The Media Learning Curve: Dec. 17-24


John Ourand at the Sports Business Journal offers a list of sports media predictions for 2011.

If we didn’t agree with most of them, we’d have avoided repeating them here (and wishing we only thought of them first):


== The NFL will decide to expand to an 18-game season, selling a new package to a cable network. And once the league’s current TV deals end in 2013, NFL Network will wind up with a full season’s worth of games. The NFL will carve out another 18-game schedule that it will shop to Comcast (who’ll put it on Versus), Turner and Fox (for FX).

== The NHL will split its media rights package between ESPN and Comcast (on behalf of Versus and NBC).

== Comcast will pay less but still pick up the Olympic rights for the 2014 and 2016 Games (for NBC)..

== ESPN gives up on plans for a 24/7 3-D channel.

== Versus will change its name to something that incorporates the NBC Sports brand. Something like “The NBC Sports Network” or “SNBC.” With a couple of Notre Dame football games farmed out to it.

== CBS College Sports will expand its programming lineup beyond just college sports.

== Fox will roll out more regular-season prime-time baseball games. And possibly signed Jon Miller to call games.

== Small sports channels will lose subscribers. Distributors ill drop channels that don’t attract viewers.

== NASCAR TV ratings have hit bottom.

Jim Gray, you take it from there.


Following up on today’s column on how ABC and ESPN eats up Christmas Day NBA games (linked here), there’s more to fill in:

== The graphic included in today’s print edition that goes with the lead media story reads like this:

How the Lakers have done from a viewership standpoint by appearing on every ABC Christmas Day games since 2002:

Year and Opponent: Game rating (Homes) vs. Final ABC NBA season rating

2002 vs. Sacramento: 4.5 (7.4 million) vs. 2.7
2003 vs. Houston: 4.1 (7.1 million) vs. 2.4
2004 vs. Miami: 7.3 (13.1 million) vs. 2.3
2005 vs. Miami: 4.8 (8.1 million) vs. 2.2
2006 vs. Miami: 3.5 (5.4 million) vs. 2.0
2007 vs. Phoenix: 3.5 (5.9 million) vs. 2.2
2008 vs. Boston: 5.3 (9.9 million) vs. 2.4
2009 vs. Cleveland: 4.4 (8.3 million) vs. 2.3
Note: All eight games were the highest-rated of that NBA regular season on ABC.

== ESPN Radio sends Kevin Calabro and analyst Dr. Jack Ramsay to call Saturday’s Lakers-Heat game.

The rest of the day’s ABC/ESPN NBA lineup:
Stuart Scott, Magic Johnson, Jon Barry and Mike Wilbon do the ABC pregame show.
Mike Tirico and Hubie Brown do Boston-Orlando for ABC (11:30 a.m.)
Dan Shulman and Doris Burke call the Chicago-New York game for ESPN (9 a.m., a noon tipoff at Madison Square Garden), which will also be on ESPN 3D.
Mark Jones and Tim Legler do the Denver-Oklahoma City game for ESPN (5 p.m.), while Terry Gannon and Fran Fraschilla are at the Golden State-Portland game for ESPN (7:30 p.m.)

== ESPN Classic offers a 12-Hour NBA Christmas Marathon that starts today at 9 a.m. with the Denver-Oklahoma City game from 2009 and includes the ’04 Lakers-Heat overtime game (5 p.m. Saturday) and the ’09 Lakers-Heat game where Kobe Bryant’s last-second shot wins it (8 p.m.).

== The NFL TV schedule the rest of the way this weekend for L.A.:

= 4 p.m., NFL Network: Dallas at Arizona (with Bob Papa, Joe Theisman and Matt Millen).

= 10 a.m., Channel 11: San Francisco at St. Louis (with Kenny Albert, Darryl Johnston and Tony Siragusa) instead of Detroit-Miami or Washington-Jacksonville. CBS also has N.Y. Jets-Chicago (with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms), Tennessee-Kansas City, Baltimore-Cleveland and New England-Buffalo in this window.
= 1 p.m., Channel 11: N.Y. Giants at Green Bay (with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman) instead of Seattle-Tampa Bay.


= 1 p.m., Channel 2: San Diego at Cincinnati (with Gus Johnson and Steve Tasker) instead of Indianapolis-Oakland (with Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf) or Houston-Denver.
= 5:15 p.m., Channel 4: Minnesota at Philadelphia (with Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and Andrea Kremer)

= 5:30 p.m., ESPN: New Orleans at Atlanta (with Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski).

== Remember the 2010 NAPT Bounty Shootout poker tournament that took place at the Crystal Casino in mid November? Neither do we, but ESPN2 will televise it Sunday at 6 p.m.

== HBO replays seven of the year’s best fights (that it covered) starting Monday at midnight and playing out over four nights. It begins with Floyd Mayweather-Shane Mosley and concludes with Manny Pacquiao vs. Antonio Margarito (Thursday, 10 p.m.)

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