Sunday, October 27, 2013

Should ESPN Try Doing News?

I recently read an interesting article by Jack Shafer of Reuters which suggested that since ESPN is already so dominant in the world of sports media and that since it's other competitors haven't come to close to providing ESPN competition both ratings-wise and revenue-wise that ESPN should find a new challenge which is both challenging and possibly money making.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Who Gets NFL's Thursday Night Games In 2015?


Peter King is reporting that a portion of the NFL Network's Thursday night games will be carved away and sold to the highest bidder. So who will the highest bidder be? We can already count CBS and ESPN out because they won't be willing to spend extra cash when they already have successful packages already in existence.

Fox and NBC could come out as winners. It would help Fox directly compete even more with ESPN and for NBCSN, it would serve as karma for losing out on the 2006 Thursday night rights which were awarded to NFL Network. But in my opinion, I don't think either of them win out.

This package will be Turner's for the taking. As noted here by, from the former managing editor of Bleacher Report (who just left in August), Turner wants to start a sports TV network just like everyone else:

There is also a long-term hope of launching a sports lifestyle channel (perhaps with BR as the brand). But Turner's renewing NBA deal and/or getting in on NFL bidding will be large factor in launching that channel.

Turner is slowly building up arsenal through it's increase in online video and increase in reporters at the Bleacher Report to basically build infrastructure for a sports television network, which could lure more ad money and more carriage fees with the addition of the NFL and the NBA.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Arsenio Hall Is Hurting Tribune And Other Media Bits

Arsenio Hall

Arsenio Hall came in with a euphoria due to many viewers wanting to feel nostalgia from the past as well as younger viewers who wanted to know what it was like to watch Arsenio during late night since they weren't old enough to remember the old show. It started off as the highest rated late night show among the young 18-49 demographic which advertisers prefer. But ever since then, the show has faced a steep decline in the ratings and producers are already leaving the show.

If you watch the show, you can see why ratings have declined. The guests are B-list/C-list stars that you expect to see or hear on online talk shows or podcasts, the jokes on the show aren't funny at all and Arsenio is pretty boring nowadays. The old Arsenio was loud in terms of the way he dressed, how he spoke and what he felt about anything that was going on. The new Arsenio is the polar opposite and doesn't add anything interesting to the national conversation.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Who Replaces Magic Johnson on ESPN?

Magic Johnson shocked ESPN and the media world when he announced that he was leaving NBA Countdown due to his schedule becoming too hectic. While I dont doubt that Magic's schedule is pretty hectic, I doubt that was his main reason for leaving.

The Big Lead's Jason McIntyre points out that Mike Wilbon and Magic Johnson had a very close relationship and now that Wilbon has been redirected to solely doing essays on SportsCenter in regards to the NBA, he may not have felt as comfortable with younger counterparts like Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose, as Deadspin is reporting.

Maybe it was really a ploy by ESPN to turn Countdown into a Grantland enterprise or maybe just maybe we're really hearing the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Who knows?

With that being said, there are a lot of candidates both internally and externally who are eligible to take over.

1.  Doris Burke - She has hosting chops and obviously knows a lot about basketball. She's also not as strong of a personality as Bill and Jalen and will be able to parlay to them and let them shine.

2. Avery Johnson - He talks and sounds funny and would be able to add more personality to the show, which is something essential to sports studio shows.

3. Stephen A. Smith - Smith doesn't seem to be ashamed of being a part of First Take, but he doesn't like the fact that his name has been tarnished because of the embrace debate format which many view very critically. Smith would add insider value and could provide some entertaining hostility to the show. It would be a full circle move for him.

4. Chris Webber - this is my wildcard pick but I'm sure Webber was disappointed that Shaq got a spot on Inside the NBA over him despite a lack of NBA analyst experience. Although TNT seems to be priming him to be Charles Barkley's protege in case Barkley leaves TNT some time soon, Webber might want more prominence on TV right now. And how epic would it be to get the biggest stars of Michigan's Fab 5 together again full time?

Magic is most likely going to fall back in terms of the amount of TV appearances he makes analyzing basketball but you can't convince me that he's all the way out. I think he'll probably make appearances once in a whole possibly on either NBATV or Time Warner Cable SportsNet (whose launching he was a big part of in terms of promotion for the network) through a contributor deal. I wouldn't rule out Fox either since they're located in LA, even though he'd be a little bit of a traitor if he made that move.

The type of analysis Magic provides warrants him being on TV once in a while. He still makes a lot of good points but he doesn't provide the depth needed to be an analyst every week.

In my opinion, he needs to be worried about building up Aspire, his TV Network, which faces extreme competition from BET, TV One and Bounce TV. Aspire, so far, has failed to make a name for itself or cause a dent in African American's TV viewing habits. (SIDENOTE: Magic and Arsenio are good friends, why not invest in becoming a producing partner/acquiring rights to broadcast his show the day after they air as well as classic episodes of Arsenio.)

Because of this network and his other businesses which keep him busy, I wouldn't even be surprised if he leaves the basketball analysis business altogether.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Giving Morning Joe A Weekend Show On NBC Is Not A Good Idea

MSNBC hosts look into taking on weekend gig
Courtesy: NYP
The New York Post is reporting that Joe and Mika are vying to take over The Today Show........on Sundays. Here's the scoop from Claire Atkinson:

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Who's Buying PBS Newshour?

One of the biggest pieces of prime real estate in the television news industry is up for sale for the first time. PBS NewsHour, a newscast which is contracted to PBS by MacNeil-Lehrer Productions, is looking for a new owner for the first time in it's existence. All indications are that WETA, PBS's DC affiliate, will take over ownership rights but officials say that there are still a couple of things which need to be worked on. In case that were to fall through, here are some other options for who should take over ownership and funding for the NewsHour.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Fox News Deck Defeats It's Purpose

Today marked what Roger Ailes is calling a new beginning for the way newsgathering is handled in the newsroom. Fox News Deck launched today with much anticipation but failed results. The brand new studio, which is now in Shepard Smith's hands, features a 38 foot wall and a bunch of huge touchscreen-like monitors which "information specialists" will be using to track down all the latest and hottest news stories. Specifically, these information specialists will be tracking social media to see what's trending and to see what other news outlets are reporting. Then, they will verify the authenticity of stories from other news outlets through their own sources to separate fact from fiction.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Nickelodeon Needs To Team Up With DreamWorks

Nickelodeon used to be the most dominant force in kids television. It's franchise was so big that it even topped the cable world as a whole. But nowadays, Nickelodeon has struggled from a lack of innovation and vision. The network doesn't have the best ratings in the world and it has held Spongebob as it's clutch for way to long. 

On the positive side, Nickelodeon has finally been successful in copying Disney's formula of creating triple threat stars. Some of those include: Ariana Grande, Jeannette McCurdy and Victoria Justice. At the same time though, none of those stars and their franchises have been able to generate big profits and major ratings for the network. And unfortunately, competition is getting more wild and crazy by the minute.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Handicapping MLS Rights

The MLS is at an interesting crossroads right now. The league is drawing a lot of fans to their stadiums now more than ever and has helped stimulate the construction of multiple soccer-specific stadiums across the country. It's also in the midst of continuing expansion even more by adding other teams in New York with backing from the Yankees/Man City as well as Miami with backing from David Beckham.

But the league's quality of play sucks! A group of MLS all-stars were barely able to compete against a fourth place Italian football team and besides the days of Beckham, most MLS games aren't really exciting. And because of that, TV ratings stink despite the game being more accessible than ever before.

As the league's television contracts expire, who has the most likely chance of renewing? The Seattle Sounders may get more fans to their stadium than the New York Yankees but does that mean that TV networks should increase the fees which they pay the MLS like they have for other sports leagues?

That's the question that'll haunt the MLS for the next couple of months, especially since the NBA and the Big Ten are also looking for big paydays. Here are my rankings from most likely to least likely with some wildcards.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Piers Morgan Out At CNN?


According to FTVLive, a highly connected website (which broke the Jay Leno to 10pm on NBC story back in the day), Piers Morgan and CNN are weighing their options and Morgan will either leave the network or take over a late night slot away from primetime (most likely at midnight). Morgan's show has been able to gain a huge following whenever big news breaks, guns are in the forefront of national conversation or he has a big interview. But other than that, on most days the show tends to lag behind in the ratings at the 9pm hour because there's so many other options on cable, broadcast and on cable news.

Search Here!!

Blog Archive