I’ll give you some more stuff tonight.
First, a quick update on Broadview Networks. Well, the repairman showed up at my office at noon today and proceeded to fix the problem. It took 2.5 hours to get everything up and working again. Of course at the end, he handed a bill which totaled $375 when this was not my problem to begin with! However, I got a call from the assistant to Broadview’s vice president and she proceeded to tell me that the bill would be waived and there would be a credit on the next bill. While that’s nice, it still does not wipe the bad taste from my mouth how it took a full week to restore total phone service to my office. From the bad customer service to the arrogant supervisors who don’t call back when promised to the vague answers I received up until yesterday, I have to say that this company has a long way to go to restore my trust. I will most likely switch phone companies at the end of the year. The Broadview vice president who e-mailed me last night and his assistant who called me today were very nice. It’s unfortunate that I had to resort to calling them out to get some headway, but that is what it took to get a decent response. Had I not received the e-mail late Wednesday, my next step might have been YouTube. I hope this is the end of this issue and I don’t have to mention Broadview again.
To the links.
ESPN Ombudsman Le Anne Schreiber is not a fan of the Alleged Worldwide Leader’s incessant cross-promotion. I agree with her on this.
John Ourand of the Sports Business Daily has a story on NBC already selling 85% of the ad inventory for Super Bowl XLIII. Since the SBD is subscription-based, I have to copy and paste the story here.
NBC HAS ALREADY SOLD 85% OF AD INVENTORY FOR SUPER BOWL XLIIIBy John Ourand, Staff Writer
When NBC announced in May that it was going to set a record-high rate card
of $3M for a 30-second spot for its broadcast of Super Bowl XLIII, many
veteran ad buyers reacted with a mix of skepticism and anger. But that
skepticism and anger has been replaced by a flurry of signed contracts,
putting the network on pace to sell out the game by the end of the year.
NBC¹s top sales executive said that the network already has sold ³over a
dozen² 30-second spots at $3M -- a surprising feat given the overall
sluggish economy. Not only that, but NBC Senior VP for Sports and Olympics
Sales & Marketing Seth Winter expects some of the last spots to sell for
more than $3M as the game gets closer. ³Why would we lower the price for
people who have waited?² Winter asked.
NBC is reporting that the Super Bowl is 85% sold, which would leave only
about 10 of 67 in-game spots remaining, an astoundingly low number of open
slots to have a full five months before the game. The strong ad sales market
surrounding February¹s game underscores the strength that big events like
the Super Bowl have, even in a down economy. ³We see the end zone right
now,² Winter said.
NBC¹s enviable ad sales position also marks the resurgence of an event that
had become a tough sell for networks in fall of Œ05 and Œ06. Last year¹s
game on Fox seemed to re-energize the Super Bowl, which stood out for its
numbers (a 43.1 rating) and buzz factor (with the Patriots vying for an
undefeated season against the big-market Giants). Coming off an Olympics ad
sales effort that saw NBC sell more than $1B, the Super Bowl is another good
news story for the network, and shows that big sports events are not being
affected by the overall sluggish economy.
³The Super Bowl is a sure thing,² said Jimmy Burnette, the longtime ad sales
executive who oversaw sales efforts for 10 Super Bowls, many while at Fox
Sports. ³It¹s a matter of figuring out how to adjust marketing plans around
the Super Bowl.² Larry Novenstern, Exec VP and Dir of Electronic Media for
Optimedia, agreed. ³The Super Bowl is not a one-day or a 30-second event for
an advertiser,² Novenstern said. ³It¹s a significant PR opportunity for two
weeks prior to the game and two weeks afterwards.²
Much of the credit for this year¹s burgeoning marketplace comes from
Hollywood, as Winter said studio activity has been particularly strong.
Movie companies have emerged as the true bellwethers of Super Bowl ad sales
success, as they look to get out in front of their major summer releases.
Various studios placed eight 30-second ads and one 15-second ad for Fox¹
game in February, helping the network to effectively sell out its inventory
by November. The previous year, the studios only placed two 30-second ads
and one 15-second ad with CBS, which went into Super Bowl week with a
handful of spots still to sell.
Winter would not talk about specifics but said most of the traditional
advertisers returned. ³There are not a lot of surprises in that regard,² he
said. In addition to the studios, Winter said automotive has showed
surprising strength, particularly imports. Winter is still having
conversations with domestic autos, which have been pulling back their
advertising in other areas.
NBC¹s $3M rate card marks an unprecedented 11% increase from the $2.7M rate
card Fox used for this year¹s game. Fox set the market at the end of last
year, when it ended up getting around $3M for a couple of late-breaking
30-second spots. The $3M rate usually is paid by advertisers that do not buy
spots during the season. ³I¹d be embarrassed to tell anyone that I paid that
much for a commercial,² said one ad buyer, who asked not to be identified
because he plans to buy at least one spot.
Anheuser-Busch committed to the game several months ago for a price that is
much closer to $2.4M per 30-second spot. Historically, A-B always is the
first advertiser in, and gets a lower rate because it buys so many spots,
typically between six and eight. It is unclear how many A-B bought this
NBC¹s Super Bowl performance comes at the end of another strong season for
the NFL¹s network partners, which are at 85-90% sold across the regular
season. The networks wrote increases in the high single digits, led by NBC,
CBS and Fox, which charged increases in the 8-10% range. ESPN was charging
increases of 7.5-8.5%, and NFL Network was charging increases of 6-8%.
Telecoms, quick-service restaurants and insurance all showed growth during
Ken Schott of the Schenectady Gazette says the Capital Region will get to see the Bills-Jags game this weekend after the local CBS affiliate had originally chosen to go with the Colts-Vikings.
Ken McMillan of the Hudson Valley Times Herald-Record feels that New Yorkers aren’t necessarily in love with football.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union writes that the Baltimore-Houston game has been moved to Monday night because of Hurricane Ike.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell delves further into the Giants-Jets Stadium/Allianz naming rights controversy. Darren says it may not be all that expensive for Chad Ocho Cinco to buy up his old Chad Johnson jerseys from Reebok.
Maury Brown in his Biz of Football blog tells us that ESPN is happy over the ratings for Sunday NFL Countdown and the Sunday 7 p.m. SportsCenter in which John Saunders, Chris Berman and Tom Jackson recounted the day’s NFL games.
Friend of Fang’s Bites, Christopher Byrne of the Eye on Sports Media blog has some profiles of the SEC on CBS team. For some reason, I had forgotten Tracy Wolfson was part of the team. I guess that’s because she’s the only sideline reporter CBS employs. Repeat. She’s the only sideline reporter for CBS as the network has decided to do without them for the NFL and college basketball.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News doesn’t think Michael Phelps will fare all that well when he hosts Saturday Night Live this weekend. And Tom has some thoughts about NFL TV heading into this weekend. I love the video he posted of a very young Jillian Barberie-Reynolds from 1992. She actually looks professional.
Justin Terranova of the New York Post blogs that the Islanders have a new radio deal and will split its flagship into two stations.
The Big Lead says it appears ESPN Radio won’t be using Rick Sutcliffe during the MLB postseason.
Some media gossip for you. The always lovely Jessica Heslam of the Boston Herald says employees of Entercom radio stations WEEI and WRKO were told not to the visit the company’s luxury suite at Fenway Park this Saturday as the company’s CEO will be entertaining guests. In other words, don’t come in, you drunken bastards!
John Eggerton of Broadcasting & Cable says Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia will broadcast entirely in high definition.
Diego Vasquez of Media Life Magazine looks into the average sports fan’s income and education.
Oh great, the insufferable Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News and Miami Herald columnist Carl Hiaasen are teaming up to write a sports-related pilot for HBO. Why?
That’s going to do it. It’s going to be a busy Friday so be prepared. See you then.