Gould Media, a leading sports business information publishing company, announced the release of it’s most popular annual research report entitled, ‘Television Sports Rights, 2001’.
Published annually since 1985, the report identifies and analyses the television distribution arrangements for all major sports teams, leagues ans associations in the United States.
‘With interest in a wide variety of televised sports programs at an all-time high, Gould Media looks beyond the headlines at what sports have the best opportunity to compete for rights dollars in an increasingly crowded marketplace.’ said Gould Media’s editor and co-owner, Dantia Gould. ‘While team and individual sports vie for television viewers’ eyeballs, new programming options, including reality-based shows and 21st century game shows, may siphon off traditional viewers from sports programming.’
The 2001 edition of ‘Television Sports Rights’ includes 11 comprehensive chapters.
Chapter I: Football: This chapter looks at the current NFL rights deal and television exposure of preseason NFL games and analyzes the impact the launch of the XFL will have on the televising of football. This chapter also provides an analysis of Arena Football League’s place in the televising of football.
Chapter II: Baseball: This chapter analyzes where Major League Baseball stands in television appeal at the beginning of the 21st century and what the impact of its new television rights deal will have on the sport. A section of the chapter provides an overview of most MLB teams’ regional television arrangements for the 2001 season.
Chapter III: Basketball: The NBA, like MLB, encountered some difficult seasons in the late 1990s, which caused NBC, TNT and TBS to tweak their schedules to maximize exposure and ratings. Changes notwithstanding, ratings for regular season games and the 2001 NBA All-Star Game declined, causing the NBA to go on the defense about the attractiveness of its product. At press time for ‘Television Sports Rights 2001,’ the NBA’s TV rights deals ended with the 2000-2001 season.
Chapter IV: Hockey: Intensely popular in certain markets, the NHL does not have the broad general appeal of the NFL and NBA, making ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 go to the well often with technical and personnel innovations that are aimed at tweaking interest and increasing ratings.
Chapter V: Auto Racing: A complete change in NASCAR’s rights picture is taking place in the 2001 season, amid questions about whether new rightsholders Fox, NBC and Turner can continue to grow ratings for the NASCAR segment of the sport. It is a given, however, that NASCAR’s new TV rights deal will bring changes in the televising of the sport, some of which could lead to increased viewer interest. This chapter also reports on the current TV deals of other racing series, including CART, Formula 1, the NHRA and others.
Chapter VI: Soccer: Major League Soccer works tirelessly to attract fans and TV viewers, with mixed results. This chapter analyzes how MLS has fared at the various levels at which the sport is televised. With the launch of the new WUSA, viewers will have a chance to express whether their love affair with women’s soccer in the late 1990s was a brief romance or the real thing.
Chapter VII: Boxing: With aging stars and perpetual controversy the hallmark of the heavyweight divisions in 2000, boxing has to develop new talent and pay more attention to other weight divisions. Non-heavyweights like Oscar De La Hoya and Roy Jones, Jr. have picked up some of the slack but the sport will continue to require infusions of talent and hype, especially for its pay-per-view component.
Chapter VIII: Other Sports: In addition to the sports which receive a full chapter of coverage in ‘Television Sports Rights 2001,’ there are many others which receive television coverage and generate strong ratings, sometimes to the detriment of team sports coverage. This chapter covers a number of sports, including golf, tennis, wrestling, rodeo, outdoor sports, etc.
Chapter IX: College Sports: The year 2000 was a big one for collage sports rights deals, all of which are analyzed in this chapter. ESPN, in particular, forged a number of major deals, which are important as it enters life without NASCAR. This chapter also includes an overview of the televising of college football bowl games and the performance of the BCS bowl games in the 2000-2001 season.
Chapter XI: Olympics: NBC’s new approach to the 2000 Sydney Olympics, including delayed coverage and wider availability of the games on cable, is the focus of this chapter. Because NBC is the rightsholder for the Olympics through 2008, its strategies will form the basis for future as well as current coverage.
Chapter XI: Summary & Conclusions. The final chapter of ‘Television Sports Rights, 2001’ traditionally pulls together the various sections of the report in a meaningful closing commentary. A feature of the report is Gould Media’s analysis of how the major networks stack up in terms of their television sports programming inventory: major changes in the pecking order are analyzed in the 2001 report.
Sports network profiles: ‘Television Sports Rights, 2001’ will include profiles of over three dozen networks, including both national and regional sports entities.
Hundreds of sports business executives have view this annual report a ‘MUST READ’ for the last 15 years.
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