Media NotesPublished April 3, 2012
DAILY VARIETY's Cynthia Littleton wrote the "slugfest between DirecTV and Tribune took another sharp turn" yesterday as the satellite broadcaster "filed a complaint with the FCC, claiming Tribune has violated federal rules by ceding control of its 23 TV stations to creditors with stakes in its long-running bankruptcy proceeding." The complaint asks the FCC to "intervene in the retransmission consent wrangle that led to the blackout, early Sunday, of Tribune stations." The heart of DirecTV's "beef stems from its claim that Tribune execs reneged on an agreement reached last Thursday night because that deal was rejected by reps from the banks and hedge funds that hold big chunks of Tribune's debt." Tribune "vehemently denies that any such deal was reached" (VARIETY.com, 4/2). DirecTV is "asking the FCC to require Tribune to immediately negotiate in good faith, including appointing a negotiating team with the authority to reach an agreement and requiring Tribune to grant DirecTV an extension of at least one month to continue talks" (MULTICHANNEL.com, 4/2).
ATTRACTING VIEWERS: BROADCASTING & CABLE's John Consoli noted NBA TV's viewership for 73 live games this season is up 36% to 344,000 viewers per game. Those gains are higher than the 21% viewer increase at TNT, the 9% increase at ABC and the 6% increase at ESPN to date. NBA TV's "Fan Night" game on March 13 featuring Heat-Magic delivered 643,000 total viewers, the "ninth most-watched game in NBA TV's history." Consoli wrote, "Clearly, matchups matter, and while NBA TV doesn't get first dibs of games ahead of the league's other TV partners, the results were encouraging." The net "no doubt also got an assist from the carriage fee dispute between Time Warner Cable and MSG Network." From Jan. 1 to mid-February, TWC "replaced MSG with NBA TV on its digital sports tier" (BROADCASTINGCABLE.com, 3/30).
NOTES: CBSSports.com tomorrow will debut a new daily online video show devoted to fantasy baseball entitled "Fantasy Baseball 360." The hour-long program, running weekdays at 5:00pm ET, will be hosted by Jorge Sedano, feature CBS Sports' stable of baseball reporters and columnists including Jon Heyman and Danny Knobler, and incorporate social media and viewer submissions (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal)....ESPN has secured the rights in the U.K. and Ireland to televise 11 ATP World Tour 250 events during '12, as well as three WTA tournaments (ESPN).
Marketing and Sponsorship
Seahawks' New Threads Dominate Talk As Nike Unveils New NFL Jerseys Today
Nebraska To Sport Alternative Adidas Uniform For One Game Next Season
Maria Sharapova Signs Three-Year Sponsorship Deal With Samsung Electronics
ESPN To Debut First Spanish TV Ad With Yankees' Robinson Cano
Press Your Luck: Andrew Luck Signs Trading Card Deal With Panini America
Nationals Sign Several New Sponsors For '12 Season, Including United Airlines, Papa John's
Brewers File Suit Against Sponsor Yes Vodka Parent Company For Sponsorship Payments
Leagues and Governing Bodies
Cablevision, MSG Call N.Y. Daily News Report Inacurrate, Deny Witholding Lin Injury News
NFL, NFLPA Reps Meet On Saints Bounty Scandal; Players Likely To Be Disciplined
Reds Give Joey Votto Fourth-Largest Deal In MLB History With $225M Contract Extension
Lee County Execs Continue Effort To Land Nationals For Spring Training
Marlins Sign Pepsi, Miccosukee Resort As Quadrant Sponsors Of New Ballpark
Critics Giving Positive Reviews For Marlins Park's Architecture, Homage To Miami
AEG's Anschutz Willing To Buy An NFL Team To Make Downtown L.A. Stadium Happen
Redskins To Reduce Capacity At FedExField, Removing 4,000 Seats
Royals Among First MLB Clubs To Install Sportvision's Fieldf/x For In-House Metrics