Good morning. It’s Monday, October 3, 2011, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
TBS’s coverage of the American League Division Series on Friday between the Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers delivered the channel with a 1.9 household rating and 2,866,000 total viewers according to Nielsen’s Fast Nationals. That score is up 19% and 28% respectively compared to the network’s coverage of Game 1 last year between the same two teams.In local markets, Dallas-Ft. Worth averaged a 69 household rating, up 17% year-to-year. The Tampa market drew a 12.1 rating for a 26% jump over 2010.
High profile teams battled it out on Saturday in primetime college football games, and I’m not just talking about the people on the field. A pair of dueling matchups featuring Nebraska/Wisconsin on ABC and Alabama/Florida on CBS, saw CBS take the evening with the network scoring 7.65 million viewers and a 2.7/9 among adults 18-49, in Nielsen fast nationals. ABC’s Big Ten matchup saw just over 5.6 million viewers with a 1.8/5 in the demo.
Just before the start of hockey season, NHL Network found itself dropped by AT&T’s U-verse network after the two sides failed to reach an extension on their carriage deal. AT&T said in a statement on Friday that they had “tried to reach a fair, long-term deal with NHL Network in order to continue delivering this channel to U-verse TV U450 and Sports Tier customers. Unfortunately, it appears that as of midnight EST, Oct. 1, NHL Network will no longer be available on U-verse TV because we will no longer have an acceptable agreement to carry the channel. We are always open to considering a fair and detailed proposal from NHL Network.” AT&T had carried the league’s channel since January 2009.
Even with teams seemingly ready to bolt for greener pastures, presidents and chancellors of Big East schools officially authorized embattled Commissioner John Marinatto to “aggressively pursue discussions” to add schools in an effort to save the conference. The presidents met Sunday to review options after two of the league’s storied schools left for the ACC last month. ESPN reports that schools that were discussed for potential invitations included Navy, Army, Air Force, Temple, Central Florida and SMU.
In a programming move into sitcoms, ESPN is reportedly teaming with Scrubs producer Bill Callahan to create a comedy about the weekly gatherings of four friends who live near Boston to watch their team. Deadline first broke the story. The sitcom has been sold to ABC.
In February, UFC is going to double down with two events running back-to-back on television, one from Japan and the other from Las Vegas. One of the events will air on a FOX-owned cable channel while the other will run on PPV, according to UFC President Dana White. Both cards will be shown on Feb. 25.
In spite of heated exchanges last week, NBA labor talks are set to resume today. Meetings on Friday and Saturday failed to find compromise, and executives saw that a full NBA season is now unlikely.
ESPN will bring back E:60 for its fifth season on Wednesday. Topics this season are set to include everything from the history of the Gatorade shower to Aaron Rodgers to imprisoned soccer players in Bahrain. Reporters for E:60 include Jeremy Schaap, Lisa Salters, Michael Smith, Rachel Nichols, Tom Rinaldi, Chris Connelly and Tom Friend.
MSG Networks has named Peter Ruttgaizer as host and reporter for New York Islanders telecasts. Ruttgaizer will debut on MSG Plus this weekend when the Islanders open their season at home on Saturday, October 8 at 8p against the Panthers. He spent the past three seasons as a host and reporter for Altitude Sports Network in Denver, Colorado and was part of the network’s coverage of the Colorado Avalanche.
Golf Channel is hitting the season finale of Feherty with a Special Best Of episode that puts host David Feherty in the hot seat. The finale will feature Golf Channel’s Kelly Tilghman as host where she will interview Feherty about his favorite moments, interviews and reflections on having his own show. The Special Best Of! season finale of Feherty will air Tuesday, Oct. 4, at 8p.
Sponsorship & Promotion
With the start of the MLB post-season, the league is teaming with the Natural Resources Defence Council to launch a new PSA featuring NRDC Trustee Robert Redford. Redford congratulates MLB’s dedication to protecting the environment and for its collaboration with NRDC by committing to more sustainable practices.
USA Today is teaming with Facebook to build an app designed to rate commercials that air during Super Bowl XLVI. The app is called the USA Today-Facebook Super Bowl Ad Meter and allow consumers to rate their favorites via online and mobile platforms.
The Main Event
Go for TBS‘ two-fer: Texas Rangers @ Tampa Bay Rays & New York Yankees @ Detroit Tigers beginning at 5p.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM CableFAX
CableFAX Program Awards & Top Ops
Luncheon: October 18 – Hollywood, CA
View the Hall of Fame, Finalists & Top Ops. Register Today
CableFAX will unveil the top cable shows across a wide range of categories, when the cable entertainment industry gathers for the fourth annual Program Awards on Oct. 18 in Hollywood. The much-anticipated luncheon will also include a Programming Hall of Fame & a ceremony to honor the top cable operators. To view the nominees and secure your table or seat, go to http://www.cablefax.com/cfp/events/program2011/.
ON THIS DAY in 1974: Pele retires as a soccer player
Answer to Yesterday’s Sports Trivia Question: Which member of the Phillies hit for baseball’s Triple Crown? Answer: Chuck Klein in 1933. Kudos: A. Troy Thomas – Inertia Films/Atlanta; Anthony Fanticola – Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic/Bethesda; Chris O’Reilly ITN Networks/NY; Tom Moore – Kalt Productions/LA; Alan Berkes – R&R Partners/LA
In The Know: What NFL standout (no coaches) played his way to win five Super Bowl rings? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: Only the second four correct answers from each time zone will be mentioned; and once you’ve been mentioned in any of the Cynopsis editions, you can’t be mentioned again that calendar week.)
Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports
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