Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Kings' Success Crowns TV Deal

Los Angeles teams continue to make media news, even after the news and talk about the sale of the Dodgers settles down. The NHL's Kings, in addition to their Stanley Cup Finals battle (still in progress at press time), have already capitalized (literally) on their successful season with a new long term deal to be televised on Fox Sports West, which has been televising the Kings since 1985. Although financial terms have not yet been disclosed, estimates are as high as $250 million. Kings fans are delighted with the news that Bob Miller and Jim Fox return to the booth. Next season will mark the 40th season that Hall of Fame broadcaster Miller calls the games, while Fox returns for his 24th season as analyst.

The Lakers have just announced an extension of their radio deal to keep the games on 710 ESPN in what is believed to also be a multi-year deal. John Ireland remains on play-by-play while Mychal Thompson will return for his 10th season as analyst.

NEW YORK: Whether it is social media, word of mouth, or a combination of both, the excitement spread on Friday (6/1) as Johan Santana was in the process of pitching the first no-hitter in Mets franchise history. SNY proudly announced that its telecast of the milestone was the most watched TV show in New York, cable or broadcast. To its credit, SNY re-aired the telecast on Monday (6/4), which was an open day for the Mets.

The highest rated quarter hour, of course, was the 9:45 to 10:00 PM spot, which included the final outs in the 9th inning. Obviously, this telecast would not have drawn such a large audience were it not the for history being made. In the old days, fans watching the game would call friends who are baseball fans to alert them to tune in. There was probably some of that in place. But now, I'm sure a ton of people were alerted by posts on Twitter and Facebook, and were able to make it a point to get to a TV in time. This is why it is becoming more important for media outlets to use social media to alert their following. As a sports fan, this is a great service, after years of "I wish I knew. I would have loved to have seen that live!" conversations.

SOUTH BEND: WAOR 95.7 began as an all-sports station this week, although the morning drive is the only true locally originated show. "Ragz and the Bartender", co-hosted by Program Director Mike "Rags" Ragozino. Other than bringing in some of the afternoon drive show from nearby Ft. Wayne (the Brian & Stiller BS Show), it will be syndicated sports talk on weekdays and most weeknights. The station has added play-by-play, including Friday high school football, selected weekend Chicago White Sox games, and Chicago Bears football. The station had been an album rock station going back to 1975 until this past Monday (6/4).

OMAHA: 1180 AM has become all sports and is now known as "The Zone 2". However, as of now, it is all syndicated talk shows. On a positive note, the station will be heavy on play-by-play, airing Creighton University basketball and baseball, Omaha Storm Chasers baseball, and regional or national NCAA football and NFL football games in season.

MINNEAPOLIS: Another loss for the sports media, as George Chapple has passed away at the age of 66. His real name, however, is not nearly as well known as his air name, Dark Star. He most recently worked on KFAN, but is best remembered (besides the goofy on-air name) for his 25 year run on WCCO's Sports Show, often co-hosting with longtime local columnist Sid Hartman.

SCHEDULE: TBS Sunday Baseball continues its New York to New England coverage (ooops, I mean national games) these next two Sundays as usual. This week (6/10) Steve Physioc will call the game between the Mets and Yankees, while Brian Anderson will call the game the following Sunday (6/17) when the Yankees travel to Washington to take on the Nationals.

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