Posts for tv

Either Ben Davis or Kevin Stocker will Replace Jamie Moyer in the Broadcast Booth

Jim Adair - February 3, 2015

Back in November, it was announced that Jamie Moyer was asked to leave/would not be returning to/all of the above (circle your answer) the Phillies broadcast booth. The seat next to Tom McCarthy and Matt Stairs was suddenly empty. And though Mike Schmidt worked Sundays (and was actually kind of terrible), we didn’t know who would replace Moyer. Thanks to Todd Zolecki, now we do.

The seat will be filled by either Kevin Stocker or Ben Davis. Davis, a local product who has on-air experience with CSN, is likely the favorite. But Stocker actually played for the Phillies and has spent two seasons doing color-commentary for the Pac-12 Network.

We’ll have more when the role is filled.

ABC’s “The Goldbergs” Will Visit Veterans Stadium

Jim Adair - November 26, 2014

Voila_Capture 2014-11-18_08-42-21_AM

Last week, Adam Goldberg (creator of ABC’s “The Goldbergs”) took to Twitter to vent his frustrations that the Phillies and Major League Baseball wouldn’t approve his usage of the Phillies and Veterans Stadium in the show. At the time, Goldberg said the script would be Ferris Bueller-esque, and he would re-create signs and everything to make The Vet on TV look and feel like The Vet in real-life. However, he was told by a Phillies rep that they spoke to the MLB and “didn’t like the content of the scene.” Never mind that the Flyers have been all over that show.

But Twitter is a magical place. It’s where Goldberg voiced his frustrations about his problem and also where he solved it. According to Molly Eichel, The Phillies’ director of marketing and special projects, Michael Harris, reached out to Goldberg after seeing his Tweets, and they were able to hammer things out.

“Like with many things, a good old-fashioned conversation can solve a lot,” Harris told Eichel. “I give a lot of credit to Adam because he understood and appreciated our concerns. He was able to tweak the script rather easily without changing the original premise of the scene.”

And just like that, the titular family will (at least in part) be visiting The Vet. Depending on where their seats are, I’m sure we’ll be able to figure out what the Phillies wanted changed.

LeBron’s TV Show Leaves Philly for Boston Because of the Host of GUTS

Jim Adair - July 14, 2014

That teaser above is for the upcoming Starz show Survivor’s Guilt, executive produced by LeBron James. When we first heard about the show back in September, it was described as a half-hour sitcom that will “explore the lives of two men from the streets who attain fame — one is an NBA star and one is not — and how they deal with friends and families in the wake of that success.” When first announced, it was said that the show would be based in North Philly, but like any dreams we ever had of LeBron in a Sixers jersey, it has been taken away.

According to the Daily News, the show is now based in Boston and filmed in Atlanta. How did this happen? Executive producer and writer Mike O’Malley, who is from Boston, apparently lobbied to have the show set in his hometown. It certainly didn’t hurt that another of the show’s producers, Tom Werner, owns part of the Boston Red Sox. And if Mike O’Malley sounds familiar, it’s because he and the man below are one in the same:


Which now makes sense of Starz’s newest slogan:

Starz: Do d-d-do ya have it? STARZ!

When this premieres, can one of the three-dozen people who has Starz let us know how it is?

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia has a Russian Remake

Jim Adair - June 20, 2014

always russian

In Russia, there is currently a remake of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia called, according to the the best translation we can get out of Google Chrome, “In Moscow’s Always Sunny” (actually В Москве всегда солнечно in the native tongue). It seems like a pretty straightforward remake, at least based on the very Russian description of the show, which we’re imagining is being read to us by Bryz:

“The reason for this – their selfishness, laziness and stupidity.

It was only natural cheerfulness with already marked stupidity help them to remain optimistic and not to indulge in melancholy. In addition, parents Sergey and Alena, played Dmitri Astrakhan and Irina Apeksimova convincingly show that not only the young can be bad man.

The series is not only funny, but also very useful. As “bad advice” Grigory Oster raise children “on the contrary”, because “in Moscow’s Always Sunny” will help adults Russians see the consequences of bad behavior and bad deeds. “In Moscow’s Always Sunny” – an adaptation of the American sitcom «It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia» …

They have their own business – a pub “Philadelphia”. But revenue it almost does not work.
All their hopes and plans – love and money – are crumbling, when confronted with reality.”

We can only assume their version of Mac will write a fan letter to Alexander Ovechkin, and they’ll use a knockoff version of this guy instead of the Phanatic.

h/t Reddit

Your Monday Morning John Oliver Rant Takes On The Washington Redskins

Jim Adair - June 16, 2014

What you may not know, is that the contract I signed when I took this job stipulates that if I do not write about John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight once a week, I don’t get paid. So here we go: Last night, on Oliver’s HBO program that many had been using as a comedown after Game of Thrones, John took on the misguided arrogance of Dan Snyder in his refusal to even consider renaming the Washington Redskins. It’s a great segment — Oliver is already tackling sports stories better than Jon Stewart ever did — even if it does take a little dig at Philadelphia. But guess what, John Oliver, your dig at Philadelphia barely got any laughs, so the joke is on you, John Oliver: Very funny, very successful, very famous John Oliver.

John Oliver’s FIFA Rant Conjures Up the Idea for Phanatic Court, Which I Would Definitely Watch During Rain Delays

Jim Adair - June 9, 2014

If you’ve caught any of John Oliver’s new HBO show Last Week Tonight (from last week: Prevent Cable Company Fuckery) — or you watched his hosting stint on The Daily Show — you know he’s basically got two modes: Breathless giddiness and righteous British anger. On last night’s show, Oliver turned in a hell of a rant on FIFA, their handling of the World Cup, and their overall shittiness while bouncing back between those two zones. In the midst of a really great segment you should watch in full if you’ve got time, there was this throwaway joke:

“When South Africa hosted the World Cup four years ago, FIFA forced the creation of the FIFA World Cup Courts, which sound funny ya know, it’s like going to the World Series and being dragged in front of Judge Phillie Phanatic.”

It’s a very small part of a much larger piece, but I’ll be damned if a Judge Phillie Phanatic TV show wouldn’t be infinitely more interesting than anything they play during rain delays. Or the 2014 Phillies, for that matter.

The Phillies and Comcast SportsNet Have Agreed to a (Presumably Massive) TV Deal

Kyle Scott - January 2, 2014


Multiple reports tonight say that the Phillies and CSN have reached an agreement on a “massive” contract believed to be around 25 years in length.

David Murphy broke the news on

The Phillies and Comcast SportsNet have finalized a contract that will extend their television partnership well beyond 2015, when the previous deal was set to expire, the Daily News has learned. Terms of the new contract are unknown at this point.

A Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia spokesman confirmed the deal but declined to offer terms.

Kevin Cooney and Chris Branch provided additional reports:

In an emailed statement, CSN confirmed the reports:

“We’re pleased to confirm that NBCUniversal and Comcast SportsNet have signed a new long-term deal with the Philadelphia Phillies that will expand Comcast SportsNet’s role as the Phillies’ primary TV partner. Although the terms of the comprehensive deal are confidential, details surrounding the 2014 schedule of games will be provided in the coming months.”

This means that Comcast-NBC, which is basically the same entity, will broadcast all none-national TV Phillies games and, presumably, handle the pre- and post-game duties.

A 25-year deal is massive and has to be for a ton of money. We had heard previously that NBC was being considered for the Sunday games that were typically doled out to MyPHL17. These games are ratings wins and will be a huge boost to NBC programming around the games, including the local news.

The Phillies current deal is somewhere around $35 million per year plus an advertising revenue share.

Back in October, The Good Phight, referencing other TV deals around the country, estimated that the Phillies would get anywhere between $180 million-$275 million annually. Using even the low end of that estimate, a 25-year deal with CSN could be worth as much as $4.5 billion. And if it is indeed 25 years, that will take the Phillies and CSN through 2039, which would give them the longest TV contract in Major League Baseball next to the Yankees, whose deal with YES ends in 2042.

Why might the Phillies have been eager to get a deal done sooner rather than later? In October, I posited some theories:

Well, there’s a lot going on in the TV industry. We’ve already written about the unbundling of cable TV packages. Networks like ESPN and CSN get carriage fees from every cable subscriber who gets their channel, even though every subscriber doesn’t watch sports. [There’s a fight in Houston between the Astros and CSN Houston over that matter– CSN can’t reach agreements with local cable companies.] There’s a very real possibility that, eventually, cable subscribers will have a la carte choice of their channels (or, worse, they’ll just stop subscribing and start watching Netflix, which just leaped ahead of HBO in subscribers). This all means that, eventually, regional sports networks will spend less on rights fees. If you’re the Phillies, you want to get a deal done before that happens. Obviously.

And there are other things that will affect the industry in unknown ways. The NBA is about to reach an agreement to live stream games to local markets. If you have or another similar service, then you’re well aware of the local blackout rules that restrict you from watching local teams through any means other than your local cable provider. A shift in this paradigm could change the market.

There’s also a class-action lawsuit being brought by two Philly lawyers against sports leagues, teams and cable companies which just cleared its first major hurdle. It contends that, by forcing sports fans to pay for expensive cable packages, the leagues and cable companies have basically formed an illegal cartel. From a great article on last week:

“Sports teams should be allowed to sell their games to sports fans in any TV market. This would bring down the price of sports content on the Internet and cable for tens of millions of consumers, Diver said.

A goal of Diver’s suit would be to allow a sports fan to strike a relationship with a favorite team or teams without having to buy a cable package or a league package of unwanted games. Another goal would be to dismantle the restrictions on how teams distribute their games on pay-TV systems.

The leagues and other defendants have lined up powerful firms to defend their practices and called the suit’s claims meritless.”

That would certainly impact local sports rights fees.

So now you see why it is in the Phillies’ best interest not to wait. The TV landscape is changing, rapidly. Apple might announce an update to Apple TV that could further disrupt the industry. This winter, Amazon is throwing its hat into the ring. Next year, Netflix may announce that they’ve taken over the world and are going to harvest your babies to power their yet-unannounced live-streaming capabilities. We really don’t know where it’s headed. But for now, live sports are cable TV’s lone barrier from total destruction. Networks willing to pay, and teams, like the Phillies, are eager to take the money while it’s still available.

We’ll update this post as more information becomes available.

The Phillies May Be About to Get PAID

Kyle Scott - October 22, 2013

This is something I’ve written quite a bit about over the past two years– the Phillies’ looming local TV deal.

Their current deal with CSN doesn’t expire until after the 2015 season, but Howard Megdal of Sports On Earth is reporting that a new deal may be finalized in the next month or so [a guy named Megdal reporting on mega deals is awesome!]:

According to a source with knowledge of the talks, the deal is expected to be completed within the next 30 days. That’s going to matter a great deal for how the team operates this winter.

The Phillies currently receive $35 million per season from Comcast, which is chump change compared to other big market teams. The Red Sox and Yankees get $60 million and $90 million, respectively, and have a significant ownership stake in their local network. The Mariners get $115 million and have a more than 50% ownership stake in their network. And then there are the Angels and Dodgers… who are getting silly money– $150 million (with 25% ownership stake) and $340 million, respectively. [These figures according to Wendy Thurn of FanGraphs.]

The Good Phight used a lot of words and math to estimate what the Phillies’ deal might look like based on the current market. Their conclusion:

If you look to the 2013 area of the X-axis you’ll see two entries, the Mariner’s new contract at $115m annually, and the monstrous Dodgers contract at nearly $350m annually. The best fit line threads those two, coming in just under $200m in annual rights fees. That’s a good starting point. Simply adjusting for market size (Seattle = 61.7% of Philadelphia’s population, LA = 190% of Philadelphia’s population) you get a Phillies TV contract falling between $183-186m annually. Now, again, this is a terrible estimate and the error bars are huge. Adjust as you see fit. (For example, if you think that only 2/3rds of LA-area baseball fans will watch the Dodgers with the 1/3rd dedicated to the Angels while 100% of Philadelphia area baseball fans will watch the Phillies, then you can do this: ((5,613,460 x .67)/ 2,949,310), giving the LA Dodgers an effective media market only 28% larger than that of Philadelphia. If you think, therefore, that the Dodgers’ TV contract is going to be commensurately 28% larger than the Phillies’ contract you’d expect the Phillies to get nearly $275m annually.)

The above calculations do not account for population growth rates in those markets, equity stakes in the broadcasting networks, commercial revenue ownership, multiple teams in the LA market, and other variables. But it’s something, although probably low if one considers the Philadelphia being the largest single-team media market in the country. The Phils are certainly closer to the Dodgers than the Mariners in terms of market penetration and fan bases.

Basically, it’s very difficult to pinpoint a figure because there are so many factors to consider besides market size and ratings. New York and LA have two teams, so, in theory, their markets are split, making it hard to draw any conclusions from those deals (though I suspect that, in negotiations, teams like to pretend that people are people and they are potential viewers regardless of rooting interest). And most of the major market teams all have an ownership stake in their network, meaning that their per-season figure is greater than the listed rights fee. You can assume that the Phillies will get a higher fee based upon the fact that they don’t have any ownership stake in CSN. The Phils also have the passionate fan base and largest single-team market thing working in their favor.

But figure, based on The Good Phight’s projection, that the Phils get somewhere between $180 million and $275 million annually. That’s a significant increase from the $35 million they have been getting. Plus there’s the additional $27 million per season in national TV deals that every team will get starting this upcoming season.

This all means that, at some point in the next two years, the Phillies will be getting as much as, if not more, than their entire payroll in additional revenue. All of a sudden, the attendance and ratings drops don’t seem to matter much.

But does that mean they’ll start spending more? Continue Reading

Continue Reading