FOX Goes With Live Sports On Saturday Nights - AVS Forum
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Old 04-08-2012, 08:44 PM - Thread Starter
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From Broadcasting & Cable
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Exclusive: With Sports Play, Fox Remakes Saturday Night on Broadcast

Network shifts landscape offering live NASCAR, MLB, UFC, Pac-12 events

By John Consoli

Fox is hoping to change the Saturday night broadcast network landscape in a major way by offering over 100 hours of primetime live sports programming stretching 28 weeks from April 14 through December 8.

It's not quite the new cable Fox Sports Network that some predicted Fox parent News Corp. would be creating, but it will offer an unprecedented amount of primetime sports on mostly consecutive Saturdays through 2012.

The entire Saturday sports programming package has been in the planning stages for more than a year, as Fox Sports had to acquire rights and permission to air certain games and events on Saturday nights.

"This is a collaborative effort between Fox Sports and Fox Entertainment," says Eric Shanks, president of Fox Sports. "We decided to do it because the opportunity was there. Ratings continue to go down on Saturday nights and we thought we should take a swing at programming the night with sports each week."

The new Saturday night lineup will include live NASCAR races, Major League Baseball games, Pac-12 college football games and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bouts. As part of its MLB Saturday night schedule, Fox will introduce a new, half-hour studio show and will title the night "Baseball Night in America."

Fox will air live sports on 28 of the next 32 Saturday nights, kicking off with two NASCAR events, followed by a live UFC card on May 5. After another NASCAR race, the network will televise 8 MLB games on consecutive Saturdays through July 7, leading into the All-Star Game on Fox on July 10. Another UFC night will air Aug. 4, and after a four-week hiatus, Pac-12 football comes on board for 12 Saturday night telecasts, interrupted one Saturday night, Oct. 27, for a World Series game. Fox will also televise the Big Ten Championship on December 1 and another UFC event on Dec. 8.

The new sports schedule is aimed at drawing more viewers to Fox on Saturday nights and making the network a target for advertisers, many of whom have written off the low-viewing night on the broadcast networks.

The MLB studio show will be hosted by Matt Vasgersian, Kevin Millar and Harold Reynolds and will originate from the MLB Network studios in Secaucus, N.J. Fox Sports is partnering with MLB for the show's production and sharing MLB's on-air talent.

Each Saturday night, Fox will televise between three and six MLB games regionally across the country, and the studio show will serve as a hub, showing highlights from the various games on the air during breaks.

Outside of Saturdays, Fox will also televise two NFL preseason games in primetime on Thursday, Aug. 18 and Friday, Aug. 19, along with up to seven National League Championship Series games and seven World Series games on weeknights and Sunday nights in October, and the Pac-12 championship on Friday, Nov. 30.

In considering the plan, Shanks pointed to a UFC telecast Fox aired on a Saturday night last November that drew 5.7 million viewers and a 4.3 18-34 rating, winning the night in both measures. He said another UFC telecast in January averaged a 2.4 18-49 rating, higher than the other three networks combined.

"We want to see why people are not watching television on Saturday nights," Shanks said. "Is it that no one is home on Saturday night or is it that there is nothing on that people want to watch? We are hoping that if we create a beachhead on Saturday night with sports, people will be there to watch."

Shanks said Fox's new deal with the Pac-12 kicks in for this coming season, allowing the network to show multiple games on broadcast in primetime, in addition to the games airing on Fox cable and regional networks. And the deal Fox signed with UFC last summer also permits Fox broadcast network to share telecasts with FX and Fuel.

For Fox, the biggest obstacle came from whether or not they'd be able to schedule the increased number of Saturday night MLB games. Under the current TV rights deal with MLB, most of the games on Fox have Saturday afternoon start times. Shanks said negotiations for moving more games to Saturday night began at the start of last baseball season.

"Last year, we televised three or four Saturday night games, but there's a big difference between that number and eight," he said. "Scheduling these games was no easy feat. We had to have discussions with all 30 teams and they all had to sign off on the scheduling. Some teams don't like to play Saturday night games before Sunday day games. Some teams would rather play at one or four in the afternoon. We needed a consensus. It took almost all of last baseball season to come up with it."

Beyond the necessary diligence, Fox's decision to replace its Saturday night entertainment programming with sports was considered a no-brainer. Long-running reality series Cops was averaging only 3.8 million viewers on the night with a 1.3 18-49 rating. Plus, the subject matter wasn't necessarily a huge Saturday night draw for advertisers. Fox tried Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony's entertainment competition show Q'Viva recently, but the show has tanked, averaging only 2 million viewers and a 0.7 18-49 rating.

The other broadcast networks, which generally air repeats from earlier in the week on Saturday nights, aren't doing much better. Each is averaging 4 million or less on the night and 18-49 ratings between a 0.5 and a 1.1, mimicking cable TV numbers.

The only possible hitch in the plan comes with Fox's telecast of college football competing head-to-head with ABC's own college football Saturday night schedule for the fall. ABC had some success airing those games last season; 10 of them averaged 6.3 million viewers and a 2.1 18-49 rating for the network. And this football competition between the networks can only draw additional viewer interest to the night.

Shanks believes that starting to promote the new live sports night in April, and continuing on an ongoing basis throughout the year across all Fox properties, will get viewers into the Saturday night sports habit. He added that there was unanimity among Fox and News Corp. executives in the decision to go in this direction.

"From Chase Carey [president, COO and deputy chairman of News Corp.] to David Hill [chairman and CEO of Fox Sports Media Group] to Kevin Reilly [Fox Entertainment president], everyone realizes that Fox is a network committed to sports and there could be a business for Fox on Saturday nights with regular sports telecasts," Shanks said, adding that this current plan "is definitely more than just a test."

"We are committed to televising college football for a while, as well as baseball," Shanks said. "When we televised our baseball games last year on Saturday nights, the ratings were 60% higher than our Saturday afternoon telecasts. So we're committed to Saturday nights for baseball, too."

While not wanting to speak for the Fox Sports sales side, Shanks added, "If you're an advertiser looking to reach people tuning in for big, live events each week, Fox will be the place to look to."

As far as selling the new night, Shanks said in some instances it will be just a matter of offering existing advertisers some additional time in the night games. "Most advertisers aren't going to mind paying a bit of a premium to reach the larger audiences," he said. "And of course our sales people will reach out to bring in some new advertisers who might want to reach a larger audience on Saturday night with this type of programming."

So, is this a precursor to a full-fledged national cable sports network? "This isn't a precursor to anything," Shanks said. "This is something we've talked about doing for a long time here. Now that we have all the pieces in place, we can do it."

http://www.broadcastingcable.com/art..._Broadcast.php

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Old 04-08-2012, 09:10 PM
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I wonder if this means they are cancelling COPS?

*Found my answer:

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Bad news for fans of those bad boys, bad boys: Vulture hears that Fox is pulling COPS from the primetime beat for most of the remainder of 2012 and is reducing its episodic commitment to the long-running reality show going forward. In place of the men and women of law enforcement (and all of that pixelated nudity and bleeped-out profanity), Fox Sports is taking over most Saturday nights through early December, bulking up its non-cable primetime programming with a full slate of college football in the fall, baseball in the summer and a mix of NASCAR and UFC matches for the rest of the year. All told, Fox Sports will program 28 of 32 Saturday between April 14 and December 8. That leaves little room for COPS -- though Fox insists it's not canceling the Saturday staple, which has been on the network in one form or another since 1989.

A Fox rep tells Vulture the network is simply "cutting back our order" but that the reduction in episodes produced will not be dramatic. (She could not say exactly how many episodes will be produced going forward). What's clear, however, is that Fox won't be airing COPS as anything close to a weekly series for most of the remainder of 2012: Only nine Saturdays this year won't feature Fox Sports programming, and those nine weeks are split in batches of three weeks over three months in July, August and December. It seems more likely Fox will keep original episodes of COPS on hand for the first quarter of 2013. (A network reps says no scheduling decisions have been made, other than that the show won't air on a night other than Saturdays).

http://www.vulture.com/2012/04/fox-i...k-on-cops.html
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Old 04-08-2012, 11:32 PM
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If they aren't going to have Cops on Fox on Saturday nights then they need to put Street Patrol back on My Network Tv on Tuesday nights. And bring back Jail also.

How can we say "the digital transition is complete" when thousands of low power stations are still broadcasting in analog?
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Old 04-08-2012, 11:44 PM
 
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Oh boy, more terrible news for the world of television. You know what I think every time I look at the list of television networks? "There's not enough sports on here!" Forget about having 50 dedicated sports channels, let's just let them take over all the broadcast channels too.

Is COPS really that expensive a show to produce? I thought it always got good ratings too.

I'd say I was disappointed, but COPS is rarely interesting these days. The only thing that happens on COPS these days is the police harass a minority, they use way too much force to arrest them for marijuana possession, and then they proceed to have a five minute chat with them in the backseat of the cop car. Or they're doing something that is just as big of a waste of my tax dollars: bothering prostitutes.

In a way it is a shame that this series will no longer be on the air to warn everyone just how militarized the police in the United States are and how police resources are being abused.
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Old 04-09-2012, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
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From Multichannel News
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Analysis: Fox Has Eye on Rights Calendar

MLB, NASCAR Openings Could Pave Way for National Network

By Mike Reynolds

Fox would love to have a national cable sports network. But can it put together enough reach, and enough rights?

Publicly, Fox officials are declining comment about the prospects for such a network, which would likely be converted from the existing Speed service, which counts 82 million subscribers. (Reports of Fox’s intentions first surfaced via Bloomberg on March 28.)

Reports have indicated the gambit could have come as soon as next year — with the caveat that it might not occur at all.

“It’s April. It’s certainly not happening in 2013. It’s much more feasible looking out 18 months,” said one executive with knowledge of Fox’s thinking.

Indeed, 2014 makes more sense as a potential target launch date. That’s when there could be a new rights roadmap to guide broadcast and cable networks. Major League Baseball’s national rights contract expires after the 2013 season, while NASCAR’s is up after the circuit’s 2014 campaign.

WORLD CUP IN FOLD

The rights to the collegiate Big East Conference are also expected to draw industry-wide attention later this year.

“It makes sense,” Lee Berke, principal at consultancy LHB Sports, Entertainment and Media, said. “Fox has a very strong regional sports network portfolio and the national broadcast sports portfolio. A national cable sports network is a natural progression. And it’s doable.”

Fox’s push would put it in competition with NBC Sports Network, which was rebranded from Versus on Jan. 2 and now counts some 80 million homes, and the 45 million-subscriber CBS Sports Network. Both of those services hold importance to their corporate parents not only relative to the dual revenue streams they provide, but in terms of serving as flankers for the sports broadcast units’ ability to secure properties.

A potential Fox national cable sports service could include football and basketball rights secured from recent deals with the Pac-12 and Big 12 Conferences, as well as soccer’s 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup tournaments.

Fox also has UFC, the premier mixedmartial- arts outfit, in its corner for the next seven years, through a $700 million rights deal. That pact features a quartet of cards on the broadcast network, plus fights and a reality show on FX and some 2,000 hours on Fuel.

Berke said he believes Fox would be better off reversing field again when it comes to making FX — whose original series and bevy of theatricals are coalescing to make it one of cable’s top networks in delivering the Madison Avenue- coveted demo of adults 18-49 — part of its sports mix.

“USA Network had some sports properties, but it is serving NBCUniversal much better as a pure entertainment play,” he said. “I think the same would hold true for FX.”

Although UFC executives might welcome more exposure on the broader-reaching national sports channel, a vast transfer of the programming from Fuel would short-circuit its Nielsen gains.

“UFC has been terrific for Fuel,” said the executive with knowledge of Fox’s thinking. “It’s doubling and tripling its audience through UFC.”

Both Fuel and Fox Soccer have been mentioned as potential starting points for the national cable sports service, but they only count 37 million and 41 million subscribers, respectively, totals that place it behind CBS Sports Network and at half the base of NBC Sports Network.

Decisions from NASCAR will be central to any conversion of Speed into a broader national service. In the past, NASCAR has held talks with Fox about forming a joint venture. Currently, Speed airs NASCAR fare, including the Sprint Showdown and Sprint All-Star Race, its truck circuit and “happy hour” practice sessions.

“We talk to our partners all the time about the future,” Steve Herbst, vice president, broadcasting and global media strategy at NASCAR, said. “We understand the value of our product and the opportunities out there for NASCAR. We greatly value our relationships with our partners. But our No. 1 priority is our fans, and they want a dedicated home for their sport.”

Formal rights negotiations are expected to take place in 2013, with the incumbents Fox/ Speed, TNT and ESPN.

It remains to be seen whether Fox joins the national sports cable-network business alongside NBC Sports Network and CBS Sports Network and proves to be another prospective outlet for rights-holders and a viable advertising alternative for clients. If it does launch, it will likely change significantly over time.

ESPN WON’T WORRY

“What the network is on Day 1 versus Year 10 will be two different things,” the network executive said. “You don’t think NBC Sports Network will be disappointed if it’s still all about the NHL and MLS 10 years from now?”

One thing seems certain, though: It would be a misguided notion to think that any of these services will pose a true challenge to ESPN anytime soon.

The worldwide leader is armed with a monthly subscriber license fee now in the $5 range. Its war chest has enabled it to secure long-term deals across an array of properties, including a record, $15.2 billion NFL rights extension; the vast majority of the top college sports events, minus the NCAA men’s basketball tournament; as well as MLB, NBA, NASCAR, and Grand Slam golf and tennis coverage, among others.

“They didn’t really bid for the Olympics and the 2018 and 2022 World Cups were more important to Fox,” said a sports media executive. “But make no mistake, ESPN gets just about everything they want.”

http://www.multichannel.com/article/...s_Calendar.php

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Old 04-10-2012, 02:40 AM
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That is good news. More college football in primetime on the broadcast networks.

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Old 04-10-2012, 05:51 AM
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So I went without cable for six years until about 17 months ago.

At first it was pretty hard not having access to sports, namely espn. Now that I have espn, I can't stand it. I'm surprised at how little I watch it.

I don't know if anyone else has noticed, but it seems espn mostly just has people sitting around talking about...whatever sells. Disturbing.

I'm sort of shocked that they have chosen this path. I don't see it as an easy path to get off of either. It reminds me of MTV's chosen path. I never tune in to MTV because I know there won't be any music videos on. Sad. I'm 34 so I remember the good days there.

I think any sport televised is better than dudes sitting around talking about whatnot.

I understand liability issues, but I would watch...well the list is probably too long. But show me some cool sport I haven't seen before.

On a related note, I was looking forward to whatever the industry had deemed reality tv. Not in my wildest dreams would I have thought that the industry would have failed as bad as the did with that idea. I think the door is still wide open for a real look into the reality of different cultures. And those wacky sports played from different parts if the world would most likely sell.
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Old 04-12-2012, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by mphfrom77 View Post

So I went without cable for six years until about 17 months ago.

At first it was pretty hard not having access to sports, namely espn. Now that I have espn, I can't stand it. I'm surprised at how little I watch it.

I don't know if anyone else has noticed, but it seems espn mostly just has people sitting around talking about...whatever sells. Disturbing.

I'm sort of shocked that they have chosen this path. I don't see it as an easy path to get off of either. It reminds me of MTV's chosen path. I never tune in to MTV because I know there won't be any music videos on. Sad. I'm 34 so I remember the good days there.

I think any sport televised is better than dudes sitting around talking about whatnot.

I understand liability issues, but I would watch...well the list is probably too long. But show me some cool sport I haven't seen before.

On a related note, I was looking forward to whatever the industry had deemed reality tv. Not in my wildest dreams would I have thought that the industry would have failed as bad as the did with that idea. I think the door is still wide open for a real look into the reality of different cultures. And those wacky sports played from different parts if the world would most likely sell.

ESPN shows actual sports in the evening. There is usually nothing for them to show during the day except for studio shows.
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Old 04-12-2012, 09:05 PM
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Although I believe there should be a small amount of informational news type shows on ESPN during the day, I find the idea that there is not any interesting sport, live or taped, in all the world to show instead of their "talk shows" as unbelievable. No they are marketing "talk" and "gab" instead of real life stuff.

I've seen enough and I'm out. They have honestly found a way to tune out a former hardcore customer.

Now it's not just espn. All the major networks have taken major wrong turns with their sports coverage, in my opinion. For people using over the air signals, CBS's actions pertaining to the NCAA tournament are damn near criminal.
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by scorpiontail60 View Post

Oh boy, more terrible news for the world of television. You know what I think every time I look at the list of television networks? "There's not enough sports on here!" Forget about having 50 dedicated sports channels, let's just let them take over all the broadcast channels too.

Is COPS really that expensive a show to produce? I thought it always got good ratings too.

I'd say I was disappointed, but COPS is rarely interesting these days. The only thing that happens on COPS these days is the police harass a minority, they use way too much force to arrest them for marijuana possession, and then they proceed to have a five minute chat with them in the backseat of the cop car. Or they're doing something that is just as big of a waste of my tax dollars: bothering prostitutes.

In a way it is a shame that this series will no longer be on the air to warn everyone just how militarized the police in the United States are and how police resources are being abused.

Terrible news? I wouldn't call an over the hill reality show and a show featuring an over-rated singer/actress and her soon to be divorced boy toy, being replaced by live events terrible at all.

I do happen to agree with you on the excessive use of force by modern day police departments. I think that the departments being shown in Cops are more aggressive than normal though, due to the fact that they're on tv. If not showing these guys in action eases things up, even just a little, in those communities, then cancelling Cops is for the better.
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Old 04-14-2012, 08:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mphfrom77 View Post

For people using over the air signals, CBS's actions pertaining to the NCAA tournament are damn near criminal.

In what respect? Please be specific.

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Old 04-14-2012, 10:55 PM
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People in Kentucky couldn't watch the UK game unless they had cable. One of the earlier round games, this year.

Over the years what I have found on top of that is they just keep going back to the studio and then to commercial way to often. For example, they go away from your game to a lookin on another game, but that game would have a time out, so instead of going back to your main game they would go to commercial. Way, way too many times did I notice that specific scenario time and time again...just honestly unreal. Like it was so absurd that it wasn't really happening over and over. Only it was. I would be like I can not believe this is going on. UK is in the middle of a game, and we are at commercial.

But yeah, this year in northern Kentucky at least, at least one of the games was only on cable, like TNT I think. That's just not right.
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Old 04-15-2012, 04:04 AM
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As opposed to the old days, where if a local team was playing, you had no hope at all of seeing anything else without having DirecTV with a fairly expensive premium package. I think the vast majority of fans prefer having access to every game on every cable/sat/telco provider.
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Old 04-15-2012, 06:10 AM
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Of course.

One of the problems I mentioned that really gets under my skin, is for those that cannot afford those sat/cab options though. I'm not worried about the adults necessarily, but the children that don't get to see their favorite hometown team, at times. Or even the best teams at times. Or even a single game at times.

It stretches across almost all sports with the NFL being almost different. Of course if you absolutely must guarantee that you will see your team you have to buy tickets. But honestly it's like you have to purchase NFL tickets, cable and the NFL network.

The other problem I have concerning viewing availability for youngsters, is the times they play these games during a school week. It gets a little ridiculous. I honestly think some of this stuff I am touching on is just a shame.

Hey listen, I'm not trying to start any trouble here.

I like what fox seems to be doing here with their national channel. I think they will reap very good benefits from this as well. I could see their baseball night doing very, very well. I guess I am just trying to inject some passionate advice on the off chance it could somehow make a difference.

My main thing with televised sports is that it should be geared towards the family. And I believe the heads of all these different sports should strive to make it viewable for any family regardless of income.
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by mphfrom77 View Post

... any family regardless of income.

And with that, you hit on the magic words. You forget that the viewer is not the customer in television. The viewer is the product delivered to the advertising "customer." To advertisers, families who have cable have more disposable income and are, therefore, more desirable. To them, someone who has "cut the cord" to save money probably won't buy the cruises, plasma TVs and fancy new cars they're looking to sell.

And the "heads of these sports" feel exactly the same way. They answer to advertisers, directly or indirectly. And they want to be able to tell them that, yes, dumping a zillion dollars to be "the official TV of March Madness" will make sure their message reaches people with money burning a hole in their pockets.

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Old 04-15-2012, 11:19 AM
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As far as the MLB portion of this project goes, does it mean that the exclusivity window FOX enjoys on Saturday during the day is now going to be extended in to the evening as well? Meaning instead of watching my favorite team on a Saturday night I'll have to watch what ever game FOX decides I should see?
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mphfrom77 View Post

For people using over the air signals, CBS's actions pertaining to the NCAA tournament are damn near criminal.

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Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

In what respect? Please be specific.

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Originally Posted by mphfrom77 View Post

People in Kentucky couldn't watch the UK game unless they had cable. One of the earlier round games, this year.

You are confused.

CBS is not responsible for what games are available OTA and what games are available on pay provider channels.

The NCAA decided to expand the tournament and to put carriage rights out to bid. The NCAA decided to accept the Turner bid that puts games on three pay channels and only one on broadcast. This has been the case for the last two years. Direct your ire towards them.

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Old 04-15-2012, 12:01 PM
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Heck, America's pastime, baseball, is virtually unwatchable without a payTV subscription anymore. In today's world you just have to pay to play, or view in this case.
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Old 04-15-2012, 12:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Heck, America's pastime, baseball, is virtually unwatchable without a payTV subscription anymore. In today's world you just have to pay to play, or view in this case.

Indeed. In Detroit, 157 of the 162 Tiger games are not available unless you have a pay provider.

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Old 04-15-2012, 05:15 PM
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Indeed. In Detroit, 157 of the 162 Tiger games are not available unless you have a pay provider.

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Old 04-15-2012, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

Indeed. In Detroit, 157 of the 162 Tiger games are not available unless you have a pay provider.

The Dodgers can be seen this year on local OTA station KCAL about 50 times this season(which is bad for me as with MLBEI I don't normally see those games), but I expect that will change drastically with the new TV contract coming very soon, to the detriment of OTA viewers

The SF Giants can only be seen about 15 times on OTA station KNTV this season, that's actually an increase from I think 11 games last year, if you're a Giants fan you better have a pay TV provider if you want to see your team play.
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Old 04-15-2012, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by mphfrom77 View Post

So I went without cable for six years until about 17 months ago.

I don't know if anyone else has noticed, but it seems espn mostly just has people sitting around talking about...whatever sells. Disturbing.

ESPN has become the TMZ of sports.

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Old 04-15-2012, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by mphfrom77 View Post

People in Kentucky couldn't watch the UK game unless they had cable. One of the earlier round games, this year.

Over the years what I have found on top of that is they just keep going back to the studio and then to commercial way to often. For example, they go away from your game to a lookin on another game, but that game would have a time out, so instead of going back to your main game they would go to commercial. Way, way too many times did I notice that specific scenario time and time again...just honestly unreal. Like it was so absurd that it wasn't really happening over and over. Only it was. I would be like I can not believe this is going on. UK is in the middle of a game, and we are at commercial.

But yeah, this year in northern Kentucky at least, at least one of the games was only on cable, like TNT I think. That's just not right.

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Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

You are confused.

CBS is not responsible for what games are available OTA and what games are available on pay provider channels.

The NCAA decided to expand the tournament and to put carriage rights out to bid. The NCAA decided to accept the Turner bid that puts games on three pay channels and only one on broadcast. This has been the case for the last two years. Direct your ire towards them.

Okay, I was mistaken. I assumed CBS had first dibs and showed regional coverage per region and the rest went to cable.

Still the rest of the stuff I wrote in the middle there is where it all stemmed for me, the ire. When they do what I mentioned earlier, it just doesn't seem right. I have seen it happen, and it is an outrageous blatant disregard of the audience.

But, I guess they could not show one minute of a game. They could just show commercials. They bought the rights. Nothing criminal there, I suppose. I don't have to watch it.
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Old 04-15-2012, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by keenan View Post

The Dodgers can be seen this year on local OTA station KCAL about 50 times this season(which is bad for me as with MLBEI I don't normally see those games), but I expect that will change drastically with the new TV contract coming very soon, to the detriment of OTA viewers

The SF Giants can only be seen about 15 times on OTA station KNTV this season, that's actually an increase from I think 11 games last year, if you're a Giants fan you better have a pay TV provider if you want to see your team play.

won't the new Lakers TV contract put LA's most popular sports team on cable for every game unless its an ABC national TV game?
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Old 04-15-2012, 09:21 PM
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As far as the MLB portion of this project goes, does it mean that the exclusivity window FOX enjoys on Saturday during the day is now going to be extended in to the evening as well? Meaning instead of watching my favorite team on a Saturday night I'll have to watch what ever game FOX decides I should see?

Good God, I hope so.

I don't want to watch the @#$$!&* Yankees or Red Sox every game, like I have to do on that "other"channel.
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Old 04-15-2012, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by keenan View Post

Heck, America's pastime, baseball, is virtually unwatchable without a payTV subscription anymore. In today's world you just have to pay to play, or view in this case.

I usually have at least one game per day I can watch, completely for free (well, except for the electricity).

We have a good amount of local games here OTA, but I also have MLB.com on my Roku. Even though I don't have a subscription, they give all who are registered access to their chosen, "free game of the day" (through the streamer, to your TV). It's only blacked out if it's a local team.

I also stream ESPN3, which occasionally will show a game that ESPN2 has on. But that's pretty rare.

Anyway, it's something.
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mphfrom77 View Post

Still the rest of the stuff I wrote in the middle there is where it all stemmed for me, the ire. When they do what I mentioned earlier, it just doesn't seem right. I have seen it happen, and it is an outrageous blatant disregard of the audience.

What you are describing was a direct result of what used to happen before the current coverage, when CBS had the all the games. Due to network feed coverage for the different regions across the country, you could easily be switched to get a look in and get a game with a commercial. Happened all the time, but there was not always a way to avoid it because the original game may also be in commercial.

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CBS provided three sets of feeds from each venue, known as "constant" "swing" and "flex." Constant feeds remained primarily on a given game, and were used primarily by stations with local interest in a game. Despite its name, a constant feed would occasionally veer away to other games for brief updates, but coverage generally remained with the initial game. Swing feeds tended to stay on games of natural interest, such as teams from local conferences, but would go to other games that are close. On a flex feed, coverage bounced around from one venue to another, depending on action at the various games in progress. If one game was a blowout, coverage would switch to a more competitive game. Flex games had no natural interest for the stations carrying them, allowing the flex game to be the best game in progress. Station feeds were planned in advance and stations had the option of requesting either constant or flex feed for various games.

In other words, your local CBS station may have picked a feed that you disagreed with, in light of other available games in progress.

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Old 04-16-2012, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

Good God, I hope so.

I don't want to watch the @#$$!&* Yankees or Red Sox every game, like I have to do on that "other"channel.

Sorry, I left out the fact that I have MLBEI, which I could presumably use to watch the Dodger game instead of what FOX may want to show me, which could very likely be the A's or the Giants, or even Seattle, in which case I'd be blacked out from the Dodger game because of their exclusivity window. If that window in fact extends to Saturday night games, I guess we'll find out in about 4 weeks.

I agree with you on the east coast bias for those games, I'm sick of seeing those teams as well.
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Lkr View Post

won't the new Lakers TV contract put LA's most popular sports team on cable for every game unless its an ABC national TV game?

I don't follow the NBA so I have no idea, but I think you're right. Time Warner Cable is also extremely interested in getting the Dodgers, which would basically gut FOX's Prime Ticket. My guess is that the TV rights for the Dodgers will set a new record for such things, they may even have a partner and create a channel like the Yankee's YES Network.
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Old 04-17-2012, 05:57 PM - Thread Starter
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From Broadcasting & Cable
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NAB: Fox Affiliates Board Pumped for More Saturday Night Sports

Network and affiliates work on working together better

By Michael Malone

Fox's lineup of live sports on Saturday nights has the affiliates board stoked, and a pending announcement related to expanding and enriching the Saturday primetime lineup has the station partners thinking things will get even better.

"The affiliates board is very pleased with it," said Steve Pruett, board chairman. "We intend to expand the concept and build on it."

Earlier this month, Fox announced it was adding 100 hours of live sports, including NASCAR, UFC and Major League Baseball, to Saturday primetime. Pruett would not share details on what sort of sports franchise Fox will add to Saturday nights, but said announcements will be coming in the coming weeks.

The Fox affiliates board met with the network April 16 in Las Vegas. After some acrimony between Fox and its affiliates in the past, several signs in the meeting suggested a closer working relationship between the two. Pruett said Fox plans to reinstate 10 regional sales conferences, which had been shelved during the recession. Stations send their sales managers to one of 10 major cities for sales lessons from Fox's affiliate relations execs.

"It's an intensive program for talking about the best way to sell these programs," said Pruett. "It's a complete package, including promotions. It stimulates and excites our sales people." Fox will continue to cover costs for its FPEC promotions get-together in July, said Pruett, and holds its owners meeting in October. Fox is also expanding its "No. 1 Club," where top station general managers meet and share best practices. "It was smaller during the [economic] crunch, but they're making it more open," said Pruett.

Network reps at the meeting included Jon Hookstratten and Mike Hopkins. The network execs spent about an hour with the affiliates board, and the board spent another hour discussing issues internally. Pruett described the meeting as upbeat, engaged and thoughtful.

Sharing retrans was not a major issue at the meeting. "The discussion between companies and Fox are following the lines established last year," Pruett said. "The model, I think, is generally accepted with relatively minor negotiations."

The affiliates body meets April 17 in Las Vegas, and Gordon Smith, NAB president and CEO, will be among the speakers. Last year's affiliates body meeting was long and divisive, but if the board meeting was any indication, this year's assembly should be more about commonalities than sticking points.

Pruett said much of the board meeting was dedicated to getting the affiliates more in sync with the network, and vice versa. "We're looking further ahead," he said, "to plan ahead with them on what kinds of things are coming up."


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