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Michael Vick to star in docu-series —

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He’s out of prison, back in the NFL, and now Michael Vick is going to star in his own television series.

The quarterback, who took his first regular-season pro snap just two weeks ago after serving 18 months in prison, is partnering with BET for a new eight-part docu-series scheduled to air early next year. The program, tentatively titled “The Michael Vick Project,” spotlights his controversial comeback with the Philadelphia Eagles while also examining his tumultuous past — including his troubled childhood and his 2007 arrest for running a dogfighting ring.

“I just want people to really get to know me as an individual,” Vick said last week in an interview from his home in Philadelphia. “What I want to do is change the perception of me. I am a human being. I’ve made some mistakes in the past, and I wish it had never happened. But it’s not about how you fall, but about how you pick yourself up.”

The onetime NFL star’s decision to expose his private life to a television audience follows a flurry of recent news and sports media interviews, which began with “60 Minutes” in mid-August. The Vick series is a gamble for a quarterback who is eager to rehabilitate his tarnished image but also doesn’t want to incur the further wrath of animal rights protesters, many of whom argued against his reinstatement to the NFL.

That may be difficult. Officials with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals expressed skepticism about the project.
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Web street site traffic

For marketers, the college and NFL action during football season translates to major ad spend, and as the action heats up, fans jump online to stay in tune. According to, football sites saw a sharp uptick in seasonal traffic in August, with Unique Visitors (UVs) to the Compete Football category up 92.2% over July, 2009. While led the pack with nearly 6.5 Million Unique Visitors in August, fantasy fanatics flocked to (up 41% to 4.35 Million Unique Visitors), (up 79% to 4.75 Million UVs), and (up 350% to 579,000 UVs) to start their own seasons.

Y.E. Yang’s upset win over Tiger Woods in the PGA Championship was a television hit that even picked up extra viewers for CBS’s interview with quarterback Michael Vick.

Nielsen Media Research says its overnight measurements of big cities found ratings for the golf tournament up 150 percent over 2008. Only 4 million people watched the final round last year. Woods was injured and didn’t play in the tournament, and the Summer Olympics were televised at the same time.

Nielsen and CBS don’t yet have a precise estimate of the audience nationally for this year. In the metered markets, it was the best PGA final round since 2002, when Woods lost by a stroke to Rich Beem.

The golf tournament led directly into “60 Minutes,” which featured Vick’s interview about his prison time for running a dogfighting operation. CBS estimates that some 12.6 million people were watching the network between 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, when the golf tournament ended and “60 Minutes” began with its interview with Vick, who signed with the Philadelphia Eagles last week.

PGA Tournament Draws Huge Ratings For CBS: Over 12 Million Watch Tournament’s End

Okay, I am not a big fan of video games, but this weekend, one of my best friends put me up on Madden 2010. To him, the release of the very popular video game is like a holiday. He suggested taking time off from work just to play-and although he didn’t-he could not tear himself away from the game. Poor guy 😉madden2010

According to a review of Nielsen’s Video Game Tracking data, the Madden football franchise is still a household name just like Halo, Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty and Mario.

Here are some interesting facts from the Nielsen Video Game Tracking data review:

  • Madden NFL 10 dominates the sports genre in several metrics, including unaided and aided awareness and definite purchase interest among active gamers.
  • Unaided awareness for Madden NFL 10 for the week of August 2nd is a very robust 14% overall and a whopping 31% among Males 18 to 24. The next highest title mentioned during the same time period, Wii Sports Resort (released July 26), has roughly half the unaided awareness among active gamers (8%).
  • In terms of platform preference, 30% of over 9,200 gamers interested in purchasing Madden NFL 10 indicate Xbox 360 as their system of choice. This outpaces PS3 (23%), PS2 (20%) and Wii (17%).
  • In terms of age, younger gamers (13 to 24) over-index for the Xbox 360 version, with the PS3 skewing older (18 to 34). Gamers 35 to 54 indicate Wii as their preferred platform (24%) just above Xbox 360 (23%), PS2 (22%) and PS3 (19%).
  • Among the always desirable male 18 to 24 gamers, Xbox 360 had the highest platform choice for Madden NFL 10 at 42%, with PS3 (28%) and PS2 (15%) following behind.
  • 22% of gamers interested in purchasing Madden NFL 10 indicate they would either pre-order the game or buy it during the first week of its release. Another 29% indicated they would buy it in new condition after the first week of release, showing that over 50% of interested gamers have a high urgency to purchase the game early.
  • The United Football League announces that HDNet will provide exclusive, broadcast coverage of five of the League’s “Premiere” season games. HDNet will air live weekly games beginning on Saturday, October 10th at 7:00 p.m. Eastern. As previously announced, eight of the UFL’s games will air on VERSUS. The UFL will announce the complete “Premiere” season schedule, television programming and ticket sales information this week.

    “Mark Cuban has been a huge supporter of the UFL from the League’s initial announcement and we are thrilled to be partnering with his television network, HDNet, to broadcast five of our games,” said Frank Vuono, COO of the UFL. “In addition to broadcasting our games, HDNet will provide viewers with a behind-the-scenes look at the UFL’s training camps with additional highlight shows. Through this partnership with HDNet and VERSUS, UFL games will be broadcast nationally to nearly 90 million homes fulfilling our mission of bringing more football to more fans.”

    “This new venture is exciting news for sports fans and HDNet is proud to partner with the UFL to bring this new league to our viewers,” said Mark Cuban, chairman and co-founder of HDNet. “Fans are hungry for more professional football and we’re thrilled to add the UFL to our great roster of championship sports coverage.”

    According to, The New York Times Co. expects by January to sell its stake in the Boston Red Sox and New England Sports Network. But the company’s executives declined to address the possible sale of The Boston Globe.

    In a conference call to report second-quarter earnings, Times Co. chief executive Janet Robinson said the Globe is on “stronger financial footing’’ after the last of its unions this week approved a package of pay and benefit concessions that, combined, will yield $20 million in savings.

    The company, which owns the Globe and the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, has hired Goldman Sachs & Co. to solicit bids for the possible sale of the newspapers. The Times Co. had previously postponed a July 8 deadline for bids while the Globe’s largest union, the Boston Newspaper Guild, considered the company’s proposal to cut pay and benefits. The union overwhelmingly approved those concessions this week.

    The Times Co. is now expecting to receive submissions starting next week, according to people with knowledge of the process.
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    MediaWeek reports Fox’s telecast of the 2009 Major League Baseball All-Star Game delivered an average audience of 14.6 million viewers, making it the most-watched midsummer classic since all stars

    Tuesday night’s contest now stands as the sixteenth most-watched sporting event of 2009 since Super Bowl XLIII, which drew a record 98.7 million viewers to NBC on Feb. 1. Also putting up big numbers this year were: the NCAA National Championship Game (17.6 million); the Kentucky Derby (16.3 million); Game 4 of the NBA Finals and the Daytona 500 (both drew 16 million).

    (Counting the 10 NFL Playoffs that aired in January on Fox, CBS and NBC, the All-Star Game ranks 16th among all sports telecasts in 2009. For instance, the Jan. 18 Ravens-Steelers AFC Championship on CBS averaged 40.6 million viewers, while Fox’s presentation of the Eagles-Cardinals NFC Championship drew 38.4 million viewers. All told, the NFL Playoffs drew an average audience of 29.9 million viewers.)
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