Thursday, May 19, 2016

Dallas Viewers Not Reaching For The Stars

Local TV ratings are not often a source of market research, but in the Dallas / Ft. Worth area, recent sports telecast ratings do not bode well for the NHL and the Dallas Stars these days. While the team draws well, it looks as though the majority of the fan base attends the games.

During the first round of the NBA and NHL playoffs last month, we noticed that the NBA Mavericks showed a much larger local viewing audience than the Stars, even though the Mavs were given little chance to advance, which they did not. Although the Stars did not advance, they were favored to defeat the St. Louis Blues in that opening round series.

Forward ahead to this week. On Monday (5/16), the local ratings for Game 1 of the NBA Western Conference Finals between Golden State and Oklahoma City was 2.5 ratings points above the (local team) Rangers vs. Oakland A's baseball telecast, which is also a nice reflection of the market's interest in the NBA. At the same time, the NBCSN telecast of the NHL East Finals between Pittsburgh and Tampa drew only a .4.

Then on Wednesday (5/18), the Dallas / Ft. Worth ratings for Game 2 of the Golden State vs. Oklahoma City series drew a rating which was THREE and one-half rating points higher than the Rangers vs. Oakland game, and five full ratings points behind the NHL telecast.

On a national level, the Friday (5/13) telecast of Game 1 of the Pittsburgh vs. Tampa Bay series finished as NBCSN's most viewed Conference Final opening game in the network's history, and that's without any help from the large Dallas market.

Another week and another loss of talent from ESPN. Longtime college football analyst Chris Spielman has jumped over to Fox Sports, starting with the coming season. Spielman didn't stick around long enough to find out who he would have been paired with on the primary telecasts this coming season, since Sean McDonough will be moving up to Monday Night Football.

The strides made over the past couple of years by league originated channels MLB Network, NFL Network, NBA TV, and NHL Network are being noticed by the PGA. Sports Business Daily reports that PGA officials are exploring the possibility of forming their own network, which could result in using their opt-out of their CBS and NBC deals in 2018.

Although the PGA contract with The Golf Channel is locked until 2021, The Golf Channel does not air much of the late in the day third and final round coverage of the most important tournaments.

NEW YORK: While it's understandable that Howie Rose would want to decrease his play-by-play schedule after 30 years, it's a sad day for Islanders fans. Rose, who has called the Islanders games since 1995, announced that he is leaving their broadcast booth in order to ease back on what has been a constant year round schedule. Howie will continue to call the Mets games on WFAN 660, as he has done since the mid-80's.

MIAMI: Hard to believe it had been seven seasons since the Dolphins broadcasts aired on WQAM 560, but the Dolphins are returning to the station as part of a new long term deal which will also include the game broadcasts being simulcast on WKIS Kiss Country 99.9.

WQAM will air expanded pre and postgame shows, along with new head coach Adam Gase's Monday (or day after) press conferences and a "Dolphins Friday" extended interview show.

This ends what had been a six season run on WBGG 105.9.

FARGO: Jeff Culhane has been chosen as the new radio play-by-play voice of the North Dakota State University (defending national champion) football team starting with the upcoming season. In addition, Culhane was named as Sports Director for KQWB Bison 1660.

TULLAHOMA TN: WHMT 740 has just dropped its sports format and has joined its sister FM station in airing country music. The station, serving much of the area between Nashville and Chattanooga, plans to continue to air local high school football play-by-play.

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