After 45 years, the U.S. Open tennis tournament is leaving CBS and moving to cable. Beginning with the 2015 tournament, ESPN networks will air the sporting event exclusively. The U.S. Tennis Association and ESPN announced an 11-year deal today that includes 130-plus hours of TV coverage from the tournament, from the first serve through the men’s finals. The tournament finals had been carried by CBS since 1968. Its current deal expires in 2014. ESPN began televising 100 hours of early-round and some second-week matches in 2009. As part of the new deal, ESPN will televise the middle weekend of play, including Labor Day, in addition to the men’s and women’s semifinals and finals. Starting in 2015, the women’s semifinals will be played on a Thursday in prime time, with the men’s semifinals on Friday. The women’s finals will be on Saturday and the men’s finals on Sunday. This year’s Open is scheduled for August 26-September 8.
The CBS upfront presentation today calls for a drinking game: How many times we’ll hear from the stage that CBS is No. 1? First off hammering out the message is the network’s head of sales Jo Ann Ross, who re-created Carrie Underwood’s infamous Grammy dress with messages touting CBS’ success and urging advertisers to buy projected on the bottom of her ball gown.
Related: CBS New Series Previews: Video
A pre-taped “One Year More” musical number featuring the cast of How I Met Your Mother transitioned onstage, featuring the quintet of actors, joined by a group of everyday folk carrying the departing show’s signature yellow umbrellas. Says CBS Corp CEO Les Moonves, “I’d like to see the cast of The Walking Dead do that.”
Moonves touted CBS’ ratings dominance this season in all sorts of ways, including in a form of a tweet: “Message easy. CBS wins everything. #dropthemic.”
The highlight of the presentation so far is the surprise appearance by David Letterman.
Touting the success of CBS’ drama series, Moonves said, “the place for drama is in primetime not at 7 AM the morning and 11:30 at night,” while images of Ann Curry’s tearful farewell on Today and of Jimmy Fallon and Jay Leno flashed behind him.
Related: CBS 2013-14 Schedule
Twitter users soon will be able to see — rather than just read about — more hail Marys, big air, and golden goals. ESPN said today it is broadening its ties to the 140-character world, making ad-embedded clips of several major events available on Twitter and mobile devices, creating yet another potential revenue stream. The sports behemoth becomes the latest TV entity to get cozier with the site as video becomes a bigger part of the twitterverse. Last month, Twitter was said to be holding talks with Viacom and NBCUniversal about hosting clips from those companies’ shows, and BBC America tweeted a few weeks back that it had signed up for the first “in-Tweet branded video synced to entertainment TV series.” The Disney-run “Worldwide Leader in Sports,” as it brands itself, soon will make the clips available on Twitter and mobile devices shortly after they happen live on-air. Expect video from NCAA football, the X Games and action from the pitch during the run-up to next year’s soccer World Cup. The net will detail its plans during its upfront Tuesday in New York.
The former top Hearst Corp entertainment exec left that gig in March after his involvement in a sexting scandal and now has been hired as Vice Chairman at El Rey Network, the English-language cable network geared toward young adult audiences from Robert Rodriguez and John Fogelman and Cristina Patwa’s FactoryMade Ventures. The Comcast channel will launch in December. Before his job as President of Hearst Entertainment & Syndication, Scott Sassa was President, NBC West Coast, from 1999-2002, President of the Turner Entertainment Group, launching TNT, Cartoon Network and Turner Classic Movies during his tenure, and was was on the team that launched Fox Broadcasting Co. At Hearst, Sassa oversaw the company’s interests in ESPN, Lifetime and other networks including the History Channel. He brought Mark Burnett to the fold (Hearst owns 50% of Mark Burnett Prods) and was a producer on Burnett’s blockbuster History miniseries The Bible. El Rey’s first hire, Antoinette Alfonso Zel, is now Chief Marketing Officer.
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9:00 PM: 20th Television Private Reception
Upstairs at the Kimberly Hotel, 145 East 50th Street
9:30 PM: UTA Upfronts Party
Marquee, 289 10th Avenue
5:30 PM: Fox Upfront Post-Party
Wollman Rink, Central Park & 59th Street
7:45 PM: Fox Private Dinner Hosted by Kevin Reilly & Joe Earley
Stone Rose Lounge, 4th Floor of Time Warner Center, 10 Columbus Circle
9:00 PM: NBC After-Party
Del Posto Ristorante, 85 10th Avenue
11:00 PM: WME Late Night Party
No. 8, 357 West 16th Street
The real winner here is Lorne Michaels, who now controls all three NBC late night shows. NBC completed its late-night revamp by naming Seth Meyers host of Late Night. He will succeed Jimmy Fallon who is taking over The Tonight Show next spring, replacing Jay Leno. Michaels will executive produce Late Night with Seth Meyers, and Michael Shoemaker will remain with the franchise as producer. Late Night with Seth Meyers will originate from 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York which also houses Saturday Night Live and where The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon also will be based. “We think Seth is one of the brightest, most insightful comedy writers and performers of his generation,” NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt said. “His years at SNL‘s Weekend Update desk, not to mention being head writer of the show for many seasons, helped him hone a topical brand of comedy that is perfect for the Late Night franchise”. Meyers had been the frontrunner to succeed Fallon since NBC announced last month Fallon’s ascendance to The Tonight Show. His appointment means that both The Tonight Show and Late Night will be hosted by former SNL Weekend Update anchors. Additionally, it solidifies Michaels’ status as NBC’s late-night king as he will executive produce The Tonight Show, Late Night and SNL. “I only have to work for Lorne …
BREAKING: The soccer icon’s life story will be told by writer-directors Michael and Jeff Zimbalist (The Two Escobars) after Imagine Entertainment and Seine Pictures licensed his life rights via Sports Licensing International B.V. The pic is in preproduction now with an August start date planned. Exclusive Media will sell worldwide rights at the Cannes film market, with Pele scheduled to make an appearance on the Croisette to pump up the project. Brian Grazer, Ivan Orlic, Kim Roth and Dany Wolf are producers; Pelé, Paul Kemsley and Guy East are exec producers. Domestic rights are repped by CAA and WME.
The feature film will tell the story of who most consider the best soccer player in the history of the game. It will follow his rise to glory from impoverished youth in Brazil to a soccer prodigy who led soccer-mad Brazil to its first-ever World Cup title in 1958, when at age 17 he became the youngest player to play in the final, scoring two goals to beat Sweden. His teams won three World Cup titles.
The subject matter is right in the wheelhouse of the Zimbalists. The Two Escobars was a riveting ESPN 30 For 30 documentary that told the story of the collision of Colombia’s national team (led by defender Andres Escobar) and notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar during the 1994 World Cup in the U.S. (check out the trailer for it below). Jeff Zimbalist also directed the 2005 docu Favela Rising, about the role of the AfroReggae movement in uniting a violent Brazilian slum.
John McCain Introduces Cable A La Carte Legislation To Stop Bundling & Broadcasters Moving To Pay TV
John McCain wants to unbundle cable and to stop broadcasters like CBS and Fox from moving their stations to pay TV. The Arizona senator right now on the Senate floor is introducing The TV Consumer Freedom Act of 2013 (read it here). The legislation is intended to “allow the consumer, the television viewer who subscribes to cable, to have à la carte capability. In other words, not required to buy a whole bunch of channels that that consumer may not want wish to subscribe to,” McCain said moments ago. The former GOP Presidential candidate also went after broadcasters like CBS and Fox who have said that they could move to cable if they lose in the courts against Barry Diller’s Aereo streaming service. “We’ll also establish consequences if broadcasters choose to downgrade their over-the-air service,” McCain told the Senate. His legislation would also eliminate the sports blackout rule “in events that are held in publicly financed stadiums.”
The proposal is expected to meet heavy resistance among the cable companies. ”Only Dish and Cablevision have been for a la carte and smaller bundles because we think it’s consumer-friendly”, Dish Network chairman Charlie Ergen said during his company’s conference call today. “Having said that, there are five big groups that probably have enough clout in Congress to stop that legislation today. He added that “the marketplace is going to determine” if the price is too high. “There’s an awful lot of people who don’t consume (200 channels)”, he said, “and most of us would like to look for creative solutions”.
NEW YORK – May 8, 2013 – Brian Shactman has been named host of MSNBC’s “Way Too Early” (weekdays 5:30- 6:00 a.m.). He’ll begin on Monday, May 13 and will also contribute to “Morning Joe.” The announcement was made today by MSNBC President Phil Griffin.
Shactman joined CNBC in June 2007 as a general assignment reporter and fill-in anchor for CNBC’s business day programming. He covered a range of stories for the network, including the BP Oil Spill, the fall of Bear Stearns, the final Space Shuttle launch and Hurricanes Isaac and Sandy. In 2012, Shactman was nominated for an Emmy Award for his coverage of the oil boom in North Dakota.
NBC led the league at the Sports Emmy Awards, handed out tonight in New York. The Peacock scored 10 wins, including five for its coverage of last year’s London Olympics, and its NFL ratings beast Sunday Night Football won the outstanding live sports series trophy for the fifth consecutive year. HBO was next with six nods, including two for Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, bringing the veteran show’s career haul to 25. The nascent NBC Sports Network — which launched early last year with the rebranding of Versus — was third with four wins, followed by ESPN, MLB Network, TBS and TNT with three apiece. NATAS doled out its 34th Annual Sports Emmy Awards at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall in Manhattan.
A list of winners appears after the jump:
Shares closed at a record $66.07, but are fluctuating up and down after hours following the release of a generally upbeat report for the first three months of 2013. Disney reported net income attributable to shareholders of $1.51B, +32% vs the period last year, on revenues of $10.55B, +10%. The top line beat expectations for $10.48B. And not including one-time costs, earnings of 79 cents a share exceeded forecasts for 76 cents. At the core cable networks business, revenues were up 9% to $3.46B with operating income of $1.72B, +15%. ESPN helped with higher affiliate fees and advertising outweighing the rising programming costs. The ABC broadcasting unit wasn’t as fortunate: Revenues fell 2% to $1.50B and operating income was down 40% to $138M as programming costs rose and ad sales fell, mostly due to the network’s lower ratings. At Parks and Resorts revenues were +14% to $3.3B, with operating income +73% to $383M. Higher ticket prices didn’t deter consumers from increasing their spending at Disney’s parks and cruise ships. The film studio had no trouble beating last year’s quarter which included the writedown for John Carter: Revenues were up 13% to $1.34B with operating income of $118M vs an $84M loss last year. Consumer products revenues rose 12% to $763M with operating income +35% to $200M helped by sales of licensed merchandise tied to Disney Channel, Mickey and Minnie, and Marvel properties. And at the interactive business, …
The recently out NBA center and his twin brother Jarron will be guests on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on May 15. Jason Collins became the first openly gay NBA player when he came out in a Sports Illustrated article last week. ABC is cornering the market on Collins: Good Morning America landed the first TV interview with the free agent last Tuesday, and now Kimmel is his first late-night stop. Of course, ABC and ESPN have a lucrative NBA deal — and Kimmel does primetime specials during the NBA Finals — so these tie-ups are no accident. (Can we take bets on Dancing With The Stars yet?) Collins’ story has rippled in other ways throughout the media world, including forcing ESPN to apologize for negative comments made by ESPN’s NBA writer Chris Broussard immediately after the story broke and a botched post from The Daily Beast media critic Howie Kurtz that eventually led to his dismissal.
EXCLUSIVE: Big Media companies don’t tell you when something’s rotten with the corporate culture. But this list should help you begin your search. This is Deadline’s third annual tally of out-of-whack CEO compensation. It’s an account of chiefs who not only make vastly more than you and me, but also collect far more than their closest colleagues at their own companies. Corporate governance experts become concerned when a CEO consistently makes at least three times more than the median for the four other highest-paid execs that the SEC requires companies to list in the annual proxy statement. That’s the standard I use, and it indicates that 14 out of 31 media companies that I tracked and that have already filed 2012 data failed the test — in many cases miserably.
Out of whack CEO pay can send a poisonous message to employees, including others in the C-suite. Internal pay parity “is critical to ensuring fairness and encouraging a collaborative team effort,” News Corp says in its proxy. Huge disparities also can tip you off to troublesome boardroom beliefs. It might indicate that directors lack faith in the business or leadership team — and fear that things will unravel if the top dog leaves. It may be a symptom of corporate groupthink where people give the chief credit for everything that goes well, and seek scapegoats for everything that doesn’t. Or it might mean that directors are beholden to the CEO — or share a cynical and grandiose sense of entitlement — and see nothing wrong with helping him (it’s almost always “him”) stuff his pockets with shareholders’ money, even where there’s little danger that he might leave if paid less. Whatever the case, researchers find that all too often the damage from such obeisance to the CEO eventually hurts a company’s performance and stock price. (For example, here, here, here, and here.)
This list looks at the biggest and best known infotainment providers. I include Web-based companies such as AOL and Yahoo that produce and sell their own content, and added Facebook which depends on ad sales. But I left out ones including Apple and Verizon that generate most of their revenues from hardware or personal communications services. (I’ve also left out Google, where the top execs benefit from stock performance and only collect a symbolic $1 in compensation.) For context, I’ve also noted how many people the company employs, and how that’s changed since the last fiscal year, to see whether these fabulously rich CEOs were job creators. The data isn’t nearly as revealing as it ought to be. For example, the SEC doesn’t require companies to specify how many jobs are based in the U.S., or even how many are full time. I’ve also included the CEO’s 2012 compensation rank among other media chiefs in our list, as well as among all media executives listed in their company proxies, and the average compensation over the last three years. (To avoid having them counted twice, I combined the compensation that Sumner Redstone collects as chairman of CBS and Viacom, and that Charles Dolan collects at Cablevision and AMC Networks.)
A few things to keep in mind: The SEC reporting rules only cover the top-paid executives of publicly traded U.S. companies. That means we’ll miss a lot of highly paid people who work at subsidiaries of a big company; Universal Studios’ Ron Meyer may be a big deal in Hollywood, but he didn’t make the top echelon at his corporate parent Comcast. Also, the pay data given to the SEC can spike in a year when an executive cashes in stock or collects deferred compensation. Averages also can be skewed when people on the list come and go in the middle of the year. So consider this to be a starting point to judge whether a CEO was paid fairly — not a final verdict.
I’ll be back soon with additional information including a similar list showing CEOs whose pay was more in line with his or her colleagues. Here’s how the out-of-whack CEOs stack up for 2012:
1. Live Nation: Michael Rapino. The concert and ticketing giant had a so-so year generating higher revenues but even higher costs — and a net loss. Last year’s big tours included Madonna, Lady Gaga, Coldplay, Roger Waters, and Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band. Company shares appreciated 8.1% in 2012, lagging the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 which was +12.7%. But the big excitement took place at year-end with the surprising departure of Chairman Irving Azoff, taking performers he represents including Eagles, Van Halen, and Christina Aguilera. That left Rapino clearly in charge — but under the watchful eye of Liberty Media, which owns nearly 27% of the stock. With a flood of option awards, the CEO’s compensation rose 138.4% to $28.5M (The package: $2.2M salary, $243,281 bonus, $2.6M stock awards, $19M option awards, $4.4M non-equity compensation, $46,408 other compensation.) That was a whopping 17.0 times more than the median for the four other highest paid execs — up from last year’s 5.5 times — and 46% of the pie. Even these numbers underplay the disparity in executive pay: The group of other execs includes Azoff who made $27.4M. The company had 7,100 full time employees at year end, up 500. (Pay rank among media CEOs: 9. Among all media execs: 11. Average annual pay over last three years: $18.7M.)
The Southeastern Conference and ESPN have signed a 20-year agreement through 2034 to create and operate a multiplatform network, which will launch in August 2014, it was announced today by SEC Commissioner Mike Slive and ESPN President John Skipper. The new network and its accompanying digital platform will air SEC content 24/7 including more than 1,000 events in its first year. The network will televise approximately 45 SEC football games, more than 100 men’s basketball games, 60 women’s basketball games, 75 baseball games, and events from across the SEC’s 21 sports annually. Programming will also include studio shows, original content such as SEC Storied, spring football games, signing day and pro days coverage. Hundreds of additional live events from various sports will be offered exclusively on the digital platform. The network and its digital extensions will connect with each SEC institution and create opportunities for each school to produce and develop content.
BSkyB revenues were up 6% to £5.38B ($8.37B) with operating profit beating forecasts by jumping 9% to £994M ($1.55B). The News Corp.-controlled company announced its third-quarter results this morning with CEO Jeremy Darroch noting that it would add 550 jobs to meet demand and serve a growing customer base. He added that the number of Internet- connected Sky+HD boxes grew by almost 45,000 each week during the quarter, leading to a five-fold increase in On Demand downloads and a 37% growth in movie rentals against last year. Britain’s largest pay-TV operator said it had over 30M paid-for subscription products across TV, broadband and telephony the first time in its history. Its customer base is now at 10.7M in the UK and Ireland. The churn rate was up, however, to 10.8% versus 10.1% in the comparable quarter last year. BSkyB competes most notably with BT and Virgin Media in the UK and is likely to see that competition heat up with John Malone’s Liberty Global recently getting the go-ahead from European authorities to acquire Virgin in a $23.3B takeover.
The full lineup announced today for the 2013 Los Angeles Film Festival includes Nat Faxon and Jim Rash’s coming-of-age comedic drama The Way Way Back. The spendy Fox Searchlight pic has been tapped to close the fest, which runs June 13-23 downtown. The Film Independent-sponsored event includes gala presentations for Nicolas Winding Refn’s Ryan Gosling-starrer Only God Forgives and Ryan Googler’s Fruitvale Station, the Weinstein Company’s Sundance pickup that will play the month before in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes. Pedro Almodovar’s comedy I’m So Excited! was already tapped to open the fest. Here’s the full lineup of more than 200 films, and 22 in the narrative and documentary competition categories, all of which boast world, North American or U.S. premieres:
Chris Broussard became part of the story yesterday with his outspoken comments about NBA player Jason Collins‘ coming-out in a Sports Illustrated column, making the journeyman center America’s first openly gay major sports figure. Broussard, a Christian and a longtime respected NBA beat writer who now works for ESPN The Magazine, called homosexuality a sin during a segment on the network’s newsmagazine OTL discussing Collins’ revelation. Not sure why anyone is surprised that a TV commentator provided commentary — agree or disagree with his take that’s what they pay the guy for, and he won’t be the last to offer an opposing view in this debate — but it prompted an apology from ESPN last night and a clarification by Broussard via Twitter:
Today on OTL, as part of a larger, wide-ranging discussion on today’s news, I offered my personal opinion as it relates to Christianity, a point of view that I have expressed publicly before. I realize that some people disagree with my opinion and I accept and respect that. As has been the case in the past, my beliefs have not and will not impact my ability to report on the NBA. I believe Jason Collins displayed bravery with his announcement today and I have no objection to him or anyone else playing in the NBA.
Will Gay Hoopster Revelation Drive Home Jamie Lee Curtis-Produced Pic About First Openly Gay Baseball Player?
EXCLUSIVE: Long before veteran hoops player Jason Collins made a groundbreaking announcement this week that he is a gay athlete, there was former Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland A’s 70s phenom outfielder Glenn Burke. Burke, who right up front made his teammates and team management aware he was gay, back when this was really taboo. Post-retirement, he became the first baseball player to come out publicly, during a Today Show interview with Bryant Gumbel in 1982. Jamie Lee Curtis and JUMA Entertainment are hoping the attention being paid to Collins will provide momentum for a story she has been trying for years to tell about Burke, based on Out At Home: The Glenn Burke Story, the autobiography written by Burke with Erik Sherman.
Drafted by the Dodgers and touted as a potential star, Burke got off to a flying start when he became the only rookie to start in the 1977 World Series. Burke also took credit for inventing the high-five in 1977. Waiting on-deck at Dodger Stadium, he was first to congratulate teammate Dusty Baker with that up-high slap, after Baker hit his 30th home run in the last game of the season. While his adversity was nothing compared to what Dodger predecessor Jackie Robinson faced when he broke baseball’s color barrier, Burke’s decision to come out of the closet probably hastened his demise. In his autobiography, …
Beginning in 2014, LA residents will no longer able to hear the sound of snapping fibulas and ulnas echoing throughout the basin on hot summer days. That’s because ESPN announced today it is officially ending the 10-year run of its made-for-TV extreme-sports event X Games Los Angeles and moving it to one of four cities: Austin, Chicago, Detroit, or Charlotte, NC. The shift comes as the latest four-year LA deal, with AEG, is set to expire after this year; with the company pondering a sale (it eventually reconsidered), no new deal could be reached, the network said today. ESPN whittled down qualifying bids from nine (including Pasadena and Long Beach) to these four, with a winner to be announced this summer. This year’s X Games Los Angeles runs August 1-4 and is part of an expanded schedule of 2013 events that includes overseas stops in France; Brazil, which just wrapped; Spain, the next games on the calendar May 16-19; and Germany. The Winter X Games Aspen were in January and that longtime home likely will shift too after the current contract expires after next year.