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FOX Releases 2014 MLB Broadcast Schedule; Blackouts Eased PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 27 February 2014 16:07

MLB on FOXFOX Sports today announced their 2014 MLB broadcast schedule, and with it, fans will see a several changes compared to year’s prior, including changes to the blackout policy. As part of the new eight-year, multiplatform media rights agreement that adds national cable and digital coverage to its portfolio, doubling regular season exposures, mostly on Saturdays, from 26 to 52 combined on the FOX Broadcast Network and FOX Sports 1, with 20 Saturday doubleheaders, 10 exclusively on FOX Sports 1 and 10 split between FOX Sports 1 and the FOX Broadcast Network.

FOX Sports 1 makes its MLB debut on Saturday, April 5 with a doubleheader as the Minnesota Twins take on the Cleveland Indians (1:00 PM ET) followed by the San Francisco Giants visiting the Los Angeles Dodgers (4:00 PM ET).  The NL champion St. Louis Cardinals debut in FOX Sports 1’s first primetime showing on Tuesday, April 8 (8:15 PM ET) with a visit from their division rival Cincinnati Reds.  Fresh off an inspirational and thrilling 2013 championship run for the city of Boston, the World Champion Red Sox premiere on FOX Sports 1 Saturday, April 12 (1:00 PM ET) against their longtime nemesis New York Yankees, from Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, N.Y.  The FOX Broadcast Network picks up its first Yankees-Red Sox matchup on Saturday, June 28 (7:00 PM ET).

Major League Baseball makes its 2014 MLB debut on the FOX Broadcast Network Saturday, May 24 (7:00 PM ET), the first of eight consecutive primetime windows leading up to the 85th MLB All-Star Game, with regionalized coverage of three exciting matchups, preceded by the Detroit Tigers hosting the Texas Rangers on FOX Sports 1 at 1:00 PM ET. As reported on Forbes SportsMoney, this year sees a slight easing up on national blackouts as part of the new agreement. Starting this season, subscribers of MLB Extra Innings and MLB.TV have the opportunity to watch Saturday MLB on FOX games subject to certain geographic black outs that protect games assigned to local FOX affiliates.

In addition to the All-Star Game, this year live from Target Field in Minneapolis on Tuesday, July 15 (8:00 PM ET), FOX Sports remains the home of MLB’s crown jewel events, including the World Series, two Division Series and the League Championship Series.

In addition to the All-Star Game, this year live from Target Field in Minneapolis on Tuesday, July 15 (8:00 PM ET), FOX Sports remains the home of MLB’s crown jewel events, including the World Series, two Division Series and the League Championship Series.

All regular season games, Division Series, League Championship Series, World Series games and the All-Star Game broadcast by FOX Sports are being streamed live via FOX Sports GO through participating video providers.

Eric Shanks and John Entz are FOX Sports’ Executive Producers. Bardia Shah-Rais serves as coordinating pregame producer. Pete Macheska is coordinating producer of FOX Sports’ MLB coverage. Bill Webb is lead director.

SELECT READ MORE TO SEE THE FOX MLB BROADCAST SCHEDULE

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Controversial Game 3 of 2013 World Series Sees TV Ratings Up 21% Over Last Year PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Sunday, 27 October 2013 21:35

2013 World Series Logo

At first it seemed that the Boston Red Sox had nailed two St. Louis Cardinals base runners at the plate in the bottom of the ninth and Game 3 of the 2013 World Series was headed to extra innings.  However, umpires ruled that Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks had interfered with Cardinals base runner Allen Craig who was awarded home, giving St. Louis a controversial 5-4 victory and a two games to one lead in the best of seven series.

A closely contested Game 3 posted a 7.4/14 household rating/share with 12.5 million viewers, according to fast national ratings issued today by Nielsen Media Research, up 21% and 19% respectively compared to Game 3 a year ago (6.1/11, 10.5 million), and is the highest-rated, most-watched World Series Game 3 since 2009 (9.1/18, 15.4 mm).  Last night's game also out-rates four of the last five Game 3s dating back to 2008, is projected to power FOX to an easy first place finish in prime time among households and key male and adult demos and is the network's best Saturday performance in prime time since January.

As is typically the case for close postseason games, the rating and audience after 11:00 PM ET was larger than before 11:00 PM ET in total and among younger viewers.  Game 3 averaged a 7.0 household rating and 12.0 million viewers before 11:00 PM, and increased 19% in rating (8.3) and 14% in audience (13.7 million) after 11:00 PM.  Among teens (age 12-17), ratings post-11:00 PM ET increased 18% (1.3 vs. 1.1).

Last night’s game opened with a 5.6/11 with 9.3 million viewers from 8:00-8:30 PM ET, and grew steadily throughout the night peaking with an 8.5/16 with 14.1 million viewers from 11:00-11:30 PM ET.

In addition to its overall success, last night’s game posted huge increases across key male and adult demos: Men 18-34, +27% (3.8 vs. 3.0); Men 18-49, +17% (4.2 vs. 3.6); Adults 18-34, +12% (2.8 vs. 2.5); and Adults 18-49 , +18% (3.3 vs. 2.8).

The World Series on FOX through three games is averaging an 8.1/14 with 13.4 million viewers, +13% over last year’s first three game average (7.2/12, 11.7 million viewers) in households and +15% on average viewership.

Through World Series Game 3, FOX’s nine-game postseason average (5.9/10, 9.5 million viewers) is up +18% in rating and +17% in audience from the 5.0/8, 8.1 million viewers produced by the network’s postseason coverage through World Series Game 3 last year (7 LCS, 3 WS), and ranks as FOX’s best postseason since 2010 (6.3/11, 10.6 million viewers).

Not surprisingly, St. Louis led all markets posting a 37.2, followed by Boston (32.4), with Providence (30.2), Hartford (19.1) and Oklahoma City (13.1) rounding out the top five.  Also posting double digit ratings were Ft. Myers (11.2), Richmond and Tulsa (11.0), Kansas City (10.9) and Memphis (10.3).  Among the nation's five biggest markets, New York posted a 7.6, while Los Angeles recorded a 6.9, Chicago 5.6, Philadelphia 6.4 and Dallas 7.0.

FOX was the No. 1 most social TV network on Saturday, led by World Series Game 3.  According to figures released by Nielsen SocialGuide, Twitter activity for last night’s World Series Game 3 drew over 482,000 tweets (up +171% from 2012 World Series Game 3) from more than 211,000 unique authors (up +120%).

According to Facebook, World Series Game 3 generated 4.8 million interactions from 2.8 million users during the game.  For the first time in three games, Missouri topped Massachusetts in generating buzz, followed by users in California, Illinois, and New York.  Team buzz was evenly split with Cardinals and Red Sox fans each responsible for 50% of the comments, likes, and posts related to the game.

Source: FOX Sports


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

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MLB Releases Broadcast Schedule for 2013 World Series PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 18 October 2013 12:59

2013 World Series Logo

Major League Baseball today announced the national broadcast schedule for the 2013 World Series, set to begin on Wednesday, October 23rd at either Boston’s Fenway Park or Detroit’s Comerica Park on FOX.  The 109th Fall Classic will feature either the Red Sox or the Tigers representing the American League and either the St. Louis Cardinals or the Los Angeles Dodgers representing the National League.

The Cardinals currently lead the NLCS over the Dodgers by a 3-2 margin, with Game Six tonight (8:37 p.m. ET/7:37 p.m. CT first pitch) in St. Louis on TBS.  The Red Sox currently lead the ALCS, 3-2, over the Tigers, with Game Six tomorrow at Fenway on FOX.  Game Six of the ALCS is currently slated for a 4:37 p.m. (ET) first pitch, unless the NLCS ends tonight; if the NLCS ends tonight, then the start time of Saturday’s ALCS game will shift to 8:07 p.m. (ET).

The FOX Sports tandem of Joe Buck and Tim McCarver, who is stepping down from his lead analyst position at season’s end, will call their record 16th and final World Series together.  This year will mark the all-time high 24th career World Series behind the microphone for McCarver, the 2012 recipient of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting excellence.  This year marks FOX’s 18th straight as the television home for the Postseason, and the 2013 Fall Classic will be FOX’s 14th consecutive and 16th  overall.

ESPN Radio will provide complete coverage of all World Series games.  MLB International, MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM also will provide comprehensive coverage of the Fall Classic.

Select Read More to see the 2013 World Series broadcast schedule

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Red Sox Dramatic Comeback in Game 2 of ALCS Delivers Massive Ratings Win for FOX PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 14 October 2013 17:15

Ortiz Grand Slam

The dramatic comeback by the Boston Red Sox in Game 2 of the ALCS was a massive ratings win for FOX Sunday night.

That dramatic comeback that saw David Ortiz hit a grand slam in the eighth inning and Jarrod Saltalamacchia singling in the bottom of the ninth to drive in Jonny Gomes delivered a 5.2/8 national household rating, with 8.3 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research, up +44% compared to last year’s National League Championship Series Game 2 on FOX (3.6/6; 5.6 million viewers). Last night’s Game 2 was also up +24% over 2011’s Game 2 of the ALCS on FOX (4.2/8; 6.6 million viewers) for Tigers vs. Rangers. The series is now tied 1-1 as it heads to Detroit for Game 3 on Tuesday.

Through two games, the 2013 ALCS on FOX is averaging a 4.7/8 (7.5 million viewers), up +21% over last year’s 3.9/6 for NLCS on FOX, tying 2010’s LCS average as FOX’s highest-rated through two games since 2009.

Additional Demo Highlights:

  • Last night’s Game 2 out-performed last year’s NLCS Game 2 in key male demographics led by an +86% increase in Men 18-34 (2.6 vs. 1.4) and a +56% increase among Men 18-49 (3.1 vs. 2.0) respectively. Game 2 is up +50% among adults 18-49 (2.4 vs. 1.6).
  • In key demo rating comparisons through two games, the 2013 ALCS on FOX is up +33% among Men 18-34 (2.4 vs. 1.8); up +22% among Men 18-49 (2.8 vs. 2.3); and up +17% among Adults 18-49 (2.1 vs. 1.8).

Through two games, Detroit leads all markets with a 30.5/47 and recorded its best LCS rating ever with last night’s game (34.5/50).  Boston’s two-game average is a 21.2/39, followed by Providence (20.1/33.5); Hartford (16.5/29); Baltimore (16.0/29); San Diego (11.4/26); Indianapolis (8.8/15); Las Vegas (6.5/11) and St. Louis (6.4/11.5).


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

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Pirates-Cardinals Game 5 NLDS Sees An Average of 6.1 Million Viewers PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 10 October 2013 20:23

2013 MLB Postseason logo

With a decisive Game 5 between the Pirates and the Cardinals, with the winner moving on the meet the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS, viewers reached for the clicker to watch.

The complete game by Adam Wainwright that led the Cardinals to a 6-1 win over the Pirates in Game 5 of the NLDS on Wednesday led to the most-watched game of the 2013 Postseason.

TBS’ national telecast of Cardinals-Pirates averaged 6.1 million viewers, up 69 percent over comparable Wednesday coverage in 2012 according to Nielsen. For the seventh time in the last nine nights, TBS topped all cable competition in primetime, leading the second place network by 125 percent in the metered market ratings.

Overall, through 15 Division Series telecasts, TBS has averaged 3.7 million viewers, up 9 percent through the same number of games in 2012.

In St. Louis, Wednesday’s game drew a 33.6 rating, the highest mark for an MLB game there since Game 6 of the 2012 NLCS. By the conclusion of the game, 58 percent of all TVs on in St. Louis were tuned to the game. In Pittsburgh, the game drew a 31.1, second-best ever on record in the market behind only last week’s Wild Card game.

This Postseason has been marked by especially strong starting pitching, as well as an unprecedented number of rookie pitchers. Seven rookies have started Postseason games this year (Gerrit Cole, Sonny Gray, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Danny Salazar, Daniel Straily, Julio Teheran and Michael Wacha), already eclipsing the previous record of six set during last year’s entire Postseason. In addition, there have already been 10 instances of a starting pitcher going at least six innings and allowing no more than one run, two shy of the entire 2012 Postseason.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

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Through Weds, MLB 2013 Postseason TV Ratings Up 9% Over 2012 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 09 October 2013 00:00

Ratings continue to be strong with the Division Series seeing crucial “win or go home” elimination games on the slate. TBS’ national telecasts of Athletics-Tigers and Red Sox-Rays averaged a 3.1 fast national rating and 4.5 million viewers, up +35% and +32%, respectively, over Day 6 coverage in 2012 according to Nielsen. For the sixth time in the last eight nights, TBS easily topped all cable competition in primetime, leading the second place network by +139% in the metered market ratings.

Overall, through 16 Postseason telecasts, TBS has averaged 3.7 million viewers, Turner’s best average through that number of games since 2010 and up +9% over 2012.

Local ratings highlights from Tuesday’s games included:

• 19.7 in Boston, the second highest rated MLB game there since Game 7 of the 2008 ALCS.

• 19.3 in Detroit, the highest-rated MLB game there since the 2012 World Series.

• 17.8 in Tampa Bay, the highest-rated MLB game there since Game 5 of the 2010 ALDS.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

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MLB 2013 Postseason Ratings Up 29% After Day 2 of LDS PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Saturday, 05 October 2013 23:11

Whether it’s large markets and storied brands (Red Sox, Dodgers), or that the Pirates are in, or that Tigers are trying to get back to the World Series, people are watching MLB’s postseason more than last season.

Friday’s four games, with three airing on TBS and one televised by MLB Network, were up +29% in national rating (1.8 average) over the corresponding four-game slate in 2012.

Overall, through Day 2 of Division Series action on TBS and MLB Network, the entire 2013 MLB Postseason is up +16% in national rating over the corresponding coverage in 2012, according to Nielsen (2.2 average).

MLB Network’s coverage of the Pirates’ 7-1 victory over the Cardinals was the network’s highest rated game of the year (1.0 coverage rating), and drew the third-highest rating in the network’s history.

The four games on Friday were also the top four most talked-about programs on social media across all of TV throughout the day on Friday, accounting for 40% of all tweets about anything on TV all day, according to Social Guide. As the Braves-Dodgers game was nearing its conclusion, more than 1,500 tweets were sent each minute.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

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NL Wild Card Game that Sees Pirates Advance Draws Strong TV Ratings PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 02 October 2013 22:02

2013 MLB Wild Card

With the first playoff game in Pittsburgh since 1992, and the winner-advances format for the Wild Card, fans tuned in to Tuesday’s NL Wild Card game to officially kick off the 2013 MLB postseason.

With the largest crowd, ever, in PNC Park history at 40,487 the game got strong ratings on TV and solid action via social media.

TBS’ telecast of last night’s NL Wild Card Game drew a 3.0 fast national rating and 4.6 million viewers, both +15% increases over last year’s NL Wild Card Game. The game led TBS to win prime time over all other cable competition, with a metered market rating +150% higher than the second place network. In Pittsburgh, the TBS telecast drew a 33.7 local rating, the highest for any MLB game ever on record in the market.

The game also got lots of activity on social media, with 336,169 total tweets sent by 142,463 unique authors, by far the most-discussed program on TV throughout the entire day, according to data from SocialGuide. As the Pirates closed out the 6-2 victory, more than 70% of all tweets about anything on TV were about the game.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

Follow Maury Brown on Twitter Twitter

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CSN Houston Files Involuntary Bankruptcy, Astros Say Filing “Improper” PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 27 September 2013 23:58

AstrosComcast SportsNet Houston, the regional sports network created in partnership with the Houston Astros, Houston Rockets, and NBC Universal/Comcast, filed involuntary bankruptcy on Friday. The Houston Astros, who are the majority stakeholders in the fledgling RSN appeared to be caught off-guard by the action saying that Comcast “improperly filed” the petition “in an attempt to prevent the Astros from terminating the Media Rights Agreement between the Astros and Houston Regional Sports Network.”

The Astros, who are majority stakeholders own 46.384 percent of CSN Houston while the Rockets own 30.923 percent. NBC Universal/Comcast owns 22.693 percent.

The Astros added in their statement that CSN Houston “failed to pay the Astros media rights fees in July, August and September”, adding that they had “invested additional money in order to keep the network viable through our season.”

NBC Universal said in a statement that it had filed “in order to resolve structural issues affecting CSN Houston’s partnership.”

They added, “This action is necessary to preserve CSN Houston’s ability to provide its valuable programming and reaffirms Comcast/NBC Universal’s commitment to serving the region and its fans.”

David Barron of the Houston Chronicle noted that listed as petitioning creditors in the case are National Digital Television Center of Centennial, Colo., which is owed $10,517.50; Comcast Sports Management Services LLC, which is owed $1,251,573.75 for management services; Comcast SportsNet California, which is owed $43,129.02; and Houston SportsNet Finance, based in Philadelphia, which has a $100 million loan to the partnership plus accrued and unpaid interest, fees, and other amounts.

The Astros added in their statement that, “Despite not receiving our media rights fees, our objective has not changed.  We will continue to work toward obtaining full carriage so that all of our fans are able to watch the Astros games while making sure that the Astros are able to compete for championships.”

CSN Houston will remain on the air while the bankruptcy proceeds. The network is only seen on about 40 percent of households in the Houston region and has struggled to gain carriage with any carriers outside of Comcast. Mayor Annise Parker tried to broker a break in the stalemate between CSN Houston and the major carriers by setting up meetings with officials of DirecTV, Time Warner and Suddenlink, but those meetings were fruitless.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

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MLB Experiments with Placing TV Ad Graphics on the Field PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 08 July 2013 15:40

Ads on MLB field

Rogers SportsNet

We’ve seen graphics showing where the first down line is, and the red zone in football. We’ve seen graphics on panels behind home plate. But, a Toronto Blue Jays game via SportsNet shows that it could move into baseball in a new way, placing graphics on the field in foul territory, and on the batter’s eye in center field.

As this graphic from Business Insider that first reported the story shows the Orange Julius logo is near the 3rd base coach’s box. At the link you’ll see the logo on the batter’s eye, as well as the Honda logo in foul territory. Like the panels behind home plate, fans at the game would never see the graphics overlay, only those watching on television. In doing so, advertisers would see more saturation than just from the center field camera where the panels behind home plate are located.

As to whether this new twist on advertisement will burst across MLB broadcasts, according to league officials, the insertion of virtual ads on the field is a test with the league evaluating it after the season. No word as to whether we’ll see this occurring only with Blue Jay games, or with other regional or national sports networks throughout the 2013 season.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

Follow Maury Brown on Twitter Twitter

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