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Trump’s Speech Nabbed 32 Million Viewers on Broadcast and Cable TV

The Republican National Convention closed up shop last Thursday, concluding with the lengthy nomination acceptance speech by presidential hopeful Donald Trump. All three broadcast networks—ABC, CBS and NBC—as well as Fox News Channel, CNN and MSNBC and other affiliated cable TV channels aired the speech.

More from the Hollywood Reporter:

On the broadcast networks alone Thursday night, Trump’s time on the stage brought in 12.3 million viewers to the 10 o’clock hour on through the speech’s conclusion at 11:37 p.m. ET. NBC News led its fourth and final night of primetime coverage with an average 4.6 million viewers tuning in, per Nielsen Media’s Fast Affiliate ratings. ABC News, which preciously topped CBS on Monday, averaged 3.9 million viewers. CBS News took 3.8 million viewers. Spanish-language net Univision contributed another 1.3 million viewers.

Cable news brought the biggest lifts — particularly for Fox News Channel and CNN. FNC, a favorite for right-leaning audiences, topped them all with 9.4 million viewers. And CNN, hitting an all-time high for its RNC coverage, also topped all of the broadcast networks with 5.5 million viewers. MSNBC, trailing, averaged 2.95 million viewers. (Nielsen’s delivery of the 32-million stat also includes Fox Business Network, CNBC and NBC Universo.)

The ratings are well above those who watched Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech in 2012, but far below the amount of people who watched John McCain in 2008. If those ratings show anything about the popularity of the candidate himself, Trump may be in trouble.

The Democratic National Convention is now underway, so we’ll see how Hillary performs in the ratings, as well as in measured social media interest.

NBC to Provide Most Live Olympic Broadcast and Cable TV Coverage Ever

NBC and its related networks have covered the Olympics for years, with the major constant complaint about the networks’ coverage being that it doesn’t show enough in the way of live sports. NBC has responded to this complaint by saying that this Summer Games will feature the most live coverage of any Olympics that has ever happened, with 6,755 hours over many channels, most of them on cable TV. Here’s how it breaks down:

  • NBC – Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Beach Volleyball, Diving, Gymnastics, Swimming, Track & Field, Volleyball, Men’s and Women’s Basketball Gold Medal Games
  • NBCSN – Team USA Soccer, Team USA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Games, Track & Field, Archery, Boxing, Cycling, Fencing, Field Hockey, Judo, Open Water Swimming, Rugby, Shooting, Soccer, Synchronized Swimming, Table Tennis, Weightlifting, Wrestling
  • Bravo – Tennis
  • CNBC – Basketball, Volleyball, Archery, Beach Volleyball, Cycling, Rugby, Water Polo, Wrestling
  • Golf Channel – Golf
  • MSNBC – Men’s Basketball, Beach Volleyball, Rugby, Soccer, Volleyball, Water Polo
  • USA Network – Women’s Soccer, Beach Volleyball, Cycling, Men’s Basketball, Rowing, Synchronized Swimming, Volleyball, Water Polo
  • NBC Universo/Telemundo – Mexican National Team Soccer and Various Sports with Spanish Language Coverage
  • Specialized Channels – There will be specialized channels for basketball and soccer

Enjoy the games, and thanks to Awful Announcing for the information.

NHL Conference Finals Cable TV Schedule

The NHL Conference Finals matchups are set, with the winners of these two series set to face off in the Stanley Cup Finals. In the Western Conference, the St. Louis Blues and San Jose Sharks, both teams who have reputations of playoff letdowns, will face off, with one team guaranteed to shed its Finals drought. In the Eastern Conference, the Pittsburgh Penguins, who won the Cup in 2009, face off against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both series are likely to go to seven games, with plenty of overtime action along the way.

Here are the times and cable TV listings for both series:

Eastern Conference Finals

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Game 1: Lightning at Penguins Fri. May 13 Pittsburgh 8 p.m. ET NBCSN
Game 2: Lightning at Penguins Mon. May 16 Pittsburgh 8 p.m. ET NBCSN
Game 3: Penguins at Lightning Wed. May 18 Tampa Bay 8 p.m. ET NBCSN
Game 4: Penguins at Lightning Fri. May 20 Tampa Bay 8 p.m. ET NBCSN
Game 5: Lightning at Penguins Sun. May 22 Pittsburgh 8 p.m. ET NBCSN
Game 6: Penguins at Lightning Tue. May 24 Tampa Bay 8 p.m. ET NBCSN
Game 7: Lightning at Penguins Thurs. May 26 Pittsburgh 8 p.m. ET NBCSN


Western Conference Finals

St. Louis Blues vs. San Jose Sharks

Game 1: Sharks at Blues Sun. May 15 St. Louis 8 p.m. ET NBCSN
Game 2: Sharks at Blues Tues. May 17 St. Louis 8 p.m. ET NBCSN
Game 3: Blues at Sharks Thurs. May 19 San Jose 9 p.m. ET NBCSN
Game 4: Blues at Sharks Sat. May 21 San Jose 7:15 p.m. ET NBC
Game 5: Sharks at Blues Mon. May 23 St. Louis 8 p.m. ET NBCSN
Game 6: Blues at Sharks Wed. May 25 San Jose 9 p.m. ET NBCSN
Game 7: Sharks at Blues Fri. May 27 St. Louis 8 p.m. ET NBCSN

Enjoy the games.

2015 NFL Schedule Released for Network and Cable TV

One can’t go a day, even in the offseason, without hearing some news about the National Football League. The NFL has replaced Major League Baseball as America’s favorite sport, and finding out the schedule for the upcoming season, including which games will be broadcast in primetime on network and cable TV, is a favorite day for hardcore fans and sports media pundits alike. Live sports rights continue to escalate in value and profitability, as sports are the only programming that is not improved immensely by watching via DVR. As long as people watch sports—football particularly—live, it’ll be a valuable commodity, with advertising time on primetime NFL games especially. Here is the full schedule of primetime NFL games on network TV and on ESPN and NFL Network.

Via Deadline:

Thursday Night Football (NBC Week 1; CBS/NFL Network simulcast Weeks 2-8; NFL Network Weeks 9-16)
Week 1: Steelers at Patriots
Week 2: Broncos at Chiefs
Week 3: Redskins at Giants
Week 4: Ravens at Steelers
Week 5: Colts at Texans
Week 6: Falcons at Saints
Week 7: Seahawks at 49ers
Week 8: Dolphins at Patriots
Week 9: Browns at Bengals
Week 10: Bills at Jets
Week 11: Titans at Jaguars
Week 12: Bears at Packers (Thanksgiving)
Week 13: Packers at Lions
Week 14: Vikings at Cardinals
Week 15: Buccaneers at Rams
Week 16: Chargers at Raiders

Sunday Night Football (NBC)
Week 1: Giants at Cowboys
Week 2: Seahawks at Packers
Week 3: Broncos at Lions
Week 4: Cowboys at Saints
Week 5: 49ers at Giants
Week 6: Patriots at Colts
Week 7: Eagles at Panthers
Week 8: Packers at Broncos
Week 9: Eagles at Cowboys
Week 10: Cardinals at Seahawks
Week 11: Chiefs at Chargers
Week 12: Patriots at Broncos
Week 13: Colts at Steelers
Week 14: Seahawks at Ravens
Week 15: Bengals at 49ers
Week 16: Steelers at Ravens
Week 17: TBA (flex game)

Monday Night Football (ESPN)
Week 1: Eagles at Falcons; Vikings at 49ers
Week 2: Jets at Colts
Week 3: Chiefs at Packers
Week 4: Lions at Seahawks
Week 5: Steelers at Chargers
Week 6: Giants at Eagles
Week 7: Ravens at Cardinals
Week 8: Colts at Panthers
Week 9: Bears at Chargers
Week 10: Texans at Bengals
Week 11: Bills at Patriots
Week 12: Ravens at Browns
Week 13: Cowboys at Redskins
Week 14: Giants at Dolphins
Week 15: Lions at Saints
Week 16: Bengals at Broncos

NHL Playoffs Were Most Watched Stanley Cup Contest Since 1997

After the second lockout in less than ten years wiped out the first half of the regular season, many wondered whether NHL fans would return to arenas across the league and couches in front of their television sets. That worry was eliminated by the ratings for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which just concluded with the Chicago Blackhawks defeating the Boston Bruins in six games to take home their second Stanley Cup in four years.

More from Awful Announcing:

NBC is pretty happy with their ratings from the 2013 installment of the Stanley Cup playoffs. If you’re a regular reader here at Awful Announcing, this point has been made abundantly clear as we’ve covered each new record the network has shattered throughout the duration of the playoffs. This will be the last time we cover NHL ratings… until next season.

As the title of this article states, the 2013 NHL playoffs were the most-watched since 1997. The combination of NBC, NBC Sports Network and CNBC averaged 1.467 million viewers for each of their 84 broadcasts. If you’re curious, the ’97 playoffs brought in 1.52 million viewers across ESPN, ESPN2 and FOX. This year’s numbers bested those from the 2011-12 season by 18%.

Game 6 was a thrilling game which saw the Chicago Blackhawks clinch their second title in four years in dramatic fashion. The Blackhawks scored twice over 17 seconds to give themselves a 3-2 lead with under a minute to go. The game was a huge hit in terms of ratings, drawing an average of 8.16 million viewers. Game 6 peaked with 10.424 million viewers between 10:45 and 11 p.m. ET.

Which cities watched Game 6? Here’s a quick look at the top-10 markets:

  1. Boston (33.0)
  2. Chicago (30.2)
  3. Providence (22.5)
  4. Buffalo (12.5)
  5. Pittsburgh (7.8)
  6. Minneapolis-St. Paul (7.3)
  7. Milwaukee (7.0)
  8. Hartford-New Haven (6.8)
  9. Ft. Myers (6.3)
  10. St. Louis (5.8)

The NHL and NBC should be feeling really good about these numbers, all things considered. These ratings are higher than anyone could have predicted, especially coming off of a lengthy lockout. Things are looking very promising for both the NHL and NBC heading into 2013-14.

NBC Sports Network is available at channel 220 on DIRECTV.

New Fox Cable TV Sports Channel Wants Olympic Coverage in 2014

FS1, the new sports channel from Fox, is not only taking aim at its largest cable TV competitor, ESPN; the station, which will include action from sports like Major League Baseball, NASCAR, college football and college basketball, is also aiming to steal coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic games in Sochi, Russia from NBC.

More from USA Today:

The latest: Fox will formally announce today that it will add Picabo Street, the Olympic gold medalist in the Super G in the 1998 Winter Olympics, as an analyst for its FS1 cable channel, which launches Aug. 17. FS1 has some advantages in that, like the CBS and NBC general-interest sports channels, it can get cross-promotion and various tie-ins from what airs on the broadcast networks.

Rick Jaffe, a Fox Sports senior vice president, seems pretty psyched: “Picabo’s personality is contagious.”

And even though NBC obviously has exclusive rights to interviewing athletes at Olympic event venues and at the international broadcast centers, Jaffe suggests the capability of drones today could help Fox make an end-run around traditional coverage: “We’ve got the Russians on our side and hope they can help us pull it off.” (We hope this isn’t

necessary: He’s joking.)

Fox will also formally announce the addition of David Neal, who spent more than three decades at NBC Sports and oversaw NBC’s coverage at nine Olympics until 2010.

Neal will head up Fox/FS1 coverage of next season’s Super Bowl in New York as well as coverage of soccer’s World Cup, which starts on Fox with the 2015 women’s tournament. He says of the 52 games in that event, the split will be pretty much even between Fox and FS1.

Neal, on the addition of Street, notes, “What we’re learning now is that just because NBC has the Olympic footage, that doesn’t preclude someone like Picabo Street offering her analysis — and entertaining analysis is something of value whether or not you own the TV rights.”

For the Super Bowl, Neal says Fox will follow what CBS did last season for the week leading up to the big game when it built studio sets in New Orleans for news shows, daytime talk and its CBS Sports Network cable channel. “Without question, that’s a (programming) trend that will continue and only grow,” Neal says.

Neal says in the week leading up to the Super Bowl for them next season, FS1 will have daily shows — which will include on-air names such as Terry Bradshaw, Michael Strahan and Howie Long — on sets constructed on Manhattan’s Broadway, which will be closed to traffic. And, says Neal, Fox will construct some sort of field so analysts can demonstrate what they’re talking about: “You have to have a field in the middle of Broadway.”

Any competition in the area of sports broadcasting is a good thing, as ESPN, partnered with ABC, has been dominant for too long.

NBC Sports Network in Talks with Big East Conference

As NCAA conferences scramble to land television deals and seal in their profits over the next few years, the Big East Conference, in danger of splintering due to the exit of several basketball-only schools, is in talks with NBC to air games on the fledgling NBC Sports Network. According to USA Today Sports, a deal is close to being reached and would begin with the 2013-14 basketball season.

More from USA Today:

The deal would commence in basketball next season, which would mean a full complement of 18 teams including all of the schools who have announced they were leaving.

Included in that group would be the Catholic 7 — Seton Hall, Georgetown, DePaul, St. John’s, Providence, Villanova and Marquette — who announced in December they were breaking away to form their own league, which would be devoid of FBS football programs, as well as Louisville and Notre Dame who are moving to the Atlantic Coast Conference and Rutgers which is moving to the Big Ten. All of those moves are expected to start in the fall of 2014.

The Catholic 7 has a 40 million a year television offer from Fox which is being seriously considered but would have to include at least three more schools, with Xavier and Butler the leading candidates to join at least one more member which could come from a group which would include Saint Louis, Dayton, Creighton, Richmond or VCU.

Although the initial money from NBC for the Big East is low — first reported by ESPN to be between 20 and 23 million per season for football and basketball — it would be only six years in length and open to renegotiation, with the hope that early exposure and success would create a bigger market..

The master plan — there has been no official offer made — would be for the Big East, which has been torn apart by the defection of 18 teams in football and basketball over the past few years, to use NBC in a similar way ESPN began in 1979, using the Big East as one of its early anchor items.

Likely, if the Big East can solidify its standing, it will, in the future, seek to create its own network, as the Pac-12 and Big Ten have. Proving itself with ratings on NBC Sports Network could be the way to do just that.

English Premier League Finds a New Cable TV Home: NBC Sports Network

According to the sports media blog Awful Announcing, NBC has made a stunning bid to win exclusive rights to what is generally regarded as the best soccer league in the world, the English Premier League. NBC’s three year deal starts next year with the 2013-14 season and runs through the 2015-16 season, and shows a commitment to bringing wide-ranging soccer coverage to the US, both on broadcast television, on the flagship NBC network, and on cable television on NBC Sports Network, as well as other NBC owned channels such as CNBC, MSNBC, USA and Bravo. NBC and its family of networks will have the rights to all 380 EPL games each year, meaning other channels like Fox Soccer, ESPN, and beIn Sport are left without.

The plan is to air 18-20 EPL games live on NBC broadcast television, a first for televised soccer in America. NBC Sports Network, as the main broadcaster for the league, will air multiple games each weekend, and all games that are not televised will be shown on NBC Sports Live Extra, their online platform, so every game will be available in one fashion or another.

While this is a good thing for soccer fans, as more games will be available to view, it’s a shame that ESPN is getting out of the soccer market, as that was one of the few sports of which they actually offered fantastic coverage. After the World Cup in 2014, ESPN will no longer have rights to that property, and losing the EPL entirely is a big blow. Fox Soccer is also a big loser in this deal, as they currently air about 50 hours a week of EPL coverage between games and highlight shows. They will have to gain access to other international leagues to fill out their portfolio.

More on this as it develops at the TV, Internet and Phone Blog.

Olympic Coverage from NBC Breaks TV Everywhere Record

According to the National Inflation Association, NBC’s Olympic TV Everywhere coverage has peaked at 34% of total bandwidth being used to stream live Olympic events online in the United States. The previous record was set by Netflix, which had peaked at 32% of bandwidth previously. During the Olympics, the bandwidth used by Netflix has declined to only 25%, with NBC’s Olympic TV Everywhere coverage taking over the top spot over the first seven days of the Olympics.

TV Everywhere for the Olympics is not available for everyone. It is only available for streaming online events for those customers who have cable TV or satellite TV subscriptions, and customers must authenticate using account information from their cable provider or satellite TV provider. Some theorize that NBC is leaving profit on the table by not allowing customers who have “cut the cord,” who no longer watch cable TV or satellite TV and stream the majority of the television they watch from online sources, to pay a flat fee to subscribe to the Olympic feeds. It’s likely the bandwidth being used would be even higher if that option was on the table.

Still, there has been a massive increase in TV Everywhere being used since the last Olympic games, so NBC probably didn’t understand how popular it would be. They are setting cable viewing records, too, with the fledgling NBC Sports Network experiencing the most viewership in its history, even going back to when it was called Versus and its flagship item was NHL hockey. TV Everywhere from networks and cable TV empires pay a premium for live sports content, because it is the one advantage they have over services like Netflix, which cannot afford to bid on live sports content while maintaining its low subscription costs. We’ll see how the rest of the Olympics perform, as many gold medal events still remain. And when the Winter Olympics come around in 2014, it’s likely there will be even more live streaming options available as TV Everywhere continues to grow.

NBCUniversal Providing Record Olympic Coverage on Satellite and Cable TV

NBC Olympics LogoAccording to a press release from the company, NBCUniversal will surpass previous Olympic coverage by more than two thousand hours, providing 5,535 hours of coverage for the Summer Olympics in London across the company’s network and cable TV channels, as well as online. An increase in daytime coverage will put the hours on NBC, the flagship network channel, at 272.5, the most ever for an Olympic broadcast network, with the remainder of the coverage occurring on as well as the entire NBCUniversal lineup of channels, including NBC Sports Network (formerly Versus) and Bravo.

Here are the channels that will be featuring Olympic coverage, along with what they will be covering:

  • NBC – 272.5 hours of coverage, nearly 50 hours more than the coverage the network had in Beijing. Many major events will air on NBC live, as well as on taped delay in primetime.
  • NBC Sports Network (formerly Versus/OLN) – 292.5 hours of total coverage, averaging 14 hours per day, covering United States team sports, including Team USA basketball, US women’s soccer, and field hockey.
  • MSNBC – 155.5 hours of a variety of long-form Olympic programming, including badminton, basketball, soccer and wrestling.
  • CNBC – Olympic boxing, including the debut of women’s boxing, comprising 73 hours of boxing coverage.
  • Bravo – 56 hours of Olympic tennis.
  • Telemundo – 173 hours of Spanish language Olympic coverage.
  • Specialty channels for basketball and soccer covering 770 hours will be available on cable television, satellite television, and telco providers.

In addition to the television coverage, will stream every event live for the first time ever for more than 3,500 total programming hours, including awards ceremonies for all 302 separate medals. These events will only be available to those who have subscribed to a cable or satellite provider that carries the channels airing the events.

Sports fans should check back often for updates as more becomes available about specifics of Olympic TV coverage.