White Sox lead Cubs in TV ratings in Chicago; Cubs’ rating was 163 % higher in 2008

Interestings news in Chicago.

Rick Telander of the Chicago Sun-Times notes the White Sox, still struggling to draw at home, have topped the Cubs in one key category: Local TV ratings.

Telander writes:

And there has been this thought, floated about among reasonable people, that Sox fans don’t go to the ballpark  because they’re economically strapped and prefer to watch the games on TV.

And you know what? That could be true.

‘‘The Sox have had a 2.0 rating recently on CSN,’’ said Jeff Nuich, senior director of communications for Comcast SportsNet Chicago.

‘‘That’s up over 10 percent from last year.’’

That 2.0 equals about 70,000 households, with, obviously, more than one viewer per household.  Unless every household is like the one from ‘‘Psycho.’’ Two-point-oh is a decent, if not great, number.  But here’s the kicker — it’s higher than the

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Fox Sports crashes college football party with Erin Andrews, Gus Johnson

Did you expect Fox Sports to quietly enter the room with its first full-blown season of college football? Hardly.

The network has two highly creative ads touting the “Gus Effect” of watching the high-voltage Gus Johnson call its games.

And here’s a second promo featuring Erin Andrews.

Fox Sports knows how to get everyone’s attention. But maintaining it at this crowded college football party is another story.

Fox will have a full season of Saturday night games, debuting tomorrow night with USC-Hawaii. The schedule includes the Pac 12 and Big Ten title games.

Fox hopes Johnson, who will be paired with Charles Davis, becomes the life of the party. Working on the big stage, I would expect Johnson’s over-the-top calls could elevate him to cult status on campuses throughout the country.

The telecasts will be preceded by Fox College Saturday at 7 p.m. … Continue Reading

Update: Official statement on Pinkett being sent home from Ireland; Is he done at Notre Dame?

He barely stayed long enough to taste the Guinness.

The Chicago Tribune has the official statement from IMG Notre Dame Radio Network

“Allen Pinkett, a commentator on the IMG Notre Dame Radio Network who made unacceptable comments this week about student athletes, will not be part of this weekend’s broadcast in Dublin. Don Criqui and Jeff Jeffers will handle the broadcast duties. Notre Dame taking on Navy at the Emerald Isle Classic in Dublin is an historic game showcasing the very best of American college sports. The event deserves to be free of distraction. Further decisions on this matter will be made in the coming days.”

Talk about bad timing. It’s not as if he got sent home from a Irish road against Purdue.

I imagine it was an extra long flight for Pinkett as he worried about his future with … Continue Reading

NBC Sports Network anxious about NHL labor situation; league releases national TV schedule

The NHL released its national TV schedule today. Unfortunately, several of the early games may never get played.

Needless to say the folks at the NBC Sports Network are concerned about the labor situation. At this point, the prospects look bleak for the season starting on time.

A prolonged dispute could leave the NBC Sports Network with some huge holes in the schedule beginning in October.

“I’m not a big Twitter follower, but I do follow the NHL on Twitter to find out as much as I can about the situation,” said NBC Sports Network President Jon Miller. “It’s very important for us for the two sides to come together and for the season to start on time. The NHL is our most important property. To not have a start of the season would be tough on us.

“It’s not for … Continue Reading

New show provides baseball presence for NBC Sports Network; not tied to possible MLB deal

When NBC Sports Network unveiled Caught Looking, a new behind-the-scenes show about baseball a few weeks ago, it prompted some speculation that this was a precursor to the network landing a TV deal with Major League Baseball.

Stop speculating, said Jon Miller, president of NBC Sports Network.

“One thing has nothing to do with the other,” Miller said. “We’ve been in conversations to do this show since last November once we saw the success of NFL Turning Point. I know people are going to jump to conclusions. No amount of protesting on my part is going to change those conclusions.

“The fact is, we’re dealing with MLB Productions for this show. They aren’t the same guys who do the broadcast rights.”

I asked Miller if Caught Looking gives NBC Sports Net at least a toe in the door?

“If you … Continue Reading

Allen Pinkett apologizes for remarks; may face disciplinary action

Allen Pinkett says I’m sorry. Of course, he did.

I imagine it came after a conversation with his bosses that began with, “What the F– were you thinking?”

Pinkett suddenly realized perhaps it wasn’t a good idea to say in a radio interview with WSCR-AM 670 in Chicago that Notre Dame needs some criminals on its team.

His statement:

“In reviewing my remarks from a radio interview Wednesday, it’s clear  that I chose my words poorly and that an apology is in order for these  inappropriate comments.  My words do not reflect the strong pride and  passion I have for the Notre Dame football program.

“I am deeply sorry and did not intend to take away the focus from the  upcoming season opener. I especially would like to offer my sincere  apology to the current members of Notre Dame’s football team,

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Has Peter King lost his mind? Picks Denver and Peyton to go to Super Bowl

Wow, Peter King really is drinking the Peyton Manning Kool-Aid. In fact, I wonder if somebody slipped something in that Kool-Aid.

In the Sports Illustrated NFL preview edition featuring “Gronk” on the cover, King selects Denver to win the AFC and Manning to be name the NFL MVP.

However, he ruins the happy ending of this fairy tale by predicting Green Bay to win the Super Bowl.

From the SI release:

Can senior NFL writer Peter King(@SI_PeterKing) correctly predict who plays in the Super Bowl for the second time in three years? King was on the money two seasons ago when he said the Packers and the Steelers would reach football’s promised land.  His prediction last year didn’t pan out, but after a three-week road trip through more than 20 training camps, King predicts the Packers will

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Update: Notre Dame AD denounces radio analyst’s comments on Irish needing ‘couple criminals

Update: I really don’t like Allen Pinkett’s chances of remaining as Notre Dame’s radio analyst for football. Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick issued a swift rebuttal to Pinkett’s statement about the Irish needing “a couple criminals” on their team.

“Allen Pinkett’s suggestion that Notre Dame needs more ‘bad guys’ on its football team is nonsense,” Swarbrick said in a statement. “Of course, Allen does not speak for the University, but we could not disagree more with this observation.”

*******

This goes beyond stupid.

Allen Pinkett, the former Notre Dame star, is the school’s current radio analyst. However, perhaps not for long after these comments.

Pinkett stepped in it big time this morning during an interview with Dan McNeil and Matt Spiegel this morning on WSCR-AM 670 in Chicago.

From the station’s site:

Notre Dame has had its fair share of off-the-field

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ESPN’s Skipper says network won’t ask for increased subscriber fees from new mega MLB deal; Do you believe him?

ESPN just went double-down on its new deal with Major League Baseball. The 8-year deal, which begins in 2014, will see the WWL shelling out $700 million per year, up from the current $350 million.

And just who is going to pay for that tidy bump in rights? Will it be you? What do you think?

ESPN president John Skipper pushed off that responsibility on the cable distributors during a conference call Tuesday afternoon.

“We don’t determine what your cable bill will be,” Skipper said. “But I’ll tell you, this is a good day for distributor partners. We have just increased the quality and quantity of content we will provide our distributors.

“And no, we are not going to our distributors to ask for an increase for this content.”

OK, ESPN currently charges $5.06 per subscriber for the baseball content and more. It is by … Continue Reading