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NEWS REAL

• Serena Williams has withdrawn from the Miami Open (March 23) due to knee issues.

• Picking up the mantle of National Women’s Month, and anticipating what next year will be its 70th anniversary, the LPGA has unveiled “Drive On,” a multi-platform refined brand position. According to the LPGA, “Drive On is clearly rooted in golf, but it's a bigger idea. It captures the power and potential in each of us and celebrates the hard work, focus and tenacity that it takes to achieve our goals.” Full story here.

• The NBA said that the Chinese and Croatian National Teams would join all 30 NBA teams to compete at MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2019 in Las Vegas, marking the first time that the league will feature two international teams, with 83 games over 11 days (July 5-15).

• The 2019 Alliance of American Football Championship, originalluy scheduled for April 27 in Las Vegas, will be played in Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas., which is owned and operated by Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys.

• MLB and the MLB Players’ Assn. have unveiled numerous changes to the game to be installed over the next two seasons that will impact game length, marketing broadcast partners, the All-Star Game and the Home Run Derby. Full story here.

POLL POSITION

Top Ten Most In-Demand MLB Tickets (based on total ticket sales on StubHub thru March 14):
1. New York Yankees
2. Boston Red Sox
3. San Francisco Giants
4. Chicago Cubs
5. St. Louis Cardinals
6. Los Angeles Dodgers
7. Philadelphia Phillies
8. Texas Rangers
9. New York Mets
10. Houston Astros

SOURCE: STUBHUB

KEEPING SCORE

The Most-In-Demand MLB Home Openers
(based on total ticket sales on StubHub thru March 14, all on March 28):

• Arizona Diamondbacks at the Dodgers (average ticket price $229.
• Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees (average ticket price $202)
• Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies (average ticket price $84)
• Chicago Cubs at Texas Rangers (average ticket price $254)
• Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds (average ticket price $122)

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office March 22-24
1. Us $70.2M
2. Captain Marvel $35M
3. Wonder Park $9M
4. Five Feet Apart $8.8M
5. How To Train Your Dragon 3 $6.5M
6. A Madea Family Funeral $4.5M
7. Gloria Bell $1.8M
8. No Manches Frida 2 $1.8M
9. Lego Movie 2 $1.1M
10. Alita: Battle Angel $1M
Source: Box Office Mojo

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BodyArmor Into NCAA
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Notre Dame Builds Brand
Cancer Drives Home
Men's Hoops Are 'Toxic'

Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
SUPER BOWL LIII

Thursday
Aug222013

Q&A: For CBS' Sean McManus, Sports Progamming Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

By Barry Janoff

August 21, 2013: The competition for the eyeballs (and dollars) of sports viewers increased this month with the arrival of Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2. ESPN undertook plans to retain its self-professed role as the "worldwide leader in sports." NBC and CBS also acted to boost their respective rosters of programs and personalities.

Sean McManus is chairman for CBS Sports, who oversees all sports properties across CBS operations, including the CBS broadcast network, CBS Radio, CBS Sports Network and CBSSports.com. He also is the executive producer for The NFL on CBS. NYSportsJournalism spoke with McManus about sports media, fans, the NFL, U.S. Open and the quest for ratings and marketing support.

NYSportsJournalism: You are unveiling That Other Pregame Show, so you must know a little something about how much fans want to consume and viewers want to watch when it comes to the NFL.

Sean McManus: [Laughs.] The most excitng programming on TV is the NFL. Last year we launched NFL Monday QB and it has been very successful. The hosts — Phil Simms, Rich Gannon and Steve Beuerlein (all former NFL quarterbacks) — worked well together and connected with the audience. We got a lot of word-of-mouth about the show. Last year, we also renovated and upgraded the CBS Sports Network studios [after moving from New York's Chelsea Piers to the CBS Broadcast Center] and moved in other shows such as Inside College Football. So after [the in-studio] NFL Monday QB, the next logical step was to do a studio pre-game show on Sundays.

NYSJ: How important was the success of NFL Monday QB to the launch of That Other Pregame Show?

SM: If we didn't have success with the NFL Monday QB show, we would have been a bit hesitant to move ahead with another pre-game show. But NFL Monday QB worked well. It found its own niche. It was different from anything that anyone was doing on any of the networks. So it made sense to expand on it.

NYSJ: This comes at a time when ESPN is ramping up its NFL coverage, Fox Sports 1 has launched, the NFL Network is 24/7 and NBC is doing more NFL coverage. How does the strategy behind the CBS Sports Network fit into the current and future landscape?

SM: We want to get as many viewers as possible tuning in. But do we see [CBS Sports Network] challenging ESPN or the NFL Network in ratings? That's not our goal right now. Our goal is to put on a product that people start to talk about and want to find.

NYSJ: With so much out there, how do you do that?

SM: There is room for a new show if it can differentiate itself from the others. That Other Pregame Show will be more informal, more free-wheeling than pre-game shows anyone else does, including CBS. It will be different and memorable.

NYSJ: What do you say when people will look at what you are doing and compare it to ESPN or NFL Network?

SM: It’s not going to be what you see on the NFL Network. It’s not going to be what you see on ESPN.  It’s not even going to be what you see on CBS. It’s going to be That Other Pregame Show. It’s going to evolve, it’s going to change.

"That Other Pregame Show will be more informal, more free-wheeling than pre-game shows anyone else does, including CBS."

NYSJ: What will viewers be seeing in the way of support for the new program?

SM: We have the radio network, the interactive network, the broadcast network. We want it to all feed in to create more attention for the show. In today's television landscape, there is certainly room for another pre-game show if that show offers a unique approach and perspective. That Other Pregame Show will accomplish that, as we combine all the assets of CBS Sports including CBS Sports Radio and CBSSports.com, creating a show focusing on the fans and how they consume football.

NYSJ: How are you looking at the sports broadcasting landscape with Fox Sports 1 now in the picture?

SM: I give them a lot of credit for putting their money where their mouth is. They are definitely a formidable competitor not just for CBS but for all of us. They wanted to have people talking about them and they've done that. If you look at their history, the Fox network was supposed to be a disaster, and it worked. Then people said there wasn't room for Fox News and it worked. It's too short-term now to make a long-term prediction. But I applaud them for the amount for the amount of money they've spent and the amount of noise they've made.

NYSJ: Can you compare Fox Sports 1 to CBS Sports Network in terms of growth?

SM: I can only speak for CBS Sports Network. We're doing twice as many live events than we did two years ago. We're in 50 million homes. We were in 25 million homes three years ago. We have a lot of great properties and personalities: AVP (volleyball), Professional Bull Riders, Major League Lacrosse, PBA (bowling), Arena Football, Jim Rome, Tim Brando, Doug Gottlieb, Allie LeForce. So that is a formidable lineup.

NYSJ: When you're looking at new technology and in-studio enhancements, what are the challenges to continually get a better product to the audience?

SM: We always want to challenge our guys, both technologically and production-wise; we challenge our announcers on storytelling and talking about why things happen and not just what happened. We told our announcers, our analysts and our production people to go into every game as if it is your Super Bowl. It may be a game that's going to only 5% of the country. Remember the basics, but don't be afraid to fail. Don't be afraid to try something new. We may get angry with out production team when they don't follow the basic rules of covering football. But we never get angry at them for trying new things. We challenge them to try new things. And as technology gets better and better, as you get more high-speed cameras, better audio, we are on the cutting edge of that and we will continue to be so.

NYSJ: CBS Sports Network has been covering the qualifying rounds of the U.S. Open this week and then works in conjunction with CBS through the finals. Are you able to be as creative in tennis product as you are challenging your crew to be in the NFL?

SM: We've looked at Fly-Cams. We've looked at Sky-Cams. Audio is always getting better. We've used SwingVision in golf (a super-slo-motion camera that helps to analyze golf swings). The high-speed camera that we premiered in golf gives a really good look. There's not a lot new. But anything that's available, we'll find it and we'll try it.

NYSJ: Any early news about March Madness?

SM: There will be. But it's not at the forefront right now.

CBS Adds To NFL Programming Not With This Show But That Other Show

Fox Sports 1: Thank-You ESPN For Getting Us Launched

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