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TBS we need Vin Scully on October 2nd

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Via Jack Acecroft
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Vin Scully will broadcast his final Dodger baseball game after 67 years of brilliance on October 2nd in San Francisco.

God willing as Mr. Scully would say and has said.

All baseball fans will be tuned in, we’ll find a way, either MLB.TV or whatever, or stop at the TV store in the mall (oh wait those don’t exist anymore).

No this isn’t 1988 when Scully famously called Kirk Gibson game winning pinch hit home run in Game 1. This is 2016, and time does fly by so quickly, there’s a lot less gentle feeling and infatuation with the game we call baseball these days and for many teams the broadcaster is just a guy who might change every two years.

But Vin Scully was something different. For many of us we’re late to the party. A southern califorina treasure who without “pomp and circumstance” as he would say, also greeted us at different points on the national network broadcast but in general Vin Scully has gotten his greatest widespread audience in the era of MLB.TV and the internet age.

A little piece of us and the lives of many who listened to Scully for just a brief moment or even a few years will feel time passing ever so quicker and yesterdays so far away when Scully calls his final game October 3rd.

As Richard Sandomir of the New York Times eloquently positioned it Tuesday, TBS has an opportunity to broadcast or simulcast Scully’s game on October 2nd.

Vin Scully will conclude his 67-season run as the voice of the Dodgers on Oct. 2 in a game against the Giants at AT&T Park in San Francisco. But it should be more than a local event for Scully’s fans in the Los Angeles area. When baseball’s greatest announcer retires, it is a national occasion.

It will be up to to TBS, Major League Baseball’s partner for Sunday afternoon broadcasts, to bring the last of Scully to the rest of the country. TBS is not saying what it will do, and the network will not decide which matchup to televise until seven to 10 days beforehand.

Simulcasting the Dodgers-Giants game should be the easy choice. Not only is Scully leaving, but the game may very well have playoff implications.

That will be a huge moment in American Sports history.

Let’s make it happen TBS.

Scully’s closing words surely will be the most poetic thing uttered in the sports arena in decades. The man who can quote Shakespeare and live to tell the true life stories of the Brooklyn Dodgers of course is a national treasure, and it will never be the same in Dodgertown without him.

 

 

NFL TV ratings are off to a slower start, but still really incredible

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The big one for a lot of people who follow these sorts of things and view TV ratings as a barometer for overall fan interest is the first Sunday Night NFL game of the year on NBC.

Just over 20 million people tuned in this season, down 18% from a year ago in the same time slot.

Not great, but still 20 million people is a tremendous rating for a regular season sporting event.

The first game of the season also broadcasted on NBC airing Thursday, September 8th drew at 16.5 overnight rating, which in terms of ratings is still really good, but down 7% from a year ago when the Steelers and Patriots played.

But the total number of viewers? 25.2 million.

That’s huge and the NFL has nothing to worry about just yet.

By comparison, Major League Baseball averaged just over 14 million for last year’s Mets-Royals World Series, and that was the highest rating in six years for the World Series.

That said 7% is not huge and not as meaningful considering about 14 years ago in 2002 the kickoff game scored a 12.2 rating, per Sports TV Ratings.

 

ESPN’s Monday Night Football was down as well, for the early game down 7% and the late game between the Los Angeles Rams and 49ers drew 25% less viewers compared to the second game of last year’s first Monday Night Football coverage on ESPN.

Overall, the NFL has lots of wiggle room to work with and probably is not concerned that it’s opening weekend in the second week of what is a busy September with good weather across the country-will turn the tides back to grossly huge numbers.

The Achilles heel for the NFL is not the lack of interest but perhaps a turn off by viewers at large for off the field incidents which continue to plague the league and keep league officials up at night. Further it’s yet to be decided what impact the controversy surrounding Colin Kaepernick’s protest during the singing of the National Anthem will do for the league in terms of viewership and fanship and the like.

The Cooper Report: NBA Jersey Sponsorships to begin in 2017

in Sports Business/Sports Media/Sports TV by
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-DigitalSportsDaily.com takes a look at some of the most notable sports business and media stories of the past week.

One of the biggest stories to come from the professional sports world this week is that the NBA Board of Governors approved the sale of jersey sponsorships, beginning with the 2017-18 season, as part of a 3-year pilot program. NBA commissioner Adam Silver stated that “Jersey sponsorships provide deeper engagement with partners looking to build a unique association with our teams and the additional investment will help grow the game in exciting ways.”

    • Each NBA team will be responsible for selling and maintaining its own sponsorships.
    • Unlike sports such as soccer, where the sponsor name dominates the front of the jersey, the NBA’s jersey sponsorships will be much smaller – measuring approximately 2.5 inches by 2.5 inches and be adjusted to fit the dimensions of each sponsor’s logo.
    • The logos will appear on the front left of the game jerseys opposite the Nike logo.

Last week, the NCAA and its media partners, CBS and Turner, announced an eight-year extension to their original 14-year, $10.8 billion deal, which went through the 2024 men’s basketball tournament. The new agreement extends to 2032, and allows the NCAA to have early access to roughly $400 million of the revenue from the extension.

    • Reason: The NCAA’s current deal has substantial built-in increases, going from $740 million this year to $761 million in 2017, $782 million in 2018, $804 million in 2019 and $827 million in 2020. Those increases do flatten to zero from 2021 through 2024.
    • The NCAA negotiated for more money from both CBS and Turner to build up the annual increases during those years, and will have the flexibility to take the upfront money as early as 2021 and spread it out from 2021 through 2024. These increases are important to schools, especially those outside the power five conferences. They rely heavily on that annual revenue from the NCAA to grow their individual budgets.
    • More than 90 percent of the revenue from the Turner/CBS contract goes back to NCAA member schools.

Speaking of the NCAA, UPS, a March Madness sponsor, has decided to exit its NCAA partnership after six years. The global shipping powerhouse confirmed that its current contract with the NCAA expires in August and will not be renewed. A company spokesman said that UPS is going through a review of sponsor relationships – a regular activity – and that the NCAA deal didn’t fit with an upcoming shift in marketing and communications strategy. UPS originally signed its NCAA partnership in 2010 and renewed it two years ago. The company exercised an option in the most recent contract to exit the deal.

It remains to be seen whether UPS will continue with its heavy ad buy around March Madness on Turner and CBS in the future. 

“We are hopeful that they will continue to advertise in the tournament,” said Mark Lewis, the NCAA’s executive vice president for championships and alliances.

“We certainly are disappointed to have them leave. It is a great company, and they did a lot of very good activation with their sponsorship.”

UPS has been a heavy investor in collegiate sports over the past decade, and used the NCAA tournament for years as a platform to highlight its logistics expertise. They worked with creative agency Ogilvy to create the “We love logistics” campaign, and that message became central to the company’s march madness advertising.

Other Sports Media tidbits to note:

  • ABC’s and ESPN’s Viewership and Ratings went up for the NBA Regular-Season. (Thanks Golden State)
  • NBC announced the 2016 “Sunday Night Football” & “Thursday Night Football” schedules. Oh yes, it’s almost that time of the year again. 
  • The Golden State Warriors broke the NBA record for wins in a season with 73 last week, on the same night that the great Kobe Bryant played his last game. Those two games were the two most-watched NBA regular-season finales ever on ESPN.
  • The Buffalo Sabres ended the Pittsburgh Penguins’ run atop the NHL’s local TV ratings chart, despite a sub-.500 record.
  • NRG Stadium is undergoing a complete overhaul of its food service operation with a big piece occurring before the 2017 Super Bowl in Houston. The project is estimated to cost around $20 million.
  • NFL agreed to a $10 million deal to stream “Thursday Night Football” on Twitter.

 

Link: ESPN’s Dick Vitale, who will call Syracuse-Duke, nearly quit long ago due to his eye 

in HOOPS/Sports TV/Trending by

A nice story told by Mike Waters of Syracuse.com

 
For years, Dick Vitale made a joke out of his bad left eye, the one he couldn’t see out of because of an accident when he was a small child.

He lost the vision in the eye after it was poked by a pencil.

So when the ESPN basketball analyst wanted to make a point about something that had happened in a game, he would say something along the lines of ‘Hey, I’ve only got one good eye and I can see that!”

But for many years, Vitale’s eye was not a joke. It was a subject of great pain from his childhood years all the way to adulthood and the hurt nearly saw him walk away from his broadcast career.

Source: ESPN’s Dick Vitale, who will call Syracuse-Duke, nearly quit long ago due to his eye | syracuse.com

Greg Norman out at Fox Sports

in Golf/Sports TV/Trending by

 
 
–Lead Golf analyst Greg Norman was surprisingly let go by Fox Sports on Friday after just one year at the network.

The news broke on Sunday evening and did not directly come from Fox Sports, but through various sources, including Links Magazine on Twitter.

On Monday Fox Sports made the announcement official via press release.

Norman was the first and only lead analyst the network has had since it began doing golf last year, including the U.S. Open. He was teamed with Joe Buck.

Why was he let go?

To your regular weekend golfer and fan he seemed to do a pretty good job and viewers tended recognize him. That demographic, the 30s or higher does not pay the bills.

On social media some golf hardcores and the younger generation didn’t think he was fit for the role both in his knowledge of current players and his ability to give commentary for what was happening on the course.

In a press release Fox Sports said:

Both parties have agreed to an amicable separation and will continue to work together to broadcast the Franklin Templeton Shootout, which remains an important part of FOX Sports’ golf platform.

“After careful consideration, we have decided to make this change to our USGA Championships coverage,” said John Entz. “We want to thank Greg for his contributions last year, and wish him success in all his current and future endeavors.”

 

 

 

Steelers-Broncos draws big rating for CBS

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According to CBS Sports, Broncos vs Steelers earned 26.2/44 overnight household rating/share which is the best rating in 21 years for an AFC divisional round game.

Via CBS PR:

“THE NFL ON CBS” BROADCAST OF PITTSBURGH-DENVER IS HIGHEST-RATED SUNDAY AFC DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF GAME IN 21 YEARS AND HIGHEST-RATED GAME OF 2015-16 SEASON ON ANY NETWORK

THE NFL ON CBS’s broadcast of the Pittsburgh-Denver AFC Divisional Playoff game on Sunday, Jan. 17 (4:45-8:00 PM, ET) is the highest-rated Sunday AFC Divisional Playoff game in 21 years on any network in the metered markets.

Pittsburgh-Denver also is the highest-rated game of the 2015-16 season on any network in the metered markets.

The AFC Divisional Playoff game on Sunday scored an average overnight household rating/share in the metered markets of 26.2/44, up +3% from last year’s 25.4/41 (Indianapolis-Denver, 4:45-8:00 PM, ET; 1/11/15).

Yesterday’s 26.2/44 ties (N.Y. Jets-New England, 1/16/11, CBS) as the highest-rated Sunday AFC Divisional Playoff game in 21 years (26.8/46; Miami-San Diego; 1/8/1995; 4:00-7:30 PM, ET; NBC) in the metered markets.

The rating/share for the Broncos-Steelers game peaked with a 29.7/46 (7:30-8:00 PM, ET).

Goodbye Don Orsillo

in Daily Buzz/Sports Business/Sports History/Sports TV/Yardwork by

—You are seeing it more and more.

Major Networks, of which I consider NESN, are replacing their larger than life, personality-filled broadcasters, with company men. No offense to Dave O’Brien.

O’Brien: Knowledgeable baseball man, smooth, but he’s not going to say anything that will really excite you or surprise you.

Don Orsillo will surprise you. He entertained legions of Red Sox fans, and baseball fans for that matter, for the last 15 years as the voice of the Red Sox on television.

The Red Sox and NESN will not renew his contract after this season.

Essentially firing Orsillo.

 

Beginning next season, Orsillo is replaced by ESPN’s Dave O’Brien who has been doing radio for the club for the last nine years.

There are petitions online, Twitter is aghast,  RemDawg shared his thoughts, but none of that will matter, once the decision is made, the decision is made.

Perhaps not in this case, as O’Brien is not a bad replacement, but in general it seems that networks now prefer the humorless robots to call the games. Gone are the Harry Carays, the Jack Bucks, the Harry Kalas’ of the world.

Say hello to the faceless ones and baseball is losing its boyhood charm.

 

Two Thoughts on Mark Jackson

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Disclaimer: I grew in Indiana around the time Mark Jackson made the Indiana Pacers relevant.

Larry Bird, Reggie Miller, Donnie Walsh and a host of other personnel had a hand in the team’s overwhelming success in the late 90s’ earlier 2000’s but Jackson made the offense work. He knew when to feed the ball to Rik Smits down-low and how to set up Reggie for the three. He never got enough credit.

Jackson was what we all know and love a point guard to be. Also, from what I’ve seen and heard I believe he’s a very sincere person who wants to help others achieve their dreams, reach their potential, etc. Which leads me too two other points I would like to make about Jackson.

1) He’s the best at taking an NBA telecast to break. Whatever you call it technically in the TV business Jackson’s great at it. Going to commercial ESPN/ABC plays a highlight and Jackson speaks over it. His tempo is almost always on point with the highlight that is showing, and almost always clever and original. “Hand down man down ” is the stuff of legends.

2) He needs to get more credit for what he did for the Warriors as its head coach.  To some Steve Kerr is the genius apparently, but Jackson should get more credit for helping develop Curry, Thompson and Co..Jackson took them to the river, now Kerr has to get them across. Jackson did a lot of leg work.

Jackson should have been given more time in Golden State and if that would have happened I believe he would have had them in the Western Conference finals as does Kerr. I don’t feel bad for him because not a lot of guys get a chance without prior coaching experience but I don’t think he gets enough credit for what he did do with Golden State.

Either way Jackson’s doing a fine job on the ESPN telecast and Kerr is doing a fine job on the Warriors bench.

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