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skepticism and anger has been replaced by a flurry of signed contracts,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.
Got the latest press release from Fox Sports officially announcing the announcing teams for the NFL on Fox.
Nice to see Charissa Thompson graduating from the Big Ten Network going to do sideline work on the NFL. By the way, not to pat myself on the back, but I was one of the first blogs to champion Charissa’s work.
Anyway, here’s the release:
FOX SPORTS ANNOUNCES 2008 NFL ON
TroyAikman and Pam Oliver Return as Top Crew for 7th Season
Super Bowl Champion Michael Strahan joins Curt Menefee, Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long and Jimmy Johnson for the 15th Season of FOX NFL SUNDAY,
’s Most-Watched Pregame Show America
Ravens Head Coach Brian Billick and New Sideline Reporters Laura Okmin, Nischelle Turner and Charissa Thompson Join the NFL on FOX Baltimore
— FOX Sports officially announced today its broadcast teams for the upcoming NFL season. Leading the group again are six-time Emmy-Award winning play-by-play announcer Joe Buck, Pro Football Hall of Famer Troy Aikman and reporter Pam Oliver, who return as the NFL on New York FOX’s lead broadcast team for the seventh straight season. The announcement was made today by FOX Sports president and executive producer Ed Goren. This season marks Buck’s 15th with FOX Sports and Aikman’s eighth while sideline reporter Pam Oliver returns for her 14th NFL on FOX season. The group calls their first game from on Sept. 7 as the Browns play host to the defending NFC East Champion Dallas Cowboys. For the second consecutive year, former Cowboys fullback Daryl Johnston teams with play-by-play announcer Kenny Albert and sideline analyst Tony Siragusa to comprise the NFL on FOX’s solid No. 2 broadcast team. They are in Philadelphia Week 1 as Steven Jackson and the St. Louis Rams take on Donovan McNabb and the Eagles. Cleveland
Each week, the NFL on FOX broadcast day begins with the one-hour FOX NFL SUNDAY (12:00 PM ET),
’s most-watched NFL pregame show. FOX NFL SUNDAY, recipient of four Outstanding Studio Show Emmy Awards, adds reigning Super Bowl champ and future Hall-of-Famer Michael Strahan as a studio analyst. Strahan, the NFL’s all-time single-season sack leader makes his debut on Sunday, Sept. 7 joining co-hosts Terry Bradshaw and Curt Menefee, analysts Howie Long and Jimmy Johnson, weathercaster Jillian Reynolds, and comic prognosticator Frank Caliendo. Strahan’s addition raises the number of Super Bowl rings on set each week to nine. Former NCAA & Super Bowl winning head coach Barry Switzer & Johnson team together each week for FOX NFL SUNDAY’s “Grumpy Old Coaches” segment. America
FOX Sports also announced the hiring of former Baltimore Ravens head coach Brian Billick as a game analyst. Billick, who in only his second season at the helm led the Ravens to victory in Super Bowl XXXV, coincidentally over Strahan’s Giants. He teams in a two-man booth with Thom Brennaman on the eight Sundays the NFL on FOX carries at least seven games, making his debut in Week 1 calling the
Tampa Bayat matchup. Billick also joins Dick Stockton and Brian Baldinger on select Sundays to form a three-man booth. New Orleans
In addition, FOX Sports adds three fresh faces to provide reports from the field as Laura Okmin, Nischelle Turner and Charissa Thompson join the NFL on FOX as sideline reporters. Okmin, who will join Dick Stockton and Brian Baldinger, has been a BCS sideline reporter for the past two seasons, the host of FSN’s “Totally Football” and a feature reporter for FSN’s “Pro Football Preview” the past two years. Nischelle Turner, formerly of KTTV, a FOX affiliate in
will join Matt Vasgersian and JC Pearson while “Best Damn Sports Show Period” co-host and sideline reporter for the BIG TEN NETWORK’s lead broadcast team Charissa Thompson will join Ron Pitts and Tony Boselli. Los Angeles
“I’m really looking forward to seeing our new additions on camera,” said Goren. “Strahan’s chemistry with Terry, Howie, Jimmy and Curt throughout the summer has been tremendous and I’m excited to see it play out on set. With Billick we’ve added an analyst who I believe has as much potential as any I’ve seen in my career while the addition of Okmin, Turner and Thompson provide each of our game crews sideline access. In all, these additions will help continue FOX Sports’ reign as the No.1 NFL Network.”
The 2008 NFL on FOX campaign kicks off Sunday, Sept. 7 (12:00 PM ET) with doubleheader coverage of seven games, highlighted by the Cleveland Browns hosting Terrell Owens and the defending NFC East Champion Dallas Cowboys. Week 1 action on FOX also features an NFC South rivalry when the Buccaneers head to
to battle the Saints as well as the NFL’s leading rusher LaDainian Tomlinson and the Chargers playing host to the Carolina Panthers. New Orleans
Following are the NFL on FOX announcer pairings for 2008:
TroyAikman, Pam Oliver
Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa
Dick Stockton, Brian Baldinger, Laura Okmin
Thom Brennaman, Brian Billick
Sam Rosen, Tim Ryan,
Matt Vasgersian, JC Pearson, Nischelle Turner
Ron Pitts, Tony Boselli, Charissa Thompson
Stockton, Pitts and Albert have the distinction of being the only members of the group to work NFL on
FOXgames full-time since FOXSports’ inception in 1994. Oliver is in her 14th season, followed by Rosen (13), Baldinger and Buck (11), Aikman and (8), Ryan (7), Glazer and Siragusa (5), Myers and Pearson (4), Vasgersian (3), Boselli (2), Billick, Brennaman, Okmin, Turner and Thompson (1). Johnston
Nice to see Fox increase its sideline reporters for this season. And Fox which at one time paled in comparison to CBS’ lineup has a stronger lineup for the 2008 season.
I’m back from running errands so it’s time for some links on this Wednesday.
First, I’m seeing increased traffic the last two days. It’s all for my post last year on Hot Chicks, formerly in Sports Broadcasting, who should be back in Sports Broadcasting. It’s mainly for this picture of Jillian Reynolds.
On to the links.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today says the vacant New York Knicks coaching and GM positions could throw a monkey wrench in the NBA TV analyst world.
Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy spares his usual venom and pays tribute to WBZ-TV sports anchor Bob Lobel who signed off for the last time on Tuesday night.
Adam Leetch of the Portsmouth (NH) Times Herald profiles local resident Dave O’Brien who has his dream job as secondary radio voice of the Red Sox.
Doug Doughty of the Roanoke (VA) Times says the Voice of the Virginia Cavaliers has resigned.
Jeffrey Flanagan of the Kansas City Star writes that the Voice of the Chiefs is not leaving the booth and nor is he moving to TV.
Maury Brown from the Biz of Basketball blog says TNT is still seeing double digit ratings increases for the NBA Playoffs.
Langston Wertz, Jr. of the Charlotte Observer likes Inside the NBA on TNT (scroll down).
From CNN Money, Time Warner is selling off its cable unit which includes CNN, TNT, TBS and HBO.
Greg Augman of the St. Petersburg Times writes that says organizers from the city, ESPN, the Big East and Conference USA are making a presentation to the NCAA for yet another college football bowl game.
The Chattanoogan of Tennessee tells us that FSN’s Amazing Sports Stories will feature a 17 year old girl who struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in 1931.
Chris Dufrense of the Los Angeles Times writes that Fox Sports is not standing in the way of the BCS changing format.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says ESPN Deportes Radio is coming into town.
Len Ziehm of the Chicago Sun-Times reports that the Blackhawks apparently will move to WGN-AM next season.
That’s going to be it for now.
Yup. Sunday. Day when we’re supposed to do some work around the house, read the paper and watch some football. That’s never the formula for me, but I do try to get a few things done. Anyway, enough about me and time for some links.
Starting with Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News, he says he couldn’t believe his ears when Yankees radio broadcaster John Sterling actually questioned a move by manager Joe Torre.
The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick says Sterling’s on-air partner Suzyn Waldman is fair game for criticism despite what she thinks.
Newsday’s Neil Best profiles Cleveland Indians Director of Baseball Operations Mike Chernoff, who’s the Operations Manager at WFAN. Intersting connection, eh? In his blog, Best writes that Chernoff stayed up late to see his team beat the Red Sox last night (as did I). And he writes one thing that Chernoff is especially skilled is math. Neil, why don’t you sign Chernoff to be your client?
Phil Swann in his TVPredictions.com site says ESPNews will launch a hi-def channel next year.
The Toledo Blade has a story on former Cleveland Cavs’ TV voice Michael Reghi who manages to keep himself busy these days.
The Lawrence (KS) Journal-World & News reports ESPN has finally set a time for this Saturday’s Kansas-Colorado game.
Craig Dolch of the Palm Beach Post likes the switch of The Masters to ESPN.
The Athens (GA) Banner-Herald’s Roger Clarkson says Georgia-Florida could be kicking off at an early time on October 27 for the first time since CBS got the SEC contract in 1996.
Blake Jackson of the Oklahoman got to spend sometime with ESPN College Gameday’s Lee Corso.
Kevin Kaduk of the Northwest (IL) Herald says he can’t stand the long TV timeouts whenever he watches a Notre Dame football game.
One question to my loyal readers, can Jillian Barberie-Reynolds show any more cleavage than she did today on Fox NFL Sunday? I’m not complaining, but if her dress was any lower, her boobs would have fallen out. Ok, back to the links.
Frontier Airlines passengers might be able to watch the National League Championship Series and if the Colorado Rockies make it, the World Series.
Those are your links for now. Coming up today, Videos of the Week which will have some Schoolhouse Rock videos, posts on TBS Hot Corner and maybe a Sunday night update. Keep it here.
Let’s do some links for you today as we get ready for NFL Week 1.
Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News goes off on the network studio analysts who criticized NBC’s Tiki Barber who criticized his former coach and team during the preseason. Raissman notes the only person defending Barber was his studio-mate, Cris Collinsworth.
The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick says NBC failed giving a history lesson last Thursday in the NFL season opener.
Staci D. Kramer of Forbes.com has a story on ESPN founder Bill Rasmussen trying to make another splash in the sports world with a new social networking website for college sports fans. Here’s a press release on the launch.
Paul Christian of the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin looks at the changes in the NFL TV landscape. Jonathan Okanes of the Contra Costa Times (CA) says ESPN is burying Joe Theismann. The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s View from the Booth also looks at the network lineup shuffles.
I have never linked to a story from the Star and Stripes military newspaper, but I will now. Dave Ornauer says our troops have plenty of access to NFL and college football games thanks to Armed Forces Network.
The Johnston (PA) Tribune-Democrat has a quick blurb (second story down) on the NFL Network being picked up in that community.
Jeff Barker of the Baltimore Sun writes about the NFL trying to expand its reaches while at the same time, holding onto its core fans.
In the Buffalo News, Alan Pergament writes about satellite showing the Big Ten Network and instantly gaining an advantage over cable.
I have to stop the links to say Jillian Barberie-Reynolds on Fox NFL Sunday looks fantastic, 8 weeks after giving birth to her baby boy. She really bounced back. Maybe I’ll have her segment here later. Man. Gorgeous. Ok. Sorry. Back to the links.
Joanne C. Gerstner of the Detroit News writes about the 10th Anniversary of Fox Sports Net Detroit which took over PASS in the cable scene. I’m sure my Michigan readers will remember PASS.
I’m still buzzing over Jillian. She didn’t have to get married. Ok, stop. NFL season is back, and I also should have lunch. Gotta go. If I have time, I’ll review Fox NFL Sunday and the Football Night in America shows as I’m recording both today. Later.
I had to go to a meeting earlier today so there were no links, but I’m back now so let’s go to it. I’ll have more on the Dennis & Callahan lockout further down in this entry.
Earlier today, Fox Sports had a webcast of its NFL seminar featuring its Sunday pre-game crew of host Curt Menafee, analysts Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long and Jimmy Johnson. Several other Fox analysts were there including Troy Aikman, Moose Johnston and Brian Baldinger. I have yet to see it, but it is archived here.
Talking about the Scooter, Phil Rizzuto, Hal Bodley of USA Today remembers him and looks at his career as both a player and a broadcaster. Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News says the Yankees broadcasts were never the same when Scooter left the booth for good in 1996. Mike Puma of the New York Post recaps the tribute the Yanks paid last night before the game wit the Orioles. Phil Mushnick remembers some of the lovable banter Phil had in the booth with his partners. In Newsday, Neil Best writes that Rizzuto’s on-air partners knew him as quite the unorthodox teacher.
Neil Best was quite busy Tuesday as WFAN announced the hiring of Boomer Esiason and Craig Carlton as replacements for Don Imus. In his blog, Best has a bunch of posts, but one notable entry regarded the Fox NFL Sunday crew which returns to Los Angeles after being a traveling road show last season. And Newsday’s Bob Glauber gets on Best’s case for putting Jilllian Barberie’s picture in the above entry and says Best buried the lead from the Fox seminar. Michael McCarthy of USA Today writes about what Glauber was pointing out, that Fox will pit Jimmy Johnson and former Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer in a one-on-one segment together. Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News also has a quick blurb on the new segment.
In the New York Times, Richard Sandomir reviews the first episode of ABC News’ five part series on NASCAR. Sandomir correctly questions why ABC News would do a documentary on the sport when corporate cousins ESPN and ABC News are television partners of NASCAR. In addition, Sandomir says the first episode does not break any new ground nor does it have any hard hitting journalism.
Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune notes that with 15 days until launch, the Big Ten Network still lacks contracts with the major cable companies. In the crosstown Chicago Sun-Times, Lacy Banks points out that most of Illinois’ and Northwestern’s men’s basketball schedule will be televised on BTN. Dave Lubach of the Sheboygan (WI) Press says he wasn’t a supporter of BTN before, but after seeing that the channel will pick up most of the Wisconsin basketball schedule, he is now. Bob Baptist of the Columbus Dispatch says Ohio State fans will only see half of the men’s basketball schedule unless BTN is picked up locally. Dave Goetzl of the Media Daily News says BTN has for the most part picked most of the top hoops games of the conference for itself.
Do you care that Perry Farrell, formerly of Jane’s Addiction and Porno for Pyros and now of Satellite Party, has written the new theme song for ESPN’s college football? No? Good. I’m not linking to any stories about it.
But I will give you an ESPN press release discussing its extensive Little League World Series coverage which begins Friday and will conclude on Sunday, August 26.
Yesterday, Bruce Allen of Boston Sports Media Watch gave five reasons why the WEEI/Dennis & Callahan contract dispute could, could be staged. Let me say this. Entercom is a company that is known for staging walkouts, suspensions, vacations and fights for ratings. In its Boston cluster, Entercom has WRKO, WEEI, Mike 93.7 and WAAF. When Rocco & Birdsie were doing afternoon drive for WAAF, they were constantly “suspended” for acts that were staged. Interestingly enough, those “suspensions” came during weeks that were not in ratings periods, thus Rocco & Birdsie were really on vacation. When WEEI was “looking” for a midday co-host to join Dale Arnold, Program Director Jason Wolfe went through a charade of “auditioning” various co-hosts when it was known that Bob Neumeier would be joining him. And when the nighttime job opened, Mike Adams staged a “sit-in” in the WEEI studios until he got a contract and lo and behold, Program Director Jason Wolfe called in to inform Adams that he had the job (but this had been decided before the stunt). Listeners are smarter than Entercom gives them credit for, but the company continues to stage these stunts. However with the D&C situation, there are clues leaning to the fact that the lock out could be real. There are clues leaning to the fact that it could be staged. John Dennis is still heard on WEEI promos for the Jimmy Fund Radiothon this Friday. But as Bruce points out today in the Boston Sports Media Watch, D&C want to be paid in accordance with that Entercom makes off their show. We’ll see. Entercom has not been called out for its stunts in the past, but if this lockout is not real, there will be consequences for the company and WEEI.
Those are your links for now. I could be back later with an update.
I have too much free time today. Here’s a post for you, some hot chicks who have been on either on the sidelines or involved in sports TV. They aren’t now, but they should be.
Jilllian Barberie-Reynolds (she’s also pregnant-Grrrr!), Fox NFL Sunday Weather woman, she was only on for three weeks last season when the pre-game show went back to LA for just a brief period. With the show heading back to the studio this coming season, let’s hope Jillian will be back.