Archive for February, 2012

Sports Data From Nielsen: TV Viewership for College Conferences and Pro Sports Social Media Buzz

Posted by    |    February 29th, 2012 at 5:30 am

This blog has been a hub of activity for conference realignment discussion and other issues in the business of sports for the past couple of years, but it has sometimes been difficult to get quantitative data to back up what many of us observe qualitatively (such as the popularity of fan bases and conferences).  So, the following presentation direct from Nielsen (the TV ratings firm) about the 2011 sports year provides a treasure trove of previously unknown (at least to me) and fascinating statistics about pro and college sports TV viewership, social networking buzz and ad spending:
This slide presentation was uploaded by ceobroadband at  Nielsen analyzed everything from the four major pro sports leagues to the rising viewership of the English Premier League in the US, so there’s something here for every type of sports fan.  It’s key that this analysis is coming directly from Nielsen itself, whereas a lot of other viewership figures that get reported these days come from leagues, conferences and TV networks themselves and are spun to put them in the most favorable light.  As a result, the slide presentation is about as unbiased as you can reasonably get on the subject matters at hand.
One of the more interesting charts is on slide 4, where Nielsen tracked the social media buzz for the major pro sports leagues over the course of 2011 and news events where activity spiked on Twitter and Facebook.  Major League Baseball can’t be happy to see social networking mentions hover around the NHL’s numbers and its 7-game World Series last year didn’t produce a real spike in activity compared to the NBA Finals.  I’m not surprised by the fact that the NBA has more social networking buzz compared to MLB since the basketball league’s fan base skews younger, but I didn’t expect baseball to be on the social media level of hockey.  (Note that there’s no point in comparing any other sport to the NFL in America: pro football blows everything else away on every metric.  The only discussion is about who can take second place.)
For college sports fans, slide 9 presents some extremely pertinent information that few of us have seen before: the average TV viewer numbers per game for each of the 6 power conferences for both football and basketball.  With so many issues in college sports, such as conference realignment and a football playoff, driven by television money, these viewership figures are enlightening (and surprising in some cases).
Here are the average football viewership totals by conference according to Nielsen: (more…)

Darrell Royal to Lead A Team One More Time

Posted by    |    February 29th, 2012 at 5:30 am

This time he is helping to create a research initiative to help find a treatment for Alzheimer’s — a disease he battles daily with the help of family and friends.

Coach Royal appeared Tuesday before a state legislative committee with Edith, his bride of 68 years. Also on hand as a show of support were Lance Armstrong and Matthew McConaughey.Darrell_royal_at_legislature_medium

photo courtesy Rodolfo Gonzalez, Austin American Statesman

Edith told the committee about the formation of the Darrell K. Royal Fund for Alzheimer’s Research, which will fund collaborative research efforts in the state, as well as promote the sharing of new information in the fight with the disease.

She also eloquently brought to light some of the struggles those caring for others with Alzheimer’s face.

“Every day since Darrell’s diagnosis with dementia, I deal with the stress of managing everything without my best friend helping me to make decisions,” Edith Royal told the Joint Committee to Study Alzheimer’s Disease. “It is so rewarding that at this time in our lives after so many years of living for the teams that Darrell coached and the game he played, it’s now members of those teams and our football family that return from all over this country almost daily to shower Darrell with love.”

The Fund will also have several notables serving on its Board of Advisors, including state Attorney General Greg Abbott, current Longhorns coach Mack Brown, businessman Red McCombs, Willie Nelson, Armstrong and McConaughey among others

Here is a look at a story on the committee meeting today courtesy KXAN-TV.

Dan Patrick, DIRECTV and You

Posted by    |    February 28th, 2012 at 1:55 pm

YouPlusMedia, owner of, has created a totally unique web and mobile platform designed to generate crowd-sourced content for television.  American sportscaster and radio personality, Dan Patrick, the driving force behind The Dan Patrick Show and The Box Score, and DIRECTV, are collaborating with YouPlusMedia on this groundbreaking project.

For the first time, avid sports fans in Dallas and around the country will be able to audition to be part of The Box Score television segments produced by YouPlusMedia.  Sports fans can “audition” to be on the show from any sports bar, office, or their own living room, via The Box Score app.

Download the free iPhone app by visiting the iTunes store. Once the app downloads to your mobile device, you are ready to answer a variety of sports questions. Don’t have a smart phone? You can also answer questions by visiting the Dan Patrick Channel on

Patrick currently hosts The Dan Patrick Show, which is a nationwide radio broadcast on Premiere Radio Networks. He can be heard on Dallas station 1310 The Ticket at 9pm CST Monday through Friday, on Austin station 1300 The Zone at 9am CST Monday through Friday, and seen on television on The Audience Network for DIRECTV subscribers.  Patrick also co-hosts NBC‘s Football Night in America, and serves as a senior writer for Sports Illustrated.

The Box Score, which airs Monday through Friday at noon EST on DIRECTV channel 101, will be the primary test ground for this effort.  The Box Score features the “Danettes”: executive producer Paul Pabst (“Paulie”), director of operations Patrick “Seton” O’Connor, talent coordinator /”guest wrangler” Todd Fritz (“Fritzy”), and official show blogger/Sports Illustrated writer Andrew Perloff (“McLovin”).  Patrick is an important and regular contributor to The Box Score.


Beyond Belief; Part 1

Posted by    |    February 28th, 2012 at 11:46 am

On Feb. 3, 2012 reports surfaced that Texas Rangers MVP superstar outfielder Josh Hamilton had suffered another relapse. Anytime a professional athlete is reported to have taken a major step back in his career, fans assume the player suffered an injury or his stats have taken a sudden dive, but this is not the case with Hamilton. This is no pulled quad or a home run drought, but a matter of life and death, a matter of drugs and alcohol.

Aside from being one of the best baseball players in the world, there is something much deeper and much more important behind what meets the eye with Hamilton, who has won a Most Valuable Player award and is also a Home Run Derby champion. For any other player, those are lifetime milestones, but Hamilton knows that anything life gives him is a bonus, because honestly, Josh should be dead – and he knows it.

Hamilton during his early stages of drug and alcohol use

Josh Hamilton’s amazing up and down story began in 1999. All his life Josh was a baseball prodigy. When he was five, he played with eight year olds. When he was eight, he played with teenagers, and so forth. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays selected him with the first pick in the 1999 MLB draft, also handing the 18 year old a record $3.6 million dollar signing bonus. The Devil Rays and pretty much all of baseball assumed Hamilton was a sure thing for many years to come. Teenage Josh Hamilton was confident, strong, tough-minded, but also kind of a mama’s boy.

Still just a kid, Hamilton lived with his parents at home and on the road. They quit their jobs to follow their son on his journey to the big leagues. This drew criticism from the harsh public media, for obvious reasons. Number one overall pick, millions of dollars, now a professional athlete –but Josh was still maturing inside and out and preferred to stay close to his family as he did all his life back in Raleigh, North Carolina. Josh’s mother, Linda, cooked her son’s meals and father Tony would go over each game with his son in the evenings. (more…)

Kent Perkins Commits to Texas (#10)

Posted by    |    February 28th, 2012 at 5:30 am

Kent Perkins Commits to Texas (#10)

Hail Lake Highlands, we salute thee

All through the years;

To thy colors, Red and White,

We sing our cheers

To our school and all who serve it

We shall pledge our full allegiance;

Hail Lake Highlands, we salute thee

All through the years