Sports Illustrated

Sports Media Digest- October 16, 2013

SEC Football Fairing Well on CBS

CBS Sports reports today that through five games its series of SEC football games is averaging a 4.6 rating and 7.3 million viewers, the highest rated and most watched games since CBS began its SEC-only schedule in 2001.

The 4.6 rating and 7.3 million viewers are 48% and 49% above 2012’s numbers.

Fox Still Seeing Strong Numbers for ALCS

Fox Sports announced today that through three games of the American League Championship Series, the network is averaging a 4.4 rating and 6.9 million viewers, a 26% increase over the network’s coverage of the NLCS in 2012.  The rating is also the highest for the ALCS on Fox since the 2009 series between the Yankees and Angels.

Tuesday’s game three had a rating of 3.7 and an audience of  5.6 million viewers, up 37% from the NLCS of 2012.

TBS Seeing Viewership Gains for NLCS

Turner Sports reports that TBS’ coverage of the National League Championship Series is seeing viewership gains over the last time the network covered the NLCS in 2011.

Through four games TBS  is averaging a 3.2 rating and five million total viewers, up 23% and 22% compared with a 2.6  rating and 4.1 million total viewers for the same number of games in 2011.

NFL Action Still Ruling the Roost

The NFL is still the top draw in the television ratings world.  For the past week NFL games were the number one rated program in 28 of the 30 NFL markets:

Week of 10/7-10/13  

 

HH

HH

RTG

Market Game

Date

RTG

SHR

Rank

New Orleans Saints at Patriots 10/13/2013 52.8 73

1

Kansas City Raiders at Chiefs 10/13/2013 42.1 72

1

Milwaukee Packers at Ravens 10/13/2013 40.9 75

1

Denver Jaguars at Broncos 10/13/2013 40.3 75

1

Pittsburgh Steelers at Jets 10/13/2013 35.7 65

1

Dallas Redskins at Cowboys 10/13/2013 35.3 52

1

Boston Saints at Patriots 10/13/2013 35.1 62

1

Seattle Titans at Seahawks 10/13/2013 34.4 66

1

Washington, DC Redskins at Cowboys 10/13/2013 33.3 52

1

Cincinnati Bengals at Bills 10/13/2013 32.4 57

1

Buffalo Bengals at Bills 10/13/2013 32.1 62

1

Cleveland Lions at Browns 10/13/2013 30.8 59

1

Baltimore Packers at Ravens 10/13/2013 28.6 52

1

Minneapolis Panthers at Vikings 10/13/2013 27.5 63

1

Chicago Giants at Bears** 10/10/2013 27.3 42

1

Nashville Titans at Seahawks 10/13/2013 26.8 43

1

Houston Rams at Texans 10/13/2013 24.6 50

1

Philadelphia Eagles at Buccaneers 10/13/2013 24.5 51

1

Charlotte Panthers at Vikings 10/13/2013 24.1 48

1

Phoenix Cardinals at 49ers 10/13/2013 23.1 46

1

Atlanta Jets at Falcons* 10/07/2013 21.6 33

1

San Fran-Oakland Cardinals at 49ers 10/13/2013 21.3 56

1

Tampa Eagles at Buccaneers 10/13/2013 19.9 42

1

Jacksonville Jaguars at Broncos 10/13/2013 19.8 34

1

San Diego Saints at Patriots 10/13/2013 17.8 41

1

Indianapolis Packers at Ravens 10/13/2013 16.3 33

1

New York Steelers at Jets 10/13/2013 13.6 33

1

Miami Saints at Patriots 10/13/2013 13.4 25

1

SI Cover this Week

Sports Illustrated has an exclusive interview with Kobe Bryant.  Bryant graces the cover of this week’s issue:

SI 10-21-13

Sports Media Digest- October 2, 2013

NL Wild Card Ratings Up 15% over 2012

Turner Sports reports that last night National League Wild Card game between the Reds and Pirates averaged a 3.0 rating and 4.6 million total viewers, up 15% over last year’s NL Wild Card game between the Cardinals and Braves.

The game also  won the night across all cable networks among total viewers.

ESPN Sees 14% Increase in Ratings for MLB

With the Major League Baseball regular season complete ESPN reports that its ratings numbers for the 2013 season are up 14% over 2012.

ESPN finished with a 0.8 U.S. household rating in 2013, up from a 0.7 in 2012, according to Nielsen.

Avery Johnson Joins ESPN as NBA Analyst

ESPN announced today that former NBA player and coach Avery Johnson has joined the network as a NBA analyst.

Johnson will provide analysis for NBA Coast 2 Coast and NBA Tonight, while also making regular appearances on SportsCenter and additional ESPN news and information programming.  Johnson will make his in-studio debut on Monday, October 21.

“I have a wealth of knowledge that I’ve accumulated in my 23 years in the NBA as a head coach and point guard and I’m excited to share my insights with NBA fans,” said Johnson. “I’m thrilled to re-join ESPN and work with their talented team.”

New Features for NBA League Pass as it Enters its 20th Season

NBA Digital announced today that there will be some added features to its NBA League Pass is this, its 20th season.

The new features will be available on NBA League Pass Broadband, which is available complimentary to NBA League Pass and as a standalone product.  Additional package options include NBA League Pass Mobile and NBA League Pass Choice, allowing fans to choose up to five teams to watch during the regular season.

NFL Action Still Tops In Ratings

For the fourth season NFL games were the top ranked program in television.  Additionally, NFL action was the top ranked program in 28 of the 30 NFL markets:

Week of 9/23–9/29  

 

HH

HH

RTG

Market Game

Date

RTG

SHR

Rank

Denver Raiders at Broncos* 09/23/2013 44.4 65

1

Kansas City Giants at Chiefs 09/29/2013 39.3 72

1

Seattle Seahawks at Texans 09/29/2013 36.1 68

1

Boston Patriots at Falcons 09/29/2013 34.5 56

1

Indianapolis Colts at Jaguars 09/29/2013 34.0 57

1

Buffalo Ravens at Bills 09/29/2013 33.7 64

1

Minneapolis Steelers at Vikings 09/29/2013 33.2 67

1

Detroit Bears at Lions 09/29/2013 32.3 56

1

Pittsburgh Steelers at Vikings 09/29/2013 31.0 59

1

Baltimore Ravens at Bills 09/29/2013 30.5 58

1

Chicago Bears at Lions 09/29/2013 30.4 61

1

Cincinnati Bengals at Browns 09/29/2013 29.2 51

1

Washington, DC Redskins at Raiders 09/29/2013 29.0 51

1

Nashville Jets at Titans 09/29/2013 28.9 44

1

Cleveland Bengals at Browns 09/29/2013 27.6 56

1

San Diego Cowboys at Chargers 09/29/2013 27.5 55

1

Houston Seahawks at Texans 09/29/2013 27.3 55

1

Dallas Cowboys at Chargers 09/29/2013 26.8 48

1

Philadelphia Eagles at Broncos 09/29/2013 26.2 44

1

Atlanta Patriots at Falcons 09/29/2013 25.5 40

1

Tampa Cardinals at Buccaneers 09/29/2013 20.5 40

1

Phoenix Cardinals at Buccaneers 09/29/2013 19.3 40

1

San Fran-Oakland 49ers at Rams** 09/26/2013 18.7 39

1

St. Louis 49ers at Rams** 09/26/2013 16.6 28

1

Jacksonville Colts at Jaguars 09/29/2013 16.4 33

1

New York Giants at Chiefs 09/29/2013 15.2 35

1

Charlotte Patriots at Falcons 09/29/2013 15.0 26

1

Miami Eagles at Broncos 09/29/2013 11.1 21

1

MLB Playoff Preview on Cover of SI

This week’s Sports Illustrated previews the Major League Baseball playoffs.  Here is the cover:

SI 10-7-13

Sports Media Digest- September 25, 2013

ESPN Continues to Receive Strong Ratings for Monday Night Football

Monday’s Monday Night Football  telecast on ESPN Monday night drew an average rating of 8.9 with an audience of 13.9 million viewers, winning th enight on all of television among the network’s key adult and male demographics (18-34 & 18-49)

Through four games this season, Monday Night Football  is averaging a 8.9 rating and an audience of 14 million viewers, up three percent and five percent respectively over 2012.

NFL Ratings Continue to Top the Charts

Once again NFL action was at the top of the television ratings list.  The top two programs of the week were NFL games; Sunday’s CBS national game (primarily Colts/49’ers) with 26.5 million average viewers and NBC’s  Sunday Night Football (Bears/Steelers) with 20.5 million viewers.

NFL games were also tops in 29 NFL markets:

Week of 9/16 – 9/22  

 

HH

HH

RTG

Market Game

Date

RTG

SHR

Rank

New Orleans Cardinals at Saints 09/22/2013 47.8 73

1

Indianapolis Colts at 49ers 09/22/2013 40.2 64

1

Buffalo Bills at Jets 09/22/2013 39.7 58

1

Kansas City Chiefs at Eagles 09/19/2013 39.6 59

1

Pittsburgh Bears at Steelers 09/22/2013 39.1 56

1

Milwaukee Packers at Bengals 09/22/2013 38.9 70

1

Seattle Jaguars at Seahawks 09/22/2013 38.3 68

1

Cincinnati Steelers at Bengals* 09/16/2013 38.2 54

1

Chicago Bears at Steelers 09/22/2013 36.1 53

1

Philadelphia Chiefs at Eagles** 09/19/2013 32.6 51

1

Minneapolis Browns at Vikings 09/22/2013 30.4 65

1

Boston Buccaneers at Patriots 09/22/2013 30.3 59

1

Baltimore Texans at Ravens 09/22/2013 30.2 58

1

Cleveland Browns at Vikings 09/22/2013 26.8 54

1

Washington, DC Lions at Redskins 09/22/2013 25.1 50

1

San Diego Chargers at Titans 09/22/2013 25.0 54

1

Nashville Chargers at Titans 09/22/2013 24.5 43

1

Detroit Lions at Redskins 09/22/2013 24.4 48

1

Dallas Rams at Cowboys 09/22/2013 24.2 48

1

Houston Texans at Ravens 09/22/2013 23.0 46

1

Charlotte Giants at Panthers 09/22/2013 21.7 46

1

Jacksonville Jaguars at Seahawks 09/22/2013 21.5 33

1

Atlanta Falcons at Dolphins 09/22/2013 21.4 38

1

San Fran-Oakland Colts at 49ers 09/22/2013 21.3 50

1

Miami Falcons at Dolphins 09/22/2013 18.7 34

1

Tampa Buccaneers at Patriots 09/22/2013 18.3 34

1

Denver Colts at 49ers 09/22/2013 17.0 40

1

Phoenix Bears at Steelers 09/22/2013 16.7 27

1

St. Louis Rams at Cowboys 09/22/2013 13.7 30

1

Lofton Joins Crew at SiriusXM Radio

SiriusXM Radio announced today that former NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver James Lofton has joined the network as a host on its NFL channel (channel 88).

Lofton begins his new job Friday and will host The SiriusXM Blitz alongside co-host Bruce Murray every Friday live from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm ET, and will also be heard on various other SiriusXM NFL Radio shows throughout the year.

“I’ve been a regular listener to SiriusXM NFL Radio for some time and it is a tremendous channel for NFL fans of every team, so I’m very pleased to be a part of it,” said Lofton.  “I’ve seen quite a bit from my time in the league as both a player and a coach.  I’m excited both to share what I know and to hear directly from the fans about what’s on their minds.”

“Very few receivers in the history of the league played with the level of production and consistency that James did over his 16 years in the NFL.  His career is extraordinary and we’re excited to have someone with his accomplishments and expertise talking to our listeners every week on SiriusXM NFL Radio,” said Steve Cohen, SiriusXM’s SVP of Sports Programming.  “He’s also an accomplished broadcaster accustomed to working on national NFL game broadcasts.  He’s excellent at communicating the nuances of the game to his audience and I’m thrilled to reunite with him on SiriusXM’s airwaves.”

NBC Creates New Football Program Around Talent from Comcast RSN’s

NBC Sports is creating a new weekly football program which will harness the talent from some of Comcast’s SportsNet’s regional sports networks (RSNs).

3 and Out will debut on Tuesday, October 1 and air each remaining week of the 2013 NFL season across its lineup of Comcast SportsNet RSNs.

The program will feature regular appearances from CSN Houston’s Kelli Johnson, CSN Mid-Atlantic’s Brian Mitchell, CSN New England’s Mike Felger and CSN Bay Area’s Ray Ratto.

“We feel great about the fact that there is nothing like 3 and Out among the many football shows currently available,” said Stathakes. “Our ability to feature multiple perspectives, many of which will be on the ground in the markets where these stories are unfolding, will give our discussion and debate a level of depth and texture that is hard to find. While some think that we only produce great NBA, MLB and NHL live event coverage, fans in our markets know how well we cover the NFL, and 3 and Out is our first move to expand on that area of strength.”

NBC Sports Touts Premier League Numbers

Through five weeks of the Premier League season, NBC Sports reports a total of 10 million viewers have tuned in to view the action on NBC, NBC Sports Network (NBCSN),  CNBC,  and mun2.  The 27 English-language games on NBC, NBCSN and CNBC drew a total of 9.1 million viewers – up 92% from the 4.8 million total for the first five weeks of live action on ESPN and Fox Soccer last year.

Here is a chart, provided by NBC Sports PR, showing the viewership growth of its networks compared with the competition over the same period a year ago:

Average Total Day Viewership Growth:

NETWORK 8/17/2013 to9/22/2013 8/18/2012 to 9/23/2012 %DIFF
NBCSN 77 46 67%
MLB NETWORK 86 66 30%
NBA TV 29 24 21%
FOX SPORTS 1 121 102 19%
NFL NETWORK 302 272 11%
ESPN 1232 1125 10%
ESPNEWS 75 70 7%
GOLF CHANNEL 136 132 3%
ESPN2 353 356 -1%
FOX SPORTS 2 17 19 -11%
ESPNU 83 n/a n/a

This Week’s Covers of Sports Illustrated

Its NHL preview time in this week’s edition of Sports Illustrated.  The magazine has two regional covers this week:

SI 9-30-13a SI 9-30-13b

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.

Sports Media Digest- September 4, 2013

Dial Global Returns to WestwoodOne Moniker

Dial Global radio announced today that it is changing its name to WestwoodOne, a name once synonymous with network radio until it merged with Dial Global in 2011.

Programming on the network will not change, with 225 million listeners still gaining access to he NFL, Olympic Games, Barclays Premier League, and the Grammy Awards.

“We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished as Dial Global.  Through our belief in the power of sound we are dedicated to continuously reinventing the industry and creating the most dynamic audio programming that connects people to their passions,” said Paul Caine, CEO of Dial Global. “With the audio industry’s ever-changing landscape we know we’ve just scratched the surface of what’s possible for audio’s broad consumption. By reclaiming and reviving an iconic audio brand name, we are not changing who we are, but accelerating the great work we are doing to contribute to the growth of audio.”

Country Star Gretchen Wilson to be Part of ESPN’s NASCAR Chase Coverage

ESPN announced today that Grammy Award-winning Country artist Gretchen Wilson will be featured in ESPN’s telecasts of the 10 races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

Wilson will narrate and appear in the opening teases of the telecasts of the 10 races, with each tease tailored to the racetrack hosting that week’s event. Her music will also be featured through the entire Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup on ESPN.

“Just as NASCAR appeals to a great cross-section of American people, the same can be said for Gretchen Wilson’s blend of song and attitude that has made her an icon of the music industry for the past decade,” said Rich Feinberg, ESPN vice president, motorsports, production. “We look forward to showcasing her music and personality during the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.”

“I can’t tell you how excited I am to be associated with NASCAR and ESPN as we begin the Chase,” said Wilson. “Many of the fans who show up at our concerts on Saturday nights are watching the races on Sundays. I’m honored to be a part of this great American tradition and look forward to seeing the fans at some races this fall.”

Battle 4 Atlantis Hoops Tourney To Air on ESPN

ESPN announced today that it has reached a new multiyear agreement for media rights to the Battle 4 Atlantis men’s college basketball tournament starting in 2014.

ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will combine to offer exclusive telecasts of six Battle 4 Atlantis matchups annually, including two quarterfinals, the semifinals, the third place game and championship. Battle 4 Atlantis features eight teams playing in a 12-game tournament format in a temporary stadium with state-of-the-art regulation facilities.

“Battle 4 Atlantis has quickly become one of the premier early-season tournaments in college basketball,” said Nick Dawson, senior director, ESPN programming and acquisitions. “We’re thrilled to bring it to the ESPN networks and know it will be a must watch for fans.”
George Markantonis, president & managing director, Atlantis, Paradise Island, added, “We are excited about our new relationship with ESPN to televise the 2014-2016 Battle 4 Atlantis tournaments, allowing us to share this sports experience with millions of fans.”

This Week’s Covers of Sports Illustrated

Sports Illustrated will have two covers available regionally this week:

SI 9-9-13a SI 9-9-13b

Sports Media Weekly No. 158- Chad Finn, The Boston Globe & Peter King, Sports Illustrated

Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I are back for another edition of Sports Media Weekly.

We are joined for our news segment this week by Chad Finn, sports media columnist for The Boston Globe.

We begin the program by looking at the announcement this week that NBC Sports and Yahoo! Sports will be collaborating on two new TV and online sports video projects, one of which debuts tomorrow.  The inclusion of rich media content is becoming more and more prevalent online and we agree that we’ll likely see more being produced by broadcast and web partners.

On a related note we look at the move by media outlets to create exclusive online content featuring their sports writing superstars.  Bill Simmons and ESPN began the trend with Grantland and now Peter King at Sports Illustrated and Peter Gammons are creating fresh content marketed around their personal brands.

We move to Boston sports media next, looking at how the Boston media handled the Aaron Hernandez arrest and the response by the Patriots.  We then delve into news of the launch next Monday of an online radio venture produced by the Boston Herald.

We finish the segment reflecting on the trail blazing career of Steve Bornstein, who pioneered television coverage of the NFL and will be retiring as head of the NFL Network next year.

We head back to the NFL and Ken’s interview with Sports Illustrated’s Peter King.  Ken talks to King about what it took to pull together his new NFL website on SI, MMQB.

Sports Media Digest- June 12, 2013

ESPN/ABC continue to get solid, but not record-breaking, ratings for NBA Finals–  Yesterday’s game three of the NBA Finals on ABC earned an overnight rating of 10.0.  That number is down form the 10.4 rating from last year’s game three between the Heat and Thunder.  Through three games ABC is averaging a 10.3 overnight rating, down from the average 11.3 rating through three games a year ago.

Soledad O’Brien joins Real Sports–  HBO announced today the hire of journalist Soledad O’Brien to be a member of the reporting team for Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. O’Brien has worked for the news departments of both NBC and CNN.

Tigers sluggers on cover of SI–  This week’s cover of Sports Illustrated features Detroit Tigers sluggers Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera:
SI 6-17-13