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Sports Media Digest- September 30, 2013

NFL Today Analysts to Get Work on Game Sites as Game Analysts

CBS Sports announced today that three members of its NFL Today  crew, Boomer Esiason, Sterling Sharpe, and Bill Cowher will leave the studio and serve as second analyst at three game sites during week six of the NFL.

The trio will call games featuring the teams they either played for or coached: Cowher will form a three-man booth with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms to call the game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New York Jets; Esiason will join Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots to call Cincinnati at Buffalo; and Sharpe will head back to Denver to team with Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts for the Jacksonville-Denver game.

Bart Scott and Amy Trask will fill the trio’s role on the NFL Today, moving from That Other Pregame Show that day.

“We wanted to try something new and showcase the insights and perspective of our studio analysts during a game broadcast,” said CBS Sports Chairman McManus. “Looking at the slate of regional games during Week 6, with three involving the former teams of our studio analysts, we thought it was the perfect time to have some fun and add Coach, Boomer and Shannon to our game coverage.”

SEC Football Continues to Score Big on CBS

CBS Sports reports that the overnight ratings for Saturday’s LSU/Georgia SEC football game earned the network an average rating of 4.9, up 75% over the game from the same week last year (Tennessee/Georgia)

CBS also announced that this Saturday’s SEC match-up will feature Georgia at Tennessee while the game on October 12th will pit Florida at LSU.

Former Coach George Karl Joins ESPN as NBA Analyst

ESPN announced today that it has hired former NBA Coach of the Year George Karl as an NBA analyst.

Karl will make his debut on the 11 p.m. ET edition of SportsCenter on Saturday, October 5 and also make regular appearances on NBA Coast 2 CoastNBA Tonight and other news and information programming.

“I’m excited to be back at ESPN and to offer the insights that I’ve gathered from 25 years of coaching,” said Karl. “It’s going to be a fun season ahead and I’m looking forward to sharing it with our viewers.”

ESPN Digital and Yahoo! Sports Claim Victory in Latest Online Viewership Numbers

Yahoo! Sports remains the leader in terms of unique visitors while ESPN is claims the top spot of average minutes of the audience, audience share, and minutes per user, according to the latest monthly online figures provided by comScore.

Yahoo! Sports attracted 61.6 million unique viewers last month compared with 57.8 million on ESPN’ digital platform.   114,151 people used ESPN digital properties on computers, smartphones and tablets in the average minute throughout August and had 29.5% of the online sports audience.


Sports Media Weekly No. 158- Chad Finn, The Boston Globe & Peter King, Sports Illustrated

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

We are joined for our news segment this week by Chad Finn, sports media columnist for The Boston Globe.

We begin the program by looking at the announcement this week that NBC Sports and Yahoo! Sports will be collaborating on two new TV and online sports video projects, one of which debuts tomorrow.  The inclusion of rich media content is becoming more and more prevalent online and we agree that we’ll likely see more being produced by broadcast and web partners.

On a related note we look at the move by media outlets to create exclusive online content featuring their sports writing superstars.  Bill Simmons and ESPN began the trend with Grantland and now Peter King at Sports Illustrated and Peter Gammons are creating fresh content marketed around their personal brands.

We move to Boston sports media next, looking at how the Boston media handled the Aaron Hernandez arrest and the response by the Patriots.  We then delve into news of the launch next Monday of an online radio venture produced by the Boston Herald.

We finish the segment reflecting on the trail blazing career of Steve Bornstein, who pioneered television coverage of the NFL and will be retiring as head of the NFL Network next year.

We head back to the NFL and Ken’s interview with Sports Illustrated’s Peter King.  Ken talks to King about what it took to pull together his new NFL website on SI, MMQB.

NBC Sports, Yahoo! Sports Collaborate on Two New Video Projects

NBC Sports and Yahoo! Sports announced today that they will be collaborating on two new programs that will air on NBC Sports Network and online.

The first program will be called SportsDash with Yahoo! Sports will air weekdays from Noon-1 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network with a complementary, digital-only show will stream live from 1-1:15 p.m. ET on both Yahoo! Sports and In addition, it will be available across mobile platforms through the NBC Sports Live Extra app.

SportsDash with Yahoo! Sports will be hosted by NBC Sports’ Dave Briggs and Carolyn Manno and will showcase Yahoo! Sports, and NBC Sports analysts and insiders — including Adrian Wojnarowski, Pat Forde, and Dan Wetzel, and’s Joe Posnanski.

The second program will be Fantasy Football Live—Thursday Night!, a live and on-demand, multi-platform, fantasy football program that will air weekly starting August 1 on NBC Sports Network from 6:30-7 p.m. ET.  A subsequent, digital-only version of Fantasy Football Live will be available live from 7-7:30 p.m. ET, as well as through video-on-demand across web and through mobile devices on both Yahoo! Sports and

NBC Sports’ Erik Kuselias will be joined by NBC Sports’ Shaun King, and Yahoo! Sports’ Brad Evans and Brandon Funston. Yahoo! Sports’ Melanie Collins will host the digital show. Rotoworld’s Kay Adams will be a regular contributor for the show across both platforms.

Sports Media Digest- April 30, 2013

NBC Reports Extensive Viewership Gains for Regular Season NHL Action-  NBC Sports reports that the recently completed NHL regular season of games on the NBC Sports Network was the most-watched season on cable in nearly two decades, and up 18 percent vs. last year.  Viewership of te NHL is the highest ever for the network, which began airing games in 2005.  NHL on NBC also saw an increase of viewership of 15% over 2012.

ESPN Continues to Point to Success of its Digital Platforms–  ESPN announced today that ESPN Digital Media delivered 33% of all sports category usage across digital platforms in March, more than twice the average audience of No. 2 Yahoo! Sports, and more than the Nos. 2 and 3 sports properties combined, according to comScore’s Multi-Platform data. Yahoo! Sports is still number one during the months in average unique viewers visiting its site.

CBS to Air PGA Documentary pof Nurturing Future Golf Leaders–  CBS Sports, in conjunction with the PGA Tour will present Beyond the Green, a look at how golf has nurtured future leaders and transformed lives.  Bill Macatee will narrate the program which will air Sunday at 2:00p.m. ET.

Supercross Season Review on CBS Sports Spectacular-  On this week’s CBS Sports Spectacular the show will look back at the 2013 Supercross season with Monster Energy Supercross: Changing of the Guard.  Frank Frederick narrates the show Sunday at 1:00p.m. ET.

NBC, Yahoo Sports Announce Content Sharing Deal

NBC Sports and Yahoo Sports announced yesterday that it has entered into a deal in which the two entities will begin sharing content.

Both entities will retain separate sites and editorial control over their content, but they will collaborate on sports news and events coverage both online and on the air. Yahoo! Sports’ content will also be included in the NBC Sports Group’s digital assets.

From NBC PR, here are some of the details of the new partnership:

· Editorial Depth: The combined talent roster of Yahoo! Sports and NBC Sports features a deep bench of award-winning reporters and commentators, such as NBC’s Bob Costas and Mike Florio; Yahoo!’s Dan Wetzel and Adrian Wojnarowski. Yahoo! Sports’ renowned investigative reporting will be featured on NBC TV, giving fans multiple-platform delivery.

· Original Video Programming Concepts: Yahoo! Sports and NBC Sports will work together to develop original made-for-web video programs that will appear on both Yahoo! Sports and featuring fan favorites from among the award-winning editorial teams’ rosters, including:

o NBC Sports host and Emmy Award-winning commentator Bob Costas: video sports news interviews and editorials

Football Night in America’sTony Dungy & Rodney Harrison: video segments during NFL season

Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk on daily, weekday NFL web show,Pro Football Talk Live

Rivals on Recruiting: weekly college recruiting show with Rivals and NBC Sports talent.

· Live Streaming: Yahoo! Sports will link to and promote the NBC Sports Live Extra video player. Fans will be able to watch live streams of some of NBC’s biggest events, starting with Sunday Night Football and NHL Game of the Week. Live content from NBC Sports Network will continue to be distributed through NBC Sports Live Extra on a TV Everywhere basis.

· Fantasy Sports: Yahoo! Sports, the leading fantasy platform, will become the exclusive fantasy game provider of NBC Sports’ Rotoworld, the premiere fantasy news and information site. This will include Yahoo! Sports’ fantasy experiences for football, baseball, hockey, soccer, College Bowl Pick’em and Tourney Pick’em.

· The college sports destination will power recruiting and college sporting news for and the NBC Sports Regional Networks.

· NBC Sports Regional Networks: The authentic, local sports properties will serve as Yahoo’s preferred content provider in relevant markets, and integrate Yahoo! Sports’ team pages, fantasy experts and sports talent.

· NBC’s Alli Sports: Providing youth-focused, action-sports video and other content to Yahoo!

“Passionate fans need news and analysis about their favorite teams in real time, and they want access to that information no matter where they are. We’re thrilled to combine Yahoo!’s fantasy offerings, product innovation and editorial authority with NBC’s broadcast coverage of live sports events and award-winning on-air talent. We think our users will love the result,” said Ken Fuchs vice president of Yahoo! Global Media and head of Yahoo! Sports and Games.

“The complementary nature of this partnership is unmatched in digital sports media,” said Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBC Sports Group. “Through our growing television and digital platforms, the Yahoo! Sports partnership dramatically expands the digital reach of NBC Sports around the biggest sporting events. We are committed to continually growing this alliance for the benefit of both parties, our sports-property partners, and, most importantly, sports fans.”


Sports Media Weekly No. 123- Greg Wyshynski, Puck Daddy Blog, Yahoo Sports

We run the gamut of topics on this week’s edition of Sports Media Weekly.

Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I lead-off by talking about the extension issued by NASCAR to Fox Sports to continue to telecast Sprint Cup races through the year 2022.  We discuss the online aspects of the $2.4 billion deal, and whether ESPN, Turner, and/or perhaps NBC Sports Network may be in play for the remainder of the package when it comes up for bid.

We keep it with auto racing as we discuss the news that NBC has attained the rights to Formula One racing beginning next year.

Ken and I then discuss the NFL/MLB double header Joe Buck pulled for Fox this past Sunday.

We move to sports radio as Dan Patrick announced today that the simulcast of his weekday radio program will no longer be telecast on Fox Sports Net.  Perhaps a move to NBC Sports Network?  Ken seems to think so.

We wrap-up our news briefly (and I mean briefly) talking about next year’s Steelers/Vikings contest in London and the announcement that Beyonce will perform at halftime of Super Bowl XLVII.

Our guest this week is timely.  We speak with Greg Wyshynski, author of the Puck Daddy blog at Yahoo Sports.  We talk to Greg about the news today of headway potentially being made in the NHL lockout.  Greg also fills us in what he’s been writing about without the NHL, his thoughts of ESPN’s coverage of the KHL, and his recent participation at Blogs with Balls 5 in Toronto.

Sports Media Weekly Podcast No. 82- Greg Wyshynski, Yahoo! Sports

We begin the last month of 2011 with a packed edition of the Sports Media Weekly Podcast.  Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I begin the show talking about the battle between CBS Sports and NBC Sports over the possible flexing of the December 18th NFL match-up between the Patriots and Broncos.

We also touch upon a report in Sports Business Journal That CBS, NBC, and Fox may be near a deal to extend their television rights contracts with the NFL.  We also touch upon what will be a demanding 66-game NBA schedule once the season begins on Christmas Day.

Our guest this week is Greg Wyshynski, Editor of the Puck Daddy NHL hockey blog at Yahoo! Sports.  We talk with Greg about plans to realign the NHL and how those plans will impact the coverage of the sport by NBC, Versus, and the CBC.  We also look at the upcoming NHL Winter Classic and whether ESPN can ever regain favor with the league in the future.

SBN and Yahoo Sports Join Forces

It is becoming more and more evident that sports media entities are looking to expand their content with little or no financial obligations.   We have recently seen collaborations between newspapers in coverage of local professional sports.

Another major sports media organization is expanding its content through partnership.  Yahoo Sports is now incorporating content from the SB Nation family of bloggers.

With the news that ESPN has done the same- linking with idependent blogs for basketball and football coverage- do we really need to continue the discussion as to the quality of some blogs?  Respectability has arrived.  We should all accept, and embrace it.