Sports Media Friday: Is ESPN winning or losing? PR post cites ratings wins in primetime; Bloomberg story paints different picture

Koufax SISpanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sports media:

There have many stories of late about ESPN losing subscribers. So the PR machine tried to reverse the spin and tell the other side of the story. It did a post on its Front Row blog noting sports’ dominance in ratings during prime time.

ESPN’s Dave Nagle writes:

ESPN’s marquee programming – including the NFL, highlighted by cable’s first playoff game; college football, including last January’s debut of the College Football playoff; the NBA, notably the NBA Finals on ABC which has won the night among all viewers 48 consecutive games; Major League Baseball; college basketball; and the ESPYS – drove viewership to new heights in the 52 weeks ending Monday, Dec. 14.

Demonstrating the “DVR-proof” nature of major live events – as well as the enduring appeal of sports as entertainment options multiply, sports won the night a total of 152 times – 42 percent of the time. And in 2015 – so far – 19 of the top 25 programs on cable in household viewership were sports events – 17 of them on ESPN.

Bulgrin added, “These data continue to prove that live sports have become a priority in the hierarchy of viewing choices – especially during prime time.”

Yet here comes a Bloomberg story citing ESPN’s ratings decline.

ESPN’s ratings are another sign of the changes rattling the TV industry. Live editions of “SportsCenter” are down 10 percent this year in total viewers, according to ESPN, while the Sunday pregame show “NFL Countdown” is down 13 percent. Overall, viewership has fallen 10 percent in 2015, though network executives say that’s really 4 percent excluding World Cup and NASCAR events that didn’t air this year.

Very cool photo gallery from Sports Illustrated showing the covers for every Sportsperson of the Year winner.

Rick Morrissey of the Sun-Times didn’t like Serena Williams’ cover photo in Sports Illustrated.

Congratulations to the Boston Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy for winning the Hall of Fame’s Spink Award.

Richard Deitsch says the Golden State Warriors need more national TV exposure.

Deitsch also talks to radio producers about their jobs.

NBC will be using various research methods to track how people consume the Olympics in Rio.

John Ourand of SBJ has his sports media predictions for 2016. He thinks CBS will keep Thursday Night Football.

David Feherty was candid about his personal issues in a Rolling Stone interview.

Dan Levy writes a touching piece on the incredible thing Marvel did for his son.

There was an auction in Chicago featuring the memorabilia of legendary Cubs announcer Jack Brickhouse.

The “amazing story” of the stat man for Brent Musburger and Al Michaels.

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