Westwood One

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.

 

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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 Podcast No. 92- Dave Sims, Root Sports/Dial Global

We are a day early with this week’s edition of the Sports Media Weekly Podcast

Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I begin the show by talking about a report in Sports Business Journal (subscription required) that the NFL may not be looking to bid out extra Thursday night games after next season.

We also get into the media mania that has surrounded Knicks guard Jeremy Lin.  Ken and I have differing views on the matter, views which are apparent.

We wrap up our news segment by looking at the new deal between the Colonial Athletic Association and NBC Sports to have its football and basketball games telecast on the NBC Sports Network.  Ken and I speculate as to whether this opens up the door to NBC getting the rights to other conference television rights,such as the Big East, as they become available.

Our guest this week is Dave Sims, play-by-play voice for the Seattle Mariners on Root Sports Northwest as well as the NFL and the NCAA Basketball Tournament on Westwood One/Dial Global Sports.  Dave takes time from his down season to talk about his work with the NFL and his preparation for the Mariners’ 2012 season in what looks to be a highly competitive American League West.

Sports Media Weekly Podcast No. 90- Media at Super Bowl XLVI

Welcome to show XC.

Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I are devoting the entire program to the media at Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis.  We have no news segment, but two guests…

We start off the show joined by Neil Best, sports business and media columnist with Newsday.  Neil is covering the Giants for the paper and shares with us his experiences in Indianapolis and how the New York media is covering the team.

We are then joined by Dial Global Sports‘ (formerly Westwood One) Kevin Haraln, who will be calling the game with Boomer Esiason for the nationwide radio network.  Kevin fills us in on his busy schedule prior to the game, and how preparing to call a Super Bowl is similar in some ways, and different in others, than calling the action during the regular season.  As many of you know Kevin handles play-by-play for NFL and College Basketball on CBS and the NBA on TNT.

Sports Media Weekly Podcast No. 66- Andrew Catalon, WNYT-TV, NBC, CBS Sports

After our special on Monday we are back with our regularly scheduled edition of the Sports Media Weekly Podcast.

In this week’s news segment Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I discuss the re-branding of Versus into the NBC Sports Network and Sporting News Radio into Yahoo! Sports Radio and their potential impact in competing with ESPN.

We also discuss how an agreement between Westwood One and Dial Global will benefit the radio network.  We look at two new additions to ESPN’s stable of NFL analysts (one of particular interest to Ken) and the wait-and-see attitude by the Big East Conference in the future of its television packages.

Our guest this week is Andrew Catalon, sports anchor at News Channel 13, WNYT in Albany New York.  Some of you may remember Andrew as the voice of curling at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics on NBC.  Andrew talks about his curling background, his work for CBS Sports on coverage of the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament and the Masters, and covering sports in New York’s state capital.

Westwood One Merging with Dial Global

Westwood One, a powerhouse in radio network sports coverage, has entered into a deal to merge with Dial Global, which provides national advertising sales representation to over 200 radio
programs, services and networks on over 8,000 stations.

Westwood One provides live radio coverage of the NFL as well as NCAA basketball, baseball and hockey.

It’s unknown how this merger will impact its sports programming going forward.

“This transaction brings together a highly complementary portfolio of programming assets that will better
serve our clients and customers,” said Spencer Brown, David Landau and Ken Williams co-CEO’s of Dial
Global in a press release. “We will focus on utilizing the combined company’s expanded content and sales platform to
enhance the services and value we offer to our current and future clients.”

Rod Sherwood, President of Westwood One, commented, “We are excited about this merger and the
benefits it will bring to our customers by complementing our existing portfolio of sports, talk, news, music
and entertainment programming. Our employees have worked hard to create a diverse portfolio of assets
that, when combined with Dial Global, will better serve our clients.”

 

Sports Media Weekly Podcast No. 46- Scott Ackerson, Fox NFL Sunday

Sports Media Weekly We are back with another edition of the Sports Media Weekly Podcast.

We have a full show as Ken Fang at Fang’s Bites and I start the show by talking about the egos of some members of the sports media, specifically AOL Fanhouse/ESPN’s Jay Mariotti and Fox Sports.com’s Jason Whitlock.

Ken and I also review the announcer assignments for CBS, Fox, and Westwood One as they get set for the 2010 NFL season.  And speaking of announcers, we also look at Ken’s list last week of his best announcers of all time.

Our guest this week is Scott Ackerson, Coordinating Producer of Fox NFL Sunday.  Scott has been producing the show for 17 years and tells us about the changes in technology and how it has impacted the show over the years, the chemistry of the on-air talent, the addition of Mike Pereira to the line-up, and what other new features we can expect on the show this year.