DG_Now

The Sports Media Thread

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Whalers television should go down as one of the great wasted resources. The team owned a percentage of SportsChannel New England, from what I understand, and had coverage throughout the region (minus Fairfield County, always a problem for them), but were never able or willing to broadcast a full schedule. I know they shared the channel with the Celtics, but for a long time the Celtics had all their road games on free television, so there couldn't have been that many conflicts. I think Karmanos himself even admitted that had he known what he had in SportsChannel, the market could have worked after all.

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The WSBK / NESN split brings me back. The Red Sox did the same thing for a while, if memory serves, though they also moved their OTA games to the local Fox and local WB (haha) stations at various times before both teams moved fully over to NESN.

 

I had no idea about the Whalers owning a stake in SportsChannel; I always thought that was just Spectacor's attempt at an RSN network. But I guess it makes sense since the Celtics still have a stake in its successor to this day. I assume that nearly every non-MLS team with a local RSN deal has ownership as part of the deal at this point, right?

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One of the admins at HFBoards (yeah I know) used to work there or at NESN and said there was a small ownership stake.

 

I think the ownership deals are more common with the NBC and AT&T channels than the longtime Fox Sports ones. I think Fox pays big for the Rangers and Cardinals but there's no equity involved.

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"New FOX" will not bid to buy the RSNs back from Disney per a 8-K filing.

 

And apparently, Sinclair was the only bidder for all of them.

 

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11 minutes ago, Digby said:

Odds that Sinclair sticks to sports?

They do with Tennis Channel and Stadium.

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Sinclair is also reportedly teaming with the Cubs to launch a new RSN, starting in 2020.  This upcoming season is the final year of contracts between the Cubs and WGN-TV, WLS-TV (ABC), and NBC Sports Chicago.  The other three major teams on NBCS Chicago's roster had just recently locked-up term broadcast deals starting next year, in which now all local Bulls, Blackhawks, and White Sox telecasts will be exclusive to that channel.  That in turn means, unless one of the teams sub-license a package of games, or they go all-in on whatever local college sports is still available that doesn't have CBS/ESPN/Fox/NBC exclusivity, this pretty much kills live local sports on WGN-TV.  I think even in that scenario, if all three happen to play at or around the same time, and the NBCS Chicago Plus feed being already used, the "odd team out" might be farmed out to either WMAQ (NBC) or its Cozi TV subchannel (some Cubs and White Sox NBCS-produced games were farmed there in recent years, due to conflicts).

 

Chicago was the last major market in the country with still a significant amount of live local sports on broadcast TV...the NBC Sports agreement pretty much puts Chicago on par with the rest of the major markets in the country with local sports almost exclusively on cable/satellite/streaming.

 

Compounding that issue even more is that Tribune is once again in the process of being sold to another broadcast group (Nexstar Media), and this particular broadcast group, from what I've seen and heard, runs their stations lean and cheap like Sinclair, but minus the forced political agenda.

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RSN bids were lower than expected

 

Quote

Disney did attract second-round offers by Thursday’s deadline from potential buyers including Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc., Apollo Global Management and Major League Baseball, according to people familiar with the sale process. But the proposals valued the remaining networks at roughly six to eight times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, the people said.

 
 

That may mean the bids are closer to $10 billion -- aside from the billions that the Yankees channel may bring.

1

 

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The Magic and Rays (on Fox Sports Florida and Sun) could end up getting completely screwed by this. I shudder at the thought of both Orlando City and the Magic being covered by WDRQ TV27 (a Cox affiliate that only about half of the city gets). I don’t even know who would want the Rays deal if the MLB deal falls through.

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How wasted is Spike Lee on the Bill Simmons podcast?

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7 minutes ago, DG_Now said:

How wasted is Spike Lee on the Bill Simmons podcast?

You just gave me a listen to for tonight.  I doubt Spike has any regard for Simmons at all. 

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local NBA ratings are getting really bad

 

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The drop-off is most pronounced in some of the league’s biggest markets, like New York (down 41 percent on MSG Network), Chicago (down 36 percent on NBC Sports Chicago) and Boston (down 27 percent on NBC Sports Boston). Ratings for Bulls games in Chicago are at their lowest point in at least 13 years as the team has struggled on the court with one of the NBA’s worst records.


The league’s worst local ratings so far this season are in Orlando, where Magic games on FS Florida have posted a 0.44 rating. That is down 28 percent and on pace to be the team’s lowest rating in the 13 years for which Sports Business Journal has data.
 

Historically strong market San Antonio has experienced a significant ratings drop. The Spurs this year have seen their ratings fall by 34 percent on Fox Sports Southwest, though the team’s local ratings are still the third highest in the league.

 


I'm a little surprised that Bulls ratings are going down the way they are because usually their ratings and especially their gate have been pretty insulated from poor performance. But there is something that feels breaking-point about this Bulls season: The brazenness of replacing one dumb coach with another, even dumber coach is a big part of it, but I think it's the reality of how the influx of new TV money gives the organization no impetus to do anything but collect those checks and indulge their weird Hoosiers fantasies. I must not be the only one who senses a deeper despair than that of the Hoiberg years.

 

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Mike Tirico is calling Hawks-Wings in what I believe is his first NHL game (or at least first since ESPN had games) and in my opinion he's doing a very good job. You can tell he's being sort of cautious, but that mostly means no Emrickian flights of fancy, which isn't the worst thing in the world.

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