We top off the show looking at the news yesterday of NBC Sports getting back into the business of televising NASCAR races beginning in 2015. The panel saw this as a good move for NBC and a sad note for ESPN, which had been televising NASCAR events since the early 1980’s.
We shift to a column by John this week questioning whether we are at a time of a sports rights fees bubble and whether it will burst anytime soon.
The talk then took us into a discussion of the threat later tonight (as this is posted) of Time Warner Cable dropping CBS programming as the pair battle over carriage fees.
Turner Sports has announced its talent line-up for its coverage of this fall’s Major League Baseball playoffs.
The big news is the return to baseball for Keith Olbermann, who will serve as host of TBS’ Major League Baseball postseason studio show, joined by analyst Dennis Eckersley.
“It’s well known that Keith is a fan of the game and when you combine that with his studio experience, keen insight and passion for baseball and its history, he’ll add a new dimension to our MLB Postseason studio shows,” said David Levy, president of sales, distribution and sports. “We’re excited to have him join Dennis in studio, and look forward to Keith sharing his in-depth knowledge of the game, MLB teams and players with our viewers for three great weeks in October.”
When the games begin Ernie Johnson and Brian Anderson will provide play-by-play with analysts Ron Darling, Cal Ripken, Jr. and John Smoltz.
As part of the announcement today Turner announced a new long-term extension with Darling who will continue to be part of the analysts for the network’s Sunday MLB on TBS series.
“We have put together two dynamic teams who, in their own unique voices, will provide fans with informative and entertaining game telecasts,” said Levy. “Ernie and Brian are two of the most accomplished baseball play-by-play announcers in the business today. Ron and John, with their combined 34 years of pitching experience, will continue to provide our viewers with great insights and opinions throughout the postseason. Cal made great contributions in the booth last season during the Division Series and we look forward to his expanded presence this year.”
Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I are riding solo for this week’s edition of Sports Media Weekly.
We begin the show looking at the announcement this week by CBS Sports and Turner Sports on the telecast responsibilities of each for the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament through the year 2024. TBS will be televising games deeper in the tournament beginning next year while CBS has the national championship games in 2014 and 2015.
We then look at the move by Fox Sports to hire TSN Sportscentre star anchors Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole as its anchors for its nightly highlight show Fox Sports Live which will debut on Fox Sports 1 when it launches on August 17th.
We discuss the solid viewership numbers posted by NBC for this past week’s Kentucky Derby and the news that Carrie Underwood will take over for Faith Hill as the musical lead-in to NBC’s Sunday Night Football beginning this fall.
Ken and I wrap-up the show by comparing our Sports Emmy picks with the results from last night’s award ceremony in New York.
PROGRAM NOTE- Ken and I will not be producing a program next week. The show will return on Wednesday, May 22nd.
CBS Sports and Turner Sports today announced plans on how the networks will handle coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship through 2024.
In 2014 and 2015 TBS will air the national semi-final games while CBS will retain coverage of the national championship final. Beginning in 2016 TBS will air the semi-final and final games, alternating with CBS through 2024.
Beginning next year coverage of the Regional Semi-finals and Regional Finals games will be split by TBS and CBS. Earlier round coverage of the tournament will continue to be televised across four national television networks – CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV with the First Four airing exclusively on truTV.
“Since the inception of our partnership, I don’t think we could have envisioned such a seamless collaboration between our two companies both in front of and behind the cameras,” said David Levy, president of Sales, Distribution and Sports, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. “Coming off another incredible year of strong ratings and exciting games, the popularity of the NCAA Tournament and Final Four continues to resonate with fans across the country. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to televise the Final Four national semi-final games and two of the Elite Eight games on TBS beginning next year, and for the network to televise its first National Championship game in 2016.”
“From the beginning, our partnership with Turner Sports has exceeded every one of our expectations,” said Sean McManus, Chairman, CBS Sports. “Today’s news represents another win-win arrangement that continues to help us extend the reach of this marquee property by combining the resources of our two organizations. As we have done since 1982, CBS is pleased to showcase the National Championship game in 2014 and 2015.”
We begin the show by talking about the final ratings for CBS and Turner for the recently-completed NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament. We look back at what was the best and worst of the coverage by both networks.
We wrap-up the segment by looking at plans by TNT to cover tomorrow night’s Thunder/Warriors NBA telecast without a play-by-play announcer, only analysts Steve Kerr, Reggie Miller and Chris Webber.
Our second guest this week is Dan Levy, national lead writer for the Bleacher Report. Dan fills us in on how his role has evolved at the Bleacher Report and the impact Turner has had on the operation after it purchased the site.
Dan also used his appearance to announce a new project, the creation of a graphic novel entitled The Rise of the Umpire Robots. Dan will enlist a star-studded roster of sports writers to help with the project, which will be funded via Kickstarter very soon.
NBA Double Header Tomorrow on TNT– TNT resumes its Thursday night NBA double header tomorrow night. AT 8:00p.m. ET Marv Albert, Mike Fratello and David Aldridge call the Knicks at the Bulls. At 10:30p.m. ET the Thunder take on the Warriors with Steve Kerr, Reggie Miller and Chris Webber with Craig Sager court side.
Turner Reports Record Numbers Watching NCAA Tourney Online– Turner Sports reports that 49 million live streams and 14 million hours of video were consumed online this year during the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. The 49 million live streams are up 168% over 2012. The 14 million hours of live video streaming represented a 207% increase from 2012.
ESPN Announces Thanksgiving Night SEC Football Match-Up- ESPN has announced today that on Thanksgiving night this fall it will telecast an SEC football battle between Mississippi and Mississippi State. Kick-off will come Thursday, Novermber 28th at 7:30p.m. ET.
Next Edition of Studio 42 will Look at the Film 42– The MLB network announced that the next edition of Studio 42 with Bob Costas will look at the Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures presentation of 42.Among the guests discussing the film on the life of Jackie Robinson will be Dodgers’ legend Don Newcombe and actors Harrison Ford and Chadwick Bosemalegend. Studio 42 with Bob Costas debuts Saturday at 4:00p.m. ET.
Boxing Returns to HBO Saturday– HBO’s next boxing card will come this Saturday from Radio City Music Hall in New York. Jim Lampley, Max Kellerman and Roy Jones Jr. will call World Championship Boxing: Noniti Donaire vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux. Saturday at 11:00p.m. ET.
CBS Sports Spectacular has Supercross Sunday– Prior to its coverage of the Masters on Sunday, the CBS Sports Spectacular will continue its coverage of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross series at the FIM World Championship. Ralph Sheheen, Jeff Emig and Erin Bates call the action at 12:00p.m. ET.
NBCSN Has 11 Hours of Formula One Coverage this Weekend– The NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) will produce more than 11 hours of Formula One™ coverage this weekend highlighted by the Chinese Grand Prix. Leigh Diffy, David Hobbs, Steve Matchett and Will Buxton have the call of the race. Here is the schedule on NBCSN:
CBS and Turner have released the final viewership numbers for the 2013 NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament.
From CBS/Turner PR:
The 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship across CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV is the most-watched NCAA Tournament in 19 years, according to Nielsen. The 2013 NCAA Tournament averaged 10.7 million total viewers, up 11% from last year’s 9.6 million viewers, and is the highest average for the NCAA Tournament in 19 years (11.2 million; 1994).
The National Championship game, which saw Louisville defeat Michigan on CBS on Monday, April 8, earned an average fast national household rating/share of 14.0/22, up 14% from last year’s 12.3/19 (Kentucky-Kansas). The National Championship game averaged 23.4 million viewers, up 12% from last year’s 20.9 million.
The Championship game coverage peaked in HH rating/share with a 16.1/27 and average viewers with 27.1 million, from 11:00-11:30 PM, ET.
Coverage for the entire 2013 NCAA Tournament across Turner Sports and CBS Sports averaged a HH rating/share of 6.7/14, up 10% from last year’s 6.1/13, and is the highest average NCAA Tournament rating in eight years (6.9/15; 2005).