89th. Ice + Land. Turner Sports Makes a Play.

No Politics Please.  It’s Not Hawaii.  Football Instead of Family Guy.

Jimmy Kimmel takes the mike later tonight for the 89th Academy Awards.  A celebration of Hollywood’s finest or a live worldwide platform for the red carpet walkers and Oscar winners to go into their political diatribe?  On the bright side, the 100 million worldwide viewers (note: the Super Bowl viewership was barely over 100m) will hopefully get to enjoy some magical production and a few good performances.  This year, after a few years of homogenized nominees, diversity is prominent with nominees including Fences and Hidden Figures.  Hopefully the Academy of Arts and Sciences has issued strict orders for award winners to stand down from the world of politics….think Meryl Streep’s embarrassing acceptance speech at the Golden Globes.  As the great Betty Davis said in the 1951 classic All About Eve, “It’s going to be a bumpy ride tonight, fasten your seat belts”.

I assume travel is no different than most trends.  When ideas about a destination go viral people around the world flock to a location that is not always top of mind.  The ‘flavor of the month’ destination is non-other than Iceland, a country the size of Ohio.  More than 2 million tourists will visit this country, located in the North Atlantic (just east of Greenland for you geography freaks) and 350,000 of those tourists will be Americans.  Some friends have visited and reported back that the country is full of great things to see and do, including glaciers, volcanoes, the Northern lights, and the Blue Lagoon, an artificial pool warmed by a geo-thermal power plant.  I guess I will forego another trip to the Caribbean or Carmel, CA, and head to the North Atlantic for a holiday stay.

Phone calls from some soccer friends and associates late Friday afternoon.  One of the callers was an associate from the past who works for Turner Entertainment Networks, which all of us know as the parent presenting the cable networks of TBS, TNT, Turner Classic Movies, and TruTV, etc..  She works at Turner as a financial analyst and had just learned that her employers had bid on and won the rights to the Champions League, committing over $180m over three years.  When she saw what she considers a very high spend for broadcast rights she phoned to ask what and why Turner would want the Champions League in the first place?  It is simple:  the Champions League is one of the most sought after sports properties on earth.  It is Europe’s annual tournament of their top club teams with the best thirty-two clubs involved in the tournament  starting in late August and ending with the final in mid-May.  Obviously the matches are broadcast five to six hours ahead so the time slots in the U.S. are in the afternoon (2:45pm EST), so during the rounds of tournament play Turner can use one or more of it’s networks to promote and broadcast the Champions League.  This works well with their other sports properties including NBA, PGA Golf, Major League Baseball, and the NCAA basketball tournament.  At a quick glance, the Champions League broadcasts will replace mid-afternoon shows such as American Dad, Supernatural, Bones and Family Guy, most likely targeting the coveted 21-35 year old male and boosting their afternoon ratings.  The worldwide total broadcast fees for the Champions League is astronomical and driven by sponsors targeting a massive viewing audience.  As a comparison, last year’s Champions League final was viewed by a worldwide television audience of 380m while this year’s Super Bowl pulled in 113m viewers.  Turner will pay $180m over three years for the broadcast rights.  Combined with other worldwide rights, the payout yields the winning Club of this May’s final over $100m.   I probably did not answer my friend’s question very well but a least this is a start.

Updates: Iran is holding maritime training exercises in the Persian Gulf…..really Iran?  Atlanta United opens up two weeks from tonight.  The half-brother of North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, was murdered in a very bizarre way in a Malaysia airport…..one down, one to go.  Two weeks to daylight savings time!

Adios and have a Funday Sunday!

4 thoughts on “89th. Ice + Land. Turner Sports Makes a Play.”

  1. Diversity at the Oscars: I am surprised by your take on diversity at the Oscars. I am not used to you being politically correct. That being said, I disagree with your take on the subject. The Oscars should be about movies and not race! We shouldn’t push for diversity for the sake of diversity and political correctness. the Oscars should only be about merit and art.

    1. Well said. I am not sure I am politically correct. I was just pointing out that the Academy offered up nominations with movies that were inclusive of minorities. I do agree that an Oscar should be awarded only based on merit and art.

  2. My wife’s friend is an artist and she had a showing last night which we attended. I find out that many of our conservative friends boycotted the Oscars meaning that they just did not watch them. I find that a total bullshit excuse. However I’m not sure I’m going to be listening to Donald Trump speech tonight . Keep up the good work. Steve Kraus

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