The Masters

Sports Media Weekly No. 146- Barry Horn, Dallas Morning News

It’s a very busy sports media week and we have it covered on this edition of Sports Media Weekly.

Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I are joined for the show by Sports Media Columnist for the Dallas Morning News Barry Horn.

We begin the program looking at the local media response in Boston to Monday’s tragic bombing at the Boston Marathon.  Ken and I discuss the local coverage, which led to the two local sports radio stations, WEEI and 98.5 The Sports Hub, suspending their regular programming to allow sports fans the opportunity to share their thoughts on the tragedy.

We then shift to the passing yesterday of legendary announcer Pat Summerall.  Barry had the opportunity to speak to Summerall on many occasions and had the same good things to say about the former CBS and Fox announcer as others regarding Summerall’s generosity and professional demeanor.

We move on to the announcement yesterday that Dan Hicks will replace Tom Hammond as the voice of Notre Dame football.  Barry predicts the move signals Hicks is being groomed to be the network’s lead play-by-play voice when Al Michaels decides to retire.

We finish the segment by looking at NBC’s plans for the English Premier League season later this summer and the viewership gains for CBS and ESPN from last week’s Masters.

Ken and I wrap the show by looking at a new policy announced at ESPN on how the network will attribute stories not broken by its reporters.

Positive Final Ratings Number for Masters

The 2013 Masters tournament proved to be a viewership success for both CBS Sports and ESPN.

The rating for Sunday’s final round on CBS averaged 10.2, up 26% from the 8.1 final round rating last year.  Third round action on CBS was 24% higher that 2012 with a 6.3 rating.

Friday’s second round on ESPN had an average audience of 4.2 million viewers and a 3.5 rating, making it the highest-rated and most-viewed Friday coverage for the event on ESPN and the fourth-largest audience ever to watch golf on cable.

The online audience for the tournament on the ESPN digital platforms (ESPN.com, ESPN Mobile Web and ESPN ScoreCenter) had an average minute audience of 33,924 people, up 113 percent compared to the previous year. The ESPN.com Golf section saw daily unique visitors up 30 percent, while average total minutes per day were up 71 percent.  Average daily unique visitors to Golf content on the ESPN mobile Web was up two percent.  Additionally, ScoreCenter’s Golf section saw daily unique visitors up 391 percent, while average total minutes per day were up 533 percent.

Sports Media Digest- April 12, 2013

ESPN Sees Bump is First Round Masters Viewership–  ESPN Reports that Thursday opening round of the Masters averaged 2,851,000 viewers with a 2.4 household coverage rating based on fast nationals, according to the Nielsen Company. Viewership grew seven percent from last year’s first round, which averaged 2,661,000 viewers, and the rating was an increase of three percent from a 2.3 last year.

Rays/Red Sox Sunday’s MLB on TBS Telecast–  This weekend’s Sunday MLB on TBS telecast will feature the Tampa Bay Rays at the Boston Red Sox. Ernie Johnson, Ron Darling and John Smoltz have the call beginning at 1:30p.m. ET.

WNBA Draft Live Monday on ESPN-  For the first time ESPN will provide prime time coverage of the WNBA Draft.  Coverage and analysis of the first round will begin Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN2, followed by the second and third rounds on ESPNU from 9-10:30 p.m.  Kevin Negandhi will anchor the coverage with analysts Rebecca Lobo and Carolyn Peck and reporters Holly Rowe and LaChina Robinson.

Golf Channel’s Coverage of the Masters

The Golf Channel will provide nearly 70 total hours of live news and related to next week’s Masters.

From Golf Channel PR, here is a look at part of the network’s coverage:

Live From the Masters will dominate Golf Channel’s daytime and primetime schedules during Masters week with more than 50 live hours from Augusta, Ga., and the network’s studio headquarters. Coverage begins Monday and will conclude with a post-tournament show after the last putt drops on Sunday.

Morning Drive: Golf Channel will begin each morning of Masters Week with the latest news, commentary and features on Morning Drive. Monday’s show will introduce viewers to all 93 players in the field, from the 14-year-old Guan Tianlang of China to 63-year-old former Masters Champion Tom Watson. With a little help from apparel manufacturers, the Morning Drive team also will give viewers a sneak preview of what select players will be wearing during the week.

Special Guests Joining Coverage: A list of golfing legends scheduled to make appearances during the week include: Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Ben Crenshaw, Ray Floyd, Jose Maria Olazabal, Nick Faldo, Tom Watson, Greg Norman, Johnny Miller and Sandy Lyle.

News Conferences:Live From the Masters on Tuesday and Wednesday will feature player news conferences from Augusta National Golf Club’s media center.

Here is the Golf Channel’s schedule for Masters week:

Monday, April 8
7-10 a.m. Morning Drive Live
3-5 p.m. Live From the Masters News Conferences
5-6 p.m. Masters Highlights 2012: Bubba Watson
6-7 p.m. The Golf Fix
7-8 p.m. Live From the Masters Live
Tuesday, April 9
7-9 a.m. Morning Drive Live
9 a.m.-5 p.m. Live From the Masters Live
(includes player news conferences)
7-9 p.m. Live From the Masters Live
Wednesday, April 10
7-9 a.m. Morning Drive Live
9 a.m.-3 p.m. Live From the Masters Live
(includes player news conferences)
7-9 p.m. Live From the Masters Live
Thursday, April 11 & Friday, April 12
6-8 a.m. Morning Drive Live
8 a.m.-3 p.m. Live From the Masters Live
7:30-9:30 p.m. Live From the Masters Live
Saturday, April 13
7-9:30 a.m. Morning Drive Live
9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Live From the Masters Live
7-9 p.m. Live From the Masters Live
Sunday, April 14
7-9:30 a.m. Morning Drive Live
9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Live From the Masters Live
7-9 p.m. Live From the Masters Live

ESPN at the Masters

ESPN is ready to provide live coverage at golf’s first major next week, The Masters.

In its sixth year at the Masters, ESPN will air 4.5 hours of live Tournament play daily from the first two rounds, the traditional Par 3 Contest the day preceding the Tournament and four days of action on the ESPN 3D Network.

Mike Tirico will serve as host of ESPN’s Thursday and Friday telecasts and will conduct player interviews from Augusta National’s Butler Cabin with analyst Curtis Strange. CBS will again produce the telecasts with CBS’ golf announce crew also contributing to the coverage.

Here is the ESPN schedule at The Masters:

The Masters Tournament – Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, GA

(all times Eastern)

Day/Date Program Time Networks
Wed., April 10 Masters Par 3 Contest 3 p.m. ESPN, ESPN3, WatchESPN
SportsCenter at the Masters 5 p.m. ESPN, WatchESPN
Thu., April 11 First Round 3 p.m. ESPN, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3, WatchESPN
First Round 4:30 p.m. ESPN 3D
First Round (encore) 8 p.m. ESPN, WatchESPN
Fri., April 12 Second Round 3 p.m. ESPN, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3, WatchESPN
Second Round 4:30 p.m. ESPN 3D
Second Round (encore) 8 p.m. ESPN, WatchESPN
Sat., April 13 Third Round 4 p.m. ESPN 3D
Sun., April 14 Final Round 4 p.m. ESPN 3D

Golf Channel at the Masters

The Golf Channel is planning over 60 hours of coverage of this week’s Masters.

The network’s signature program of the week will be  Live From the Masters.  The broadcast team for the program will include Rich Lerner, Steve Sands, Todd Lewis, Whit Watson, Nick Faldo, Frank Nobilo, Brandel Chamblee, David Feherty, Charlie Rymer, Billy Andrade, Ken Schofield, John Feinstein, Alex Miceli, Tim Rosaforte, Jason Sobel, Rex Hoggard and Jay Coffin reporting from Augusta, Ga. Kelly Tilghman, Mike Ritz, Tripp Isenhour and Randall Mell will report and contribute from the network’s Orlando studios.

Morning Drive, hosted by Gary Williams and Erik Kuselias, will begin each day’s coverage of the news from Augusta.

Here is the Golf Channel schedule this Masters week:

Tuesday, April 3
Morning Drive 7-9 a.m.
Live From the Masters 1-4 p.m. (news conferences)
Live From the Masters 6-8 p.m.

Wednesday, April 4
Morning Drive 7-9 a.m.
Live From the Masters 12-1 p.m. (Billy Payne news conference)
Live From the Masters 6-8 p.m.
Grey Goose 19th Hole 8-9 p.m.

Thursday, April 5 and Friday, April 6
Morning Drive 6-8 a.m.
Live From the Masters 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
Live From the Masters 7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 7
Morning Drive 7-9 a.m.
Live From the Masters 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Live From the Masters 7-9 p.m.

Sunday, April 8
Morning Drive 7-9 a.m.
Live From the Masters 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Live From the Masters 7-9 p.m.

ESPN’s Coverage of the 2012 Masters

ESPN is getting set for its fifth year televising the early rounds of the Masters.  ESPN will air 4.5 hours of live Tournament play daily from the first two rounds, the traditional Par 3 Contest the day preceding the Tournament and 14 total hours of action on the ESPN 3D Network.

Prior to the live television windows Thursday and Friday, ESPN’s SportsCenter will air updates every 30 minutes beginning at 9 a.m. daily.

Mike Tirico will serve as host of ESPN’s Thursday and Friday telecasts and will conduct player interviews from Augusta National’s Butler Cabin with analyst Curtis Strange. CBS will again produce the telecasts with CBS’ golf announce crew also contributing to the coverage. Paco Aleman and analyst Silvia Bertolaccini will present on ESPN Deportes with John Sutcliffe serving as the on-course reporter.

ESPN3D’s coverage of the tournament will include 14 hours of coverage over the course of the tournament.  Terry Gannon will anchor the 3D coverage Wednsday through Friday while while Tirico, Azinger and Strange will have the call Saturday and Sunday.

ESPN Radio and ESPN.com will also be providing special coverage of the tournament throughout the week.

Here is the television scheudle for next week’s Masters on ESPN:

Day/Date Program Start End Networks
Wed., April 4 Masters Par 3 Contest 3 p.m. 5 p.m. ESPN, ESPN3, ESPN3D
Wed., April 4 SportsCenter at the Masters 5 p.m. 6 p.m. ESPN
Thu., April 5 First Round 3 p.m. 7:30 p.m. ESPN, ESPN Deportes
Thu., April 5 First Round 4:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. ESPN 3D
Thu., April 5 First Round (encore) 8 p.m. 11 p.m. ESPN
Fri., April 6 Second Round 3 p.m. 7:30 p.m. ESPN, ESPN Deportes
Fri., April 6 Second Round 4:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. ESPN 3D
Fri., April 6 Second Round (encore) 8 p.m. 11 p.m. ESPN
Sat., April 7 Third Round 4 p.m. 7 p.m. ESPN 3D
Sun., April 8 Final Round 4 p.m. 7 p.m. ESPN 3D

Sports Media Weekly Podcast #30- Victor Rojas, Yakcy

Sports Media Weekly Welcome to the 30th edition of the Sports Media Weekly Podcast.

Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I delve into CBS’ coverage of the Masters and the improved, but not record ratings for the telecast.  Ken also relates his experience of seeing a 3D presentation of the tournament sponsored by Comcast and Cox Communications.

Ken and I also provide a preview of how the ratings may fare for the upcoming NHL Playoffs and we discuss our disdain for local sports talk radio in the Boston market.

Our guest this week is Victor Rojas, play-by-play voice for the Anaheim Angels.  Victor joined us earlier this year to discuss his role at the MLB Network.  Today he talks about taking over the Angels’ job under not-so-perfect circumstances.  He also tells us about Yakcy, a social media enterprise where fans can congregate to discuss games featuring their favorite teams…

CBS Sees Higher, But Not Record, Masters Ratings

From CBS PR:

CBS Sports’ final-round coverage of the 2010 Masters on Sunday, April 11, which saw Phil Mickelson win his third Green Jacket, earned its highest rating in nine years with an average overnight household rating/share of 12.0/25, up 36% from last year’s final-round coverage (8.8/21; Angel Cabrera’s win in a two-hole playoff). This year’s final-round coverage is the third highest-rated final round of any golf tournament since at least 1986 in the metered markets (as far back as recorded CBS Nielsen data).

The highest-rated final round of a tournament was the 1997 Masters with a 15.8/32 when Tiger Woods won his first Green Jacket. The second highest-rated final round also was the Masters in 2001 when Woods won his second Green Jacket earning a rating/share of 12.9/27 in the metered markets.

This year’s final round rating peaked at 14.7/28 from 6:30-7:00 PM, ET.

Sports Media Weekly Podcast #29- Tom Mee, Jr., Fox Sports Midwest

Sports Media Weekly After a week away to deal with the fierce weather in the Northeast, Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I are back for the Sports Media Weekly Podcast.

First on the docket, the Tiger Woods press conference earlier this week from the Masters.  Both Ken and I feel Tiger handled himself better this time around.

We also look at how CBS handled it’s coverage of the Final Four, and the huge ratings numbers that followed Duke’s win over Butler.  We wrap the news portion of the show by welcoming the 2010 baseball season.

The advent of the baseball season leads into our guest this week.  Tom Mee, Jr directs Cardinals baseball for Fox Sports Midwest.  He recently published a book called Cutting The Game, where he describes how he has handled Cardinals telecasts over his 23 year television career.