Turner Sports

CBS/Turner Announce Plans for Future Coverage of NCAA Tourney

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.”


Sports Media Weekly No. 145- Paulsen, Sports Media Watch and Dan Levy, The Bleacher Report

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

We are joined for our “third man in” news segment by Paulsen of Sports Media Watch.

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.

Sports Media Digest- April 10, 2013

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:

Date Coverage Time (ET)
Fri., April 12 Practice 2 a.m.
Sat., April 13 F1 36: Sebastian Vettel 12 a.m.
Sat., April 13 Practice Encore 12:30 a.m.
Sat., April 13 Qualifying 2 a.m.
Sun., April 14 Chinese Grand Prix 2:30 a.m.
Sun., April 14 F1 Extra 5 a.m.
Sun., April 14 Chinese Grand Prix Encore 1 p.m.
Sun., April 14 F1 Extra 3:30 p.m.
Sun., April 14 F1 36 Encore 4 p.m.

Final Viewership Numbers Show NCAA Tourney Most-Watched in 19 Years

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).

Sports Media Digest- April 2, 2013

Mike Francesa Signs Contract Extension with WFAN/CBS Radio–  WFAN in New York and CBS Radio have announced that longtime afternoon drive radio host Mike Francesa has signed a contract extension that will keep him at the station through 2017.  Francesa will also bring his long running Sunday morning “The NFL Now” show toCBS Sports Radio beginning this fall.  The program is broadcast live on WFAN from 9:00AM-12:00Noon, ET and will be available to more than 250 affiliate radio stations nationwide.

More People Continue to View NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Online–  Turner Sports, which maintains the March Madness Live site where viewers can watch the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament online, reports the project has garnered 45 million live streams, up a staggering 158% over 2012 to date.  12.6 million hours of combined live viewing has been consumed, an all-time high.

Tiger, NCAA Tourney on this Week’s Sports Illustrated Covers–  This week’s edition of Sports Illustrated looks at the resurgence of Tiger Woods as well as previewing this week’s Final Four.  There are three covers for the week:

SI 4-8-13a SI 4-8-13b SI 4-8-13c

Sports Media Digest- March 29, 2013

NCAA Tourney Viewership Continues to Impress for CBS and Turner-  Through Thursday’s games the viewership for the 2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament continues to be the best in 20 years.  The average audience is 9 million viewers, up 8% from 2012.  The average rating of 5.9 i s up 7% over last year and the highest in 15 years.

ESPN Digital Media Properties Top in Sports Usage Category for February–  ESPN reports that its digital properties accounted for 28% of all sports category usage across digital platforms in February. ESPN was second behinf Yahoo Sports in unique visitors to ESPN.com but was tops in total number of minutes spent online with 3.7 million minutes.

Bobby Knight on Next Edition of Feherty–  The next edition of David Feherty’s Golf Channel program Feherty will feature a conversation with former college basketball coach Bobby Knight.  The episode airs Monday at 10:00p.m. ET.

Sports Media Digest- March 28, 2013

ESPN Extends Deal with the WNBA– ESPN and the WNBA have extended their deal which will allow ESPN to televise WNBA action through 2022. Up to 30 games will be aired yearly on ESPN networks, including exclusive coverage of the WNBA Conference Finals, WNBA Finals, WNBA Draft and WNBA All-Star Game.  The new agreement, which will lengthen ESPN’s relationship with the WNBA to 26 years, dating back to the WNBA’s inaugural season in 1997, allows for games to be presented on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and WatchESPN.

Despite End of Streak NBA TV and ESPN to Air Heat Games–  Even though the winning streak of the Miami Heat was halted yesterday NBA TV and ESPN will go ahead with plans to televise more Heat games.  Friday night at 8:00p.m. ET NBA TV will cover the Heat at the New Orleans Hornets.  Sunday at 7:00p.m. ET the Heat will take on the Spurs in San Antonio aslo onNBA TV.  ESPN will carry two additional Heat games next week, next Friday, April 5th (8:00p.m. ET) against the Bobcats and April 6th (7:30p.m. ET) vs. the 76ers.

Wright Joins CBS NCAA Crew–  As teams get eliminated from the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, their coaches often land a part-time gig as an analyst for a portion of the tournament.  Villanova head coach Jay Wright will be a studio analyst tonight and tomorrow on CBS and Turner’s coverage of the tournament.  Wright will join host Ernie Johnson and analysts Seth Davis and Steve Smith for coverage of the Regional Semifinals on Thursday, March 28, and Friday, March 29, from Turner Studios in Atlanta.

U.S./Mexico World Cup Qualifier Highest Rated on ESPN-  ESPN reported yesterday that Tuesday’s World Cup qualifyer between the U.S. and Mexico earned a rating of 1.4 and an audience of 2.38 million viewers, making it the most-watched and highest-rated FIFA World Cup qualifying match (or international friendly) telecast on an ESPN network.  The rating was double the quailfier between the same two clubs in 2009.

NBC’s Road to the Kentucky Derby has Florida and Louisiana Derbys–  NBC Sports Network’s coverage of some of the prep races leading to the Kentucky Derby begins this weekend with the Florida and Louisiana Derbys.  Coverage begins at 6:00p.m. ET with Laffit Pincay, III hosting the Florida Derby from Gulfstream Park. He will be joined by analyst Randy Moss; reporter Christina Blacker of HRTV; and NBC’s race-callerLarry Collmus. Katie Mikolay, in-house reporter for Fair Grounds Race Course, will report on the Louisiana Derby.

Sports Media Weekly No. 143- Dave Sims, Seattle Mariners, Dial Global

There’s quite a bit on our plate for this week’s edition of Sports Media Weekly.

Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I begin the show discussing the impact Tim McCarver has had on the coverage of Major League Baseball over the years.  McCarver announced today that he will no longer serve as the lead baseball analyst for Fox when his contract expires at the end of this season.

We shift to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and the strong ratings for CBS and Turner on television and online.  Overall we feel the networks have covered the tournament well, but the addition of Doug Gottlieb on the broadcasts has been the one misstep thus far.

We stay with college hoops in discussing how the “old” Big East will continue to receive coverage from CBS when the league splits this summer.

We shift to soccer to discuss the big ratings for ESPN from Tuesday night’s coverage of the World Cup qualifier between the U.S. and Mexico.  We also look at NBC Sports’ hire of Rebecca Lowe to serve on the network’s coverage of the English Premier League when it takes over the rights to the matches in August.

We wrap the segment looking at ESPN’s re-hire of Rick Reilly and our anticipation of the upcoming Major League Baseball season.

Baseball and basketball are on the docket during Ken’s interview with Dave Sims.  Dave recently completed a stint calling college hoops for Dial Global Radio and is prepping for his work for Root Sports calling games on television for the Seattle Mariners.

Sports Media Digest- March 26, 2013

NBC Sports Hires Host for its Premier League Coverage–  The NBC Sports Group announced today it has hired Rebecca Lowe to a multi-year deal to serve as the network’s host of the English Premier League when the network begins its coverage in August.  Lowe, who currently serves as co-host of ESPN UK’s coverage of Premier League soccer, will anchor the coverage from the NBC Sports studios in Stamford, CT.

Robin Roberts to Receive Ashe Award at ESPYs–  ESPN announced that former SportsCenter anchor and current Good Morning America host Robin Roberts will be receiving the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2013 ESPYs.  Roberts has been an influential journalist for over 20 years and has twice overcome life-threatening illnesses.

HBO Sports to Produce Next Legendary Nights Documentary-  HBO Sports announced today that it will produce an all-new installment of the acclaimed Legendary Nights boxing documentary series, celebrating the most memorable fights in the network’s 40 years of boxing coverage.  The next film will spotlight the three-fight slugfest between Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward.  Legendary Nights: The Tale of Gotti-Ward, debuts this fall.

Baseball Preview Issue This Week in SI–  It’s baseball preview issue time for Sports Illustrated.  Here are the six covers spread out across the country:

SI 4-1-13f

SI 4-1-13eSI 4-1-13c

SI 4-1-13dSI 4-1-13bSI 4-1-13a

More People Watching NCAA Tournament Online

Turner Sports is reporting record number of video streams and engagement time by viewers watching the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament via the NCAA March Madness Live platforms.

Online and and via mobile (tablets and smartphones) platforms, NCAA March Madness Live has set new all-time marks by garnering 36.6 million live video streams and more than 10 million hours of live video consumed across digital properties during the opening week of the NCAA Tournament.  That number is double the streams viewed during the entire 2012 tournament.

Here is a broader breakdown of the online numbers from Turner Sports PR:

Live Video Streams

·       Across all digital platforms, NCAA March Madness Live has generated a record-setting 36.6 million live video streams over the first week of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, double the 18.3 million live video streams for the entire tournament in 2012.

·       The 2013 NCAA Tournament has recorded 10 million hours of live video streaming, which represents a 198% increase from 2012.

·       Across broadband, 4.2 million unique visitors watched live video, an increase of 161% versus 2012 (1.6 million).  The mobile app had 2.6 million unique visitors watch live video, up 121% over 2012 (1.2 million).

·       Over the opening week of the tournament, 105 minutes of live video was consumed per user on broadband and 61 minutes of video was viewed per user on mobile (tablets and smartphones), increases of 12% and 42% vs. 2012.

Mobile Usage Growth

Mobile usage and time spent viewing have increased during the weekend.

·       As fans became more portable, mobile live video consumption also increased across the platform, accounting for 43% of live video streams on Thursday, 48% on Friday, 59% on Saturday and 60% on Sunday.

·       Additionally, live viewing minutes grew as the week progressed with mobile accounting for 23% of live viewing minutes on Thursday; 25% on Friday; 30% on Saturday and 32% on Sunday.

Most Popular Games to Date

The most popular games across platforms to date, based on live video streams:

·       Valparaiso vs. Michigan State – 1,844,000

·       Bucknell vs. Butler – 1,784,000

·       Mississippi vs. Wisconsin – 1,778,000

·       Albany vs. Duke – 1,488,000

·       Davidson vs. Marquette – 1,487,000

Source: Adobe Site Catalyst (Broadband), Conviva (Mobile), TTD-3/19-3/24