Turner Sports

Sports Media Weekly No. 173- Brian Berger, Sports Business Radio

It’s been an interesting sports media week and we have it covered on Sports Media Weekly.

Joining Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and me for the program this week is Brian Berger of Sports Business Radio.

We begin the program looking at the appearance late this afternoon of Alex Rodriguez on the Mike Francesa radio program on WFAN in New York.  Rodriguez sought the sympathetic ear of Francesa after storming out of his hearing today with an arbitrator over his 211 game suspension issued by Major League Baseball earlier this year.  Brian, who also works as a media consultant for athletes, chimes in on whether Rodriguez’ strategy will pay off for him in the court of public opinion.

Over to the the NFL next and Ken’s piece on Awful Announcing on the flex options that await the league’s media partners when the new television contracts take effect next year.

We then move to the news that CBS NFL game analyst Dan Dierdorf will be retiring at the end of the current NFL season after 30 years televising games for CBS and ABC.

College basketball may be seeing quite the change in coverage at the NCAA Final Four beginning next year as Turner Sports takes over televising the national semi-final games.  John Ourand at Sports Business Journal  has the details.

We wrap the news segment by looking at the news by NBC that Bob Costas will be adding late night hosting duties to his primetime gig at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

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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 3, 2013

ESPN Drops Commitment to Overseas X Games

ESPN announced today that it will no longer be producing X Games competitions outside of the United States.  Here is their official statement:

“ESPN today announced it will not continue with X Games events in Barcelona, Munich, Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil and Tignes, France.  We are proud to have run world-class competitions for both the athletes and spectators; however the overall economics of these events do not provide a sustainable future path.  The company remains fully committed to the X Games brand and its full-scale competitions in Aspen, Colorado and Austin, Texas – its newest host city – and we will continue to distribute these premier events around the world.”

NFL Flexes One Game For Week Seven

The NFL announced today that the October 20th game between the Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs will be moved to 4:25p.m ET from its original 1:00p.m. ET kick-off. The move was made to accommodate regional broadcast patterns.

The game will still be telecast on CBS.

Westwood One to Broadcast a NFL Quadruple Header on Sunday

After the NFL announced the move of the Chargers/Raiders game to 11:35p.m. ET this Sunday, Westwood One saw this as an opportunity to expand its game broadcast offering to four games this Sunday.

Here is the Westwood One schedule this Sunday, with announcer assignments:

12:30pm ET, Seattle Seahawks @ Indianapolis Colts…Dave Sims/Mark Malone
3:45pm ET, Denver Broncos @ Dallas Cowboys… Chuck Cooperstein/Trent Green
7:30pm ET, Houston Texans @ San Francisco 49ers…Kevin Kugler/James Lofton
11:15pm ET, San Diego Chargers @ Oakland Raiders…Tom McCarthy/Rod Woodson

MLB Wild Card Games on TBS See Modest Viewership Games

The two MLD Wild Card games on TBS earned an average audience of 4.7 million viewers, up 2% over 2012. This year’s 3.0 U.S. rating is even with last year.

Both Wild Card telecasts allowed TBS to rank first among all cable networks in primetime both nights.

 

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

Turner Unveils Post Season Baseball Announcer Line-Up

Turner Sports today announced its roster of announcers and analysts for its upcoming coverage of Major League Baseball’s post season.  This season TBS will air both Wild Card Playoff games, along with up to 18 Divisional Series games and the National League Championship Series (NLCS).

The TBS studio pre and post-game program will be hosted by Keith Olbermann with analysis from Tom Verducci, the newly-added Pedro Martinez, and Blue Jays analyst Dirk Hayhurst.

The top announcer team will feature Ernie Johnson on the call with Ron Darling and Cal Ripken providing analysis.  Craig Sager and Verducci will serve as reporters for the NLCS;

Brian Anderson will be paired with John Smoltz and Joe Simpson;

Dick Stockton will handle play-by-play with Bob Brenly;

And Don Orsillo will call action with Dennis Eckersley and Buck Martinez.

David Aldredge, Matt Winer, and Rachel Nichols will also serve as reporters during the post season.

The post season on TBS begins October 1st.

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- August 12, 2013

Turner and CBS Report Increases in PGA Viewership 

CBS and Turner Sports today gave their final viewership numbers for this past weekend’s PGA Championship.

The first two rounds of the tournament on TNT gave Turner a  1.2  rating and 1.6 million total. The viewership number was 54% above 2012.compared while the 1.2 rating was up 50% over last year.

Over on CBS the Saturday and Sunday average rating came in at 3.7, up 19% over last year.  Sunday’s final round alone came in with a 4.4 rating, up 13% from 2012.

Fox Spots Adds Former NFL Players for its Fox NFL Daily Program

Fox Sports today announced that former NFL stars Ronde Barber, Brian Urlacher, Scott Fujita and Randy Moss weill be analysts on Fox Sports 1’s Fox Football Daily show when it premiers next week.  They’ll join host Curt Menefee, insider Jay Glazer, and rules expert Mike Pereira on the show.

The quartet will also make appearance on the new network’s Fox NFL Kickoff program during the NFL season.

“Great players step off the playing field every year, but I’m confident in saying that no network has ever been able to add four former players of this caliber at one time as Fox Sports 1 has,” said Fox Sports Executive Producer John Entz.  “Add the names Urlacher, Moss, Barber and Fujita to Bradshaw, Long, Johnson, Strahan, Aikman, Lynch and our many other top-flight football analysts and it’s easy to see our quality and depth.”

“We are tremendously excited to be able to present Fox Football Daily to NFL and college football fans this coming season and to have this extremely talented group of hosts and analysts launch one of Fox Sports 1’s signature programs,” said Bill Richards, the executive producer of both shows. .  “The most unique aspect of the show is all of our analysts will be commenting on both pro and college topics and viewers can expect the same mix of news, analysis, information and entertainment that has made Fox NFL Sunday America’s most popular pregame show the last 20 years.”