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Tag Archives: football

Turner Sports Wins Champions League Cable TV Rights

The Champions League is the cream of the crop of European football (soccer), with the top teams from each country’s top league competing to see who the best team in Europe is. Turner Sports has won the English-language cable TV rights for the Champions League from Fox, who was the previous rights holder for both English and Spanish language TV rights. Univision will hold the Spanish language TV rights.

More from Awful Announcing:

Turner will pay $60 million a year for three years, beginning in fall 2018 and stretching through spring 2021.

Turner was somewhat of a surprise bidder, given that it has not aired any soccer coverage since the 1990 World Cup. The network will have to build an entire soccer operation essentially from scratch and will likely be looking outside the company for the new faces of its soccer coverage.

According to SBD, Fox’s bid for these rights was nowhere near what Turner offered. Fox has held Champions League rights since 2009 and has focused much attention on soccer coverage, with rights to the World Cup and MLS.

NBC, which owns rights to the English Premier League, reportedly submitted only a “token bid” for the Champions League.

Turner is becoming a major player in sports television once again, and expanding its audience to the younger crowd drawn more to soccer than the traditional American sports audience. Turner also holds rights to the NBA, MLB Playoffs, and March Madness.

ESPN Remains in the European Soccer Cable TV Arena

ESPN, the Disney-owned cable TV sports broadcasting powerhouse, will maintain its stranglehold over US English-language European soccer viewing with a new deal announced today locking up the rights to all UEFA national team competitions through the 2022 World Cup Qualification process.

Here are the details of the deal, via Awful Announcing:

ESPN and ESPN2: Will televise all 51 matches live (June-July 2020); Additional coverage will include pre-match, halftime and post-match programming, branded news and highlights shows on match days, unlimited re-air rights across all networks and media platforms, magazine programs, and more;

ESPN3: Will offer exclusive content from live events on television and alternate streams to complement big game on linear television. All matches, not including the alternate streams, will be available for replay;

ESPN Audio: English-language broadcast rights to 51 matches;

WatchESPN App: Will stream all matches and ancillary programming;

SportsCenter and ESPN FC: Extensive highlights rights on ESPN signature studio programs, including in-progress highlights; Extensive coverage via dedicated UEFA EURO 2020 sections featuring video highlights, news clips, reports, columns, blogging, match previews, player profiles and real-time data. Additionally, the digital sites have the option to create digital-exclusive programming;

ESPN Social: Rights clips and shareable content across ESPN FC handles on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, et al.

Fox Sports has the rights to the upcoming World Cups, and NBC Sports holds English Premier League rights, so with this move ESPN is remaining in the game when it comes to the world’s most popular sport, which is growing in interest in the United States as well.

FS1 to Air FIFA Presidential Election on Cable TV

Fox Sports 1 (FS1), Fox’s attempt to compete with ESPN for 24 hour sports coverage on cable TV, will air extensive coverage of the FIFA Presidential Election on February 26, with six hours of programming dedicated to the event beginning at 3am EST, and additional preview programming the night before at 6pm EST.

More from Fox Sports:

“This is an important news story with international repercussions, and as the primary home for televised soccer in the U.S., it’s our duty to cover it, and cover it well,” said David Nathanson, FOX Sports’ Head of Business Operations. “We look forward to working closely with FIFA and the incoming president as we gear up for the 2018 World Cup in Russia and beyond.”

FS1’s wall-to-wall coverage begins on Thursday, Feb. 25 with a one-hour pre-election special at 6:00 PM ET. Hosted by Rob Stone, the program features exclusive sit-down interviews with each of the five candidates, Prince Ali Al Hussein, Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, Jerome Champagne, Gianni Infantino and Tokyo Sexwale, courtesy of FOX Sports soccer insider Grant Wahl and sister network Sky Sports in the U.K.

In the early morning hours on Friday in the U.S. (3:00-9:00 AM ET), Stone anchors more than six hours of live coverage from the FOX Network Center in Los Angeles as the process to elect a new FIFA president plays out. Analyst Alexi Lalas and contributor Mark Young join Stone in-studio, while Sky Sports’ Kate Abdo and Wahl provide the channel’s live coverage from the Hallenstadion in Zurich. Expanded coverage continues post 9:00 AM on FS2.

Election coverage is also live streamed via FOX Sports GO, FOX Soccer 2Go and online at Viewers can also follow the commentary via social media on Facebook ( and Twitter (@FOXSoccer).

FS1 is channel 219 on DIRECTV, and is also available on all major cable TV providers.

When it Comes to Ratings, NFL Football is Still King

If you have any doubt that the National Football League has replaced Major League Baseball as the pastime of choice for American sports fans, this should clear it up for you: despite the fact that the Chicago Cubs are playing October baseball for the first time in a long time, and competing to end a more than century-long World Series drought, the ratings are still higher in the city of Chicago for a middling Chicago Bears team that’s really only competing not to wind up in the basement of the league come winter.

According to the Sherman Report:

Through five regular-season games, the Bears are averaging a 23.6 rating in Chicago; 1 local ratings point is worth an estimated 35,000 homes. Meanwhile, the Cubs’ five postseason games generated a 19.4 rating on TBS.

A couple of factors come into play. TBS is a cable station that is seen in 86 percent of the nation’s homes. All five Bears games have aired on network television on Fox and CBS. Typically, cable ratings are 10-15 percent lower than the network’s.

However, the counter is that all five Bears games were played on Sunday afternoon. Meanwhile, two of the Cubs’ playoffs aired completely in primetime, and two others had finishes that pushed into primetime. Ratings usually are higher in primetime than during the afternoon.

Beyond that, Monday Night Football has consistently outdrawn playoff baseball, even when combining multiple contests played between the Cubs and Cardinals and the Mets and Dodgers, with a Pittsburgh Steelers-San Diego Chargers game dwarfing the ratings of baseball games involving the nation’s three largest markets.

For more news on sports and cable ratings, stay tuned to the TV, Internet and Phone Blog.

NFL Sunday Ticket on DIRECTV – Week 5 Schedule

The National Football League season is progressing along, not quite as planned for many NFL teams. The previously unbeaten Arizona Cardinals lost a nailbiter to the St. Louis Rams, while the Seattle Seahawks eked out yet another controversial Monday Night Football victory. There are plenty of great matchups this week, including the aforementioned Seahawks taking on the still unbeaten Cincinnati Bengals, the upstart Rams taking on the Green Bay Packers, and more.

Here is the entire NFL Sunday Ticket schedule for Week 5, only available with DIRECTV:

  • 1pm EDT
    • Washington Redskins at Atlanta Falcons – 705
    • Seattle Seahawks at Cincinnati Bengals – 706
    • Chicago Bears at Kansas City Chiefs – 707
    • New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles – 708
    • Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens – 709
    • Louis Rams at Green Bay Packers – 710
    • Jacksonville Jaguars at Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 711
    • Buffalo Bills at Tennessee Titans – 712
  • 4:05 EDT
    • Arizona Cardinals at Detroit Lions – 713
  • 4:25 EDT
    • New England Patriots at Dallas Cowboys – 714
    • Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders – 715

As always, if you don’t have Sunday Ticket and want to get every game, every Sunday, contact Mid-America Satellite.

NFL Sunday Ticket – Week 2 Schedule

The first week of NFL action is in the books, with some upsets, some expected results, and because of the New England Patriots, plenty of controversy. But with the offseason finally over, focus is once again on the field of play, and there are plenty of great matchups coming up this Sunday. The only way to get every game, every Sunday is with NFL Sunday Ticket, available from DIRECTV.

Here is the schedule for Sunday’s games, along with what NFL Sunday Ticket channel the games will be broadcast on, only on DIRECTV:

  • 1pm EDT
    • New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills – 705
    • Houston Texans at Carolina Panthers – 706
    • San Diego Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals – 707
    • Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns – 708
    • Arizona Cardinals at Chicago Bears – 709
    • Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings – 710
    • Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints – 711
    • Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants – 712
    • San Francisco 49ers at Pittsburgh Steelers – 713
    • Louis Rams at Washington Redskins – 714
  • 4pm EDT
    • Miami Dolphins at Jacksonville Jaguars – 715
    • Baltimore Ravens at Oakland Raiders – 716
  • 4:25pm EDT
    • Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles – 717

As always, you can take advantage of DIRECTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket by signing up with Mid-America Satellite today!

NFL Sunday Ticket Free Preview: Week 1 Schedule

Current NFL Sunday Ticket customers with DIRECTV already know what they’re in for this year: every game, every Sunday, barring any local blackouts. DIRECTV customers who do not have NFL Sunday Ticket, though, will get a taste this week, the first of the NFL regular season. The free preview encapsulates all the NFL Sunday Ticket package has to offer, including the NFL Red Zone Channel (bringing you every touchdown and pivotal play as it happens) the game center where you can watch multiple games at once and choose which you’d like to put full screen, and a whole lot more.

Here is the schedule for the first Sunday of the NFL season, along with the NFL Sunday Ticket DIRECTV channel where the game will air:

  • 1pm EDT
    • Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills – 705
    • Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans – 706
    • Cleveland Browns at New York Jets – 707
    • Miami Dolphins at Washington Redskins – 708
    • Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears – 709
    • Carolina Panthers at Jacksonville Jaguars – 710
    • Seattle Seahawks at St. Louis Rams – 711
  • 4:05pm EDT
    • New Orleans Saints at Arizona Cardinals – 712
    • Detroit Lions at San Diego Chargers – 713
  • 4:25pm EDT
    • Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos – 714
    • Cincinnati Bengals at Oakland Raiders – 715
    • Tennessee Titans at Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 7/16

All DIRECTV viewers should enjoy the preview, and contact Mid-America Satellite to get NFL Sunday Ticket.

Women’s World Cup Final Sets Ratings Record for Soccer in the US

Last Sunday’s soccer match between the United States and Japan, a rematch of the previous Women’s World Cup Final match in which Japan defeated the United States, set a ratings record for broadcast or cable TV for the sport in the United States, bringing a big victory for Fox and its coverage of the sport over the past month. The previous record for viewership for a soccer game in the USA was 18.2 million viewers, for last year’s men’s match in the World Cup between the United States and Portugal. The US Women’s National Team’s victory on Sunday far outpaced that, with more than 25 million English-language viewers.

More from Variety:

Nielsen estimates that Sunday’s game averaged a whopping 26.7 million viewers, with 25.4 million watching the English-language telecast on Fox and another 1.3 million checking out the Spanish-language airing on Telemundo. The total audience is larger than that for every NBA Finals basketball game since 2010 and every World Series baseball game since 2004.

The big tune-in for soccer on Sunday, along with a portion of the USA-Germany women’s soccer game on Tuesday, propelled Fox to an easy demo win for the week of June 29-July 5; the network drew about as many young-adult viewers as its two closest competitors (NBC and CBS) combined. Fox also scored a rare victory in total viewers (6.7 million).

The lesson here is that soccer can be a big moneymaker for broadcast and cable networks in the USA, as long as the US National Team—either men’s or women’s—is involved.