According to ESPN number busting, having USC (or UCLA) on its college football schedule isn’t so attractive … unless you really figure out what those numbers mean

UPDATED: Noon, 08.31.12:


More background fodder to consider as ESPN, a vested TV partner with the Pac-12, goes week to week in announcing which college football games it welcomes for a prime-time showing, while there are others that really don’t attract the same number of eyeballs as you’d think:

An ESPN analysis release of the college football ratings it has generated over the last 12 years — from 2000 to 2011 — reveals that those in Birmingham, Ala., Oklahoma City and Columbus, Ohio are most likely to move the needle, while those in Los Angeles aren’t so much.

Meaning, USC may be No. 1 in the current AP poll, and won was in some national title games over the years, but the L.A. market’s 1.4 combined rating is only No. 43 in the 56 measured by this Neilsen-related number crunching exercise.

No. 1 Birmingham, Ala. (5.9 rating) is the home market for the University of Alabama. No. 2 Oklahoma City (4.3), as well as Tulsa (No. 7 with a 3.3 mark) are University of Oklahoma territory. Also at No. 2, Columbus (4.3) is home to The Ohio State University, which also gets a boost from the Dayton TV market (No. 11 at 2.8) and from Cleveland (No. 20 at 2.4).

How to read into this: Some teams reach multiple markets and can boast that their combined coverage is more than just a simple rating in one or two locations. Other teams, such as Arkansas, Nebraska, Boise State or Kansas State, does not play home games in a metered market.

And then there’s L.A., the No. 2 sized market in all of the country, next to New York, and that 1.4 rating (or percentage of all TVs in use) still represents far more viewers than something double that in any of the aformentioned cities.

Thus, the inherent flaw in these numbers:

Birmingham’s 5.9 rating translates to 43,000 households. Columbus’s 4.3 rating is almost equal to that — 40,000 households

Los Angeles’s 1.4 rating translates to 77,000 households.


The rest of the Top 25 on this list:
No. 4: Greenville, N.C. (4.1)
No. 5 (tie): New Orleans and Atlanta (3.4)
No. 7 (tie): Jacksonville and Tulsa (3.3)
No. 9: Las Vegas (3.2)
No. 10: Knoxville, Tenn. (3.0)
No. 11: Dayton, Ohio (2.8)
No. 12 (tie): Greensboro, N.C., Austin, Tex., Charlotte, N.C., and Fort Myers, Fla. (2.7).
No. 16 (tie): Pittsburgh, Nashville, Norfolk, Va., and Memphis (2.5)
No. 20: Cleveland (2.4)
No. 21: Orlando, Fla. (2.3)
No. 22 (tie): Raleigh-Durham, N.C., West Palm Beach, Fla., and Detroit (2.2)
No. 25 (tie): Cincinnati, Richmond, Va., Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla., Portland, Ore., and Kansas City (2.0)

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Pac-12’s new iPad app launched


The “Pac-12 Now” iPad app, giving people access to watch all seven of the conference’s new TV channels through the “TV Everywhere” function on, was released today.

The hook is that one has to be part of a cable service that already has Pac-12 Network access. To date, Time Warner Cable, Cox and Bright House subscribers can access this app.

“We’re working as quickly as possible with our affiliate partners to expand the availability of Pac-12 Now,” said Gary Stevenson, president of Pac-12 Enterprises. “We look forward to putting this technology in the hands of more fans across the country as the college football season unfolds.”

The first week of college football includes the Pac-12 Network having exclusive coverage of the season openers on Thursday for Utah and Arizona State, on Friday for Stanford and on Saturday for Washington, Cal and Oregon State.

The iPad app will be followed this fall with new apps for iPhone and Android.

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Will Adrian Gonzalez lead the Dodgers to the land of hope and dreams? New TBS post-season TV spot hints at it

If you blink between the 1:37 and 1:38 mark in this new Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band-inspired promo that TBS has released to inspire interest in its post-season MLB coverage, you’ll miss the swing of newest Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.

How he got there into this video montage is somewhat interesting — aside from the fact there are much more clips of Angels-related highlights.

The spots will not only air on TBS, but also Fox, the MLB Network and

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Curious about how UCLA looked in China? Got P12N?

The Pac-12 Network announced it will have UCLA’s basketball exhibition game against the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association on tape today at 7 p.m., airing right after the women’s volleyball match between UCLA and the Jiangsu Chinese Team.

“There is a lot of excitement about the UCLA basketball program and this is a unique opportunity for the Pac-12 Networks to be the first to showcase this dynamic Bruins team when they face off with the world-renowned Shanghai Sharks,” Pac-12 Enterprises President Gary Stevenson said in a statement.

UCLA wrapped up their three-game basketball tour in China averaging better than 93 points per game.

Roxy Bernstein will do play by play with Don MacLean as the analyst.

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ESPN helps Dodgers, Angels cover more payroll moving forward


The Dodgers know their pending local rights TV deal will provide a major source of cash windfall, starting in 2014.

With that comes some more ESPN dollars to spend on the side.

Call it green energy.

In a contract extension so big even Major League Baseball is breathlessly referring to it as “a new all-time record” for the its broadcasting rights, ESPN will pay a reported $5.6 billion over the next eight years, the two announced today.

The package, which averages $700 million a year, doubles the current $306 million a year agreement and includes another $50 million in digital, radio and international rights.

Meaning, the Dodgers and Angels stand to receive somewhere around $25 million each a season from the split among the 30 teams, up from about $12 million currently, just from ESPN alone.

The added bonus for ESPN is that it gets one of the two wild-card games starting in 2014, alternating between an NL or AL game, as well as carrying any regular-season tie-breakers that need to be played.

ESPN will continue its regular Sunday night showcase game in prime time, as well as windows on Monday and Wednesday. By agreeing to show up to 90 games a season, that increases the current deal by 13 percent.

Content was also increased for its “Baseball Tonight” studio show as well as some MLB Production specials that will be carried on ESPN.

ESPN has also made a commitment to include each of the 30 MLB teams at least once per season in a live game telecast.

ESPN started televising MLB games in 1990.

MLB commissioner Bud Selig said that the “level of ESPN’s commitment ot baseball – both financially and through its expanded content – is a testament to the strength of our game and its unprecedented popularity among our fans.”

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