Let’s lump some ESPN releases together for you.
I’ll start with some ratings news regarding the Heisman Trophy presentation on Saturday.
ESPN Nets its Largest Heisman Audience EverLargest for College Football Awards in More than a Decade
ESPN continues to experience audience growth for its college football programming, posting its highest-rated and most-viewed Heisman Trophy Presentation telecast ever and its highest-rated and most-viewed coverage of The ESPNU College Football Awards in more than a decade.ESPN’s Heisman Trophy telecast (Saturday, Dec. 12, at 8 p.m. ET) averaged a 4.1 rating, 4,045,000 households and 5,990,000 viewers, marking increases of 32% (vs. 3.1), 32% (vs. 3,058,000) and 44% (vs. 4,151,000), respectively, over last year. Metered market highlights include:
- The home designated market areas (DMA) of the schools that will square off in the BCS National Championship game (No. 2 Texas vs. No. 1 Alabama on Thursday, Jan. 7, at 8 p.m. on ABC) posted the highest metered market ratings: Birmingham, the DMA of Alabama and Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram, averaged a 17.8 rating while Austin, DMA of Texas and Heisman Trophy finalist Colt McCoy, averaged a 10.6. It was ESPN’s highest-rated Heisman Trophy Presentation in both markets since 2003.ESPN’s coverage of The ESPNU College Football Awards (Thursday, Dec. 10, at 7 p.m.) averaged a 1.2 rating, 1,166,000 households and 1,593,000 viewers, making it the network’s most-viewed college football awards telecast since 1996 and highest-rated since 1997. It experienced increases of 33% (vs. 0.9 rating), 38% (vs. 845,000 households) and 48% (vs. 1,076,000 viewers) over last year.ESPN and ESPN2 college football games and studio shows posted significant audience growth over last year, highlighted by:
- ESPN averaged 2,144,000 households, 2,874,000 viewers and a 2.2 rating, making it the most-viewed season since 1994 (2,197,000 households and 3,107,000 viewers) and highest-rated since 1999 (2.3 rating). This year saw increases of 11% (vs. 1,931,000), 12% (vs. 2,561,000) and 10% (vs. 2.0), respectively, over last year.
- ESPN2 experienced its most-viewed season ever, averaging 1,110,000 households and 1,492,000 viewers for increases of 8% (vs. 1,028,000) and 11% (vs. 1,350,000). ESPN2 averaged a 1.1 rating for both seasons.
- ESPN’s Saturday morning College GameDay posted its most-viewed season ever, averaging 1,711,000 households, 2,034,000 viewers and a 1.7 rating for increases of 14% (vs. 1,504,000), 12% (vs. 1,815,000) and 13% (vs. 1.5). The previous high was set in 2007.In addition, the ESPN Films “30 for 30” project The U, which followed the Heisman Trophy Presentation telecast, was the networks highest-rated documentary ever with a 1.8 rating, 1,800,000 households and 2,368,000 viewers. The fall slate of seven “30 for 30” films averaged a 1.0 rating, 1,007,000 households and 1,258,000 viewers.
ESPN finished its “fall slate” of 30 for 30 documentaries on a winning note with good ratings for “The U.”
ESPN’s Fall Slate of Critically Acclaimed “30 for 30” Series Wraps up with “The U” – ESPN’s Most Watched DocumentaryFall slate for the series earns an average rating of 1.0ESPN Films wrapped up the fall slate of the critically-acclaimed “30 for 30” film project with Billy Corben’s The U, Saturday night immediately following the Heisman Trophy presentation, and earned a 1.8 rating. That represents an average of 1.8 million homes (2.368 M viewers, P2+) and is ESPN’s highest-rated documentary of all time (The Greatest Game Ever aired December 13, 2008, and earned a 1.4 rating – 1.369 million households, 1.811 M viewers). For the “30 for 30” series Fall slate overall, the seven films earned an average 1.0 rating (1,007,000 homes, 1,258,000 viewers).“The ‘30 for 30’ series was conceived to tell rich and meaningful stories from great filmmakers,” said Keith Clinkscales, senior vice president, ESPN content development and enterprises. “We believe we have delivered great content and fans of sports and film have responded.”The films that have aired to date as part of “30 for 30” have been directed by some of Hollywood’s finest directors and producers, including Barry Levinson, Peter Berg and Mike Tollin. They have focused on some of the most compelling topics in the past 30 years in sports ranging from the end of the USFL to the title fight between Muhammad Ali and Larry Holmes to the story of the Baltimore Colts Marching Band, which continued to march even though the team had moved to Indianapolis.The next “30 for 30” film, Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. The New York Knicks directed by Peabody Award winning director Dan Klores, is scheduled to air Sunday, March 14 at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Now to the ESPN family of networks’ schedule of college basketball games.
Men’s College Basketball: No. 1 Kansas Featured in ESPN’s ‘Green Game;’ No. 10 UNC vs. No. 2 Texas in First Basketball Game at Cowboys Stadium
ESPN’s upcoming men’s college basketball coverage will be highlighted by the “Green Game,” featuring Michigan at No. 1 Kansas on Saturday, Dec. 19, at noon ET on ESPN. The telecast, which will feature an opening with a green shout-out from Kermit the Frog, will help sports fans learn more about an eco-friendly everyday life. Also featured will be the first basketball game at the new Cowboys Stadium in Texas, with a matchup between No. 10 North Carolina and No. 2 Texas on Saturday, Dec. 19, at 2 p.m. on ESPN. Additional highlights:
- Holiday Hoops begins Saturday, Dec. 19, as Xavier visits No. 17 Butler at 2 p.m. on ESPN and Delaware State faces No. 18 Ohio State on ESPNU.
- The inaugural Diamond Head Classic begins Tuesday, Dec. 22, at 3 p.m. on ESPNU, live from Honolulu, where Northeastern tips off against Saint Mary’s (Calif.) in the first of 12 games.
Date Time (ET) Matchup Network(s) Wed, Dec 16 7 p.m. Wright State at Mississippi State – Carter Blackburn, Hubert Davis ESPN2 / ESPN360.com 7 p.m. Wake Forest at UNC-Wilmington – Sam Gore, Nate Boss ESPNU 9 p.m. Arkansas-Little Rock at South Alabama – Ryan Burr, Mark Gottfried ESPN2 / ESPN360.com 9 p.m. North Florida at Northwestern – Lou Canellis, Mike Kelley ESPNU Sat, Dec 19 Noon Michigan at No. 1 Kansas (Green Game) – Dave O’Brien, Jay Bilas &; Holly Rowe ESPN / ESPN360.com 2 p.m. No. 10 North Carolina vs. No. 2 Texas (from Cowboys Stadium) – Dan Shulman, Dick Vitale &; Doris Burke ESPN / ESPN360.com 2 p.m. Xavier at No. 17 Butler – Brent Musburger, Bob Knight ESPN2 / ESPN360.com 4 p.m. Western Kentucky at Louisville – Dave Pasch, Len Elmore ESPN2 / ESPN360.com 4 p.m. Delaware State at No. 18 Ohio State – Jim Barbar, Mark Adams ESPNU 6 p.m. Memphis vs. Massachusetts (Boston) – Jon Sciambi, Doug Gottlieb ESPN2 / ESPN360.com 7 p.m. Illinois at Georgia – Eric Collins, Mark Gottfried ESPNU 9 p.m. Gardner-Webb at Penn State – Dan McLaughlin, Tim Welsh ESPNU Mon, Dec 21 6:30 p.m. All-College Classic: UTEP vs. Oklahoma (Oklahoma City) – Ron Franklin, Fran Fraschilla ESPN2 / ESPN360.com 7 p.m. Drexel at No. 3 Kentucky – Rob Stone, Jamal Mashburn ESPNU 8:30 p.m. All-College Classic: LaSalle vs. Okla. State – Ron Franklin, Fran Fraschilla ESPN2 / ESPN360.com Tue, Dec 22 3 p.m. Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu): Northeastern vs. Saint Mary’s (Calif.) – Jon Sciambi, Jason Williams ESPNU 5 p.m. Diamond Head Classic: Western Michigan vs. USC – Jon Sciambi, Jason Williams ESPNU 7 p.m. No. 12 Michigan State at No. 2 Texas – Dave O’Brien, Jay Bilas ESPN2 / ESPN360.com 8 p.m. Southern Illinois-Edwardsville at Purdue – Jim Barbar, Mike Kelley ESPNU 9 p.m. California at No. 1 Kansas – Brent Musburger, Bob Knight ESPN2 / ESPN360.com 10:30 p.m. Diamond Head Classic: SMU vs. No. 23 UNLV ESPNU Wed, Dec 23 12:30 a.m. Diamond Head Classic: College of Charleston vs. Hawaii
And as mentioned in the above release, ESPN will feature green initiatives during the Michigan-Kansas game on Saturday and you get more details here:
ESPN’s Michigan at No. 1 Kansas College Basketball Telecast to Get Green Treatment Dec. 19“Green Game” to Feature Environmental Conservation Message throughout Telecast
ESPN’s Michigan at No. 1 Kansas men’s college basketball telecast Saturday, Dec. 19, at noon ET will get the “Green Game” treatment through special on-air elements and behind-the-scenes efforts to conserve energy resources and deliver environmental messages.As part of the “Green Game,” ESPN will utilize on-air graphics to provide information on environmental conservation, what it means to be eco-friendly and raise awareness of environmental responsibility within the sports community. Dave O’Brien will call the game with analyst Jay Bilas and reporter Holly Rowe. Special production elements that will be used during the telecast include:
- Kermit the Frog will introduce the “Green Game” telecast with an environmental message;
- Vignettes will showcase green initiatives by both universities, including:
- Kansas: Use of elliptical machines to generate energy for campus power and creating bio diesel fuel from the cooking fat used in dining halls.
- Michigan: Use of hybrid buses in Ann Arbor and for university transportation and the organization of “Zero Waste Tailgates” at Michigan football games.
- Kansas coach Bill Self and Michigan coach John Beilein will discuss the importance of conservation;
- Special animation and graphics packages will be used, including:
- Green colored graphics and the debut of a green tinted ESPN logo that swipes across the screen prior to replays;
- Use of a “Green Game” logo in the corner of the screen during ESPN programming leading up to – and throughout – the game;
- Full screen graphics panels providing conservation-themed information;
- The star watch element – showcasing star players to track during the game — featuring a green appearance and highlighting two players who lead the way in being eco-friendly.In addition to on-air elements, conservation efforts around the game, including for ESPN’s production of the game, will include:
- The host city of Lawrence, Kan. has purchased 8,000 kWh of electricity to offset the power use of Allen Fieldhouse for the day through a local hydroelectric power plant;
- ESPN will use LED lights for lighting the on-air personalities during segments and rechargeable batteries in various equipment;
- Kansas will place 30 new recycle bins with green footprints leading to the containers throughout Allen Fieldhouse;
- In addition to limiting the number of rental cars, every rental car utilized by ESPN game production staff will be a hybrid;
- ESPN crew members will be provided with reusable water bottles and have access to water from a cooler or Gatorade mixed from powder;
- adidas will sponsor warm up shirts made from organic cotton for both teams, the spirit squad and mascots;
- Team mascots will collect recyclables during game time-outs;
- Every concession location in Allen Fieldhouse will serve popcorn in paper bags instead of the previously used plastic containers.
One more press release post coming up.