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TBS Sets Broadcast Teams for MLB Postseason PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 21 September 2007 04:44

TBSAs the postseason approaches, TBS will become a new player in the television broadcast field for Major League Baseball after a new national television broadcast agreement was reached this year. With that, the network has released who will be in the booth for NLDS, ALDS, and the NLCS series. As reported by USA Today:

Friday, [Turner Sports President David Levy] says, TBS will announce that its game analysts will include Steve Stone, who has worked at WGN and ESPN and won the 1980 AL Cy Young Award, and Bob Brenly, at WGN after calling games for Fox in 2004 and managing the Arizona Diamondbacks to a World Series win in 2001. They'll join previously announced Joe Simpson, a longtime TBS Atlanta Braves analyst, and Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn.

Also joining: Play-by-play announcers Ted Robinson, an ex-San Francisco Giants and New York Mets announcer, Don Orsillo, who calls Boston Red Sox telecasts, and Dick Stockton, who calls NFL games for Fox and NBA games for TNT. They join Chip Caray, who'll work with Gwynn, the only pairing TBS has revealed.

With the postseason nearly here, make sure and check our 2007 Postseason Broadcast Schedule to see what games are on what networks on what days.

 


Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football and The Biz of Basketball (The Biz of Hockey will be launching shortly). He is also a contributor to Baseball Prospectus and is an available freelance writer.

He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

 
MLB Sees Television Ratings up for 21 Clubs PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 19 September 2007 20:00
MLB

As the 2007 baseball season starts to come to an end, there are the usual story lines that have recently cropped up to follow… The Yankees, all but written off at the beginning of the season, are, yet again, storming toward the playoffs. Attendance continues to climb, regardless of how many possibly scandalous stories involving players using performance-enhancing drugs hit the media. The Pirates and Orioles continue their swoon, and new ballparks continue to sprout up.

What you may not know is that this year, unlike some years prior, more and more people are watching games on television.

Totaling up the tight pennant races, and the seemingly insatiable appetite for fans turning out for games at the ballpark is certainly a big reason to point to MLB’s increased popularity. But, a report by the Sports Business Journal points out that a shift in certain aspects of MLB’s most recent television contracts have helped make viewing games more appealing, according to television execs. As reported by the SBJ, “Fox expanded its Saturday ‘Game of the Week’ coverage from 18 weeks to 26 weeks this year and shifted the start time for each of those games from 1 p.m. ET to 3:55 p.m. ET. ESPN, meanwhile, decreased the number of daytime games it aired and benefited from a rule change that allows the network to use each club a maximum of five times for the Sunday night games, up from four.”

The changes bode well for the networks. Fox Sports President Ed Goren said the 44 percent increase in the network’s baseball schedule has created a 40 percent bump in revenue, due to increased ad inventory.

All this is dovetailing into the post-season for the networks. SBJ reports that Fox has sold 85 percent of their ad space for the postseason. With the demand, “that translates to between $190,000 and $210,000 for 30-second spots for the League Championship Series and $390,000 to $425,000 in the World Series.”

At the regional and local level, there have been jumps in viewership, as well.

Clubs are feeling the green, with 21 of the 29 clubs seeing increases compared to the year prior, with one club’s ratings (Angels) remaining flat.

As of the first week in September, the 16 clubs that broadcast on FSN owned-and-operated RSNs are seeing a 6.6 percent increase from the their collective average from last season. There are exceptions. The White Sox are seeing ratings drop through the floor on Comcast SportsNet Chicago, where ratings are 56 percent lower than last season due to a poor showing in the standings. Others dropping include the Rangers (-23%), Pirates (-17%), and Cardinals (-12%). The Braves see a drop of 30 when they were on FSN South, as well as a 20 percent decline on SportsSouth. In an odd twist, nationally televised Braves games on TBS saw an increase of 17 percent compared to last season.

That covers the downside. On the upside, the numbers are impressive. 

The Brewers on FSN North are seeing a staggering 133 percent increase from the year prior. Others on the upswing from the year prior include the Indians (+45%), Cubs (+30%), Dodgers (+23%), Mariners (+44%), and Athletics (+20%). The Nationals see growth, mostly due to an increase in total televisions that MASN was able to gain access to. They see an increase of 60 percent from the year prior. Even the Marlins, who have had some of the most embarrassingly low attendance figures in recent memory for some games this season have seen an increase of 8 percent.

The big questions are yet to be answered… Will MLB see compelling match-ups in the postseason, and will Mother Nature decide to forget raining on MLB’s parade, as it did last season with many games rained out. Even if there is a repeat, which MLB would surely love to avoid, the changes that have already occurred place the clubs well ahead of where they were last season.

Source: The Sports Business Journal  


Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football and The Biz of Basketball (The Biz of Hockey will be launching shortly). He is also a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

 

 
Once Again, High TV Ratings for Red Sox/Yankees PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 18 September 2007 10:20

MLBProving once again that a great rivalry still draws fans to the television like moths to a flame, the Red Sox/Yankees game on Saturday was a hit out of the ballpark.

The game pulled a 2.6 household rating, which rates 24 percent over a game between the two teams last season at this time.

The Yankees-Red Sox game drew better than the Notre Dame-Michigan game on ABC (2.5) and the Tennessee-Florida game on CBS (2.6). (Mediaweek)


Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football and The Biz of Basketball (The Biz of Hockey will be launching shortly). He is also a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

 
Harold Reynolds Says Race Played Role in ESPN Firing PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Saturday, 08 September 2007 02:26
Harold Reynolds

In court documents filed yesterday, former ESPN Baseball Tonight analyst Harold Reynolds claims that race played a role in his firing from ESPN in July of 2006.

Reynolds has filed a wrongful termination suit against the network seeking up to $15 million for breach of contract, wrongful dismissal and defamation of character after the network dismissed him on sexual-harassment charges. (read the first interview Reynolds conducted after his firing from ESPN)

In the filing, Reynolds claims that the network treated him more harshly than white employees who engaged in similar behavior. The documents detail claims of offensive drunken acts, that in Reynolds’ mind, were more egregious than the hug that he gave an employee, who later complained to ESPN. As reported by the NY Times:

“ESPN’s rush to its decision to terminate Mr. Reynolds was affected by racial bias,” the filing said. Reynolds now works for mlb.com.

The incidents listed included one in which an analyst showed a cellphone photograph of his genitals to male and female employees and received a one-week suspension. In June, a makeup artist for “Cold Pizza,” a defunct talk show, sued ESPN, saying she was fired after complaining about sexual harassment by the host, Jay Crawford, and an analyst, Woody Paige.

A court date in the Reynolds case has been set for February of 2009.

(see court documents regarding the Reynolds case here in PDF format, and can be read here in our Business of Baseball (BOB) Documents library. Read the initial complaint by Reynolds )


Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football and The Biz of Basketball (The Biz of Hockey will be launching shortly). He is also a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

 
Weds. Yankees v Red Sox Game Ratings Gold for YES PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 31 August 2007 10:54

YES NetworkWednesday’s game between the Yankees and Red Sox proved to be ratings gold for the YES Network as the game garnered the highest ratings in two years posting an average of 757,000 total viewers and a 7.6 household rating on the YES Network.

The highest rating peak for the game saw 1.06 million total households tuned into the game. According to Mediaweek, the “game was the highest-rated for YES since Sept. 28, 2005, when the Yankees-Baltimore Orioles telecast notched an 8.2 household rating.”

Ratings for YES have been up 10 percent from last season, with a 4.6 household average. The ratings are on pace to be the best for the Yankees on YES since the 1999 season.


Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football and The Biz of Basketball (The Biz of Hockey will be launching shortly). He is also a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

 
Bon Jovi to Promote MLB Postseason Play PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 27 August 2007 11:36
Jon Bon JoviTBS, home of the Major League Baseball (MLB) Division Series and the National League Championship Series (NLCS), unveiled today a new full-length promo featuring the GRAMMY® Award winning rock 'n roll group Bon Jovi. The rollicking new spot features the band performing "I Love This Town" from their new Lost Highway album interspersed with action footage of some of MLB's hottest postseason contenders, including the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, New York Yankees and more. The two minute 30 second spot will run in its entirety exclusively in movie theatres and select MLB ballparks throughout the country. Shorter versions will appear on TBS with the song serving as the primary musical bed for bumps and teases throughout the network's 2007 MLB postseason coverage. TBS takes the mound on Oct. 3rd with exclusive coverage of the Division Series, followed by the NLCS.

The Bon Jovi promo will appear Aug. 31 - Oct. 11 on more than 6,400 movie screens nationwide during National CineMedia's digitally delivered pre-show exclusively in AMC, United Artists, Regal, Edwards, CineMark and Georgia Theatre Company movie theatres.

"The true heart of a baseball franchise lives outside the stadium walls, in the hearts and minds of the fans. These fans love their hometown as much as they love the baseball team that represents them and that is the essence of the piece," said Craig Barry, vice president and creative director for Turner Sports. "We wanted to find an up-tempo, grassroots piece of music that represented not only baseball and the teams, but the fans and cities as well. Bon Jovi has always been known to captivate and entertain diverse audiences around the world, so who better to deliver the message for TBS."

TBS' MLB campaign will also include on-air promos featuring the network's Hall of Fame announcers Cal Ripken, Jr. and Tony Gwynn. The 30-second spots will run in heavy rotation on the Turner family of networks, which includes TBS, TNT, CourTV, CNN, CNN Airport Network and Cartoon Channel, beginning in September. Ripken (studio analyst) and Gwynn (game analyst) are the cornerstone of TBS' marquee roster of baseball announcers which also includes two-time Emmy® award-winning studio host Ernie Johnson, MLB veteran Joe Simpson (game analyst) and veteran baseball announcer Chip Caray (play-by-play).

TBS also recently completed promos with comedian and longtime Red Sox fan Dane Cook in step with MLB's "There's Only One October" advertising campaign. The fresh Bon Jovi and Dane Cook ads are another triumph for Turner, which has received critical acclaim for its previous ads featuring such entertainment superstars as Jay-Z, The Rolling Stones, actor Jeremy Piven, music producer Pharrell and comedian Sacha Baron Cohen.

"Our new baseball marketing campaign is designed to drive awareness about our exclusive MLB postseason programming in a fresh and exciting way," said Jenny Storms, SVP of marketing and programming for Turner Sports. "From the energizing Bon Jovi piece in theatres, to the on-air spots featuring baseball legends, to the billboards featuring hometown favorite players, we've created a captivating and energetic campaign to get fans riled up to watch the postseason on TBS."

The Bon Jovi, Ripken and Gwynn and Dane Cook promos are a part of TBS' multi-platform marketing campaign to promote its first year of MLB postseason coverage. Additional campaign outreaches include an extensive outdoor campaign in major markets such as Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York, which will include two towering billboards in Times Square featuring larger-than-life images of Derek Jeter (NY Yankees), David Wright (NY Mets), David Ortiz (Boston Red Sox) and John Smoltz (Atlanta Braves).

Additional marketing activities include national radio buys, online advertising and print advertisements in national publications such as USA Today, Sports Illustrated and Sporting News. TBS will also implement a unique Hispanic outreach campaign with specialized outdoor, radio and print advertising in select markets, including Los Angeles and New York.

In Sept. TBS will launch TBS Hot Corner on MLB.com, a new broadband channel that will offer unique streaming from postseason match-ups and reports and updates from TBS on-air announcers.


Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football and The Biz of Basketball (The Biz of Hockey will be launching shortly). He is also a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

 
Harold Reynolds Court Date Against ESPN Set for Feb. '09 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 21 August 2007 06:33

Harold ReynoldsA court date has been set in the case of former ESPN Baseball Tonight television personality, Harold Reynolds. Reynolds, the former Seattle Mariner player, is suing ESPN after claiming to be wrongfully terminated. As reported by Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune:

Reynolds is asking for up to $15 million for breach of contract, wrongful dismissal and defamation of character after the network dismissed him in July 2006 on sexual-harassment charges. The Corvallis native and former major league All-Star second baseman, who worked for ESPN for 11 years, will begin depositions next month.

To read more on the Reynolds case, select from the following:



Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football and The Biz of Basketball (The Biz of Hockey will be launching shortly). He is also a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

 
TV Ratings Higher for Glavine’s Milestone Than Bonds’ PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 07 August 2007 10:05

MLBMore viewers tuned in to watch Tom Glavine win his 300th game than those that tuned in to watch Barry Bonds hit home run #755.

Bonds’ ESPN2 game on Saturday night drew over a million viewers, but drew less compared to the regularly scheduled “Sunday Night Baseball” on ESPN for Glavine. As reported by the AP:

The Giants' loss to the Padres in San Diego, during which Bonds hit his 755th homer to equal Hank Aaron, drew a 1.1 national rating, which translates into 1,007,000 household.

...

The Mets' victory over the Chicago Cubs in which Glavine won No. 300 drew a 3.0 rating, which translates into 2,885,000 households. The only higher-rated Sunday night games this year involved the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees.

As noted, the Bonds’ game on ESPN2 had a 10PM ET start, and which impacts viewership.

The six ESPN2 telecasts of Bonds' attempt to tie the record averaged a 0.8 rating and 744,000 households.

Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football and The Biz of Basketball (The Biz of Hockey will be launching shortly). He is also a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

 
Caught Ya!: ESPN Jumps the Gun By Showing #756 PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Saturday, 04 August 2007 15:48

ESPN.com had a bit of a snafu when Barry Bonds hit #756, er... 755.

As this graphic shows, ESPN got the number wrong showing 756 before correcting the graphic to read 755.

Tip-O'-the-hat to 100% Injury Rate on this one.

              Before               After
 ESPN shows 756ESPN's 755 Fixed
 
MASN to Provide Special Coverage of Ripken, Jr. Induction PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 24 July 2007 06:29
MASNThe Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) announced their plans today to celebrate the Hall of Fame induction of Cal Ripken Jr. this coming weekend from Cooperstown, NY. MASN’s Jim Hunter will be in Cooperstown to provide updates before, during and after Orioles and Nationals games throughout the weekend on O’s Xtra and Nats Xtra.

The special coverage begins on Tuesday, July 27 at 6 p.m. with Cal Ripken Jr.’s press conference and the official Hall of Fame send-off ceremony. Hunter’s Cooperstown updates will begin on Thursday, July 26 at noon.

Additionally, MASN’s magazine show for the Orioles, O’s Access, will have special episodes before and after the induction featuring interviews with Cal and his teammates, as well as a recap of the induction ceremony.

Throughout his career, “The Iron Man” attended 19 All-Star games and was twice selected as the All-Star MVP. Ripken spent his entire career, 21 seasons, in Baltimore.

Ripken was elected to the Hall of Fame in January with 98.53% of votes -- the third highest vote percentage in history behind Tom Seaver and Nolan Ryan and the highest total for any position player.

In honor of his induction, the network will re-air Cal’s record-breaking 2131 game – September 6, 1995 on Sunday night at 7:00 p.m.

For detailed schedule information, please visit: www.masnsports.com .
 
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Should MLB Force Jeffery Loria to Sell the Marlins?