game.  Sunday’s action begins at 8:00p.m. as Miami Heat visit the Oklahoma City Thunder.  Mike Tirico, Jeff Van Gundy and reporter Lisa Salters will be on hand.  The finale at 10:30p.m. will pit the Grizzlies at the Lakers.  Dan Shulman, Chris Mullin and Heather Cox will provide commentary.

NASCAR This Weekend on Fox-  Fox Sports is again getting set for the next stop on the NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule with production of the Fontana for Auto Club 400 beginning this Sunday at 2:30p.m.  Mike Joy will call the action with Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReyolds.  Chris Myers will be joined by Darrell and Michael Waltrip for pre-race analysis.

MLS On ESPN This Sunday-  ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN3 will have coverage of Major League Soccer this Sunday as the New York Red Bulls host the Colorado Rapids. Kick-off is at 4:00 p.m. ET with  Adrian Healey and Taylor Twellman on the call.  Alexi Lalas will be on-site for studio analysis, joining Healey and Twellman at halftime.

NBC Sports Group Hires New SVP of Talent-  The NBC Sports Group has promoted Princell Hair to serve as Senior Vice President, News and Talent, for the NBC Sports Group.  Hair will oversee all talent recruitment, negotiation and development for the NBC Sports Group, including NBC Sports, NBC Sports Network, Golf Channel, and the 11 Comcast Regional Sports Networks, while also consulting with NBC Sports Digital. In addition, Hair will oversee the NBC Sports Group’s newsgathering operations and news strategy. Prior to his pormotion Hair was the Senior Vice President of New Operations for the Comcast Sports Group.

NBC Sports Group/Universal Sports

Sports Media Digest- March 13, 2012

Big Ten Teams in the NCAA Tournament to be Followed by the Big Ten Network-  The Big Ten Network (BTN) will provide expanded coverage of the 16 men’s and women’s basketball teams competing in post-season play.  Six men’s and seven women’s teams are in the NCAA Tournament.  Three other men’s teams are in the NIT.  Dave Revsine, Rick Pizzo and Mike Hall will alternate as hosts and be joined by analysts Jim Jackson, Gary Williams, Stephanie White, Keno Davis, Shon Morris, Tim Doyle and Mike DeCourcy on nightly episodes of Big Ten Basketball and Beyond: Tournament Edition.  BTN will also provide live coverage of post game press conferences featuring the Big Ten teams.  Show schedules can be found here.

President Obama Selects Final Four-  President Barack Obama today completed his brackets for the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments.  In the men’s tourney the President’s Final Four consist of Kentucky, Ohio State, Missouri, and North Carolina.  On the women’s side the President chose Baylor, St. John’s,  UConn, and Notre Dame.  The President’s complete men’s bracket will be unveiled on ESPN SportsCenter tomorrow at 9:00a.m. ET.  His women’s slections will be unveiled on the Friday 9:00a.m. SportsCenter.

40th Anniversary of Title IX to be Celebrated on ESPN-  ESPN has developed a series of initiatives to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Title IX, which created parody in athletics for females.  The Power of IX will explore the current and future landscape of women in athletics.  The multi-platform initiative will begin on espnW on March 26th and conclude on June 23rd, the anniversary of when Title IX was passed into law.  SportsCenter will count down the top 40 female athletes of the last 40 years beginning April 30, with the top athlete revealed on June 23.  ESPN the Magazine will also delve deeply into the subject. The Power of IX will include perspectives and participation from a number of contributors including Katie Couric, Robin Roberts, Julie Foudy, Bonnie D. Ford, Steve Wulf, Kate Fagan, Sarah Spain, Luke Cyphers, Jane McManus and Jessica Mendoza.

NFL.com To Offer “Bracket” of Top Super Bowl Teams-  Jumping onto the “bracket fever”, NFL.com has come up with its own bracket which will pit the top 64 teams to compete in the Super Bowl.  The No. 1 seeds in this tournament are the ’72 Dolphins, ’78 Steelers, ’85 Bears, and ’89 49ers.

Bob Papa Added to Golf Channel Announcing Team-  The Golf Channel today announced that veteran announcer Bob Papa has joined the network. Papa will serve as a play-by-play host at select events for the network’s coverage of the PGA TOUR and Champions Tour, beginning this week at the Toshiba Classic in Newport Beach, Calif.  Papa, who serves as the radio play-by-play voice for the New York Giants and was once the lead announcer for Thursday Night Football on NFL Network, will assume Golf Channel play-by-play responsibilities at the Encompass Insurance Pro-Am of Tampa Bay on the Champions Tour and three events on the PGA TOUR – the HP Byron Nelson ChampionshipFedEx St. Jude Classic and the Travelers Championship.

Golf Channel Opens Up Its Domestic Coverage of the LPGA Tour-  The Golf Channel this week kicks off the3 first of 23 LPGA events this season. Golf Channel’s live coverage of the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup will take place Thursday-Friday from 6:30-8:30 p.m. ET, followed by live weekend coverage from 4-7 p.m. ET.  The Golf Channel will also provide coverage of two majors, the Kraft Nabisco Championship on March 29th- April 1st and the Wegmans LPGA Championship June 7th-10th.

NFL Network Sees Ratings Boost for Hall of Fame Inductions

The NFL Network is touting that more people than ever tuned in to view this year’s Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony from Canton,OH.

Aa average of 513,000 fans tuned into the coverage Saturday night, up 16% over last year’s ceremony.

NFL.com’s coverage of the festivities drew a 56% increase in unique users over the 2010 inductions.