The worst kept secret in sports media finally gets pushed from behind the curtain and will be officially unveiled to advertisers and the media on Tuesday. Fox Sports officials will be at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York to tell the world what the average fan will see on the new Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 networks when they launch this summer.
Unlike previous Fox launches when the broadcast company started completely new channels from scratch, it’s using existing infrastructure from Speed to form Fox Sports 1 and from Fuel TV to build Fox Sports 2.
And using existing partnerships with Major League Baseball, NASCAR, the Big 12 and PAC-12 along with UFC, the channels will have an extensive inventory of live sports to show. Plus, with an expected partnership with the breakaway “Catholic 7″ from the old Big East conference to form a new Big East conference, Fox Sports 1 and 2 will have live college basketball games in November.
Over the last year, Fox has flown under the radar to bring its new networks into fruition. While NBC Sports has attempted to add major sports to its arsenal, Fox has used its relationships to convince its partners to sign off on shuffling inventory from the Fox Television Network to its cable channels. As a result, Fox will have 14 MLB games starting in 2014 compared to 24 this year. Also, several NASCAR Sprint Cup races will go to Fox Sports 1 after being on Fox for several years.
While it appears Fox is positioning itself as a bona fide challenger to ESPN, it still has a long way to go if it truly wants to mount a fight. Even so, Fox and ESPN have become dance partners in college sports with the Big 12, the Pac-12 and look to partner with the old Big East and the Catholic 7. Just last year, ESPN and Fox filed a joint bid for the English Premier League before losing out to NBC. So as Fox starts the new sports networks, it’s also forming an Unholy Alliance with the one network that it along with CBS, NBC and to a certain extent, Turner Sports are hoping to knock down.
In addition to the live games, Fox Sports 1 will have talk shows. Regis Philbin announced on “The View” Monday that he will host a show on the network that will be modeled after “The View” itself. John Ourand of Sports Business Journal reported last year that Jay Mohr, a host on Fox Sports Radio, was in talks for his own series on FS1.
With Tuesday’s announcement, Fox Sports 1 and 2 become the New Kids on the Sports Block. The key for success will be clearance among increasing militant cable and satellite providers which are balking at paying high subscriber fees due to sports rights. Richard Sandomir and Amy Chozick of the New York Times report that Fox is seeking $1 per subscriber for FS1. After the euphoria of launching a new cable network comes the reality of gaining cable carriage. We’ve yet to hear if Fox has been able to get agreements from the major providers like Bright House, Cablevision, Comcast, Cox, DirecTV, Dish, Suddenlink and Time Warner among others. If Fox Sports 1 and 2 are cleared throughout the country, then it will be a major hurdle that will be out of the way.
And if Fox Sports 1 is able to get an NFL package and NBA games to add to their other properties, then the road for the networks will be paved with gold. Right now, the networks will be given a head start with MLB, NASCAR, college football and basketball, MMA, World Cup Soccer and additional soccer games coming Fox Soccer. If more properties can be added, then Fox will be in very good position as it heads into the next decade.
The journey for the new Fox Sports entities begins on Tuesday. Whether it will be smooth sailing or a stormy ride will be determined over the next few years.
Let’s do some linkage while I have some time.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand notes NBC’s hiring of Tiger Woods pal Notah Begay to its golf team. He replaces Dottie Pepper who went to the PGA of America.
Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand profiles ESPN PR pioneer Rosa Gatti who is retiring from the network after working there since the early days.
John & Tripp Mickle write that NBC remains as a wild card in the NASCAR Sprint Cup talks.
Over to the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center where Manny Randhawa definitely had an agenda in an interview with Deadspin editor Tommy Craggs over the site’s Manti Te’o coverage. Craggs shoots down several of Randhawa’s loaded questions.
To the Bleacher Report where King Kaufman analyzes the Craggs interview. It should be noted that Randhawa did some writing for B/R, but not now.
Michael O’Connell of the Hollywood Reporter says thanks to the Super Bowl and the Grammys, CBS will win the February sweeps while NBC without the NFL has fallen harder than a 3 ton boulder.
In Multichannel News, Broadcasting & Cable’s Tim Baysinger writes about ESPN getting out of the UK and selling its channels to BT Group.
At The Sherman Report, Ed Sherman notes that Leigh Montville is still producing high quality columns.
ESPN’s Darren Rovell says NASCAR needs to find a way to keep the increased audience that watched the Daytona 500 on Sunday.
Sports Video Group tells us that the MLS’s FC Dallas has signed a TV rights deal with Time Warner Cable. Fox Sports Southwest previously held the rights.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call says the Iron Pigs announcers will call some Philadelphia Phillies Spring Training games.
Eric Deggans from the Tampa Bay Times writes about the shaky debut of CBS Radio’s FM sports radio station.
John Kiesewetter from the Cincinnati Enquirer writes that the Reds Radio Network has switched games to air Aroldis Chapman’s Spring debut.
Paul M. Banks at Chicago Sports Media Watch says it’s time to end the live postgame interviews.
Houston Mitchell of the Los Angeles Times says ESPN’s Brent Musburger autographed a Katherine Webb poster.
Mark Blaudschun of A Jersey Guy looks at ESPN and the Big East getting back together again.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog says the proposed NHL realignment is good for TV, but not necessarily good for some teams.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media wonders how Olympic hockey would look on CBC and NBC.
Sports Media Watch has some various ratings news.
And we’ll end it there for now.
Saturday was certainly the interesting day in sports with two sports outside of the major four dominating headlines. Let’s go over them in bullet form.
- In what normally is the start of NASCAR’s Nationwide Series became the sports and also news story of the first part of Saturday when a crash at Drive4COPD at Daytona became more than just a race. As cars were speeding towards the checkered flag, Regan Smith and Brad Keselowski crashed. That caused Kyle Larson’s car to go airborne and hit a support fence. It also caused one of his tires to fly into the grandstand. At last check, 28 fans had been injured from the flying debris from the track.
ESPN which was carrying the race elected to run past its signoff time and run into the North Carolina-North Carolina State college basketball game to cover the situation and get interviews with drivers and NASCAR President Mike Helton to find out what happened.
ESPN’s crew did a solid job in gathering information, but the real spotlight shined on Speed for its coverage for two hours on its SpeedCenter program. Adam Alexander anchored the coverage and it covered all angles from the crash from the drivers to the fans who were injured in the stands updating news as it became available, airing the surreal NASCAR press conference and tapping the NASCAR on Fox crew to report the news. In this case, ESPN gets a B for its coverage of the crash and Speed gets the A+.
- After NASCAR, the focus shifted to Mixed Martial Arts and UFC’s pay per view event which had its first female fight headline the card. As usual, Mike Goldberg set up Joe Rogan as much as he could. Rogan tapped into his comedian inner self by suggesting people leave “flaming poop” at International Olympic Committee headquarters over the decision to remove wrestling from its roster after 2020. It certainly was a strange comment, but it was due to Dan Henderson wearing trunks with a Twitter hashtag seeking to keep wrestling in the Olympics past 2020.
But that was not the main focus of the pay per view telecast, it was Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche as the main fight and it did not disappoint. While the fight lasted one round, it had a lot of action has Rousey had to overcome a chokehold and Rousey doing her patented armbar to win her 7th consecutive fight and retain the UFC’s Women’s Championship. Judging by the reaction on social media, there were a lot of buys for the fight and more than the usual attention on a UFC pay per view. Of course, Twitter reaction does not necessarily translate to ratings, but I’m thinking the interest into Rousey may have won UFC some fans on Saturday. And with Rousey’s win, expect her star to rise with interviews on mainstream programs like The View, Live with Kelly and Michael and Today’s 4th hour with Hoda and Kathie Lee.
- One story that quietly surfaced on Saturday was the potential NHL conference realignment worked out between the league and the NHL Players Association. You may remember the league tried realignment before the lockout, but it was rejected by the NHLPA. But this time, the league worked with the players and we have some interesting results.
Detroit and Columbus would both go East. The Eastern half of the league would have two eight team “conferences”. Out West, there would be two seven team “conferences” and an interesting feature as unveiled by CBC’s Elliotte Friedman on Hockey Night in Canada, there would be Wild Cards in the East to offset the higher playoff chances in the West. That could lead to some very interesting playoff potential and ratings for the NHL’s TV partners. If this is approved and Detroit heads back East, it brings back the old Toronto-Detroit Original Six rivalry into play and it also has five of the Original Six in the East. Chicago would remain in the West.
There’s a lot of TV potential with this new realignment. NBC’s focus could remain totally in the East if Detroit moves out from the West. And Hockey Night in Canada wherever it lands could see more Detroit games for its 7 p.m. ET window.
Certainly some interesting news coming out of the NHL on Saturday.
Ok, some thoughts for you on this Sunday. Back later today.
When do you bury news? On the weekend!
When do the networks put out terse statements on lost sports properties? Either late at night or on the weekends, like 3:19 p.m. ET on Saturday.
NBC has conceded losing the Big East Conference to ESPN which matched the Peacock’s offer this week. There was a slight chance that NBC could have picked up the conference had ESPN not worked out the number of exposures on its networks, but apparently that was done today.
In a tweet, NBC Sports Public Relations put out a ten word statement not even mentioning ESPN.
Statement on the Big East: “We wish the Big East and its incumbent partners well.”
— NBCSportsPR (@NBCSportsPR) February 23, 2013
ESPN public relations maven Mike Soltys tweeted a 17-word statement announcing the retention of The Big East.
ESPN has matched an offer for the Big East and we look forward to continuing our relationship.
— Mike Soltys (@espnmikes) February 23, 2013
NBC Sports Network had offered a six year deal to air Big East football and basketball games at a fee of over $20 million annually. Games would have been aired on both NBC Sports Network and the NBC mothership. We have yet to get details from ESPN, but look for games to be shared between ESPN and its unholy ally, Fox Sports, namely Fox Sports 1.
The Big East has worked out a separate contract with CBS for basketball.
I’ll provide more details as they become available.
From John Ourand in today’s Sports Business Daily, ESPN has matched NBC’s offer to air Big East football and basketball. Earlier this week, it was reported that the Big East came to an agreement with NBC Sports Network, a deal with more $20 million annually over six years. Today was the deadline for ESPN to match the offer which it apparently has.
However, ESPN has to work out the number of exposures on its network and on other entities. If ESPN gains the contract, expect the network to sublicense football and basketball games to Fox Sports 1. The Big East has worked out a separate agreement with CBS for basketball.
The conference presidents have to sign off on the deal. If the number of exposures cannot be worked out, then the contract reverts to NBC Sports so there’s hope, albeit slim for the Peacock to attain its first major college conference. If NBC wins out, some football games would be shuffled to the broadcast network. According to Ourand, ESPN would not send any games to ABC.
So there’s still some work to be done if ESPN is to keep the Big East. If it does, we can expect the unholy alliance between ESPN and Fox to be in effect once again to prevent NBC from gaining a foothold in college sports. The alliance works for the Big 12 and the Pac-12. However, if NBC Sports Network can somehow get the Big East, it would have plenty of live inventory from football and basketball and perhaps some Olympic Sports during the spring.
If NBC is shut out, then it will be a long wait for the next college contract which will be the Big Ten in the second half of this decade.
We’ll be keeping an eye on this story as it develops.
This is all speculation right now. We’ll keep you up to date
Let’s provide a few items that need to be recognized on this busy Thursday in sports. Updated the Viewing Picks to include Entertainment, MMA, NASCAR and the revised start time for the WGC Match Play Championships. I work over an hour compiling the viewing picks for you, so peruse them and let me know that you’re reading them.
Before I start, I spent Wednesday night catching up with friends from the Providence Clear Channel radio station cluster as we got together to remember Mike Gonsalves, known as Dr. Metal on 94HJY. Throughout the 1990′s and into the 21st Century, Doc (as we affectionately called him) hosted “The Metal Zone” on HJY and was recognized by the metal community for being the only program in the region devoted to the genre.
On February 20, 2003, Doc introduced the hair band Great White at The Station nightclub in West Warwick, RI. At 11:07 p.m., pyrotechnics were set off and the walls and ceiling caught fire. With no sprinklers in the building, the fire quickly spread and the people were trapped inside. Most of those in attendance got out, but 100 people including Doc lost their lives. Four other people who were working for HJY managed to get out alive . It is a tragedy that still affects those of us who have a connection. But last night, a group of us who either worked at WHJY/WHJJ/WSNE and B101 at the time and knew Doc got together to remember him and talk about the good times and our memories of Doc. It was great to see everyone and we gave a toast to Mike. I hadn’t seen many in years, but the dynamics we had quickly came back. There’s something about radio people that binds us together. While the business side is awful, the grunts who worked on the mic and behind the scenes are all of quality. I’m truly blessed to have worked with so many good people and am proud to call them my friends. Thanks to John Laurenti for organizing our get together and thanks to all of the people who attended. I can’t mention them all here, but they all know who they are. And we all miss Doc. Rest in Peace, Mike.
Now to some of the stories that are happening in sports media.
- In his weekly media column, Richard Deitsch has news about Ray Lewis joining ESPN, Gus Johnson critiquing his soccer debut, ESPN’s Il Capo di Tutti Capi, John Skipper denying that SportsCenter is ignoring hockey and a whole lot more.
- Continuing with ESPN, The Big Lead’s Jason McIntyre reports that Bob Knight appears to be on the way out from the Alleged Worldwide Leader. While no one can deny that Knight has an excellent basketball mind, it really hasn’t translated on television. Plus there have been times when he’s appeared aloof on TV or even fallen asleep, traits that don’t endear one to the viewer. Knight originally joined ESPN in 2008 to contribute to its Final Four coverage, but was later signed to a full-time contract. Throughout his tenure at ESPN, Knight has refused to wear ties, refused to call Kentucky by name and really hasn’t distinguished himself as an analyst. If this season is the end for Knight, I can’t see CBS/Turner hiring him nor Fox. I think Knight would probably be happy fishing or hunting and conducting coaching clinics.
- We learned yesterday that baseball legend Joe Garagiola was retiring from broadcasting. Since 1997, Garagiola has been part of the Arizona Diamondbacks television team. He began his broadcasting career in 1955 after being a catcher with the St. Louis Cardinals. After joining the New York Yankees broadcast booth and being on the Today Show, he joined NBC Sports in 1974 on Monday Night Baseball with Curt Gowdy. He became the “A” team play-by-play man in 1977 with analyst Tony Kubek. Moved to the analyst’s chair in 1983 when Vin Scully joined NBC and left the network after the 1988 season. Garagiola always poked fun at himself. He had his own 15 minute pregame show before Monday Night Baseball called “The Baseball World of Joe Garagiola” which showed the humorous side of baseball including bubble gum blowing contests and groundskeeping tips. In the Baseball Hall of Fame Broadcasters Wing, Garagiola certainly has had a celebrated career on TV whether it be in the broadcast booth, working in morning television or hosting the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
- A University of North Dakota hockey radio announcer got suspended for using the phrase “choke job” in a postgame interview.
- I hope this doesn’t get removed from YouTube. This is truly some interesting broadcasting history. This 16 minute clip is believed to be the only footage that still exists of Dizzy Dean and Pee Wee Reese calling a CBS Baseball Game of the Week. It’s from 1961 between the San Francisco Giants and Cincinnati Reds at the old Crosley Field. Dizzy and Pee Wee were a very popular broadcast team. Dean was known for his malapropisms and in this clip, you can hear him attempt to pronounce Joe Amalfitano and Matty Alou. Dean called the Game of the Week for CBS from 1955-1965. At one time, Dean was bored with the game he was calling and suggested viewers change the channel to a game being broadcast on NBC and even mentioned NBC. He did a couple of Monday Night Baseball games on NBC with Curt Gowdy as a guest announcer. Dean was truly a character as a pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals, as well as a broadcaster. Some interesting features of the broadcast, no video replay, it wasn’t invented yet and on-screen graphics were few and far between. Do not take it down, MLB.
- Chad Finn of the Boston Globe reports that sports radio station WEEI is making changes to its weekday lineup once again. Kirk Minihane will join the station’s right wing morning show, Dennis & Callahan as a third host. Dennis & Callahan, once a ratings juggernaut, has been trailing Toucher & Rich on CBS’ 98.5 The Sports Hub in the latest Arbitron ratings. This comes after Glenn Ordway was let go last week. I’m hearing that Jen Royle will host a weekend show on the station giving Boston sports radio its first female-fronted show.
- NHL on NBC studio analyst Mike Milbury has once again made a splash. He referred to Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins as “crack addicts” as their play is “addictive.” Awful Announcing has a recap and a video clip.
That’s the notebook for today.
Starting at noon, the WGC Match Play Championships will tee off from the Dove Mountain Resort in Marana, AZ. Golf Channel and NBC Sports will team up to air more than 60 hours of coverage through Sunday. This includes 29 hours of live tournament action.
And with weather expected to have an impact on play, it will be fun to see the golfers bundled up for cold temperatures in the Valley of the Sun.
Golf Channel will have weekday coverage with the preliminary match play groups and NBC will come in with quarterfinal play on Saturday and the Championship Match on Sunday.
The matches always lead to surprise finishes and results and favorites don’t always win.
Here’s the NBC Sports Group press release.
NBC SPORTS GROUP TO AIR MORE THAN 60 HOURS OF LIVE TOURNAMENT AND NEWS COVERAGE OF THE WGC MATCH PLAY CHAMPIONSHIP
WGC Match Play Championship Kicks Off NBC Sports Group’s Seven-Week Run Leading up to the Masters
Two Year Anniversary of Golf Channel/NBC Joining Forces This Week
Golf Central Live and On-site Throughout the Week
Miller, Chamblee, Nobilo, Faldo and Hicks to Participate in State of the Game Friday Night, Feb. 22 at 10:30 p.m. ET on Golf Channel
Spotlight Coverage Returns to Golf Channel During Florida Swing
ORLANDO, Fla. (Feb. 19, 2013) – Golf Channel and NBC Sports will celebrate the two-year anniversary of the companies joining forces this week at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship with more on-site news and live tournament coverage than ever before, kicking off NBC Sports Group’s seven consecutive weeks of coverage dedicated to the PGA TOUR leading up to the Masters in April.
“The partnership between Golf Channel and NBC the past two years has been extremely rewarding for NBC Sports Group, highlighted by two consecutive most-watched years in Golf Channel’s 18-year history,” said Mike McCarley, Golf Channel President. “Our goal from the outset was to expose Golf Channel’s brand to millions more people through the vast resources of NBCUniversal. Additionally, we have focused on providing a new and unique experience for golf fans across all of our programming.”
Golf Channel and NBC will air more than 60 hours of combined coverage this week from Dove Mountain Resort in Marana, Ariz., including 29 hours of live tournament action on Golf Channel and NBC Wednesday-Sunday. Golf Channel also will deliver comprehensive on-site news coverage throughout the week, headlined by a special State of the Game on Friday in primetime and special Golf Central pre-shows airing on NBC prior to NBC’s live tournament coverage.
WGC-ACCENTURE MATCH PLAY CHAMPIONSHIP COVERAGE
40 Hours of On-Site News Coverage: Golf Channel’s news coverage began Tuesday with pre-tournament news conferences from Dove Mountain. Through Sunday, Golf Central will provide on-site, wraparound news coverage for both Golf Channel and NBC’s live tournament coverage, including special Golf Central pre-shows that will air on NBC at 1:30 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday prior to live tournament coverage. Morning Drive, the network’s live, weekday morning show that recently expanded to seven days a week, will increase its coverage during the week with a three-hour show Wednesday, Feb. 20 from 7-10 a.m. ET and a four-hour show on Saturday, Feb. 23 from 7-11 a.m. ET.
State of the Game: Friday, Feb. 22 at 10:30 p.m. ET, the biggest names in golf that cover the game – Dan Hicks, Johnny Miller, Nick Faldo, Brandel Chamblee and Frank Nobilo – will discuss golf’s biggest issues on State of the Game. A Golf Central special, State of the Game will be a roundtable discussion of relevant events making news at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, including World No. 1 Rory’s McIlroy’s outlook for 2013; Tiger Woods continued quest for Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 majors and the growth of the Woods / McIlroy rivalry; the possibility of separate rules in golf for amateurs and professionals; and Vijay Singh’s legacy.
Golf Central on NBC: Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 23-24 at 1:30 p.m. ET, Rich Lerner, Brandel Chamblee and Frank Nobilo will host special editions of Golf Central that will air exclusively on NBC leading in to live tournament coverage. These pre-shows will feature early highlights and will prepare viewers for all of the upcoming action on NBC.
Golf Channel and Golf Channel on NBC Broadcast Team: Leading the broadcast for Golf Channel on NBC’s weekend coverage will be Dan Hicks and Johnny Miller; and for Golf Channel, Terry Gannon, Nick Faldo, Curt Byrum and Steve Sands. Reporters from both networks will include Roger Maltbie, Gary Koch, Notah Begay, Peter Jacobsen and Jimmy Roberts. Kelly Tilghman will serve as host for Golf Channel’s tournament coverage.
GolfChannel.com Editorial Coverage and Live Chats: Golf Channel’s online team will complement the network’s on-air coverage throughout the week on GolfChannel.com. Rex Hoggard and Ryan Lavner will report on-site from Dove Mountain throughout the week with daily columns, blogs, news articles and breaking news. GolfChannel.com’s editorial teams also will participate in live chats online Wednesday-Friday.
NBC SPORTS GROUP’S SEVEN-WEEK PGA TOUR RUN
Start of Seven-Week Run on the PGA TOUR: NBC Sports Group will carry live coverage the next seven weeks on the PGA TOUR, including the Florida and Texas swings, leading up to the Masters in April. In addition to this week’s WGC Match Play Championship, NBC Sports Group will air The Honda Classic (Feb. 28-March 3), WGC-Cadillac Championship (March 7-10), Tampa Bay Championship (March 14-17), Arnold Palmer Invitational (March 21-24), Houston Open (March 28-31) and the Texas Open (April 4-7).
Spotlight Coverage Returns During Florida Swing: Golf Channel’s Spotlight coverage will return during the PGA TOUR’s Florida Swing at The Honda Classic, the WGC-Cadillac Championship and the Arnold Palmer Invitational. While NBC delivers its traditional weekend coverage at these three events, Golf Channel also will be on the air live, but focusing on a specific stretch of holes on the back nine of the three events. Golf Channel’s Spotlight coverage will conclude an hour before tournament conclusion each day, when viewers will be directed to the final hour of NBC’s third- and final-round coverage. Golf Channel’s production unit providing Spotlight coverage will provide a unique, but complementary, viewing experience showcasing action from notable holes. NBC’s production will operate side-by-side with Golf Channel’s Spotlight production. Spotlight coverage made its 2013 debut at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, covering a three-hole stretch at TPC Scottsdale that included one of the most exciting settings in all of sports – the famous par-3, 16th hole.
- The Honda Classic Spotlight Coverage: Holes 15,16,17 at PGA National (The Bear Trap)
- WGC-Cadillac Championship Spotlight Coverage: Holes 15,16 and 18 at Doral Resort & Spa
- Arnold Palmer Invitational Spotlight Coverage: Holes 16,17 and 18 at Bay Hill Club & Lodge
NBC Sports Group / WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship Airtimes
Wednesday Noon-6 p.m. ET 32 Matches Golf Channel Thursday 1-6 p.m. ET 16 Matches Golf Channel Friday 2-6 p.m. ET Eight Matches Golf Channel Friday 10:30-11:30 p.m. ET State of the Game Golf Channel Saturday Noon-2 p.m. ET Quarterfinal Matches Golf Channel Saturday 2-6 p.m. ET Quarterfinal Matches NBC Sunday 9 a.m.-1 p.m. ET Semifinal Matches Golf Channel Sunday 2-6 p.m. ET Championship Match NBC
There you have it.
As the late Bob Johnson used to say, “It’s a great day for hockey.” As it’s cold in the Northeast and it snowed in Southern New England, it’s certainly is a great day for hockey.
And to celebrate the sport, the NBC Sports Group, the NHL and USA Hockey have declared today as Hockey Day in America. Similar to last week’s Hockey Day in Canada, NBC/NBC Sports Network combine to air three games. NBC has an afternoon doubleheader with Pittsburgh at Buffalo followed by Los Angeles at Chicago. NBC Sports Network has the tripleheader nightcap with Washington at the New York Rangers.
The entire day will be wrapped around the Hockey Day in America celebration at New York’s Central Park hosted by Liam McHugh. In addition, there will be several features showing what hockey means to America including one on Jack Jablonski who was paralyzed after a hit in a high school hockey game and struck up a friendship with the Minnesota Vikings’ Adrian Peterson. And there will be another with Michelle Beadle and Jeremy Roenick on hockey hair.
We have the details of Hockey Day in America on the NBC Sports Group below.
Coverage Begins at Noon ET on NBC From New York City’s Trump Rink in Central Park
NBC Sports Will Tell the Story of America’s Passion for Hockey with Numerous Features Throughout the Day Across NBC and NBC Sports Network
NHL Tripleheader: Pittsburgh Penguins-Buffalo Sabres at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC; Los Angeles Kings-Chicago Blackhawks at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBC; Washington Capitals-New York Rangers at 6 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network
NEW YORK – February 12, 2013 - NBC Sports Group will celebrate the third annual Hockey Day in America by delivering nine hours of hockey coverage on NBC and NBC Sports Network, including numerous features that tell the story of America’s passion for hockey, weaved within an NHL tripleheader that features six U.S. teams.
Coverage begins Sunday at Noon ET on NBC with NHL Live originating from Trump Rink in New York City’s Central Park. Liam McHugh will anchor NBC Sports’ live pre-game and intermission coverage, and will be joined by analysts Jeremy Roenick, Mike Milbury and Keith Jones.
Following NHL Live at 12:30 p.m. ET, NBC and NBC Sports Network will deliver three games. NBC will broadcast a doubleheader featuring one Western Conference and one Eastern Conference matchup. In the early game, Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins will take the ice against Ryan Miller and the Buffalo Sabres. Then at 3:30 p.m. ET, the defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings will face off against the undefeated (10-0-2) Chicago Blackhawks. At 6 p.m. ET NBC Sports Network will conclude the Hockey Day In America celebration with an Eastern Conference matchup between Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals against Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers. Both NBC broadcasts will be available online and via mobile through NBC Sports Live Extra and the NBC Sports Live Extra App.
NBC Sports will weave the stories of America’s affinity for hockey into and around its coverage of the three NHL games, which will include interviewing and highlighting American players. Among the stories scheduled to be told on Sunday:
Ice Hockey in Harlem
Ice Hockey in Harlem is a non-profit organization for youth that uses the sport of hockey to promote academic achievement, teamwork and character. Their motto is “Education is the Goal” and the organization has served the community for 25 years. The program is only open to those living north of 110th Street in Manhattan and there is a waiting list to enroll each fall. At the core of this non-profit organization are lessons that stick with the kids for life. Themes such as family, commitment, dedication and giving back are passed on to these local area children, which will help in creating a better future, leaders and role models.
Skaters streaking down the ice with long, flowing hair trailing behind them has been a common sight at hockey games for decades. Unlike playoff beards, which are widely believed to have been popularized by Islanders teams of the early 1980s, the exact origins of hockey hair have never been adequately explained. Michelle Beadle and Jeremy Roenick will dive back into NHL history and explore the long legacy of Hockey Hair.
Jack Jablonski’s Road To Recovery
Jack Jablonski was a promising ice hockey player for Benilde-St. Margaret’s high school in suburban Minneapolis. On December 30, 2011, a check from behind during a JV game left him paralyzed from the chest down. That same day, Jablonski’s boyhood idol, Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson had surgery to repair torn ligaments in his left knee. Jablonski and Peterson both faced grueling rehabilitation programs and seemingly insurmountable odds. Then something curious happened and they met during the summer. Jablonski naturally was inspired by Peterson and all the hard work he’d done to get back to the Vikings’ training camp. What’s surprising is that Peterson was deeply inspired by Jablonski as well and used him as motivation during his comeback, which resulted in one of the greatest years ever by a running back. Jablonski has also exceeded expectations, regaining some movement that his doctors never expected.
A Little Boys Winter Classic
During the NHL lockout this past December, eight-year old Christopher John thought of holding his own Winter Classic. Working with his parents and his teammates on the North Jersey Avalanche, John turned his dream in to a reality. The Avalanche took on the Long Island Royals at Central Park’s Lasker Rink on December 23rd. Along the way, John’s idea for a game took on greater meaning and served as a fundraiser for victims of Hurricane Sandy. New York Rangers LW Carl Hagelin and D Ryan McDonagh heard about the game and showed up at 8 a.m. to cheer the kids on. To date, the campaign has generated $25,000 for Hurricane Sandy relief.
Hockey Day in America is part of Hockey Weekend Across America. Launched by USA Hockey in 2008, Hockey Weekend Across America is a nationwide initiative to celebrate the game at all levels and to expose hockey to new audiences.
Hockey Day In America NHL Tripleheader
The tripleheader will begin at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC when the Buffalo Sabres host the Pittsburgh Penguins at First Niagara Center in Buffalo, NY. Gord Miller will serve as the play-by-play announcer for the game and will be joined by “Inside the Glass” analyst Joe Micheletti.
At 3:30 p.m. ET on NBC, the Los Angeles Kings travel to the United Center in Chicago Ill. to take on the Chicago Blackhawks. Veteran play-by-play announcer Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick will call the action and will be joined by analyst Eddie Olczyk. “Inside the Glass” analyst Pierre McGuire will report from the ice.
The Hockey Day In America tripleheader wraps up at 6 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network when the New York Rangers host the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY. Dave Strader will manage play-by-play duties for the game and Brian Engblom will serve as the “Inside the Glass” analyst.
NBC will also celebrate Hockey Day through social media.
Fans Invited to Use #HockeyDay and Share Messages and Photos of Local Hockey Day Celebrations
NEW YORK – February 15, 2013 - NBC Sports Group will celebrate Hockey Day In America with fans by inviting viewers to share photos of how they are spending the day in their hometown. Using the hashtag #HockeyDay, fans will be able to share photos, via Twitter, of celebrations at home, ice rinks and at arenas across the country. Select images will be retweeted by NBC Sports’ NHL Twitter account @NHLonNBCSports and shared on-air during NBC and NBC Sports Network’s nine hours of Hockey Day In America coverage.
Hockey Day In America fans on Twitter can also follow an entire collection of NBC Sports and NHL accounts: @NHLonNBCSports, @NBCSports, @NBCSN, @NBCSportsPR, @liam_mchugh, @Jeremy_Roenick, @NHL, @BuffaloSabres, @penguins, @LAKings, @NHLBlackhawks, @washcaps, @NYRangers.
That will do it.
Last week, NBC Sports sent out a press release stating that it would begin its primetime coverage the night before the Opening Ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Olympics. In this press release, NBC made the bold claim that: “This marks the first time any U.S. media company has dedicated primetime coverage to Olympic competition – Winter or Summer — prior to the Opening Ceremony.” Sounds good, right? I mean, this looked correct and who would dispute this claim?
In his Monday media column, Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch inserted that NBC claim (now since removed).
Thanks to both accounts for debunking the NBC Sports press release.
UPDATE, 5:15 p.m.: Heard from Twitter follower Eric Fingerhut and he tells me that ABC also aired a USA men’s hockey game on the night before the 1984 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony in Sarajevo in primetime on tape delay.
UPDATE, 6:20 p.m.: I’m also hearing from former ABC Sports staffers who told me they were angry about NBC’s claims.
UPDATE, 9:40 p.m.: Classic Sports TV and Media now has an ABC promo from 1980 showing that indeed, ABC aired hockey the night before the Opening Ceremony.
UPDATE, 3:45 p.m., 02/12/2013: Jeff Haggar of Classic Sports TV and Media has sent these two archive grabs, one from the New York Times and the other from the Washington Post showing that the Olympics primetime coverage started 33 years ago today at 9:30 p.m. ET and not 9 as shown above. Apparently ABC felt it wanted to get one last showing of the sitcom hit “Three’s Company” before the Olympics.
And there you have it. We’re done here.
I’ll do some linkage here.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand says Dick Vitale finally gets to call the NCAA Final Four, but for an international audience.
John Ourand at Sports Business Daily reports that Fox is in talks with Regis Philbin to host a show on Fox Sports 1.
Ed Sherman at The Sherman Report wonders if having Gus Johnson on the World Cup will work for Fox.
Marisa Guthrie of the Hollywood Reporter talks with CBS Sports Head Honcho Sean McManus about the network’s handling of Super Bowl XLVII.
Rick Kissell at Variety says the Super Bowl put CBS on top of the 18-49 ratings demographic and probably put it there to stay for the rest of the TV season.
George Winslow of Broadcasting & Cable says online streaming of the Super Bowl set a record.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News has NBC looking forward to the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
Anthony CrupiCrupiCrupi of Adweek says CBS did not experience a post-Super Bowl bounce on Monday.
Brian Steinberg of Advertising Age notes that Fox is already pitching advertisers for Super Bowl XLVIII in New Jersey.
Bill Cromwell from Media Life Magazine says Budweiser’s touching Clydesdale Super Bowl ad was the most popular among the publication’s readers.
Jeff Pfeiffer at Channel Guide says Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl received its highest ratings ever on Sunday.
The Nielsen Wire blog has the final viewing numbers for Super Bowl XLVII on CBS. Still close to my prediction of 108.2 million.
The Tampa Bay Times’ Eric Deggans writing for the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center says CBS failed to address the main issues facing the National Football League before, during and after its Super Bowl broadcast.
Brandon Costa of Sports Video Group says ESPN has blanketed the country with satellite trucks in order to cover National Signing Day today.
ESPN’s Darren Rovell asks if movie ads were the true winners on Super Bowl Sunday.
The Boston Globe’s Chad Finn writes that former Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield will co-host a new reality show on MLB Network. Wait until you read about the premise.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times says NBC will begin its Olympics coverage from Sochi a day early.
Newsday’s Neil Best says Lindsay Vonn’s injury at the FIS Alpine Skiing World Championships put a damper on NBC’s Olympic media kickoff event on Tuesday.
Ken Schott of the Schenectady Gazette says Time Warner Cable has added MSG Plus and MSG Plus 2 in the Capital Region.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union notes that Tennis Channel will air Rafael Nadal’s return to tennis today.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call feels CBS did not step up to the magnitude of Super Bowl XLVII.
David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun says some local TV stations did not distinguish themselves during coverage of the Ravens Championship Parade.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle reports that the Astros are changing radio stations.
Mel Bracht of The Oklahoman says Super Bowl XLVII set a local ratings record.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes that the Reds will remain on its flagship station and with it, air more Spring Training games.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says on his weekly radio show appearance, Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers offered the olive branch to Brett Favre.
Danny Ecker from Crain’s Chicago Business looks at how Windy City businesses fared during Sunday’s Super Bowl.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News looks into Fox’s announcement of using Gus Johnson on soccer.
The Toronto Globe and Mail runs a Canadian Press story reporting that former pitcher Jack Morris will become a Blue Jays TV and radio analyst.
The Canadian Sports Media blog wasn’t happy about CTV cutting off Super Bowl coverage early for the second year in a row.
EPL Talk is not thrilled about having Gus Johnson on soccer.
Jason McIntyre at The Big Lead says SportsNation co-host Charissa Thompson has a new boyfriend and he works with the Alleged Worldwide Leader as well.
In Awful Announcing, Allen Kenney writes that due to ESPN’s high college football rights fees, Disney’s profits fell in the first quarter of its fiscal year.
Dave Kohl at The Broadcast Booth looks at the coverage that National Signing Day is receiving.
And that will conclude our linkage.
Normally, NBC provides 17 consecutive nights of primetime coverage during the Olympics beginning with the Opening Ceremony and ending with the Closing Ceremony. For the new Olympic contract that will begin with the 2014 Games in Sochi, NBC will now begin its coverage the night before the Opening Ceremony, on Thursday, February 6 with new sports, team figure skating and slope snowboarding. This coverage will be on the infamous tape delay. By beginning its coverage before the Opening Ceremony, NBC can now guarantee 18 consecutive nights of Olympics on TV.
In addition, NBC on Wednesday will celebrate one year until the beginning of the Games with a promo that will air at 8 p.m. ET/PT on most of the networks of NBCUniversal. Here’s a look at the promo.
Competition from Sochi, Russia Begins on Thursday, February 6; Opening Ceremony Takes Place on Friday, February 7
NBCUniversal to Celebrate One Year Out from First Day of Competition with Primetime Promotional Roadblock across 19 NBCU Channels Tomorrow at 8 p.m. ET/PT
Sochi Celebration takes over TODAY Show Plaza on Wednesday, including Mount Rockefeller Ski Slope
NEW YORK – Feb. 5, 2013 – Competition at next year’s Olympic Winter Games will begin one day prior to the Opening Ceremony. As a result, NBC will begin its primetime coverage of the 2014 Sochi Olympics on Thursday, February 6, 2014, one night before the broadcast network provides its traditional primetime coverage of the Opening Ceremony on Friday, February 7, 2014. This marks the first time any U.S. media company has dedicated primetime coverage to Olympic competition – Winter or Summer — prior to the Opening Ceremony. Additional Sochi Olympic programming details will be released later this year.
To celebrate one year out from the first day of competition – tomorrow, February 6 — NBCUniversal will distribute promotional messages across its vast array of assets, which include two broadcast networks, NBC (English) and Telemundo (Spanish); 17 cable channels, including Golf Channel and NBC Sports Network; 10 NBCU-owned stations and 235 NBC affiliates, including their digital assets; the NBC Sports Radio network; the NBC Sports Regional Networks; and more than 40 NBCU websites, including NBCSports.com and NBCOlympics.com.
In addition, numerous NBCU programs across television, radio and the web will preview the Sochi Olympics with editorial content. NBC’s TODAY, NBC Sports Network’s NHL Live and The Crossover, and numerous NBC Sports Radio shows will be among the NBCU outlets carrying one-year-out coverage. Most NBC Sports Regional Networks, NBCU-owned stations and NBC affiliates will be covering the one-year-out occasion as it pertains to their markets.
With 12 new events debuting at next year’s Sochi Olympics, including eight in freestyle skiing and snowboarding, the International Olympic Committee constructed a competition schedule that begins on Thursday, February 6, 2014, one day prior to the Opening Ceremony.
Team figure skating and men’s and women’s slopestyle snowboarding, which are new Olympic events, along with women’s freestyle moguls, begin the day before the Opening Ceremony, and will be featured during NBC’s primetime coverage on Thursday, February 6, 2014. The Opening Ceremony takes place the next night — Friday, February 7, 2014.
“Our recent Olympic coverage has clearly demonstrated that the viewer’s appetite for Olympic content continues to grow,” said Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBC Sports Group. “Due to the new events, it’s our pleasure to provide an 18th night of primetime coverage, a first in Olympic history that will benefit viewers, advertisers, affiliates, and all of our Olympic constituents.”
NBCU will again celebrate one year out from the Games with a robust promotional plan, including a primetime roadblock. At 8 p.m. ET/PT tomorrow, nearly all of NBCU’s 19 broadcast and cable networks will air a 60-second promo for the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games. It will also air at 8 p.m. ET/PT across 33 non-NBCU cable channels via Comcast Spotlight, the ad sales division of Comcast Cable that reaches nearly 80 markets and more than 33 million homes. More than 40 NBCU websites will feature banner and still ads, and all will link to the Olympic promo. The 60-second spot recalls the magical feelings of the London Olympics and looks forward to the anticipated excitement of Sochi.
“Our primetime roadblock is emblematic of our ability to utilize the scale of NBCU to market the Olympic Games to great effect,” said John Miller, CMO, NBC Sports Group. “Our one-year-out campaign begins what will be the largest marketing effort ever by NBCU for an Olympic Winter Games. The eight-tier marketing plan we employ has been honed over the past 20+ years. When finished, it will reach every American several times over. And it officially begins tomorrow, one year out from the first day of competition.”
The 19 NBCU networks airing the promo tomorrow either at 8 p.m. ET/PT, as part of the roadblock, or at another time within the 8-9 p.m. ET/PT hour are: NBC, Telemundo, Bravo, Chiller, Cloo, CNBC, E!, G4, Golf Channel, MSNBC, mun2, NBC Sports Network, Oxygen, Sprout, Style, Syfy, The Weather Channel, Universal HD, and USA.
In addition to the roadblock, one-year-out marketing efforts will include: coordination with all NBCU social media assets; banner ads for NBCU websites; distribution of the promotional spot and digital banner ads to 10 NBCU-owned stations, 235 NBC affiliates and the NBC Sports Regional Networks; and a significant presence at the NBC Experience Store in Rockefeller Center.
TODAY SHOW & ADDITIONAL EDITORIAL COVERAGE
Tomorrow, the TODAY Plaza will be transformed into a winter wonderland complete with Mount Rockefeller, a 14 by 56 foot ski slope. Olympians and Olympic hopefuls will join Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker and Natalie Morales on the Plaza to preview the upcoming Winter Games. Correspondent Ben Fogle will report live from Sochi to catch up with hopefuls from the US Ski Team and US Bobsled Team. Fogle will also take a look at the Olympic preparations underway and Russia’s plans for a year out celebration.
TODAY will introduce freestyle skiing’s slopestyle event, which is new to the Olympic program. Slopestyle skiers will show off the first-time Olympic sport on Mount Rockefeller while teaching some of the basics to the TODAY show anchors. Scott Hamilton will join the TODAY team to take a look at what’s ahead in figure skating, and Olympian Chuck Berkeley will discuss what’s new in bobsledding. The 2010 Men’s Figure Skating Olympic champion, Evan Lysacek, will perform live on The Rink at Rockefeller Center.
Fans and viewers are encouraged to visit Rockefeller Plaza tomorrow at 7 a.m. to participate in TODAY’s “Countdown to Sochi” celebration with interactive winter activities and Olympic-style photo booths. Plus, Roker’s forecast calls for a 100-percent chance of snow on the Plaza.
In addition to TODAY, numerous NBC Sports Group platforms and shows will dedicate editorial content to previewing the Winter Games, including NBC Sports Network’s NHL Live and The Crossover, numerous NBC Sports Radio shows, and NBC Sports Regional Networks. Most NBCU-owned stations and NBC affiliates will cover the occasion as it pertains to their respective markets.
So there’s the info for you.
We have a lot of reviews, recaps and critiques of CBS’ production of Super Bowl XLVII. Phil Simms is a common theme here. Keep that in mind as you read the stories from across the country. If there’s one thing that unites sports media observers, it’s bad announcing.
Here’s my review that was written very early this morning.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch feels Phil Simms did not get the job done.
Will Leitch of Sports on Earth goes all Wu-Tang on CBS. Leitch does not spare anyone on the Tiffany Network.
Drew Magary at Deadspin would like the networks’ NFL pregame shows to undergo a huge overhaul.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand says CBS’ Steve Tasker was thrust into a starring role when the Superdome’s power went out.
USA Today has the results of its annual Ad Meter survey.
And USA Today explains how the results ended up as they did.
Ed Sherman of The Sherman Report says Phil Simms wasn’t up to par.
Dan Levy at the Bleacher Report looks at the best and worst of the Super Bowl on CBS.
Keith Thibault over at Sports Media Journal says CBS didn’t step up to the plate.
Marc Berman at Media Insights deciphers the preliminary ratings.
TVbytheNumbers notes that the Parents Television Council is up to no good once again.
Ken Kerschbaumer of Sports Video Group talks about how CBS handled the Super Bowl blackout.
Brad Gagnon from Awful Announcing reviews the CBS telecast.
David Lieberman of Deadline says sports rights fees are rising at a very fast rate.
Jordan Zakarin of the Hollywood Reporter writes about another Will Farrell Old Milwaukee Super Bowl ad that aired in only three markets last night.
George Winslow at Broadcasting & Cable notes that internet usage dropped by double digits during the Super Bowl.
Tim Nudd from Adweek looks at some of the Super Bowl’s best ads.
Simon Dumenco of Advertising Age has the 10 Super Bowl commercials that blew up social media.
Toni Fitzgerald at Media Life says Super Bowl XLVII became the third most-watched program in US TV history.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times writes that CBS, especially Phil Simms could have done better.
Newsday’s Neil Best says Phil Simms was all over the place last night.
The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick certainly wasn’t thrilled with CBS.
Ken McMillan of the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record is in the minority who felt CBS got the job done on Sunday.
At the Albany Times Union, Pete Dougherty notes that CBS failed to inform viewers properly during the Superdome power outage.
David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun is no fan of CBS’ coverage and today is no exception.
However, David finds praise for NFL Network’s pregame show especially for Baltimore native Melissa Stark.
Tom Jones of the Tampa Bay Times says Phil Simms was a lowlight of CBS’ coverage.
Barry Jackson at the Miami Herald writes that CBS’ telecast was a mixed bag.
David Barron with the Houston Chronicle says the Superdome blackout could prove to be a boon for those advertisers which bought time late in the Super Bowl.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer chooses his top 10 Super Bowl ads.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes that Milwaukee finished in the top 10 for local market ratings for Super Bowl XLVII.
Dusty Saunders of the Denver Post says the Superdome blackout made Super Bowl XLVII even more memorable.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News feels CBS’ explanation of the blackout made for surreal TV.
Joe Flint of the Los Angeles Times writes that CBS is seeing red after Ravens QB Joe Flacco’s “F” bomb seeped on air.
Charlie McCollum of the San Jose Mercury News says CBS didn’t rise up to the levels of the Big Game.
Peter Hartlaub at the San Francisco Chronicle notes that CBS had problems explaining the blackout.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail offers his critique of the CBS broadcast.
SportsRantz says we know the Baltimore Ravens will kick off the 2013 NFL season on NBC, but will it be against New England or Pittsburgh?
Cork Gaines from the Business Insider Sports Page says Fox is already promoting Super Bowl XLVIII in New Jersey.
And to end our linkage today, The Big Lead has the best pictures of Extra co-host and exhibitionist Maria Menounos during Super Bowl Week.
That does it. Enjoy the rest of your Monday.
We’re focusing today on the Super Bowl, but you may have already seen promos for NBC’s coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The one year countdown will begin on the networks of NBCUniversal on February 6 (this Wednesday) and yes, it seems just a few weeks ago that the coverage of the 2012 London Olympics ended.
The 2014 Olympics will kick off NBC’s new contract with the International Olympic Committee and be the first for the network without any influence of former NBC Sports Emperor Dick Ebersol. Under this contract, NBC will air 2014 in Sochi, 2016 in Rio, 2018 in Pyeongchang and 2020 in a city yet to be determined (either Istanbul, Madrid or Tokyo).
Certainly a well done promo. We’ll prepare you for the Olympics as we get closer to the Games.
I provide this table which has all of the Super Bowls to date including their networks and broadcasters. I thought you might get a kick out of it to see who has called which games. The CBS lines are in bold because this table was compiled by CBS.
SUPER BOWL BROADCASTERS HISTORY (1967-2013)
|Super Bowl||Date||Stadium/City (Network)||Broadcast Teams|
|I. Green Bay Packers vs. Kanas City Chiefs||1/15/1967||Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA (CBS/NBC)||Ray Scott, Jack Whitaker, Frank Gifford, Pat Summerall (CBS);
Curt Gowdy, Paul Christman, Charlie Jones (NBC)
|II. Green Bay Packers vs. Oakland Raiders||1/14/1968||Orange Bowl, Miami, FL (CBS)||Ray Scott, Pat Summerall, Jack Kemp|
|III. Baltimore Colts vs. New York Jets||1/12/1969||Orange Bowl, Miami, FL (NBC)||Curt Gowdy, Al DeRogatis, Kyle Rote|
|IV. Minnesota Vikings vs. Kansas City Chiefs||1/11/1970||Tulane Stadium, New Orleans, LA (CBS)||Jack Buck, Pat Summerall, Frank Gifford|
|V. Dallas Cowboys vs. Baltimore Colts||1/17/1971||Orange Bowl, Miami, FL (NBC)||Curt Gowdy, Kyle Rote|
|VI. Dallas Cowboys vs. Miami Dolphins||1/16/1972||Tulane Stadium, New Orleans, LA (CBS)||Ray Scott, Pat Summerall,|
|VII. Washington vs. Miami Dolphins||1/14/1973||Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA (NBC)||Curt Gowdy, Al DeRogatis|
|VIII. Minnesota Vikings vs. Miami Dolphins||1/13/1974||Rice Stadium, Houston, Texas (CBS)||Ray Scott, Pat Summerall, Bart Starr|
|IX. Minnesota Vikings vs. Pittsburgh Steelers||1/12/1975||Tulane Stadium, New Orleans, LA (NBC)||Curt Gowdy, Al DeRogatis, Don Meredith|
|X. Dallas Cowboys vs. Pittsburgh Steelers||1/18/1976||Orange Bowl, Miami, FL (CBS)||Pat Summerall, Tom Brookshier|
|XI. Minnesota Vikings vs. Oakland Raiders||1/9/1977||Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA (NBC)||Curt Gowdy, Don Meredith|
|XII. Dallas Cowboys vs. Denver Broncos||1/15/1978||Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA (CBS)||Pat Summerall, Tom Brookshier|
|XIII. Dallas Cowboys vs. Pittsburgh Steelers||1/21/1979||Orange Bowl, Miami, FL (NBC)||Curt Gowdy, John Brodie, Merlin Olsen|
|XIV. Los Angeles Rams vs. Pittsburgh Steelers||1/20/1980||Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA (CBS)||Pat Summerall, Tom Brookshier|
|XV. Philadelphia Eagles vs. Oakland Raiders||1/25/1981||Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA (NBC)||Dick Enberg, Merlin Olsen|
|XVI. San Francisco 49ers vs. Cincinnati Bengals||1/24/1982||Pontiac Silverdome, Pontiac, MI (CBS)||Pat Summerall, John Madden|
|XVII. Washington vs. Miami Dolphins||1/30/1983||Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA (NBC)||Dick Enberg, Merlin Olsen|
|XVIII. Washington vs. Los Angeles Raiders||1/22/1984||Tampa Stadium, Tampa, FL (CBS)||Pat Summerall, John Madden|
|XIX. San Francisco 49ers vs. Miami Dolphins||1/20/1985||Stanford Stadium, Stanford, CA (ABC)||Frank Gifford, Don Meredith, Joe Theisman, Tom Landry|
|XX. Chicago Bears vs. New England Patriots||1/26/1986||Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA (NBC)||Dick Enberg, Merlin Olsen, Bob Griese|
|XXI. New York Giants vs. Denver Broncos||1/25/1987||Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA (CBS)||Pat Summerall, John Madden|
|XXII. Washington vs. Denver Broncos||1/31/1988||Jack Murphy Stadium, San Diego, CA (ABC)||Al Michaels, Frank Gifford, Dan Dierdorf|
|XXIII. San Francisco 49ers vs. Cincinnati Bengals||1/22/1989||Joe Robbie Stadium, Miami, FL (NBC)||Dick Enberg, Merlin Olsen|
|XXIV. San Francisco 49ers vs. Denver Broncos||1/28/1990||Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA (CBS)||Pat Summerall, John Madden|
|XXV. New York Giants vs. Buffalo Bills||1/27/1991||Tampa Stadium, Tampa, FL (ABC)||Al Michaels, Dan Dierdorf, Frank Gifford|
|XXVI. Washington vs. Buffalo Bills||1/26/1992||Metrodome, Minneapolis, MN (CBS)||Pat Summerall, John Madden|
|XXVII. Dallas Cowboys vs. Buffalo Bills||1/31/1993||Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA (NBC)||Dick Enberg, Bob Trumpy|
|XXVIII. Dallas Cowboys vs. Buffalo Bills||1/30/1994||Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA (NBC)||Dick Enberg, Bob Trumpy|
|XXIX. San Francisco 49ers vs. San Diego Chargers||1/29/1995||Joe Robbie Stadium, Miami, FL (ABC)||Al Michaels, Dan Dierdorf, Frank Gifford|
|XXX. Dallas Cowboys vs. Pittsburgh Steelers||1/28/1996||Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, AZ (NBC)||Dick Enberg, Paul Maguire, Phil Simms|
|XXXI. Green Bay Packers vs. New England Patriots||1/26/1997||Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA (Fox)||Pat Summerall, John Madden|
|XXXII. Green Bay Packers vs. Denver Broncos||1/25/1998||Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA (NBC)||Dick Enberg, Paul Maguire, Phil Simms|
|XXXIII. Atlanta Falcons vs. Denver Broncos||1/31/1999||Pro Player Stadium, Miami, FL (Fox)||Pat Summerall, John Madden|
|XXXIV. St. Louis Rams vs. Tennessee Titans||1/30/2000||Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA (ABC)||Al Michaels, Boomer Esiason|
|XXXV. New York Giants vs. Baltimore Ravens||1/28/2001||Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL (CBS)||Greg Gumbel, Phil Simms|
|XXXVI. St. Louis Rams vs. New England Patriots||2/3/2002||Lousiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA (Fox)||Pat Summerall, John Madden|
|XXXVII. Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Oakland Raiders||1/26/2003||Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA (ABC)||Al Michaels, John Madden|
|XXXVIII. Carolina Panthers vs. New England Patriots||2/1/2004||Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas (CBS)||Greg Gumbel, Phil Simms|
|XXXIX. Philadelphia Eagles vs. New England Patriots||2/6/2005||ALLTELL Stadium, Jacksonville, FL (Fox)||Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Chris Collinsworth|
|XL. Seattle Seahawks vs. Pittsburgh Steelers||2/5/2006||Ford Field, Detroit, MI (ABC)||Al Michaels, John Madden|
|XLI. Chicago Bears vs. Indianapolis Colts||2/4/2007||Dolphin Stadium, Miami (South Florida) (CBS)||Jim Nantz, Phil Simms|
|XLII. New York Giants vs. New England Patriots||2/3/2008||University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ (Fox)||Joe Buck, Troy Aikman|
|XLIII. Arizona Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers||2/1/2009||Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL (NBC)||Al Michaels, John Madden|
|XLIV. New Orleans Saints vs. Indianapolis Colts||2/7/2010||Dolphin Stadium, Miami (South Florida) (CBS)||Jim Nantz, Phil Simms|
|XLV. Green Bay Packers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers||2/6/2011||Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, TX (Fox)||Joe Buck, Troy Aikman|
|XLVI. New York Giants vs. New England Patriots||2/5/2012||Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN (NBC)||Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth|
|XLVII. San Francisco 49ers vs. Baltimore Ravens||2/3/2013||Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA (CBS)||Jim Nantz, Phil Simms|
There you have it.
Yup, for the NHL, these are stellar numbers. Of course, they don’t draw a candle to the NFL or even Major League Baseball, but for the sport which has been constantly been beat up in the media and by its own executives, this comes as good news. The season opening game on NBC, regional coverage split between Chicago-Los Angeles and Philadelphia-Pittsburgh drew the best regular season numbers for the National Hockey League dating back to when Fox had the contract. That’s a total of 14 years, and yes, before the 21st Century.
Saturday’s split coverage drew a 1.6 US household rating and an average of 2.77 million viewers. The last minutes of Philadelphia-Pittsburgh peaked at 3.82 million viewers.
These are the the most-watched regular season games on NBC excluding Winter Classic games.
Let’s look at what NBC is saying about the NHL.
SATURDAY’S “NHL ON NBC” BROADCAST IS MOST-WATCHED FOR NHL REGULAR-SEASON IN 14 YEARS, EXCLUDING WINTER CLASSICS
Regional Coverage of Chi-L.A. & Pit-Phi Scores 2.77 Million Viewers, Best Non-Winter Classic Regular-Season on Any Network Since 1999
Buffalo, Chicago, Columbus, Los Angeles, New York, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, & Phoenix All Score Record Ratings across NBC or NBC Sports Network
NEW YORK – January 23, 2013 – NBC’s coverage of the NHL on Saturday produced the league’s most-watched regular-season broadcast in 14 years, excluding Winter Classics, according to official national data released today by The Nielsen Company.
Regional coverage of the Chicago Blackhawks at Los Angeles Kings, which saw the Blackhawks handily defeat the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings, 5-2, and the Pittsburgh Penguins victory over the Philadelphia Flyers, 3-1, was watched by 2.77 million viewers (1.6 HH rating).
Excluding Winter Classics, it is the most-watched NHL regular-season coverage on NBC since the network again began broadcasting the league in 2006, and the most-watched since three-game regional coverage on Fox in 1999 (4/18/99, 3.09 million).
The coverage on NBC (3:25-6:09 p.m. ET) peaked at 3.82 million viewers in the final minutes of the broadcast when most viewers were watching a one-goal Penguins-Flyers game. The Penguins scored an empty-net goal in the game’s final two minutes.
LOCAL RECORDS & MILESTONES
In addition to Saturday’s national success, eight markets set local ratings records or milestones for NHL regular-season coverage that aired either on NBC or NBC Sports Network, Saturday-Tuesday, excluding Winter Classics.
- Buffalo scored a 22.3 for the Sabres 5-2 victory over the Flyers on Sunday on NBC.
- Columbus posted a 2.5 rating for Monday night’s game on NBC Sports Network, which saw the Red Wings defeat the Blue Jackets, 4-3, in a dramatic shootout.
- Phoenix posted a 1.44 on Sunday night for the Blackhawks 6-4 win over the Coyotes on NBC Sports Network.
- New York posted a 0.77 for last night’s Devils 3-0 win over the Flyers on NBC Sports Network, which is the market’s best delivery on the channel for a Devils game in which they did not play either the Rangers or Islanders.
As previously announced, Pittsburgh (19.4), Philadelphia (7.8) and Chicago (6.6) scored best-ever NBC ratings in those markets for the NHL regular season for Saturday’s games, excluding Winter Classics. The 1.5 rating for Los Angeles for Saturday’s game was best for that market, excluding Winter Classics, since NBC’s NHL regional telecast on March 4, 2007 (Col-Det/Phi-Pit/Car-Atl; 1.8), and the market’s best-ever on NBC for a Kings game.
Final national ratings and viewership for Sunday’s Flyers-Sabres game on NBC, as well as Monday’s Red Wings-Blue Jackets game and last night’s Flyers-Devils game on NBC Sports Network, were not available at the time of this release.
That’s it for this post.
It may not have the Big Game this year, but that is not stopping the NBC Sports Group from having live programming during Super Bowl Week in New Orleans.
Thanks to the Dan Patrick Show and the launch of its new Michelle Beadle-driven show, “The Crossover,” NBC Sports Network will have a live presence in The Big Easy. In addition to those two shows, NBC Sports Network will have Pro Football Talk live from the Crescent City as well.
NBC Sports Radio will have some programs live from New Orleans including its nightly Erik Kuselias Show airing from Radio Row.
And NBC will have the Pro Bowl live from Honolulu this coming Saturday which will preview the Big Game.
Here’s NBC’s press release.
The Crossover: With Beadle and Briggs to Debut on NBC Sports Network Super Bowl Week from New Orleans
The Dan Patrick Show to Air a Week of Shows from Super Bowl XLVII
Pro Football Talk to Air Live from New Orleans On NBC Sports Network
NFL Pro Bowl Pre-game, Halftime and Post-game Show to Air Live on NBC from New Orleans
Assortment of NBC Sports Radio Programs Originating from New Orleans
NEW YORK — NBC Sports Group will deliver a robust collection of original programming from New Orleans, La., during the week leading up to Super Bowl XLVII across NBC, NBC Sports Network and NBC Sports Radio. Programs originating from NBC Sports Group’s production headquarters in New Orleans include, The Dan Patrick Show, The Box Score, Pro Football Talk, and the debut of The Crossover: with Beadle and Briggs, as well as NBC’s NFL Pro Bowl pre-game, halftime and post-game coverage. The more than 24 hours of programming on NBC Sports Network is the most ever in the network’s history from a Super Bowl site.
In addition, NBC Sports Radio and other related NBC Sports Group content will be delivered from the Super Bowl host city. The NBC Sports Group production headquarters will be across the street from the New Orleans Convention Center, site of the NFL Experience, and will be the home to all NBC Sports Group Super Bowl XLVII productions.
“New Orleans is always an exciting setting for the biggest game of the season,” said Sam Flood, Executive Producer of NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network. “Our sets are designed to capture the atmosphere of Super Bowl week and all the unique scenery that New Orleans offers.”
NBC SPORTS NETWORK
NBC Sports Group’s coverage from New Orleans will kick off each morning with The Dan Patrick Show (@dpshow) from 9a.m. – Noon ET on NBC Sports Network. Patrick will feature a lineup of special guests from the NFL and world of sports and entertainment. At Noon ET, NBC Sports Network will air The Box Score, The Dan Patrick Show’s daily wrap-up program, featuring ‘The Danettes’ – Dan Patrick’s production team of Paul Pabst, Patrick O’Connor, Andrew Perloff and Todd Fritz.
“Super Bowl week is as good as it gets for this show…beyond the guests,” said Patrick. “In Dallas it was 11 degrees and we recreated the Ice Bowl during the show in the snow. Last year in Indy, we built a barn for Larry Bird and had a mini-Indy 500 go-cart track on set. One thing I know about New Orleans, we will top those.”
The Crossover: with Beadle and Briggs (@Crossover) debuts Monday, January 28 from New Orleans, andwill air each day at 6 p.m. ET from a specially designed set during Super Bowl week. The new 30-minute daily sports, entertainment and pop culture show hosted by Michelle Beadle and Dave Briggs, will focus on the biggest and most topical stories of the day. Beginning Monday, February 4, The Crossover will move to its permanent home in Studio 8G at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York.
“Launching a brand new sports show and NOT being in New Orleans for Super Bowl week would have been absurd. The food, the people, the action.” said Beadle. “Besides, we can take a week of Bourbon Street mulligans before heading back to 30 Rock.”
Pro Football Talk (@PFT) will air each day at 5 p.m. ET from New Orleans, La. Mike Florio and co-host Erik Kuselias will welcome a roster of NBC Sports Group analysts, including Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison, Hines Ward, and Peter King of Sports Illustrated. In addition to deep diving on the most topical NFL stories of the day, Pro Football Talk will provide in depth analysis on everything related to Super Bowl XLVII.
In addition to Pro Football Talk on NBC Sports Network, PFT Live on NBCSports.com will also originate from New Orleans during Super Bowl week. PFT Live will be streamed Monday-Friday at Noon ET on www.ProFootballTalk.NBCSports.com.
NFL PRO BOWL ON NBC
The NFL Pro Bowl returns to NBC in primetime at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, January 27. Pre-game, halftime, and post-game coverage of the Pro Bowl will originate from the NBC Sports set in New Orleans. Host Dan Patrick will be joined by Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison, Peter< King, and Mike Florio.
Calling the Pro Bowl is six-time Emmy Award-winner Al Michaels (play-by-play), who just completed his 27th season as the voice of the NFL’s premier primetime package; 13-time Emmy Award-winner Cris Collinsworth, who has won the Emmy for Outstanding Event Analyst in each of his three seasons in the Sunday Night Football booth; and sideline reporter Michele Tafoya, who last year in her first season with SNF, won the inaugural Emmy Award for Outstanding Sports Reporter. In addition to Tafoya, former NFL quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Doug Flutie will report from the sideline.
NBC SPORTS RADIO
A collection of NBC Sports Radio programs will also be originating from New Orleans leading up to the Super Bowl.
The Erik Kuselias Show will air live every evening from 7-10 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Radio. Kuselias will welcome special guests and NBC Sports Group analysts, including Harrison, Ward and Flutie. Amani and Eytan, featuring former NFL pro Amani Toomer and co-host Eytan Shander, will air live each evening from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Safety Blitz with Rodney Harrison, the Football Night In America analyst and two-time Super Bowl champion, will air Saturday morning from 7-9 a.m. ET. Speaking of Sports with Rob Simmelkjaer will air the morning of Super Bowl Sunday from 8-9 a.m. ET.
Each show will have a major presence at NFL Super Bowl Radio Row and at Media Day. In addition, Kay Adams, NBC Sports Radio update anchor and contributor, will be making the rounds doing interviews throughout Super Bowl week in New Orleans.
NBC Sports Radio is a partnership between the NBC Sports Group and Dial Global. Dial Global is also the radio rights holder for Super Bowl XLVII. Their broadcast begins on Super Bowl Sunday at 4 p.m., ET.
There you have it.
Having regional coverage involving three hockey-friendly markets and a defending Stanley Cup Champion, NBC saw its best overnight ratings for a non-Winter Classic telecast since it began re-airing the league in 2006. And the overnights are the best on any network for an NHL regular season game dating back to 2002.
Regional coverage of the Chicago-Los Angeles and Pittsburgh-Philadelphia games brought a 2.0 overnight number to NBC. Locally, Pittsburgh had the best rating with a 19.4, Philadelphia saw a 7.8 while Chicago garnered a 6.6 number, all quite good and all local ratings records for the NHL.
We have further details of the NHL on NBC ratings in this press release.
NBC’S INAUGURAL 2013 NHL COVERAGE DELIVERS HIGHEST REGULAR-SEASON OVERNIGHT RATING IN MORE THAN A DECADE, EXCLUDING WINTER CLASSICS
Regional Coverage of Blackhawks-Kings & Penguins-Flyers Scores 2.0 Overnight, Best for Non-Winter Classic Regular-Season Game on NBC Since Coverage Began in 2006 & Best on Any Network Since 2002
Coverage up 67% vs. 2011-12 NHL on NBC Regular-Season Average
Pittsburgh (19.4), Philadelphia (7.8) & Chicago (6.6) post best non-Winter Classic Regular-Season Games Ever on NBC
NEW YORK – January 20, 2013 – There was a clear thirst for the return of the NHL as yesterday’s two-game regional coverage on NBC scored a 2.0 overnight rating (3:30-6:15 p.m. ET), resulting in a host of records and milestones, according to official data released today by The Nielsen Company. The 2.0 overnight was (excluding Winter Classics):
- the highest overnight rating for regular-season coverage in more than a decade;
- the highest overnight for regular-season coverage on NBC since its recent coverage of the league began in 2006;
- a 67-percent increase compared to last year’s 2011-12 regular-season average;
- an 82-percent increase vs. last year’s coverage during the comparable weekend;
- Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Chicago scored record local ratings.
NBC Sports’ coverage consisted of the Chicago Blackhawks at Los Angeles Kings, which saw the Blackhawks handily defeat the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings, 5-2, and the Pittsburgh Penguins victory over the Philadelphia Flyers, 3-1, as well as a half-hour pre-game show that featured the Kings championship banner raising.
The 2.0 overnight was the best for any regular-season game on any network, excluding Winter Classics, since a 2.3 overnight for three-game regional on ABC (1/12/02), also making it the best on NBC since the network began broadcasting the NHL again in 2006.
The 2.0 overnight was up 67% compared to last year’s 2011-12 NHL on NBC regular-season average (1.2), which includes the 2012 Winter Classic, and up 82% vs. coverage during the comparable weekend last year, which featured Chicago-Detroit (1.1; 1/14/12; overtime).
The overnight ratings for Pittsburgh (19.4), Philadelphia (7.8) and Chicago (6.6) were NBC’s best-ever in those markets for the NHL regular season, excluding Winter Classics. The 1.5 rating for Los Angeles was best for that market, excluding Winter Classics, since NBC’s NHL regional telecast on March 4, 2007 (Colo-Det/Phil-Pitt/Caro-Atl; 1.8).
TOP FIVE MARKETS (Rating/Share)
Pittsburgh 19.4/38 Philadelphia 7.8/16 Chicago 6.6/15 Buffalo 6.6/13 Boston 2.5/6
With the games concluding between 6-6:15 p.m. ET, including what was a one-goal game for much of that time between the Penguins and Flyers, the coverage peaked at a 2.9 rating. Pre-game coverage (3-3:30 p.m. ET), which primarily consisted of the Kings championship banner raising, drew a 1.4 overnight.
I keep getting bogged down with family stuff. I’m going to try and provide some linkage now.
Deadspin’s Timothy Burke and Jack Dickey have the story of the day exposing the inspirational Manti Te’o's girlfriend story as one huge hoax.
Matt Yoder at Awful Announcing has Twitter reaction to the Te’o girlfriend hoax.
Michael Hiestand talks with ESPN’s Stuart Scott about his cancer recurrence.
Michael asks who has to more to gain from this week’s interview, Lance Armstrong or
Scott M. Gleeson at USA Today’s Game On blog notes that Brent Musburger’s favorite Miss Alabama, Katherine Webb, will cover Super Bowl XLVII for Inside Edition.
Speaking of Brent, TMZ caught up with him as he was at an airport to talk about ESPN’s apology over his comments on Ms. Webb.
George Winslow of Broadcasting & Cable notes that ESPN Deportes is venturing into social media.
Todd Spangler from Multichannel News says Google says Time Warner Cable is withholding its Metro Sports network from Google’s TV service in Kansas City.
David Gianatasio of Adweek writes that Nike’s new ad featuring Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods taps a familiar theme.
Simon Dumenco from Advertising Age facetiously speculates on what Lance Armstrong revealed to Oprah Winfrey.
Brandon Costa at Sports Video Group says NBC and local regional sports networks are scrambling to hire crews and production trucks for a hastily scheduled National Hockey League season.
ESPN.com’s Kristi Dosh, the Sports Biz Miss, says NHL teams are offering perks to lure fans back to the arena.
Newsday’s Neil Best says the TV networks are glad to see the National Hockey League back.
Jerry Barmash of FishbowlNY writes that MSG Network is ramping up for the 2013 NHL season.
Ken Schott from the Schenectady Daily Gazette says thanks to the scheduling, there will be no New York Rangers blackouts in the Capital Region this season.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union has compiled the 2013 NHL TV schedule for the Capital Region.
David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun notes that this weekend’s Ravens-Patriots AFC Championship Game will get Super Bowl treatment from CBS.
In the Washington Post, Dan Steinberg in the DC Sports Bog has the transcript of WaPo columnist Sally Jenkins sitdown with PBS’ Charlie Rose about Lance Armstrong.
For her part, Jenkins says she’s not mad at Armstrong.
The Washington Examiner’s Jim Williams has ESPN’s Chris Evert being bullish on Serena Williams’ chances to sweep the Grand Slams this year.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says a long-time local sportscaster ends his TV tenure tomorrow.
Mel Bracht of The Oklahoman says the AFC Divisional Playoffs topped the local ratings.
Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has a local sportscaster leaving for Chicago.
Danny Ecker of Crain’s Chicago Business writes that the Chicago NHL Team has renewed its radio deal with WGN.
Joe Flint from the Los Angeles Times reports that Fox may convert Fox Soccer into an entertainment channel.
And that’s going to do it for now.
If you need further proof that the NFL rules the airwaves, just take a look at the two press releases I’m going to post for you below.
First, NFL Divisional Weekend drew on average 34 million viewers for the four games played this past weekend. It marks the third consecutive year that we’ve seen so many people watching. And with three of the four games playing close for the most part, the contests for the most part hooked viewers across the nation.
CBS was the big winner this past weekend having 37.7 million people watching the double overtime thriller between the Baltimore Ravens and Denver Broncos on Saturday and another 35.3 million viewing the Houston Texans-New England Patriots game on Sunday.
Fox had 32.1 million people taking a gander at the Seattle Seahawks-Atlanta Falcons game on Sunday and 30.9 million seeing the Green Bay Packers-San Francisco 49ers game in the Saturday primetime contest.
These four games were the most watched programs for the week ending on Sunday, January 13. In addition, the viewership for the Ravens-Broncos gave CBS the most watched Saturday AFC Divisional Playoff game dating back to 1987.
So the numbers were quite strong for the NFL on Divisional Weekend.
RAVENS-BRONCOS ON CBS MOST-WATCHED SATURDAY AFC DIVISIONAL IN 26 YEARS
7 NFL GAMES RANK AS ONLY TV SHOWS WITH 30 MILLION VIEWERS SINCE SUMMER OLYMPICS
For a record third consecutive year, the four Divisional Playoff games averaged more than 34 million viewers and accounted for the four most-watched shows on television last week (chart below).
Saturday night’s Baltimore Ravens-Denver Broncos game on CBS drew 35.3 million viewers ranking as the most-watched AFC Saturday Divisional Playoff since at least 1987.
Since the Summer Olympics, seven NFL games have accounted for the only programs on television to reach 30 million viewers – four Divisional playoff games, two Wild Card playoff games, and the final Sunday Night Football game.
Most-Watched Shows on Television, Week of Jan. 7-13, 2013
Program Average Viewers 1. CBS Sunday Divisional Playoff (Texans-Patriots) 37.7 million 2. CBS Saturday Divisional Playoff (Ravens-Broncos) 35.3 million 3. FOX Sunday Divisional Playoff (Seahawks-Falcons) 32.1 million 4. FOX Saturday Divisional Playoff (Packers-49ers) 30.9 million 5. ESPN BCS Championship (Notre Dame-Alabama) 26.4 million 6. NCIS 21.1 million 7. Big Bang Theory 20.0 million 8. Golden Globe Awards 19.7 million 9. NCIS: Los Angeles 17.9 million 10. Person of Interest 15.7 million
Source: NFL & The Nielsen Company
And from last week, the NFL notes that the four Wild Card Playoff games averaged over 30 million viewers. That was mostly helped by the 38.1 million people who watched the best game of the weekend between the Seattle Seahawks and Washington Redskins on Fox. NBC’s Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay which was played on Saturday, January 5 in primetime had just over 30 million viewers while the Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens on CBS the following day was just below that mark.
Cincinnati at Houston could only muster 23.6 million viewers for NBC.
We have the numbers for Wild Card Weekend.
SEAHAWKS-REDSKINS ON FOX THIRD MOST-WATCHED WILD CARD GAME ALL-TIME
For the third consecutive season, the Wild Card playoffs averaged more than 30 million viewers per game. Sunday’s Seattle Seahawks-Washington Redskins game on FOX drew 38.1 million viewers ranking as the most-watched non-Olympic telecast since the Academy Awards (39.3 million on ABC, Feb. 26, 2012) and the third most-watched Wild Card game ever behind the 2011 AFC Wild Card on CBS (Steelers-Broncos, 42.4 million) and 2010 NFC Wild Card on FOX (Packers-Eagles, 39.3 million).
The four games were also the four most-watched shows on television for the weeek ending January 6. (chart below).
Most-Watched Shows on Television, Week of Dec. 31, 2012-Jan. 6, 2013
1. FOX Wild Card Playoff (Seahawks-Redskins)
2. NBC Wild Card Playoff (Vikings-Packers)
3. CBS Wild Card Playoff (Colts-Ravens)
4. NBC Wild Card Playoff (Bengals-Texans)
5. The Big Bang Theory
6. 2013 Rose Bowl (Wisconsin-Stanford)
7. Person of Interest
8. Two And A Half Men
9. New Years Rockin’ Eve
10. 2013 Fiesta Bowl (Oregon-Kansas State)
Source: NFL & The Nielsen Company
There you have it.
Time for some Monday links. Let’s get to them.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch talks with CBS Evening News anchorman Scott Pelley about interviewing President Obama for the network’s Super Bowl coverage and also reviews the performances of the NFL “B” analysts during the weekend.
Michael Smith and John Ourand at Sports Business Journal note that the Atlantic Coast Conference is exploring the potential of a new league-owned network.
Chris Chase of USA Today’s Game On blog reports that tennis superstar Maria Sharapova has joined Twitter.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today talks with ESPN’s Hannah Storm about returning to SportsCenter this week after the holiday season grilling fire that left her singed.
Hiestand also talks with Michelle Beadle about her upcoming show on NBC Sports Network.
UK journalist David Walsh who was the first writer to investigate disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong after his first Tour de France “win”, has an article in the Sunday Times looking back at his long journey.
Ed Sherman in The Sherman Report notes that the Times placed an ad in the Chicago Tribune calling on Oprah Winfrey to ask certain questions to Armstrong when they tape their “interview” this week. Here’s a closeup look at the ad courtesy of Deadspin.
Ed interviews Dana Jacobson of CBS Sports Radio.
Philiana Ng of the Hollywood Reporter says USA Network and the NFL will team up for their second annual special that will air after the Super Bowl.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News says the NHL is back.
Christopher Heine of Adweek writes that Lincoln has shot a social media-driven spot that will air during Super Bowl XLVII.
Brian Steinberg from Advertising Age says social media might be spoiling Super Bowl advertisers’ suspense and full impact.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times talks about Hockey Hall of Famer Mike Emrick calling a girls’ 12-and-under game last week.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post wants to know why Lance Armstrong thought he could cheat and get away with it.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call says no one is happier about the end of the NHL Lockout than NBC.
In an upset, David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun actually has some praise for CBS’ Dan Dierdorf from Saturday’s Ravens-Broncos game.
In the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg notes that the much-maligned Vinny Cerrato is part of CBS Sports Radio’s weekend lineup.
Dan notes that Fox Sports Radio’s Steve Czaban has quit Twitter cold turkey.
Jim Williams from the Washington Examiner talks about ESPN2′s Australian Open coverage which will run late into the night.
Tom Jones at the Tampa Bay Times has a review of the weekend in sports TV.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says Texans-Patriots drew big numbers in H-Town.
John Kiesewetter at the Cincinnati Enquirer says Time Warner Cable is picking up college basketball games from Sports Time Ohio.
Bob Wolfley with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says the NFL playoffs played big in Sudstown.
Paul M. Banks of Chicago Sports Media Watch says Comcast SportsNet is tapping a Milwaukee sports reporter to fill a position.
The Denver Post’s Dusty Saunders writes that Ravens-Broncos got big numbers in the Rocky Mountain region.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News has this week’s SoCal sports calendar.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail says Americans shouldn’t expect to see small market NHL teams on NBC.
Brad Gagnon of Awful Announcing has the grades for the NFL’s top broadcasting teams.
Because I’ve been in and out today, I’m finally getting the links to you after 6 p.m. I have been trying to get these up since before 11 a.m.
We have the NHL on NBC Sports Network schedule for the truncated 2013 season. Overall, 55 games on NBC Sports Network starting on Sunday, January 19. NBCSN will have games from Sunday through Wednesday with exclusive games on Wednesday nights. Overall, the network will have 26 exclusive windows on 24 nights.
I’ll first post the overall schedule, then various other in-season schedules that NBCSN will offer throughout this Brave New World that the National Hockey League has introduced. I have no idea what I just wrote.
Here’s the NHL on NBC Sports Network schedule.
Sunday, January 20
Monday, January 21
Tuesday, January 22
Wednesday, January 23
Sunday, January 27
Tuesday, January 29
Wednesday, January 30
Monday, February 4
Tuesday, February 5
Wednesday, February 6
Sunday, February 10
Monday, February 11
Tuesday, February 12
Wednesday, February 13
Sunday, February 17
Tuesday, February 19
Wednesday, February 20
Wednesday, February 20
Sunday, February 24
Monday, February 25
Tuesday, February 26
Wednesday, February 27
Sunday, March 3
Monday, March 4
Tuesday, March 5
Wednesday, March 6
Sunday, March 10
Tuesday, March 12
Wednesday, March 13
Sunday, March 17
Monday, March 18
Tuesday, March 19
Wednesday, March 20
Sunday, March 24
Monday, March 25
Tuesday, March 26
Wednesday, March 27
Sunday, March 31
Monday, April 1
Tuesday, April 2
Wednesday, April 3
Sunday, April 7
Tuesday, April 9
Wednesday, April 10
Thursday, April 11
Sunday, April 14
Monday, April 15
Tuesday, April 16
Wednesday, April 17
Thursday, April 18
Sunday, April 21
Monday, April 22
Tuesday, April 23
Wednesday, April 24
Thursday, April 25
Saturday, April 27
Saturday, April 27
Now to the opening week schedule. NBC will start off with three games covered in two national windows between Saturday, January 19 and Sunday, January 20. The NBC mothership will air the Los Angeles Kings’ banner raising ceremony celebrating last season’s Stanley Cup Championship. Here are the games for Opening Week on NBC Sports Group.
OPENING WEEK: NBC drops the puck on its coverage at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, January 19 with NHL Live, featuring the Stanley Cup champion L.A. Kings’ banner raising. Following the ceremony, NBC offers regional coverage of the Kings hosting the Chicago Blackhawks (puck drop at 3:25 p.m. ET) and the Philadelphia Flyers hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins (3:35 p.m. ET).
On Sun., Jan. 20 at 12:30 p.m. ET, NBC returns with the Buffalo Sabres hosting the Flyers. NBC Sports Network begins its season Sunday night by televising the Phoenix Coyotes at the Chicago Blackhawks at 10 p.m. ET. It continues coverage with a game on three consecutive nights from Monday through Wednesday.
Following is the Opening Week schedule (all times ET):
Sat., January 19
Sat., January 19
Sat., January 19
Sun., January 20
Sun., January 20
Mon., January 21
Tues., January 22
Wed., January 23
Now to the Hockey Day in America schedule. NBC will air two games nationally in a doubleheader followed by one game on NBCSN.
HOCKEY DAY IN AMERICA: In its third year, Hockey Day in America will celebrate America’s passion for hockey on Sunday, February 17, featuring more than nine hours of coverage, including three games and six teams from some of the most avid U.S. hockey markets across both NBC and NBC Sports Network. In addition, coverage will include compelling features that tell the story of America’s passion for hockey.
Coverage begins at Noon ET on NBC with NHL Live. The first two broadcasts on NBC are Pittsburgh at Buffalo at 12:30 p.m. ET and Los Angeles at Chicago at 3:30 p.m. ET. The final game of the celebration is between Washington at the New York Rangers at 6 p.m. ET and airs on NBC Sports Network. (All times ET and subject to change)
NBC Sports Network
And finally, here’s the Wednesday night schedule which will focus on division rivalries as the 2013 48 game schedule will not allow for interconference play this season.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT IS RIVALRY NIGHT: NBC Sports Network’s exclusive Wednesday night coverage will now feature some of the biggest rivalries in the NHL, including Bruins-Canadiens and Flyers-Penguins. The network will air exclusive coverage Wednesday nights giving NHL fans four straight nights of hockey action, Sunday-Wednesday, during most weeks. Rivalry Nights begin Wednesday, January 23 with the Bruins and Rangers facing off in another Boston-New York contest. Following are NBC Sports Network’s 2013 Rivalry Nights:
And NBC will introduce a pregame show this season, NHL Live that will originate from the new NBC Sports headquarters in Stamford, CT.
NBC SPORTS GROUP OPENS STATE-OF-THE ART STUDIOS: NHL studio programming throughout the 2013 season will originate from the NBC Sports Group’s new, state-of-the-art International Broadcast Center located in Stamford, Conn. The first studio programming will air on NBC on Saturday, Jan. 19, prior to the two regional games.
NHL Live is NBC Sports Network’s live pre- and post-show with highlights and analysis of NHL matchups before and after every game. It traditionally airs a half-hour prior to live-event coverage. NHL Overtime airs Monday-Wednesday nights after NHL telecasts. It examines all NHL games played that night with news, highlights, and analysis.
That’s going to do it.
I’ll have the official release from NBC on Sunday, but here’s the 2013 NHL on NBC regular season schedule. Next weekend, NBC will air two games on Opening Weekend on Saturday, January 19 and Sunday, January 20. NBC will regionalize two games on Saturday, Pittsburgh-Philadelphia and Chicago-Los Angeles and then during its usual 12:30 p.m. Sunday window, just one game, Philadelphia at Buffalo.
Overall, the NHL on NBC will have 14 national windows. Take a look at what we have for you below.
January 20 — Philadelphia at Buffalo, 12:30 p.m. ET
February 3 – Pittsburgh at Washington, 12:30 p.m. ET
Febuary 10 — Los Angeles AT Detroit, 12:30 p.m. ET
HOCKEY DAY IN AMERICA
February 17 — Pittsburgh at Buffalo, 12:30 p.m. ET, Los Angeles at Chicago, 3:30 p.m. ET
March 3 — Chicago at Detroit, 12:30 p.m. ET
March 10 — New York Rangers at Washington, 12:30 p.m. ET
March 17 — Boston at Pittsburgh, 12:30 p.m. ET
March 31 — Chicago at Detroit, 12:30 p.m. ET
April 7 — St. Louis at Detroit, 12:30 p.m. ET
April 14 — Chicago at St. Louis, 12:30 p.m. ET
April 21 — St. Louis at Colorado or New Jersey at NY Rangers, TBD*
April 27 — New Jersey at NY Rangers or Los Angeles at San Jose, TBD*
* – Flex game (game not selected for NBC will be aired on NBC Sports Network)
It’s been way too long since you’ve seen linkage on this site. This has been the main mission of Fang’s Bites since the beginning, but too often, I get roped into doing family stuff and it prevents me from getting on here until late.
I hope to rectify that. So without further delay, here’s the linkage.
I’ll begin with Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch who looks at tonight’s ESPN production of the BCS National Championship Game and he breaks news that former Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine will co-host a daily NBC Sports Radio show.
From The Sherman Report, Ed Sherman talks with ESPN’s Brent Musburger about retirement.
John Ourand of Sports Business Journal says thanks to its parent company buying into YES Network, Fox Sports will have the rights to as many as 18 New York Yankees games for its national MLB broadcasts (for now, subscription required).
Tripp Mickle of Sports Business Daily writes that DirecTV is dropping NASCAR Hot Pass due to the high cost and low demand.
ESPN’s Darren Rovell reports that the “Catholic 7″, the breakaway basketball schools from the Big East, is negotiating a megabucks deal with Fox Sports.
Nathan Savin Scott of USA Today lists the best sports commercials of 2012.
Mike Reynolds at Multichannel News says tonight’s BCS Championship Game could set an all-time viewership record for ESPN and cable TV.
The extremely warped Anthony Crupi (he’ll even admit this) of Adweek writes that the NFL’s regular season ratings were down slightly from last year, but it delivers an audience unlike any other programming.
Friend of Fang’s Bites Michael McCarthy at Advertising Age notes that college football is close to passing baseball as the nation’s second most popular sport.
Natalie Zmuda of Ad Age says Pepsi wants to make you, yes you, part of its Super Bowl ad.
Mark J. Miller at BrandChannel notes how a Nike ad campaign helped to nudge the NHL into ending its lockout.
Toni Fitzgerald from Media Life Magazine wonders if the ratings will return for the NHL now that its lockout has been resolved.
SBNation’s Steve Lepore reports that Michelle Beadle’s new show, The Crossover, will replace NBC Sports Talk later this month.
David Rogers over at Awful Announcing scolds NHL Network for not covering one second of the end of the lockout.
At the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Wheat Hotchkiss (I like this name) delves into ESPN’s production of the BCS National Championship Game in South Flordia.
EPL Talk reviews Fox’s first-ever broadcast of an FA Cup game.
Will Leitch at Sports on Earth says NBC Sports Network’s ratings may be low, but at least it’s trying to be the anti-ESPN.
Chad Finn from the Boston Globe writes about Bobby Valentine’s new foray into daily sports radio.
Brian Stelter at the New York Times says rising sports fees are causing cable providers to drop lower performing channels.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post needs to stop watching television.
Newsday’s Neil Best says there’s too much sports television and radio for the average fan to keep track of. Well put, Neil.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says Golf Channel has had to adjust its schedule for the weather-delayed Tournament of Champions.
Ken McMillan of the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record says CBS Sports Radio has a home in the Hudson Valley.
Keith Groller with the Allentown (PA) Morning Call talks with an Eastern Pennsylvania native who’s been covering Notre Dame for the last six years.
David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun feels CBS did not get the job done covering yesterday’s Colts-Ravens game.
David says yesterday’s Colts-Ravens game received the highest rating in the Charm City since last year’s Super Bowl.
Dan Steinberg from the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog has the national media reaction to DC NFL Team head coach Mike Shanahan’s decision to keep quarterback Robert Griffin III on the field despite him seemingly being hurt until an injury that ended his game.
Dan says a local sports radio morning show now gets an opportunity on TV.
Tom Jones at the Tampa Bay Times has the winners and losers in the NHL Lockout.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald has some info from ESPN on tonight’s BCS National Championship Game.
Mike Herndon of the Birmingham (AL) News says ESPN could not have asked for a better matchup in the BCS National Championship Game.
Jon Solomon of the Birmingham News looks into the behind-the-scenes for ESPN’s telecast of Alabama-Notre Dame.
David Barron with the Houston Chronicle says Saturday’s Bengals-Texans local rating matched last year’s Wild Card playoff game number.
David writes that former Houston Astros broadcaster Alan Ashby will return to the team as its TV analyst on Comcast SportsNet.
WDIV-TV in Detroit had the suspended Rob Parker from ESPN’s First Take in his first TV interview since he was taken off the air for his comments on DC NFL Team QB Robert Griffin III (starts at 6:15). h/t to Richard Deitsch for the link.
Dusty Saunders of the Denver Post says a Rocky Mountain region sportscaster has plenty of memories that include the Broncos.
Joe Flint of the Los Angeles Times writes that the NFL’s ratings have slipped a bit from last season, but they still remain king of all television.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News has the five things he learned from the weekend.
Tom also has the SoCal sports calendar for this week.
Bruce Dowbiggin from the Toronto Globe and Mail asks with the NHL Lockout over, what’s in it for the fans?
Sports Media Watch notes that the overnight rating for the Cincinnati-Houston NFL Wild Card Game on NBC was up from last year.
SMW says NBC’s nightcap of Vikings-Packers was down slightly from last year.
SMW tells us that Seattle-Washington had the third highest overnight for an NFL Wild Card game since 1999.
And for Indy-Baltimore on CBS, the overnight number was very good.
And that’s going to be it for now.
Nobody won. Really, nobody. The fans lost because they were left hanging and lost a half-season including the Winter Classic at the Big House in Michigan. NBC Sports Network whose ratings fell into abyss with no NHL games from October through now has been “The Biggest Loser” through all this.
Regional sports networks across the country, dependent on NHL games for live programming, have been stuck trying to fill large holes with repeats of past sporting events or in some extreme cases, movies.
So now that the NHL is coming back as early as January 15 and no later than January 19, let’s go over the winners and losers from the NHL Lockout.
No one. Nobody won. Fans. Players. Owners. Sponsors. TV partners. The League. All lost.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman: The NHL has lost 10% of the games in his disastrous tenure due to lockout. No league has lost more games due to labor disputes during the time he’s been in office. And the NHL is the lone league of the major four leagues to have canceled an entire season.
NBC Sports Network: It didn’t have live NHL games for four months and its ratings suffered. With Michelle Beadle’s new show premiering this month and a new NFL documentary about to begin, the network needs that consistent live programming to promote them. The NHL will help in that process.
Regional Sports Networks: Local rightsholders such as NESN, Sun Sports, Comcast SportsNet and Fox Sports Net all depend on the NHL for as many as 80 live games per season. Without live games, they had to scramble for other programming. NESN kept airing the Boston Bruins 2011 Stanley Cup run, but that only goes so far. The RSN’s are happy to see the NHL returning.
Sponsors: Based on the momentum the NHL had built over the last few years including a new long-term TV contract with NBC that began last season, sponsors had begun to drift to the league. As the lockout progressed, sponsors put pressure on the league to get back on the ice.
Local businesses and Employees:Restaurants, bars and shops that depend on hockey crowds for business at night lost four months to the lockout and that’s money that they’ll never get back. Buffalo, Nashville and other hockey-only markets are happy to see the NHL knowing that they’ll have 24-25 dates. But will the fans be back? And if you want to see how losing hockey can affect local businesses, here’s a flashback from WFSB’s Dennis House on how the Hartford Whalers’ departure affected Connecticut and one particular restaurant.
NHL Network: Bad job by the NHL Network for not even bringing back its studio shows to update fans on the lockout. As the news of the lockout was being settled, NHL Network remained in taped programming. They didn’t even simulcast TSN from Canada. Disservice to the fans. NFL Network and NBA TV both covered the ends of their lockouts in 2011, yet NHL Network can’t even provide lip service other than a crawl? C’mon, man! C’mon, NHL Network!
So where do we go from here? There are several things the NHL can do to get back in the fans’ good graces. One, make the Center Ice pay out-of-market package free for the entire season. Also, GameCenter which is the online version of Center Ice should be greatly discounted or made free for the season as well.
When the season opens, whether it’s on January 15 or January 19, NBC Sports Group should be given an opening night doubleheader which should include the banner raising ceremony for the defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings.
If the NHL opens on January 19 which falls on a Saturday, NBC should be given an afternoon doubleheader at noon and 3 p.m. ET while NBC Sports Network should be given games at night.
As far as the Canadian TV partners, expect CBC to given the Opening Night doubleheader no matter what day the NHL will open the season. TSN should get plenty of games for opening week as well.
And we’ll keep an eye on the ratings for any residual effects from the lockout. Both the NFL and NBA did not suffer any collateral damage from the lockout seeing record ratings. We’ll see if the NHL is warmly welcomed back or given the cold shoulder by fans.
To prepare you for the NHL, I’ll provide you this compilation of NESN’s Jack Edwards calling Boston Bruins action over the years.
And for Western New York, here’s the Best of Buffalo Sabres legendary voice Rick Jeanneret.
One more for good measure. TSN provides the Top Ten calls for legendary Pittsburgh Penguins voice Mike Lange. I wish we had “And you can scratch my back with a hacksaw!”
That is all.
Sometimes, a half-hour is all you need for a pregame show. Before Fox came on the NFL scene in 1994, CBS’ The NFL Today and NBC’s NFL Live were just a half-hour. ESPN’s NFL GameDay (that’s what it was called into the 1990′s) was an hour. Then Fox changed it all with its hour-long Fox NFL Sunday. Eventually, NBC followed suit. ESPN went to 90 minutes, then two hours. CBS’ return to the NFL in 1998 meant that its pregame show had to be an hour.
NFL Network decided to a four hour pregame show. Then ESPN expanded to three hours. And it’s been like this forever.
So Football Night in America which has done a half-hour edition for Wild Card Saturday since NBC returned to the NFL in 2006, had a very nice show and brought in Friend of Fang’s Bites Michelle Beadle for an interview with Houston’s J.J. Watt. And it was well-done like a steak. Why not have Michelle on every week on FNIA?
Here’s the transcript.
Michelle Beadle Interviews Texans DT J.J. Watt
Bob Costas Interviews Vikings RB Adrian Peterson and Packers QB Aaron Rodgers
“When I’m in the off-season, in the gym, and nobody’s watching, you’re working for these moments when you’re on national television and the whole world is watching.” – J.J. Watt
“In my mind, I’m the MVP whether I win it or not.” – Adrian Peterson
“We are kind of tired of hearing about it. We want to see our defense shut him down… He’s fun to watch if he’s playing someone else.” – Aaron Rodgers on Adrian Peterson
Michelle Beadle interviewed Houston Texans DT J.J. Watt for today’s special Wild Card Saturday edition of Football Night. Bob Costas interviewed Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson for an interview that will appearerd at halftime of today’s Bengals-Texans Wild Card game and Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers for an interview that is scheduled to air in between Wild Card games.
INTERVIEWS: Below are excerpts from Beadle’s interview of Watt and Costas’ interviews with Peterson and Rodgers.
J.J. WATT WITH MICHELLE BEADLE
On being considered a ‘freak’ and a ‘physical specimen:’ “It’s pretty cool. It’s an honor. This is what I’ve been working my whole life for. When I’m in the off-season, in the gym, and nobody’s watching, you’re working for these moments when you’re on national television and the whole world is watching.”
On seeing people wearing his No. 99 jersey: “Christmas Day was one of the coolest days ever, because I just got to see pictures of kids opening up these gifts. And you see grandmas and grandpas with No. 99 jerseys. Everybody, all ages, so it’s one of the coolest things ever.”
On Head Coach Gary Kubiak saying he wants the Texans to play with ‘reckless abandon:’ “That’s the favorite thing I could ever hear. Because that’s when I play my best…Off the field, I’m a real nice guy, and I’m like a big teddy bear. But as soon as I step across those white lines, you turn into beast mode. You turn into monster mode. And it’s time to go.”
ADRIAN PETERSON WITH BOB COSTAS
On coming back so quickly from his torn ACL and MCL: “My mind works differently. I already feel like just genetically, from my family, that my body heals quicker than others. And most importantly, just my mindset is a lot different from other people. So I didn’t base my recovery on what everyone else had to say about it.”
On if he should win the NFL MVP: “Why should I win? I don’t really want to just plead a case for myself. In my mind, I’m the MVP whether I win it or not.”
On Packers LB Clay Matthews saying they will do a better job of stopping the run: “That’ll be fine with me. I’m going out trying to win. I’m not trying to break no records. I’m not worried about yardage. I’m worried about getting a ‘W’ when that last second went off the clock in the fourth quarter.”
AARON RODGERS WITH BOB COSTAS
On what changes for him in the post-season: “I really believe that you earn your paycheck during the season, and play at a high level, and get your team to the playoffs. And then the post-season is all about creating your legacy. The great quarterbacks are remembered for their playoff successes and triumphs and Super Bowl championships and Super Bowl MVPs. We’ve got one here and we want to add to that.”
On Adrian Peterson: “As far as we’re concerned, we are kind of tired of hearing about it. We want to see our defense shut him down. We’ve played him twice and he had, I believe, 210 yards in the first game and 199 last week. He’s fun to watch if he’s playing someone else.”
That’s it. Wild Card Sunday previews will be posted tonight.
For the sixth straight season, NBC will carry the Wild Card Playoff doubleheader on Saturday. And it mark the next-to-last time NBC will do so. After next season, it’s expected that ESPN will carry one Wild Card Playoff game to add to its almost-$2 billion contract for airing Monday Night Football. NBC has contracted (thus far), to carry one Wild Card and one Divisional Playoff game starting with the 2014 season.
On Saturday, NBC will air Cincinnati at Houston at 4:30 p.m. ET for the second year in a row. And while Mike Mayock and Alex Flanagan will be there again for NBC, Dan Hicks will call the game in place of Tom Hammond. You may remember that for the Pro Bowl last year, Hicks called the game. I’ve contacted NBC for a reason as to why Hicks is calling the game, but have not received a response. If you speculate that NBC may be phasing Hammond off football, you might be correct. But I digress.
The nightcap of Minnesota at Green Bay will hit the air at 8 p.m. with the Sunday Night Football crew of Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and Michele Tafoya.
NBC starts it all with a half-hour edition of Football Night in America. Here’s the NBC preview.
Coverage Begins with Football Night in America at 4 p.m. ET
Bengals-Texans at 4:30 p.m. ET
Vikings-Packers at 8 p.m. ET
NBC Sports Live Extra to Live Stream Vikings-Packers and Bengals-Texans on NBCSports.com
NEW YORK – January 2, 2012 –NBC Sports kicks off its NFL postseason coverage with a Wild Card doubleheader on Saturday featuring the Cincinnati Bengals (10-6) at Houston Texans (12-4) at 4:30 p.m. ET and the Minnesota Vikings (10-6) at Green Bay Packers (11-5) at 8 p.m. ET. NBC’s Wild Card coverage begins at 4 p.m. ET with a special 30-minute edition of Football Night in America.
Football Night In America is hosted by 24-time Emmy Award-winner Bob Costas, who will report from Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. Costas will be joined on site by Hines Ward, the former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver and Super Bowl MVP.
Dan Patrick co-hosts Football Night from NBC’s Studio 8G at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Patrick will be joined by Super Bowl-winning head coach Tony Dungy, two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney Harrison, Peter King of Sports Illustrated, and Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk on NBC Sports Network and NBCSports.com.
In the early game, Matt Schaub and the Texans host Andy Dalton and the Bengals in rematch of last year’s AFC Wild Card game at Reliant Stadium, which the Texans won 31-10. Veteran play-by-play announcer Dan Hicks will be in the booth, joined by analyst Mike Mayock and reporter Alex Flanagan.
After a thrilling victory at home last week, in which the Vikings beat the Packers 37-34 and claimed the last Wild Card spot in the NFC, Minnesota will travel to Green Bay, Wis. for a rematch at Lambeau Field. Coverage of Vikings–Packers will begin at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. Handling play-by-play for Vikings-Packers is six-time Emmy Award-winner Al Michaels, who will be joined by 13-time Emmy Award-winner Cris Collinsworth, and sideline reporter Michele Tafoya.
That’s going to be it.
All Times Eastern
Saturday, January 5
Pregame & Studio Shows
NFL Matchup — ESPN2, 8:30 a.m.
First on the Field — NFL Network, 10 a.m.
Sunday NFL Countdown — ESPN, 11 a.m.
NFL GameDay Morning — NFL Network, noon
Football Night in America — NBC, 4 p.m.
NFL GameDay Scoreboard — NFL Network, 7:30 p.m.
NFL PrimeTime — ESPN, midnight
NFL GameDay Overtime — NFL Network, midnight
NFL GameDay Final — NFL Network, 12:30 a.m. (Sunday)
Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans — Dan Hicks/Mike Mayock/Alex Flanagan
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers — Al Michaels/Cris Collinsworth/Michele Tafoya
Sunday, January 6
Pregame & Studio Shows
First on the Field — NFL Network, 7 a.m.
NFL Matchup — ESPN2, 8:30 a.m.
NFL GameDay Morning — NFL Network, 9 a.m.
Sunday NFL Countdown — ESPN, 10 a.m.
The NFL Today — CBS, noon
Fox NFL Sunday — Fox, 4 p.m.
NFL GameDay Scoreboard — NFL Network, 4 p.m.
NFL GameDay Overtime — NFL Network, 7:30 p.m.
NFL PrimeTime — ESPN, 8 p.m.
NFL GameDay Final — NFL Network, 8 p.m.
Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens — Jim Nantz/Phil Simms
Seattle Seahawks at Washington — Joe Buck/Troy Aikman/Pam Oliver/Erin Andrews
Over 30 Million People Watch SNF’s Dallas-Washington; Sunday Night Football is Again No. 1 in Primetime
Ok, we have a two part post for you. This is on Sunday Night Football’s boffo ratings for both Week 17 and the entire season.
For last Sunday, the Dallas Cowboys-DC NFL Football Team game garnered an average viewing audience of over 30 million people making this the most watched NBC regular season primetime game. In addition, the game received a final US household rating of 17.0 with a 27 share and that is the highest-rated regular season primetime game on NBC ever. So if you think there’s no reason for the flex, then think again. Dallas-Washington games are the two most-watched programs of the 2012-13 television season to date.
It’s the most watched primetime program in 2012 (not including the London Olympics) since the Academy Awards on ABC in February which had 39.3 million viewers.
So here’s the NBC press release for last Sunday’s season finale.
30.3 Million & 17.0 Rating Top ALL NBC Regular-Season Primetime NFL Games Cowboys-Redskins is Most-Watched and Highest-Rated NFL Game this Season
Most-Watched NFL Regular-Season Primetime Game in 16 Years
Highest-Rated NFL Regular-Season Primetime Game in 15 Years
NEW YORK – January 3, 2013 – The Cowboys-Redskins Sunday Night Football game on NBC is now the most-watched and highest-rated NFL regular-season primetime game ever on NBC, the most-watched NFL regular-season primetime game on any network in 16 years, and the highest-rated and most-watched NFL game this season, according to official national data released today by The Nielsen Company.
Sunday’s game on NBC, in which the Redskins defeated the Cowboys, 28-18, to win the NFC East in America’s game of the week, was seen by 30.3 million viewers, 10 percent higher than last year’s Week 17 game (Cowboys-Giants, 27.62 million), which was also a win-and-in game to determine the winner of the NFC East, and the previous most-watched NBC regular-season primetime NFL game. It also topped the 28.7 million for the Redskins-Cowboys Thanksgiving Day game on Fox, which had been the most-watched NFL game on ANY network this season.
Other Viewership and Ratings Notes for Cowboys-Redskins:
- Most-watched regular-season primetime game on ANY network in 16 years (Packers-Cowboys, 31.5 million, Nov. 18, 1996 on ABC).
- Most-watched NFL primetime regular-season final game in 18 years (32.0 million for 49ers-Vikings, Dec. 26, 1994 on ABC).Most-watched Cowboys-Redskins regular-season primetime game in 19 years (31.1 million on Sept. 6, 1993 on ABC).
- The Cowboys-Redskins game received a 17.0 national household rating and a 27 share, up eight percent from last year’s Week 17 game (Cowboys-Giants, 15.7/25), making it the highest-rated Sunday Night Football broadcast ever.
- The two highest-rated NFL games this season are Sunday’s Cowboys-Redskins game and the Sunday Night Football Week 1 game (Steelers-Broncos, 16.5/26).
- Cowboys-Redskins game is most-watched television program on any network (not including the London Olympics) since the Academy Awards (39.3 million on Feb. 26, 2012).
MOST WATCHED NFL REGULAR-SEASON PRIMETIME GAMES ON NBC:
1. 30.3 million Cowboys-Redskins 12/30/12 (Sunday Night’s Game) 2. 27.62 million Cowboys-Giants 1/1/12 (2011 SNF Week 17) 3. 27.57 million Steelers-Broncos 9/9/12 (2012 SNF Week 1) 4. 27.5 million Vikings-Saints 9/9/10 (2010 Thursday Night Opener)* 5. 27.1 million Saints-Packers 9/8/11 (2011 Thursday Night Opener)* 6. 25.8 million Cowboys-Jets 9/11/11 (2011 SNF Week 1) 7. 25.73 million Eagles-Cowboys 12/12/10 (2010 SNF Week 14) 8. 25.68 million Vikings-Packers 10/24/10, (Favre Return to Lambeau II) 9. 25.3 million Cowboys-Redskins 9/12/10 (2010 SNF Week 1) 10. 24.8 million Giants-Cowboys 9/20/09 (Cowboys Stadium Debut)
* NFL Kickoff Games
HIGHEST-RATED NFL REGULAR-SEASON PRIMETIME GAMES ON NBC:
1. 17.0/27 Cowboys-Redskins, 12/30/12 T2. 16.5/28 Vikings-Saints, 9/9/10* T2. 16.5/26 Steelers- Broncos, 9/9/12 4. 16.0/26 Saints-Packers, 9/8/11* 5. 15.7/25 Cowboys-Giants, 1/1/12 6. 15.4/25 Vikings-Packers, 10/24/10 7. 15.3/25 Cowboys-Jets, 9/11/11 8. 15.2/24 Eagles-Cowboys, 12/12/10 9. 15.1/25 Giants-Cowboys, 9/20/09 10.15.0/25 Cowboys-Redskins, 9/12/10
* NFL Kickoff Games
TOP 10 METERED MARKETS FOR COWBOYS-REDSKINS:
1. Washington D.C. 44.6/68 2. Richmon 42.8/60 3. Norfolk 7.1/53 4. Dallas 36.9/55 T5. San Antonio 28.4/44 T5. Austin 28.4/48 7. Albuquerque 27.6/41 8. Baltimore 23.9/35 T9. Greensboro 23.6/35 T9. New Orleans 23.6/3
A look at Sunday Night Football’s season is coming after the jump.
Starting on Friday , the PGA Tour returns to action with the Tournament of Champions live from Kapalua, Maui in Hawaii. The Tournament of Champions will only feature the men who won in 2012 on the PGA Tour.
Golf Channel will carry most of the action, however, NBC will air third round action on Sunday. NBC’s Dan Hicks and Johnny Miller will call the action with Rich Lerner and Frank Nobilo.
In addition, NBC Sports will produce the tournament and most of the PGA Tour events that will air on Golf Channel this season. And the Tournament of Champions will feature Sunday Night Football-style introductions of the golfers.
We have the NBC Sports Group press release.
NBC SPORTS GROUP KICKS OFF 2013 PGA TOUR SEASON ON GOLF CHANNEL WITH TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS IN HAWAII
Tournament of Champions Returns to Broadcast TV for First Time in 15 Years with Sunday’s Third Round on NBC Leading into Primetime on Golf Channel
New “Driving Grid” Graphic Technology Debuts to Measure Longest Drives at 663-Yard No. 18 – Long Ball Hitters Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson Featured Friday Primetime Pairing
New “Sunday Night Football Style” First Tee Player Introductions
NBC and Golf Channel to Air 20 Live Tournament Hours, Including Six Hours in Primetime with Wraparound News Coverage on Golf Central On-Site in Kapalua
“Dustin Johnson arrived to Hawaii on Dec. 27 and will have at least seven practice rounds under his belt by Friday. I have a feeling this could be a great year for Dustin.” – Golf Channel on NBC analyst Mark Rolfing
“It will be interesting to see if any of the putter-anchoring players in the field decide to try a new method in competition. Longer putters to me never seem to work as well on large greens and in windy conditions.” – Golf Channel on NBC analyst Mark Rolfing
ORLANDO, Fla., (Jan. 2, 2013) – NBC Sports Group will present comprehensive coverage of the kickoff of the 2013 PGA TOUR season this week with the Tournament of Champions from Hawaii. Featuring a stellar field comprised only of 2012 tournament champions, the Tournament of Champions, which is scheduled as a Friday through Monday tournament (Jan. 4-7), will be held at the Plantation Course in Kapalua, Maui. NBC’s and Golf Channel’s coverage features a combined 20 hours of live tournament action, including NBC’s third-round lead-in coverage, which marks the first time the Tournament of Champions has aired on broadcast television in 15 years. Golf Central, Golf Channel’s signature news program, will complement live coverage throughout the week with shows hosted on-site in Kapalua.
“The return of broadcast television coverage for the first time in 15 years coupled with the Monday night finish and the unprecedented production resources across two networks will showcase the Tournament of Champions and give the PGA TOUR season the kickoff it deserves,” said Mike McCarley, President of Golf Channel. “We’re also looking forward to giving viewers a much needed dose of Hawaiian paradise during this tough winter.”
TOURNAMENT BROADCAST TEAM: Dan Hicks and Johnny Miller will join Rich Lerner and Frank Nobilo in calling the action from the 18th hole tower at the Plantation Course in Kapalua. Both teams will be joined by tower reporters Gary Koch and Mark Rolfing; on-course reporters Roger Maltbie and Jerry Foltz; and interviewer Steve Sands.
NBC PRODUCTION: For the first time since Golf Channel became part of the NBC Sports family in 2011, NBC’s award-winning golf production team will produce events airing primarily on Golf Channel. Tommy Roy, a 28-time Emmy Award-winner, will produce the Tournament of Champions and the Sony Open in Hawaii. The Tournament of Champions broadcast will feature an increased number of cameras and camera towers, including aerial coverage from a fixed wing airplane for a second-consecutive year at Kapalua.
DRIVING GRID GRAPHIC DEBUTS ON THE 18TH: Driving Grid, a new graphic representation that measures the yardage of tee shots, will make its debut on the 18th hole at the Plantation Course during the Tournament of Champions tournament broadcasts. Similar to the “First and 10” graphic lines used during NFL broadcasts, the Driving Grid graphic lines will be marked off in 25-yard increments on the 18th fairway, which regularly sees some of the longest drives during the entire PGA TOUR season. Since 2003, 92 drives have eclipsed 400 yards on the par-5 18th hole, more than 25 percent of all 400-yard drives on the PGA TOUR in the last nine years. The penultimate group in Friday’s opening round on Golf Channel will be two of the longest hitters on the PGA TOUR, Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson.
NEW PLAYER INTRODUCTIONS, “SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL STYLE” – Players competing in the Tournament of Champions will introduce themselves on the first tee during Friday’s opening round on Golf Channel and Sunday’s third round coverage on NBC in a new graphic package that models NBC’s Sunday Night Football broadcasts. Players will introduce themselves by name, hometown and the 2012 tournaments they won.
Tournament of Champions Airtimes (all times ET)
MORE THAN 20 HOURS OF NEWS COVERAGE: Golf Channel has scheduled more than 20 hours of live, wraparound news coverage of the Tournament of Champions throughout the week. Coverage will begin Wednesday with the 2013 premieres of Morning Drive and Golf Central and continue with comprehensive coverage on-site at Kapalua before and after tournament play Thursday-Monday. Golf Central and Golf Central Pre Game will originate from a dedicated set at the Plantation Course. Kelly Tilghman, Brandel Chamblee and Tim Rosaforte will anchor Golf Central and Golf Central Pre Game on-site from the Plantation Course in Kapalua.
GOLF CENTRAL SCHEDULED FEATURES:
- - Ian Poulter Goes One-on-One with Tim Rosaforte: Ian Poulter sits down with Tim Rosaforte for a candid discussion looking back at the 2012 season. Discussion includes the 2012 European Ryder Cup victory and closing the 2012 season on a high note with a victory at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions.
- 2012 FedExCup champion Brandt Snedeker: Brandt Snedeker, winner of the 2012 FedExCup, talks about his 2012 season and looking ahead to 2013.
- - Rich Lerner Essay on Bubba Watson – Rich Lerner will deliver one of his signature essays on a memorable year for 2012 Masters champion Bubba Watson.
ON THE RANGE RETURNS THURSDAY: On the Range, Golf Channel’s weekly series that takes viewers to the driving ranges of golf’s professional tours, returns Thursday at 5 p.m. ET at the Tournament of Champions. Host Gary Williams and analysts Bill Kratzert and Billy Harmon will examine the players’ swings and routines as they prepare for Friday’s opening round of play. Alex Miceli will report on-site from Kapalua and will be joined by Ian Poulter, who will discuss his preparations for 2013.
TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS PRO-AM: Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, Golf Channel will air an hour-long Tournament of Champions Pro-am special, eavesdropping on players as they get ready to kick off the 2013 PGA TOUR season.
COMPREHENSIVE DIGITAL COVERAGE: GolfChannel.com will provide users with comprehensive online coverage of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions throughout the week. GolfChannel.com senior writer Jason Sobel will report from Kapalua.
NBC Sports Group Hyundai Tournament of Champions Coverage (all times ET):
Airtime (all times ET)
Wednesday, Jan. 2
Thursday, Jan. 3
On the Range (2013 Premiere)
Hyundai TOC Pro-Am
Friday, Jan. 4
Golf Central Pre Game
Tournament of Champions
Saturday, Jan. 5
Golf Central Pre Game
Tournament of Champions
Sunday, Jan. 6
Tournament of Champions
Tournament of Champions
Monday, Jan. 7
Golf Central Pre Game
Tournament of Champions
More coming up.
It’s now time to hand out the hardware for the 6th Annual Fang’s Bites NFL TV Awards. On Christmas Day, I listed the nominees for this season’s awards. Now, we have the winners for the 2012 regular season.
Best Play-by-Play: The nominees are Ian Eagle (CBS), Kevin Harlan (CBS), Al Michaels (NBC), Brad Nessler (NFL Network) and Mike Tirico (ESPN). The winner is Mike Tirico of ESPN. Mike has called Monday Night Football since 2007. He’s dealt with different combinations in the booth throughout his tenure, first Joe Theismann and Tony Kornheiser for one season. Then Ron Jaworski and Kornheiser for two more seasons, followed by Jaworski and Jon Gruden for two and now just Gruden. Tirico has been steady throughout. He’s not afraid to call out a player or a team and he’s always prepared. A much deserved award for Tirico. And if Gruden decides to go back into coaching, Tirico could have a totally new partner next season. No matter what, Mike will be ready.
Best Game Analyst: Your nominees are Troy Aikman (Fox), Cris Collinsworth (NBC), Dan Fouts (CBS), Rich Gannon (CBS) and Mike Mayock (NFL Network). This season’s award goes to Mike Mayock of Thursday Night Football, now a two-time winner. Mike won last year’s Game Analyst Award and will win it again for his work in 2012. There are times when Mike needs to take a breath, but he always brings something to the table and I always learn something new whenever I watch him.
Best Sunday NFL Pregame Show: This season’s nominees are First on the Field (NFL Network), Fox NFL Sunday (Fox), NFL Matchup (ESPN) and the NFL Today (CBS). The hands-down winner is ESPN’s NFL Matchup. This show has been airing since the 1980′s, but the show has mostly remained the same, showing looks not normally seen on TV. Ron Jaworski and Merril Hoge explain their analysis in an intelligent manner without talking down to viewers. And Sal Paolantonio is perfect in the host’s chair. While some pregame shows are stuck in laughfests or lame attempts at comedy, NFL Matchup just sticks to basics and viewers are the beneficiaries.
Best Studio Show, Daily or Weekly: The nominees in this category are Around the League Live (NFL Network), Inside the NFL (Showtime), NFL Live (ESPN), NFL PrimeTime (ESPN) and NFL Turning Point (NBC Sports Network). I should have added Sound FX from NFL Network and I’ll make sure this will be nominated next season. All of the shows are done very well, but I’m going to go with the venerable Inside the NFL of Showtime. After moving to Showtime from HBO, the show adjusted from having Bob Costas as host to James Brown and bringing in new castmates Phil Simms, Warren Sapp (since dropped from the show) and insider Michael Lombardi to the only holdover Cris Collinsworth. NFL Films highlights remains a huge part of the show. Seeing the dynamic between Collinsworth and Simms has been fun and JB is one of the best hosts in sports television.
Best Highlight Show: The nominees are Football Night in America (NBC), NFL GameDay Final (NFL Network), NFL PrimeTime (ESPN) and The OT (Fox). It has to be NFL GameDay Final on NFL Network. While Chris Rose is an extremely weak host, the highlights are the star. In addition, an extreme weakness is having Marshall Faulk, Michael Irvin and Deion Sanders are talking over each other, but again, no other show can provide three or four minutes of highlights. The NFL has placed restrictions on Football Night in America and NFL PrimeTime on the length of their highlights, but NFL GameDay Final has no such problem and can go for as long as it wants. The show has suffered since Rich Eisen left for GameDay Morning, but what matters are the highlights.
Best Studio Host: A strong category, it was tough to leave someone out and there is a glaring omission among these nominees: Rich Eisen (NFL Network), Curt Menefee (Fox), Dan Patrick (NBC/NBC Sports Network), Melissa Stark (NFL Network), Andrew Siciliano (DirecTV) and Trey Wingo (ESPN). Tough to leave out James Brown of CBS/Showtime, but I went with six nominees. This season’s winner is first time winner Trey Wingo of ESPN. Trey hosts NFL PrimeTime and NFL Live. The man knows his stuff and deserves a bigger platform. He’s done his time on ESPN and should be given the main host role on either Sunday NFL Countdown or the NFL Draft. Yes, Chris Berman hosts both, but Wingo is a much better nuts and bolts anchor. Wingo doesn’t rely on schtick or catchphrases, he gives you the facts and as a fan, that’s exactly what you want.
Best Studio Analyst: Your nominees are Tony Dungy (NBC), Boomer Esiason (CBS), Marshall Faulk (NFL Network), Rodney Harrison (NBC), Kurt Warner (NFL Network) and Steve Young (ESPN). The winner is Steve Young of ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown. There were times I would scratch my head at Young’s statements, but over the past couple of years, he’s grown on me. His work this season has been spectacular. He and Trent Dilfer had strong words during the first part of the season when the regular officials were locked out and bad calls influenced the results of games. As the season progressed, Young’s level-headed analysis was mostly on target, especially on Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets. Excellent work by Young and he would be a candidate to replace Jon Gruden if the former Tampa Bay coach took a job on the sidelines next season.
Most Valuable Network: The nominees are Fox, ESPN, NBC and NFL Network. Thanks to picking up the final two pieces in its cable provider puzzle, Cablevision and Time Warner Cable, this season’s winner is NFL Network. The network started a new morning show, NFL AM, that is gaining popularity among football fans. In addition, it launched an early morning Sunday pregame show in First on the Field that brought back Melissa Stark to sports television. And to top it all off, Thursday Night Football had its longest schedule ever in 13 games plus its best ratings ever. NFL Network is having its best season ever. Now if can right one wrong in Chris Rose, we’d be all set.
Best NFL Insider: Our nominees are John Clayton (ESPN), Jay Glazer (Fox), Peter King (NBC), Jason La Canfora (CBS) and Chris Mortensen (ESPN). I did omit Adam Schefter and he’s having a very good season, but I’ll go with Jay Glazer of Fox. I’m simply going with Glazer over his sourcing fight with ESPN in the last week. Plus, Jay laid the smackdown on your humble blogger over a mistake I made.
Best Sideline Reporter: The nominees are Alex Flanagan (NFL Network), Jennifer Hale (Fox), Jaime Maggio (Fox), Lisa Salters (ESPN) and Michele Tafoya (NBC). Bringing back this category after a year’s absence, our winner is Michele Tafoya of NBC’s Sunday Night Football. Michele won the initial Emmy Award for Sideline Reporting in 2012 and manages to provide solid information whenever she’s called upon. And her demonstration in Seattle in Week 16 on the crowd noise was one of the most original reports I’ve seen. Quite impressed.
Best Announcing Team: The nominees in this category are Ian Eagle/Dan Fouts (CBS), Kevin Harlan/Solomon Wilcots (CBS), Al Michaels/Cris Collinsworth (NBC), Brad Nessler/Mike Mayock (NFL Network) and Mike Tirico/Jon Gruden (ESPN). The winner this season is the team of the Bird and the Beard, Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts of CBS. I hope Ian and Dan are promoted to the “B” team and will get to call a Divisional Playoff game next season. They have very good chemistry and provide humor to games. Fouts is quite good in providing analysis and spotting trends. Ian has been with CBS since 1998 after one season with the New York Jets and is fast becoming one of the better all-around announcers on sports TV. Fouts has been around for many years calling both the NFL and college for CBS and ESPN/ABC. And Dan is versatile having called play-by-play on radio and TV. They are the winners in this category for 2012.
Best Game Production: Our nominees are Monday Night Football (ESPN), NFL on CBS (CBS), NFL on Fox (Fox), Sunday Night Football (NBC) and Thursday Night Football (NFL Network). We’re going with NBC’s Sunday Night Football. Last month, John Koblin of Deadspin chronicled the evolution of Sunday Night Football’s production and the article showed how SNF focuses on the field, the action and anything the fan wants to see. SNF is the number one primetime series on TV and the way it brings fans closer to the game is a reason why. In addition, Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth carry on a conversation throughout that provides fans with a good understanding of the game.
Best Debut: The nominees are Carolyn Manno on Football Night in America (NBC), First on the Field (NFL Network), Amber Theoharis on NFL Total Access (NFL Network) and Hines Ward on Football Night in America (NBC). The winner is First on the Field from NFL Network. Airing at 7 a.m. ET on Sundays, this is America’s first live NFL pregame show. Melissa Stark has proven to be a fine host. While Sterling Sharpe talks over everyone, LaDanian Tomlinson and Michael Lombardi provide analysis and the latest information leading up to NFL GameDay Morning at 9 a.m. The show is done well and originates from the NFL Films studios in New Jersey. For early risers, it’s a decent show and gives viewers their NFL fix.
Worst Play-by-Play: These are the nominees as we have now reached our “Worst” Awards: Chris Berman (ESPN), Thom Brennaman (Fox), Chris Myers (Fox), Ron Pitts (Fox) and Dick Stockton (Fox). The “winner” is Chris Myers of Fox. Chris is a very good host. He’s also a decent interviewer. But as far as play-by-play is concerned, Myers is awful. He’s constantly misidentifying players and there were times when he was behind on the action. I’m not impressed.
Worst Game Analyst: The nominees are Dan Dierdorf (CBS), Daryl Johnston (Fox), John Lynch (Fox) and Mike Martz (Fox). Mike Martz is the “winner” of this category. There’s nothing of substance provided with Martz. He gets this award hands down.
Worst Studio Host: Just two nominees here: Chris Berman (ESPN) and Chris Rose (NFL Network). The winner of this award is Chris Rose of NFL Network. The first-ever employee of two league-owned network simultaneously, Chris Rose is proving the sucking sound you hear comes from two channel positions on your television. Rose is on the worst show on sports television, Intentional Talk on MLB Network, and now he’s trying to ruin NFL GameDay Final and the Total Access Thursday Night Football Postgame show. He can’t control his analysts (see Best Highlights Show) and there are times he tries to go into “Best Damned Sports Show” which he used to host on Fox Sports Net. Chris Rose takes the award this season.
Worst Studio Analyst: Originally two nominees, Michael Irvin (NFL Network) and Eric Mangini (ESPN), I’ll add Warren Sapp (NFL Network/Showtime) to the mix. The “winner” is Michael Irvin of NFL Network. The man yells, he doesn’t make any sense and why NFL Network continues to use him is beyond me. He’s on three shows, NFL GameDay Morning, Thursday Night Kickoff and NFL GameDay Final. All he does is yell, cackle and laugh. No need for this.