Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Wednesday TV/Media Notes
Here are some items crossing the TDP desk this week:
SPEED was rewarded for producing the Nationwide Series race from Richmond with its biggest Friday primetime rating since February. The race attracted about one million viewers and a 1.08 rating. This number is up 6% from 2010.
Meanwhile, FOX did not have the same luck. This from SportsMediaWatch.com:
Saturday's NASCAR race on FOX could only match last year's near-record low in the metered markets. FOX earned a 3.4 overnight rating for Saturday's Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400, flat compared to the same race last year (3.4), and down 8% from 2009 (3.7). This marks the lowest overnight for NASCAR's spring Richmond race since the event moved to FOX in 2007.
Saturday's race ranks as the lowest rated of the season in the metered markets. In addition, the 3.4 is tied as the second-lowest overnight ever for a NASCAR race on FOX, ahead of only the 2009 Subway Fresh Fit 500 (3.3).
The controversial Captain Thunder website run from Daytona, FL is also in the news. After it reported a possible crew chief switch between the Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch teams last week, the mainstream media chased the story in Richmond. Nate Ryan from USA Today said on the Speedfreaks radio show that the media played a role in hyping this story because they chased it without any kind of confirmation or credible source.
Tuesday on ESPN2's NASCAR Now, JGR president JD Gibbs said the entire story was fake and expressed concern that anyone would take Captain Thunder seriously. Gibbs was clearly not amused. Captain Thunder is part of the YardBarker network, a company owned by FOX Sports Interactive Media.
Also crossing the wires was the announcement that ESPN and FOX have chosen to split a big college sports package. The Pac-12 conference will get $250 million annually for the next 12 years from those two networks to split marquee events like football and basketball games. An entire package of other sports is also included.
This commitment comes at a time when NASCAR is beginning to work on renewing the current TV contract that expires in 2014. Normally, the new deal would be in place and announced early in 2013. ESPN and FOX certainly seem to be pointing more and more toward college product.
The new player on the horizon in motorsports is Comcast/NBC. Fueled by the same duel revenue stream that powered ESPN to become the leader in TV sports, the new company features broadcast network access in NBC, cable access in VERSUS and ancillary outlets like CNBC and MSNBC. Both those networks have been used for weekend sports access in the past by previous owners.
Comcast executives have already said that VERSUS will be rebranded with some NBC identification within the month. CSNBC and NBC Sports Net are the two favorite rumors. Whatever the name, it seems clear that there is a new shark in the NASCAR pond.
The Sports Emmy awards have been presented and NASCAR was involved in two. Jimmie Johnson: The Road to Daytona was part of the 24/7 documentary series on HBO. That project picked-up the award for Outstanding Editing. NASCAR on FOX won for live event outstanding audio. Guess those "Crank it Up" segments worked after all.
Finally, click here for a link to a story on NASCAR.com that recaps the changes Brian France is making as the sport gets ready for the most crucial round of TV and media negotiations in its history. Paul Brooks and new NASCAR VP of Broadcasting Steve Herbst look to be the two guys on the TV hotseat.
We welcome your comments on these topics. To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.