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ESPN To Launch 3D Television Network PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 05 January 2010 08:51

ESPN 3DESPN will launch ESPN 3D -  the industry’s first 3D television network - it was announced today by George Bodenheimer, Co-chairman, Disney Media Networks, and President, ESPN and ABC Sports.  ESPN 3D will showcase a minimum of 85 live sporting events during its first year, beginning with the first  2010 FIFA World Cup match on June 11 featuring South Africa vs. Mexico. Other events to be produced in 3D include up to 25 2010 FIFA World Cup matches, Summer X Games, college basketball, and college football, which will include the BCS National Championship game in Glendale, Ariz., January 10, 2011.  Additional events will be announced at a later date.

”ESPN’s commitment to 3D is a win for fans and our business partners,” said Bodenheimer.  “ESPN 3D marries great content with new technology to enhance the fan’s viewing experience and puts ESPN at the forefront of the next big advance for TV viewing.”

“This will be a meaningful step to drive adoption of 3D television sets and afford opportunities for our affiliates to create value through new product offerings, and our advertisers, who want fresh sponsorship opportunities,” said Sean Bratches, executive vice president, sales and marketing.

ESPN has been testing ESPN 3D for more than two years.  Last fall, ESPN produced the USC vs. OSU college football game which was shown in select theaters as well as to 6,000 fans at the Galen Center on USC’s campus.  ESPN has developed best practices for utilizing the technology in live game applications which have provided ESPN the ability to streamline workflow operations, adjust 3D camera positioning, test transmission and gauge fan reaction to a 3D telecast versus a traditional telecast.

Source: ESPN


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 is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Yankees-Red Sox to Open 2010 Season on ESPN PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 14 December 2009 16:36

ESPNThe 2010 Major League Baseball regular season will open with the New York Yankees beginning their World Series defense against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Sunday, April 4, beginning at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN2.  It will mark the fifth time in the last six years that the defending World Series Champion played the season-opening Sunday night game.

The game will also be only the second time in history that a stand-alone game between the two rivals has been the first game of an entire season.  The clubs opened the 2005 season in Yankee Stadium following Boston's 2004 World Series Championship.

Overall, this will be the 30th time that the Yankees and the Red Sox have opened a season against one another, dating back to the first in 1904.  The Yankees hold an 18-10-1 record vs. the Red Sox in the 29 previous openers between the clubs.  The last time a Yankees-Red Sox season opener was played at Fenway Park was in 1985.

The game will also mark the start of ESPN's 21st season broadcasting Major League Baseball, and will also be available via ESPN Radio, ESPN360.com and ESPN Mobile TV.

Source: ESPN


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 is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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SEE IT: Gammons Now With MLB.com PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 08 December 2009 21:04

Gammons MLB.com

Lest there be any doubt that Peter Gammons has left ESPN for MLB.com, MLB Network, and NESN, we just shot this image of Gammons talking about the new deal. If you were to turn around 180 degrees, NESN was preparing to have Gammons go on-air, just after the MLB.com segment; both within 10 feet of each other in the upstairs hall of the Marriott.


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 is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Winter Meetings Buzz: Peter Gammons Also Joins NESN PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 08 December 2009 20:41

GammonsTHIS IS BREAKING NEWS...

Just when you thought there would be no more Peter Gammons news, yet another addition is added to the mix tonight.

After leaving ESPN, and then reports that Gammons was to join MLB Network, NESN has just announced Gammons has entered into  a multi-year agreement to join NESN as a regular studio analyst, reporter and online contributor.

“This is a great day for our fans. Peter is the most respected and relied upon baseball journalist in the country,” said Sean McGrail, NESN President and CEO. “Peter brings to our baseball coverage a depth of knowledge and experience unmatched in the industry. Joining Hall of Famers Dennis Eckersley and Jim Rice, we are proud to add Peter to our studio and online coverage of Red Sox baseball.”

Gammons will serve as a studio analyst, reporter and offer commentary for over 50 of the network’s hour-long pre and post game shows and as co-host of Red Sox Hot Stove and Red Sox Spring Break LIVE. He will also make regular contributions to NESN.com.

“I’m a New Englander who wanted to be Jackie Jensen,” said Peter Gammons. “I started out at the Boston Globe and wrote about Jerry Remy when he was at Somerset High School . I was lucky enough to be there for the Munson-Fisk fight in 1973 and The Sixth Game and the ’78 playoff, and when my local cable company wouldn’t put NESN on our system I signed the override petitions.”

“NESN has given me the opportunity to come back to my roots and once again be part of my neighborhood, and I am truly excited about it. During the 2007 World Series, Matt Holliday said that what differentiated Fenway Park from any other stadium is that fans don’t react, they anticipated, and that creates a tension unlike any other audience in sports.  It is a great feeling to be back with that audience.”

Also today, MLB Network and MLB.com announced that Gammons will be an on-air analyst for MLB Network programming providing analysis and commentary and will also be a signature and regularly featured writer on MLB.com’s new sports columnist initiative.


OTHER NEWS FROM THE BUSINESS OF SPORTS NETWORK

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(THE BIZ OF HOCKEY)

(THE BIZ OF BASKETBALL)

(SPORTS BASH)


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 is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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BREAKING: PETER GAMMONS LEAVING ESPN PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 08 December 2009 15:27

Peter GammonsIt was announed at the winter meetings that Baseball Hall of Fame journalist Peter Gammons has decided to pursue new endeavors and will no longer be a contributor to ESPN after this week’s winter meetings, ending a 20-year run with the network.

“My decision to leave ESPN and move on at this point in my life has been conflicted. I owe a great deal of my professional life to ESPN, having spent more than half of my 40 years in journalism working for the network, and the choice to move on was made with nothing but the strongest feelings for the people with whom I worked. ESPN gave me a great deal more than I gave it, and will always be a huge part of who I am.

“I will forever be joined at the hip with John Walsh, who hired me as an ink-stained wretch, plunked me on TV and has always been a guiding spirit. Understand how the people who run ESPN treat people: when I was felled by a severe aneurysm in 2006, George Bodenheimer, John Skipper, Norby Williamson, my former Boston Globe boss Vince Doria and everyone made certain that my family and I had the best care and support, far, far beyond any reasonable expectation. My ESPN life has been lined with foxhole people whom I’ll never forget.

“I’ve been able to work with my closest and oldest friends, like Jayson Stark, Tim Kurkjian, Buster Olney, Peter Pascarelli, Jerry Crasnick and Charlie Moynihan.  I spent three seasons doing games with a producer, Tom Archer, who is among the most revered leaders I’ve ever met. I told everyone last October that the team baseball coordinating producer Jay Levy put together with Mark Preisler and Marc Carman was the most creative in my 20 years on the show. I apologize to hundreds of people I owe for all these years for not mentioning their names.

“You would have had to be there for 20 years to know how hard so many good people sweated in anonymity to make all of us look as if we knew what we were doing.

“My friend Tom Rush – who taught James Taylor and me our first guitar chords – once wrote how strange it seems to walk away alone. With no regrets.”

While Gammons cited family reasons for leaving, there are rumblings at the winter meetings that Gammons will soon resurface in another capacity.

Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president, production said, "As a print journalist moving to television, Peter was a pioneer who became a Hall of Famer.  His contributions to ESPN will never be forgotten.  We're sad to see Peter go, but understand his desire for new challenges and a less demanding schedule."

John Walsh, ESPN executive vice president and executive editor said of Gammons, “Peter was the best and the brightest in making the transition from print to video. For ESPN, he contributed 21 Hall of Fame years as a journalist and, throughout, set the standard for others to reach for.”

Gammons, was an ESPN reporter/analyst from 1999-2009.  He regularly provided analysis on ESPN's Sports Emmy Award-winning Baseball Tonight.  From 2006-08, he reported during ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball telecasts from the ballpark, generally from field level.  Gammons also provided "Diamond Notes" and other reports for SportsCenter. Amongst his multimedia role, Gammons also wrote a column and a blog for ESPN.com.

Gammons, 64, was honored as the recipient of the 2004 J.G. Taylor Spink Award for outstanding baseball writing during the 2005 Hall of Fame induction ceremony July 31 in Cooperstown, N.Y.  He was selected in balloting by the Baseball Writers Association of America.

He began his career as a reporter for the Boston Globe in 1969 and wrote a very popular weekly Sunday baseball column for many years.  He has also worked for Sports Illustrated covering the National Hockey League, college basketball and Major League Baseball (1976-78, 1986-90).

In 1986, upon his return to Sports Illustrated as a senior writer following a second stay at the Globe, he wrote numerous stories covering some of baseball's most important news events, as well as authoring "Inside Baseball,” Sports Illustrated's weekly baseball notebook.


OTHER NEWS FROM THE BUSINESS OF SPORTS NETWORK

(THE BIZ OF FOOTBALL)

(THE BIZ OF HOCKEY)

(THE BIZ OF BASKETBALL)

(SPORTS BASH)


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 is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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From Japan to Panama and Beyond, World Series a Ratings Hit PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 20 November 2009 19:48

World SeriesAnd you thought talk of the 2009 World Series was over with? Broadcast news continues to arrive, this time on the international front.

The World Series between the Phillies and Yankees wound up being a ratings hit in the U.S.; the highest since the Red Sox won the Fall Classic in 2004 (see historical data for the last 10 years), when they broke their 86 year futility mark.

But, how did the Series rank outside of the U.S.? Data released today shows it resonated exceptionally well, thanks in large part to the Yankees connection. Here’s the highlights:

  • In Japan, where watching Hideki Matsui do his handwork on the way to the World Series MVP title, saw an average live ratings growth of 101 percent on NHK BS.
  • In Panama, where Mariano Rivera hales from, there was an average ratings growth of 101 percent on RPC , as well as an average ratings growth of 40 percent on TV Max.
  • In Korea, where the Phillies’ Chan Ho Park still brings interest, there was an average ratings growth of 73 percent on OBS.

Other noteworthy international 2009 World Series rating news:

  • Let’s not forget, the U.S. figures, reported by Nielsen Media Research, does not count Canada. How did ratings do there? They were up 65 percent on Rogers SportsNet.
  • The Dominican Republic saw an average growth of 46 percent on CDN
  • In Mexico, average ratings were up 22 percent on Televisa.

The numbers come after last year’s World Series between the Phillies and Rays ranked as the lowest ever since Nielsen Media Research began publishing data.


OTHER NEWS FROM THE BUSINESS OF SPORTS NETWORK

(THE BIZ OF FOOTBALL)

(THE BIZ OF HOCKEY)

(THE BIZ OF BASKETBALL)

(SPORTS BASH)


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 is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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World Series Averages 19.4 Million Viewers, Up 42% From 2008 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 05 November 2009 18:34

MLB postseason

Fueled by outstanding individual and team performances, dramatic come-from-behind wins and the most one-run games in a single postseason, each round of the 2009 MLB Postseason generated double-digit percentage year-to-year increases in average viewership as compared to 2008, capped by the 2009 World Series averaging 19.4 million viewers, a +42% increase over last year and the largest-ever year-to-year gain in viewership (previous high was 36% from 2000-2001, which followed a low viewership showing for the Subway Series).

Complete 2009 MLB Postseason coverage on FOX and TBS averaged 9.0 million viewers, up +30% over last year and the most-watched since 2005. In addition to the +42% viewership gain for the World Series on FOX, viewership for the Division Series on TBS was up +11% over last year and viewership for the League Championship Series on FOX and TBS increased +14% over 2008.

The 2009 MLB Postseason delivered extraordinary results for FOX and TBS, including leading TBS to the most-watched week in its 33-year history, and catapulting FOX to a commanding +22% lead in the key

Adult 18-49 demographic against its network competition. The huge Adult 18-49 season-to-date advantage for FOX is the largest in the network’s history in the fourth quarter and the largest fourth-quarter lead for any network since 2003.

With MLB and FOX moving most games to begin before 8:00 p.m. ET this year, the World Series led FOX to be the highest-rated network in primetime on each of the six nights that games aired. Overall the MLB Postseason led FOX to primetime victories on nine of the eleven nights when it broadcast Postseason baseball, and MLB Postseason games on FOX delivered the five highest-rated nights in primetime on any network this season (9/21/09 to present).

The increase in World Series viewership should be tempered with the fact that the 2008 World Series was the least viewed World Series in history since Nielsen began tracking figures in 1968. The 2009 World Series will go down in history as the fouth highest viewed World Series of the last decade following 2003, 1999, 2001, and 2004.

Below is a breakdown of World Series viewership over the last decade

MLB WORLD SERIES VIEWERSHIP ON FOX SINCE 1999
(Winning team in BOLD)

YEAR AL TEAM NL TEAM AVG. # OF VIEWERS % (+/-)
2009 New York Yankees Philadelphia Philles 19,400,000 42
2008 Tampa Bay Rays Philadelphia Phillies 13,635,000 -20
2007 Boston Red Sox Colorado Rockies 17,123,000 8
2006 Detroit Tigers St. Louis Cardinals 15,812,000 -8
2005 Chicago White Sox Houston Astros 17,162,000 -32
2004 Boston Red Sox St. Louis Cardinals 25,390,000 26
2003 NY Yankees Florida Marlins 20,143,000 5
2002 LA Angels SF Giants 19,261,000 -21
2001 NY Yankees Arizona Dbacks 24,528,000 36
2000 NY Yankees NY Mets 18,081,000 -24
1999 NY Yankees Atlanta Braves 23,731,000
Source: The Nielsen Company 2009

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Deciding Game 6 of World Series Overnight Ratings Up Nearly 40% from '08 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 05 November 2009 16:38

World Series on FOXThe deciding Game 6 of the World Series that saw the New York Yankees claim their 27th title against the Philadelphia Phillies garnered a 15.5 overnight rating figure, up 39.6 percent from the deciding game of last year’s World Series that was spread out over two days (Monday through 6 innings, and the last 3 innings played on a Weds) against the Phillies and Rays. According to Mediaweek, the game averaged a World Series high 21.15 million viewers and a 6.9 rating/18 share among adults 18-49 in primetime.

Here is the overnight numbers for the key demo, by hour:

2009 World Series, Game 6 (FOX)
8:00 p.m. – Viewers: 20.91 million, A18-49: 6.4/18
8:30 p.m. – Viewers: 23.63 million, A18-49: 7.4/19
9:00 p.m. – Viewers: 22.63 million, A18-49: 7.3/18
9:30 p.m. – Viewers: 20.91 million, A18-49: 6.9/18
10:00 p.m. – Viewers: 19.71 million, A18-49: 6.8/18
10:30 p.m. – Viewers: 19.09 million, A18-49: 6.8/19

Final numbers are not yet available but will be published as soon as they are.

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The game also was the highest attended game at new Yankee Stadium , pulling in 50,315, a high-water mark for the stadium that opened this year. The numbers were high due to increased standing-room only tickets, that off-set additional press and VIP seating that is allocated for the postseason.


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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 is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Southwest Airlines Loves Brett Gardner PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 04 November 2009 02:40

Brett Gardner crashes the Southwest.com ad

Whether it's Boeing or Starbucks in Seattle, or CVS Pharmacy at Fenway Park, ads on the outfield walls of ballparks have been prime advertising space. But, Game 5 of the World Series may have given one advertiser the biggest bang for the buck in some time.

In the 5th inning, Jason Werth smashed a ball into centerfield where a dashing Brett Gardner threw himself into the wall at Citizens Bank Park to make a fantastic catch. The benefactor in numourous replays is Southwest Airlines. Not only has the outfield wall ad been shown over and over, but John Sterling mentioned the "Southwest.com" ad on WCBS Radio.

If you ever wondered why advertisers pay for outfield wall placement, you may have seen the best example.


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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 is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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FOX Pulls 12.8 Overnight Rating for Game 5 of World Series PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 03 November 2009 13:30

World Series on FOXWith the Philadelphia Phillies forcing a Game 6 back in the Bronx after a 8-6 win at Citizens Bank Park, MLB (and more importantly, FOX) executives must surely be smiling.

According to Nielsen Media Research Monday night’s game earned a 12.8 overnight rating, up 15.3 percent from last year’s Game 5 between the Rays and Phillies. That game, if you recall, started on Monday, but was suspended after the 6th inning due to rain. The game was not completed until Wednesday.

The Locals Loving It

Capping a frenetic few days in Philly where the Eagles, and Flyers joined the Phillies, Game 5 drew incredible numbers in the home market (41.0 in Philadelphia), as well as solid numbers for the Yankees faithful in New York ( a 28.7 rating).

Final numbers will be released as soon as available. Below are the final ratings and viewership numbers for the first four games of the World Series as compared to last year’s Rays/Phillies match-up by way of the SportsBusiness Daily

WORLD SERIES RATINGS, VIEWERSHIP THROUGH GAME FOUR
YANKEES-PHILLIES
RATING
VIEWERS (000)
PHILLIES-RAYS
RATING
VIEWERS (000)
1
11.9
19,511
1
9.2
14,634
2
11.7
18,897
2
8.1
12,777
3
9.1
15,397
3
6.1
9,836
4
13.5
22,761
4
9.3
15,479
AVERAGES
11.6
19,134
8.1
13,031

Source: Nielsen Media Research, SportsBusiness Daily


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