Sports Media Weekly No. 174- John Ourand, Sports Business Journal

After a week off for the holiday Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I are back for another edition of Sports Media Weekly.

Joining Ken and me this week is John Ourand from Sports Business Journal.

We start the show by looking back at the big sports media story from a week ago, the news that Rogers Communications has won the sole national NHL media rights in Canada away from TSN and CBC.  We look at the impact the deal will have in Canada as well as what it may mean for sports rights deals here in the U.S.A.

We move on to the NFL and the news from Fox Sports that it has already sold its entire ad inventory for February’s Super Bowl XLVIII.  The news proves once again that football is king on TV and with sponsors.

We look back at the spectacular weekend of college football and, in particular, CBS’ coverage of the Alabama/Auburn Iron Bowl.  We all give kudos to CBS for its coverage of the game and striking the right tone both in pictures and in words from Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson, and Tracey Wolfson.

As ESPN prepares for coverage of its final World Cup for a while we discuss the potential U.S. rights fee battle for the UEFA Champions League matches.  Fox Sports currently holds the rights, but ESPN and NBC are looking to snatch the package away.

We wrap the show by discussing Deadspin’s purchase of a baseball Hall of Fame vote and how that may shake out.

Sports Media Digest- September 26, 2013

Steve Sabol to be Next Profile on NFLN’s A Football Life

The NFL Network (NFLN) has announced that the next edition of its documentary series A Football Life will profile the life of former NFL Films President Steve Sabol.  Sabol passed away last year after a battle with cancer.

Steve Sabol: A Football Life will feature footage from classic NFL Films movies and interviews, family photos and old films of Steve, and time spent at home and with his family. Additionally, throughout the show, NFL Films employees read thousands of emails which were sent to Steve following his seizure in 2011, and individuals who Steve reached out to and inspired share their memories. It is a film about Steve told by those who knew him best – family, friends, co-workers – and those who didn’t know him at all.

Following the documentary Rich Eisen will narrate A Football Life: Backstory, a 30-minute show that provides a deeper look into the life and story of Steve Sabol.

Steve Sabol: A Football Life debuts Tuesday, October 1st, at 9:00p.m. ET.

NBCSN To Launch New NHL Programs

In preparation for the new NHL season, NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) announced it will launch two new NHL programs. Both will debut on Wednesday, October 9th beginning at 10:30p.m. ET.

NHL Rivals will delve into the history between many of the teams featured on NBCSN’s Wednesday Night Rivalry matchups, as told by current and former players, broadcasters and writers.

NHL Top 10, which will premiere each week following NHL Rivals, will examine some of the most timeless debates hockey fans have discussed for decades. The weekly countdown program will run the gamut of hockey “bests,” including top goal-scorers and U.S.-born players, as well as the toughest places to play in the NHL and top Olympic moments. It will feature commentary and analysis from current and former players, broadcasters and writers.

ESPN Reports Ratings and Viewership Increases for Sunday Night Baseball

The Sunday Night Baseball series on ESPN is over for the season and the network reports a gain in ratings and viewership over 2012.

Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN averaged a 1.3 U.S. household rating, up eight percent from a 1.2 rating in 2012. Additionally, Sunday Night Baseball averaged 1,896,000 viewers, which is up six percent compared to 1,784,000 in 2012.

Larry King, Colin Cowherd, and Jeremy Schapp Tabbed to Fill In for Olbermann

ESPN announced today a slate of guest hosts who will fill-in for Keith Olbermann on his weeknight program on ESPN2 when he takes a leave of absence to work as a studio host for TBS’ coverage of the Major League Baseball post season.

The network announced that former CNN host Larry King will host the show from October 1st through October 3rd. Jeremy Schapp will host from October 8th through October 10th while ESPN Radio host Colin Cowherd will host from October 15th through October 17th.

Olbermann is designed specifically around Keith’s one-of-a-kind personality so having a guest host like Larry, who can deliver a similar level of editorial expertise and intellectual commentary to entertain sports fans, fits the bill perfectly,” said Norby Williamson, executive vice president, programming and acquisitions.  “Larry is so popular and well-known to television viewers but being able to bring them his unique perspective on sports topics is a new twist and we’re excited to have him.”
“I am a great admirer of Keith Olbermann who I think is the quintessential sports host,” said King.  “Sports have always been my avocation – they’re part of my being.  Having the chance to come back to my hometown of New York and host Keith’s show for several days is a terrific joy for me and a return to my first love.”
“Both Jeremy and Colin have distinctive personalities and points of view that will bring a different perspective to the program while Keith is away,” said Jamie Horowitz, vp of original programming and production.  “While we’ll certainly miss Keith in the coming weeks, we’re also looking forward to producing some fun and entertaining shows for sports fans with our guest hosts.”

2013-2014 NHL Schedule on NBC Sports

The NHL unveiled its 2013-2014 regular season schedule today and NBC followed through with its slate of games on NBC and NBC Sports Network (NBCSN.

In total 103 games will be televised on the networks, 13 on NBC and 90 on NBCSN.

Here is the entire schedule on the networks of NBC, beginning October 1st:

NBC Sports Group 2013-14 NHL regular-season schedule (subject to change):

Date Away Home Network
Tues., Oct. 1 Washington Chicago NBCSN
Wed., Oct. 2 Buffalo Detroit NBCSN
Thurs., Oct. 3 Los Angeles Minnesota NBCSN
Tues., Oct. 8 Tampa Bay Buffalo NBCSN
Wed., Oct. 9 Chicago St. Louis NBCSN
Mon., Oct. 14 Minnesota Buffalo NBCSN
Tues., Oct. 15 San Jose St. Louis NBCSN
Wed., Oct. 16 NY Rangers Washington NBCSN
Mon., Oct. 21 Colorado Pittsburgh NBCSN
Tues., Oct. 22 Nashville Minnesota NBCSN
Wed., Oct. 23 Boston Buffalo NBCSN
Mon., Oct. 28 Montreal NY Rangers NBCSN
Tues., Oct. 29 Tampa Bay New Jersey NBCSN
Wed., Oct. 30 Boston Pittsburgh NBCSN
Mon., Nov. 4 Anaheim NY Rangers NBCSN
Tues., Nov. 5 Philadelphia Carolina NBCSN
Wed., Nov. 6 Pittsburgh NY Rangers NBCSN
Tues., Nov. 12 Phoenix St. Louis NBCSN
Wed., Nov. 13 Philadelphia Pittsburgh NBCSN
Mon., Nov. 18 Anaheim Pittsburgh NBCSN
Tues., Nov. 19 Boston NY Rangers NBCSN
Wed., Nov. 20 Pittsburgh Washington NBCSN
Mon., Nov. 25 Minnesota St. Louis NBCSN
Tues., Nov. 26 Anaheim Dallas NBCSN
Wed., Nov. 27 Boston Detroit NBCSN
Fri., Nov. 29 NY Rangers Boston NBC
Mon., Dec. 2 Philadelphia Minnesota NBCSN
Tues., Dec. 3 Dallas Chicago NBCSN
Wed., Dec. 4 Philadelphia Detroit NBCSN
Mon., Dec. 9 Columbus Pittsburgh NBCSN
Tues., Dec. 10 Nashville NY Rangers NBCSN
Wed., Dec. 11 Philadelphia Chicago NBCSN
Tues., Dec. 17 Washington Philadelphia NBCSN
Wed., Dec. 18 Pittsburgh NY Rangers NBCSN
Mon., Dec. 23 Minnesota Philadelphia NBCSN
Mon., Dec. 30 Los Angeles Chicago NBCSN
Wed., Jan. 1 Toronto Detroit NBC
Sun., Jan. 5 San Jose Chicago NBCSN
Tues., Jan. 7  Philadelphia New Jersey NBCSN
Wed., Jan. 8 NY Rangers Chicago NBCSN
Sun., Jan. 12 Philadelphia NY Rangers NBCSN
Tues., Jan. 14 Philadelphia Buffalo NBCSN
Wed., Jan. 15 Washington Pittsburgh NBCSN
Thurs., Jan. 16 Los Angeles St. Louis NBCSN
Sun., Jan. 19 Boston Chicago NBC
Sun., Jan. 19 Washington NY Rangers NBCSN
Tues., Jan. 21 Minnesota Dallas NBCSN
Wed., Jan. 22 Chicago Detroit NBCSN
Thurs., Jan. 23 Pittsburgh NY Islanders NBCSN
Sat., Jan. 25 Anaheim Los Angeles NBCSN
Sun., Jan. 26 NY Rangers New Jersey NBC
Mon., Jan. 27 Buffalo Pittsburgh NBCSN
Mon., Jan. 27 Los Angeles San Jose NBCSN
Tues., Jan. 28 Washington Buffalo NBCSN
Wed., Jan. 29 NY Rangers NY Islanders NBCSN
Sun., Feb. 2 Detroit Washington NBC
Mon., Feb. 3 Colorado New Jersey NBCSN
Tues., Feb. 4 NY Islanders Washington NBCSN
Wed., Feb. 5 Pittsburgh Buffalo NBCSN
Thurs., Feb. 6 Boston St. Louis NBCSN
Wed., Feb. 26 Boston Buffalo NBCSN
Wed., Feb. 26 Los Angeles Colorado NBCSN
Sat., March 1 Pittsburgh Chicago NBC
Sun., March 2*** Philadelphia Washington NBC
Sun., March 2*** Ottawa Vancouver NBCSN
Sun., March 2*** Boston NY Rangers NBCSN
Mon., March 3 Buffalo Dallas NBCSN
Tues., March 4 Tampa Bay St. Louis NBCSN
Wed., March 5 Washington Philadelphia NBCSN
Sun., March 9 Detroit NY Rangers NBC
Sun., March 9 Chicago Buffalo NBCSN
Tues., March 11 Washington Pittsburgh NBCSN
Wed., March 12 Boston Montreal NBCSN
Sun., March 16 Philadelphia Pittsburgh NBC
Sun., March 16 Detroit Chicago NBCSN
Mon., March 17 Minnesota Boston NBCSN
Tues., March 18 Chicago Philadelphia NBCSN
Wed., March 19 St. Louis Chicago NBCSN
Sun., March 23 Minnesota Detroit NBCSN
Mon., March 24 Montreal Boston NBCSN
Tues., March 25 Detroit Columbus NBCSN
Wed., March 26 Philadelphia NY Rangers NBCSN
Sun., March 30 Boston Philadelphia NBC
Sun., March 30 Chicago Pittsburgh NBCSN
Mon., March 31 Florida New Jersey NBCSN
Mon., March 31 Minnesota Los Angeles NBCSN
Tues., April 1 Philadelphia St. Louis NBCSN
Wed., April 2 Boston Detroit NBCSN
Wed., April 2 Phoenix Los Angeles NBCSN
Thurs., April 3 Minnesota Chicago NBCSN
Thurs., April 3 Los Angeles San Jose NBCSN
Fri., April 4 Washington New Jersey NBCSN
Sun., April 6 St. Louis Chicago NBC
Sun., April 6 Buffalo Philadelphia NBCSN
Tues., April 8 Washington St. Louis NBCSN
Wed., April 9 Detroit Pittsburgh NBCSN
Wed., April 9 San Jose Anaheim NBCSN
Thurs., April 10 St. Louis Minnesota NBCSN
Fri., April 11 NY Islanders New Jersey NBCSN
Sat., April 12 Philadelphia Pittsburgh NBC
Sat., April 12 Chicago Nashville NBCSN
Sun., April 13 Detroit St. Louis NBC

Sports Media Weekly No. 154- Paul Banks, Chicago Media Watch

It’s a Boston and Chicago feel to this week’s Sports Media Weekly.

Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I are joined this week by Paul Banks of Chicago Sports Media Watch and The Sports Bank.net.

We begin the show by looking back at the events this week where an Atlanta sports talk morning show crossed the line in producing a skit featuring former New Orleans Saints player Steve Gleason, who is suffering from ALS.  The trio were fired as a result of their poor judgement.

We move to the NBA Finals as we all give our thoughts of the coverage thus far on the part of ESPN and ABC.  We also delve into the chess match that has been playing out each game between sideline reporter Doris Burke and Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich.

We then move to NFL news; namely the announcement that the Cincinnati Bengals will once again be spotlighted on HBO’s Hard Knocks and the news that former NFL executive Scott Pioli will be joining the cast of NBC’s Football Night in America.

We wrap the show looking at the NHL Stanley Cup Finals;  the viewership success for NBC and the NBC Sports Network as well as the local media reaction in both Chicago and Boston to the success of the Blackhawks and Bruins.

NHL Action on NBC

It’s the final week of the NHL season and the networks of NBC will provide extensive coverage through Sunday.  Here is the schedule, along with announcer assignments and the network each game will be telecast:

Wed., April 24 NHL Live 6:30 p.m. NBCSN
Wed., April 24 Los Angeles at Detroit
Mike Emrick, Ed Olczyk, Pierre McGuire
7:30 p.m. NBCSN
Wed., April 24 San Jose at Phoenix
Randy Hahn, Drew Remenda, Brodie Brazil
10 p.m. NBCSN
Thurs., April 25 NHL Live 6:30 p.m. NBCSN
Thurs., April 25 Pittsburgh at New Jersey
Dave Strader, Brian Engblom
7:30 p.m. NBCSN
Thurs., April 25 NHL Overtime 11:30 p.m. NBCSN
Fri., April 26 NHL Live 6:30 p.m. NBCSN
Fri., April 26 Calgary at Chicago
Pat Foley, Ed Olczyk
8:30 p.m. NBCSN
Fri., April 26 NHL Overtime 11:30 p.m. NBCSN
Sat., April 27 New Jersey at New York
Mike Emrick, Ed Olczyk, Pierre McGuire
3 p.m. NBC
Sat., April 27 Detroit-Dallas
Dave Strader, Brian Engblom
7 p.m. NBCSN
Sat., April 27 San Jose-Los Angeles
Randy Hahn, Drew Remenda, Brodie Brazil
10:30 p.m. NBCSN
Sun., April 28 Ottowa-Boston 7 p.m. NBCSN

Emotional Bruins Return Receives Strong Numbers for NBCSN

NBC Sports reports today that last night’s NHL game on the NBC Sports Network between the Buffalo Sabres and Boston Bruins, the first home game for a Boston-based team following Monday’s bombing at the Boston Marathon, received strong viewership numbers.

From NBC PR:

 NBC Sports Network’s Wednesday Night Rivalry telecast featuring the Buffalo Sabres against the Boston Bruins resulted in record-setting regular-season viewership.

NBC Sports Network’s coverage of the Sabres dramatic 3-2 shootout victory against the Bruins on Wednesday night, drew 847,000 viewers and peaked at more than 1.1 million viewers.

• The telecast was the fourth most watched single regular-season game in NBC Sports Network history and was up 84% vs. NBC Sports Network’s 2011-12 exclusive time period average.

• NBC Sports Network was a top 10 cable network for the 7:30-10:15 p.m. ET time period among M18-49 (No. 7) and M25-54 (No. 8).

NBC Sports Network’s 13 Wednesday Night Rivalry NHL games have averaged 662,000 average viewers up 49% above NBC Sports Network’s 2011-12 Wednesday night exclusive game average.

• Through 49 games, the NHL on NBC Sports Network has drawn 415,000 average viewers, up 25% from last year’s full regular season average (332,000).


In Boston, Sabres-Bruins on NBC Sports Network received a 7.9 HH rating, which was the third highest-rated regular-season Bruins game ever on NBC Sports Network (behind Boston’s two games vs. Montreal this season 9.26 on 3/3/13 and 8.51 on 3/27/13).

• The game was up 77% from the Bruins’ 2011-12 regular season average on NBCSN in the market.

• NBC Sports Network was the No. 1 rated network overall in Boston during the 7:30-10:15 time period.


In Buffalo, Sabres-Bruins on NBC Sports Network received a 9.0 HH rating and was the No. 1 rated network overall during the 7:30-10:15 time period.

NHL Action on NBC

NBC Sports once again has a packed schedule of NHL action this week.  Here is the schedule, along with announcer assignments:

Wed., April 17 NHL Live 6:30 p.m. NBCSN
Wed., April 17 Buffalo at Boston
Mike Emrick, Ed Olczyk, Pierre McGuire
7:30 p.m. NBCSN
Wed., April 17 NHL Overtime 11:30 p.m. NBCSN
Thurs., April 18 NHL Live 6:30 p.m. NBCSN
Thurs., April 18 New Jersey at Philadelphia
Dave Strader, Brian Engblom
7:30 p.m. NBCSN
Thurs., April 18 NHL Overtime 11:30 p.m. NBCSN
Fri., April 19 Nashville at Chicago
Pat Foley, Ed Olczyk
8:30 p.m. NBCSN
Sat., April 20 Washington at Montreal
Craig Laughlin, Al Koken
7 p.m. NBCSN
Sun., April 21 New Jersey at New York
Mike Emrick, Ed Olczyk, Pierre McGuire
3 p.m. NBC
Sun., April 21 NHL Live 7 p.m. NBCSN
Sun., April 21 St. Louis at Colorado
Gord Miller, Brian Engblom
7:30 p.m. NBCSN
Mon., April 22 NHL Live 6:30 p.m. NBCSN
Mon., April 22 Phoenix at Detroit
John Forslund, Pierre McGuire
7:30 p.m. NBCSN
Mon., April 22 NHL Overtime 11:30 p.m. NBCSN
Tues., April 23 NHL Live 6:30 p.m. NBCSN
Tues., April 23 Boston at Philadelphia
Dave Strader, Brian Engblom
7:30 p.m. NBCSN
Tues., April 23 Dallas at San Jose
Randy Hahn, Drew Remenda, Brodie Brazil
10:00 p.m. NBCSN