Blog by: George Thomas and Ron Ledgard
Keith Olbermann, probably to no one’s surprise, is out at ESPN – again. It’s a familiar refrain for a guy who’s bounced around the broadcast arena in a consistent fashion. The resume is long and yes, there are a few charred bridges left in his wake.
Just the other day, in this space, I wrote about the reality of what’s coming down the road for sports networks – albeit briefly. Rights fees for live events haven’t just ballooned, morphing into that Uncle Norman who somehow manages to engulf half of Christmas dinner by himself.
The suits are putting the high-priced talent on the endangered species list. With some shows that will remain nameless, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For others shows, it’s a loss. Olbermann’s show falls into the latter category.
If you do not provide color commentary or play-by-play and you work for the ESPN, Fox Sports 1 or any other cable sports network, take some advice from Michael Jackson and his brothers: “Just look over your shoulder, honey.”To read more or comment...
After Shawn “Showtime” Porter’s opponent for his Saturday night welterweight bout unleashed a torrent of insults on the Akron-based fighter and his father, it wouldn’t be shocking to see this turn into something personal.
Instead of taking aim at Porter, Adrien “The Problem” Broner, a Cincinnati fighter and friend of Floyd Mayweather, went after Porter’s father in the duo’s pre-fight press conference, according to a report from The Ring Magazine.
“The is the A.B. show!” Broner barked as Floyd Mayweather Jr. watched the 25-year-old who often calls himself Mayweather’s little brother waste little time taking aim at both Shawn and, more poignantly, his father and trainer, Kenny. A bevy of insults were slung from Broner’s hip. He called Shawn a football player and ridiculed his opponent for allowing his father to “live out his dream through Shawn.” He even went so far as to suggest that Kenny Porter had been using his son to gain access to the finer things in life while delivering Shawn mere crumbs despite the younger Porter being the breadwinner.
Porter wasn’t fazed.To read more or comment...
Let the bidding war begin for the services of Bill Simmons. He, the founder of the popular sports journalism site Grantland, he, the unabashed Boston sports team homer, he, the man who has no problem cheering for his teams while working.
Yes, that guy.
For those who didn’t know, Simmons and ESPN will likely part ways when his contract with the worldwide leader ends later this year.
“I’ve decided that I’m not going to renew his contract,” said John Skipper, the president of ESPN to the New York Times. “We’ve been talking to Bill and his agent and it was clear we weren’t going to get to the terms so we were better off focusing on transition.”To read more or comment...
When Draft Day has been your football team’s de facto Super Bowl Sunday for more than a decade, stratospheric television ratings shouldn’t be a surprise.
ESPN released its overnight ratings from its first night of coverage for the NFL Draft and the Northeast Ohio market proved to be the top one for viewership, according to numbers from Nielsen, a ratings measuring service.
The network averaged a 5.1 for the night. That didn’t approach the lofty numbers from last year’s annual players’ supermarket, which had plenty of drama courtesy of the presence of Johnny Manziel, who eventually ended up in Cleveland.
In fact, although much speculation surrounded Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, who eventually landed with the Tennessee Titans, and Philadelphia coach Chip Kelly’s pursuit of him little drama existed for much of the evening. Kelly coached the Heisman Trophy winning quarterback in college.To read more or comment...
Those sitting in the NCAA offices in Indianapolis have to have grins plastered on their mugs.
The reason: this year’s NCAA Tournament continues to astound with ratings. The latest overnights from Thursday’s games show that they probably will remain strong throughout.
According to a Turner Sports news release, the tournament enjoyed its highest rating ever for a Sweet 16 Thursday. Ratings were up 30 percent over 2014, according to Nielsen.
What’s more impressive is that the CBS and TBS, which aired different games, each delivered impressive numbers. Ratings were the highest since the current tournament format began in 1991 for a Sweet Sixteen Thursday and 39 percent higher than last year.To read more or comment...
Both the Cleveland Cavs and Columbus Blue Jackets will play Friday with overlapping broadcast schedules on Fox Sports Ohio. The regional cable channel will air the games on the following channels to better serve fans of both teams:
Cleveland Cavs at Brooklyn Nets
To read more or comment...
In a sports loving region such as Northeast Ohio that’s not seen a championship in 50 years (Ohio State nullifies this for some, but indoor soccer does not), it’s of little surprise that its fans will go ga-ga when there’s a whiff of an opportunity in the air.
With respect to the Cleveland Cavs, that’s not a whiff. It’s the most pleasant stench there can be for bewildered followers of the area’s sports woes. The Cavs look like a championship team, possess the swagger of one and it’s reasonable to believe that they can deliver one – this year.
That’s reflected in the team’s ratings, which are up 168 percent overall versus last year, on Fox Sports Ohio. But Wednesday night, the team’s match-up against the Memphis Grizzlies delivered some of the best numbers of the season, according to a Fox Sports Ohio news release:
According to Nielsen, last night’s Cavs-Grizzlies game delivered a 12.1 HH rating in Cleveland on FOX Sports Ohio, reaching over 177,000 households:To read more or comment...
SportsTime Ohio announced Wednesday afternoon that the regional sports network will carry the Kent State Golden Flashes (23-11) - North Arizona Lumberjacks (21-14) CollegeInsider Post-Season Tournament game Friday at 10 p.m.To read more or comment...
The NFL in its infinite wisdom decided to suspend their local blackout policy for the 2015 season in a vote in its annual owner meetings today, according to multiple reports.
“NFL clubs have approved suspension of local blackout policy for 2015 pre- and regular seasons. There were 0 BOs last reg-season,” league spokesman Greg Aiello announced via Twitter today.
Pressure from politicians and the FCC likely led to the decision. However, the NFL had no blackouts last year, so it may just make sense.
Now with that being the case what does it take to keep butts in the seats?To read more or comment...
Looks as if March Madness continues to grow in popularity. CBS and Turner Sports say that ratings for the tournament are up through its first weekend, garnering them its highest rating yet. This year’s ratings are up 6 percent over last year.
That trend goes for video streams as well. NCAA March Madness Live can claim 54 million live video streams, up 7 percent over 2014. Streams for live hours of video is up to 11 million an 8 percent increase.To read more or comment...