Patriots Loss a Winner for WBZ-TV

The New England Patriots overtime loss on Sunday to former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and his Denver Broncos was the highest rated program of the week in the Boston market.

The game earned a household rating of 29.73 with a 57 share. The game averaged 1,156,900 viewers and peaked during overtime with 1,446,100 viewers.

It was the second highest-rated Patriots game of the season, trailing only the season opener on Monday Night Football against Buffalo.

Through five games in 2009, Patriots games are averaging a local rating of 28.88 with a 57.4 share.

By comparison, through five games of the 2008 season, Patriots games averaged a local rating of 25.62 with a 49.4 share.


Patriots Preseason Game A Ratings Winner

Lured by the prospect of seeing Tom Brady’s return to the field, viewers flocked to last night’s Patriots preseason opener against the Philadelphia Eagles.

According to Kraft Sports Productions and WBZ, the game garnered a 14.6 rating last night.

The Patriots’ preseason game versus the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night earned a 14.6 rating and a 27 share. The game was the top program in total households and total viewers in every demographic among all broadcast and cable networks on Thursday. The broadcast averaged 524,300 total viewers, ranking second in total viewers for a preseason game since the introduction of Local People Meter ratings in 2002. The game peaked at 8:45 p.m. with 643,290 total viewers. Patriots-Eagles ranked among the top five television events of the summer (June 1 to Aug. 13, 2009) for adults and men 18-49 and 25-54 in the Boston market.

The pre and post game shows also did well for WBZ:

WBZ-TV is also home to “Patriots Gameday” prior to every game and “Patriots 5th Quarter” after each game. “Patriots Gameday” on Thursday had a household rating of a 5.32 with a 12 share. “Patriots 5th Quarter” had a household rating of 5.70 with a 12 share.

Not bad for a preseason game. Check my Media Notes on Patriots Daily for more on last night’s TV and Radio broadcasts.

Santos To Become Second Member of WBZ Hall of Fame

Later this morning, WBZ will be honoring legendary sportscaster Gil Santos by making him the second member of the WBZ Hall of Fame.

From WBZ’s release sent out last night:

WBZ News Radio will add another chapter to the history and heritage of its famous call letters. At 11:00 we will unveil a plaque honoring Gil Santos as the newest member to be inducted into the WBZ Hall of Fame.

Gil Santos retired from his morning sports anchor position in January of this year and WBZ News Radio is delighted to bring him back so he can see the permanent addition to the Hall of Fame wall on the front of the WBZ building on Soldiers Field Road. Gil was the voice of sports in New England for more than 38 years on WBZ. He’s covered an amazing 13 professional sports championships in Boston during his career. This will be Gil’s third hall of fame honor. He is already in the New England Sports Museum Hall of Fame as well as the Fairhaven High School Hall of Fame.

Gil becomes on the second member of WBZ’s Hall of Fame. Former WBZ morning news anchor Gary LaPierre was the first inductee in February of 2007 following his retirement in December of 2006.

Congratulations to Mr Santos for a well-deserved honor.

Patriots All Access Debuts on WBZ/WSBK This Week

Ken from Fang’s Bites with a quickie update today.

This is from WBZ-TV and the New England Patriots. The Patriots All Access show makes the official move from WCVB, its home for 12 seasons to WBZ this week.

Patriots All Access debuts this Friday

Patriots All Access kicks off its 13th season on Friday, March 13 at 7 p.m. on WBZ-TV and will be replayed Sunday, March 15 at 10 a.m. on TV38.

Boston, Mass. – Tuesday, March 10, 2009 – “Patriots All Access” will kick off its 13th season on Friday the 13th when it debuts at its new home, WBZ-TV and TV38. WBZ-TV Sports Anchor Steve Burton will host the first off-season installment of “Patriots All Access” on Friday, March 13 at 7 p.m. on WBZ-TV, beginning a new era for the best and most in-depth Patriots program in New England. “Patriots-All Access” will re-air on Sunday, March 15 at 10 a.m. on TV38 (WSBK-TV).

The first “Patriots All Access” on WBZ-TV and TV38 will feature:

* WBZ-TV Sports Reporter Dan Roche examining a whirlwind of offseason activity for the team, as multiple trades and free agency acquisitions have begun to shape the 2009 Patriots.
* Former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak sitting down with the Patriots’ new senior football advisor, Floyd Reese, to discuss the offseason and the upcoming NFL Draft.
* WBZ-TV Sports Reporter Alice Cook kicking off a season-long Patriots 50th Anniversary celebration by unveiling the first in a series of Top 10 lists with the “Top 10 Personnel Moves in Franchise History.”
* Patriots defensive lineman Jarvis Green escorting a group of Foxboro High School seniors on their school vacation to his home state of Louisiana to help rebuild a town damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

“I am thrilled to begin a new chapter with WBZ-TV as ‘All Access’ begins its 13th year,” said Matt Smith, executive producer of Kraft Sports Productions. “This is an extension of an already fabulous relationship between the organization and WBZ. Patriots fans will not want to miss a minute, as the WBZ-TV sports team brings a unique and fresh perspective to the show.”

This is the first stage of Patriots programming that WBZ has acquired. It also picked up the Patriots preseason games from Channel 5. This press release has a complete schedule of Patriots programming on WBZ and TV-38.

Perkins Tapped To Replace Santos on WBZ AM Sports

Walt PerkinsThe Bob Lobel experiment on WBZ radio this week has interesting, to say the least.

 Sadly though, it must come to an end, as WBZ has tapped veteran Walt Perkins to take over the morning sports role opened up by the retirement of Gil Santos.

Perkins rejoined the WBZ in 2001, he had worked at the station in 1988 while working for 2 other media outlets WCVB and WSBK at the time.

He freelanced for WCVB from 1988 until 2003 and prior to that he worked in television at WLNE in Providence from 1985-1988. Perkins worked for WGIR in Manchester, New Hampshire and WEAN/WPJB-FM in Providence following graduation from the University of New Hampshire where he majored in Business Administration and minored in Communications.

Here’s the full release:

A New Voice of Sports in New England

(Boston) WBZ News Radio 1030 is pleased to introduce a new voice of morning sports to the New England audience. Walt Perkins will be the new morning sports anchor on WBZ News Radio 1030. Perkins takes over the morning role at WBZ News Radio following last week’s retirement of legendary sports anchor Gil Santos. Perkins has been a weekend sports anchor at WBZ since 2001 where he also led the station’s on-line sports reporting efforts for WBZ’s website ( <>).

Walt Perkins is a 30 year broadcast veteran and is also a native New Englander and with that come the experience of being a sports fan as well as a broadcaster who has covered all the major local teams highs and lows during his career.

“First, I am extremely honored to be following a sports legend in Gil.” Perkins said. “He was one-of-a-kind and cannot be replaced. I pledge to do my best to keep up the high standard he set in this job for the past 38 years. Second, I look forward to working with the top-notch crew that is in place – on air and off – bringing New England the latest sports news and information.”

Perkins will anchor all of WBZ’s morning sportscasts beginning at 5:15 each week day. He will also cover the local sports teams as a reporter and for WBZ’s website. “Walt has proven to be a tremendous asset to WBZ’s sports coverage during the last few years” said Peter Casey, Director of news and Programming for WBZ, “his efforts in producing sports coverage for our website have helped make it one of the most popular sections of the site. We’re thrilled to now have him on board in the morning.”

Perkins has experience covering sports for television as well as radio. He has worked at TV stations in Boston and providence.

Less Live Spots from Spring Training on Local TV

The Herald’s Jessica Heslam has a story this morning where she reports on some local TV stations that will be forgoing the customary trips to Red Sox spring training next month due to the economy.

Channel 7 (WHDH) will not be sending anyone down to Fort Myers, while FOX25 may not send sports anchor Butch Stearns, or anyone else.

Channel 4 (WBZ) will be scaling back their live coverage from Florida, while Channel 5 (WCVB) plans on staying consistent with what they’ve done in the past. NECN will also be sending someone down, but it isn’t clear who that will be just yet.

NESN, the TV home of the Red Sox is expanding their coverage this spring, and Comcast SportsNet has big plans as well. They’ve grabbed Lou Merloni from NESN for baseball coverage this season and will also be broadcasting Sports Tonight live (with an audience) from the Pink Shell resort on Fort Myers beach the week of Feb. 16th. The look of their coverage is always distinctive, and different from the other stations which usually just broadcast from the practice field, or at the hotel pool.

For the local TV stations, I think it is a wise move to reduce or eliminate the spring training coverage. The sports segments are already shortened, it can’t make any business sense to spend big money for a couple minutes each night.

For the sports networks like NESN and CSN, it makes more sense to keep going down there because they’re doing entire shows on location, and the return on the investment is much higher, as they can spend more time interviewing players and other guests and give them more airtime than the TV stations are able to do.

Bob Lobel Back Doing WBZ Sports. In the Morning. On The Radio.

Thanks to for passing the link along:

Lobel To Anchor WBZ Radio’s AM Sports Next Week

Former WBZ-TV sports anchor Bob Lobel will be back in the building next week to take over the morning sports reports on WBZ Radio.

The move is not permanent though, WBZ Radio says. He’ll be on air from Feb. 3 to Feb. 6. “It’s an honor to be able to follow a legend, even if it’s only for a week,” Lobel said.

Lobel’s last newscast on WBZ-TV was on April 29. Lobel was part of the WBZ Team for almost 30 years.

Longtime WBZ Radio sports anchor Gil Santos retired from the early morning sports slot earlier this month. Santos joined the WBZ Radio team back in 1971.

WCVB Loses Patriots “All Access” and Preseason Games To WBZ

WBZ-TV and TV38 announced today that they have acquired the broadcast rights to New England Patriots non-network preseason games, along with the All Access and Totally Patriots TV shows.

This takes the games and programs away from WCVB Channel 5, where they had been shown for many years. It also essentially makes WBZ-TV the TV home of the Patriots, with the Pre and Post game rights, and being a CBS affiliate, they have most of the regular season games, and now the preseason as well as the weekly All Access program.

A couple of assumptions by me now, (which I’m attempting to follow up on): One, in the past when regular season Patriots games would be shown on cable (ESPN or NFLN), they would be broadcast locally on WCVB. I wonder if this now means these games will be on WBZ instead. Second, I assume this also bring to an end the broadcast of the Patriots preseason games up here on NH’s WMUR Channel 9, which is a sister station to WCVB.

(Update: Damn assumptions. Here’s what I’m told via the Patriots:  “The cable networks (ESPN or NFLN) own the rights to their broadcasts in the local markets. After the schedule is announced, the networks then negotiate with the local affiliates for the rights to syndicate their broadcast in that local market. Historically, ESPN games have aired on WCVB (ABC). We have only had a couple of games on NFLN, but I think those games have been open for negotiation with each of the local affiliates.”)

In any event, here’s the full release:



Boston, Mass. – Wednesday, January 21, 2009 – WBZ-TV and TV38 (WSBK-TV) today announced that the stations have entered into an exclusive television rights agreement with the New England Patriots and Kraft Sports Productions to broadcast “Patriots All Access,” “Totally Patriots,” and any non-network preseason Patriots games. The partnership is effective immediately.

“Patriots All Access,” winner of the 2007 New England Emmy Award for Best Sports Series, will air on WBZ-TV Fridays at 7 p.m. and on TV38 Sundays at 9 a.m. The program features exclusive, behind-the-scenes access and in-depth weekly stories on Patriots players and personnel. The show features weekly sit-downs with Head Coach Bill Belichick including the popular “Belestrator” segment where the coach breaks down upcoming opponents.

“Totally Patriots,” a weekly youth-oriented football show, will air on TV38 Sundays at 10 a.m. “Totally Patriots” gives the next generation of Patriots fans unprecedented access to their favorite players, enabling them to ask questions in a relaxed, informal setting. The program also includes football tips from Patriots players as well as the opportunity to win college scholarships by writing weekly essays about the Patriots.

“We are thrilled to be able to expand our existing partnership with The Kraft Sports Group,” said Ed Piette, President and General Manager of WBZ-TV and TV38. “This new programming agreement compliments our award-winning CBS coverage of the New England Patriots and the entire AFC.”

“We are happy to expand on what has been a successful, long-term working partnership with WBZ-TV and TV38,” said Murray Kohl, Patriots vice president of sales. “There is an incredible demand for Patriots content and WBZ will lead the market with an impressive lineup of Patriots programming. It’s a great complement to the many regular season Patriots games broadcast by CBS and available on WBZ-TV.”

Here’s the full slate of Patriots programming on WBZ-TV and TV38 during the 2009 season:

Name of Program Station and Time:
“Patriots All Access”Regular Season WBZ-TV – Friday, 7 – 8 p.m.TV38 – Sunday, 9 – 10 a.m.
“Patriots All Access” Pre Season and Playoffs WBZ-TV – Friday, 7 – 7:30 p.m.TV38 – Sunday, 9 – 9:30 a.m.
“Totally Patriots” TV38 – Sunday, 10 – 10:30 a.m.
“New England Patriots 5th Quarter Presented by New England Ford Dealers and Sovereign Bank” Immediately following all New England Patriots games. Station and time TBD depending on network and/or competitive programming.
“New England Ford Patriots Game Day WBZ-TV – Sunday, 11:30 a.m. – Noon
“Patriots This Week” TV38 – Saturday, 10 – 10:30 p.m.
Pre-season Patriots games Games TBD
Regular Season Patriots games TBD
“New England Ford Dealers Sports Final” WBZ-TV – Sunday, 11:30 p.m. – Midnight all year long

Boston’s WBZ-TV and TV38 are part of CBS Television Stations, a division of CBS Corporation.

– WBZ-TV / TV38 –

Gil Santos Retiring from WBZ, Remaining on Pats Broadcasts

Yesterday, Jessica Heslam reported that Gil Santos will be retiring from WBZ radio at the end of this month.

I figured Santos would remain as the radio play-by-play voice of the Patriots, and in today’s Herald, Renee Nadeau has Santos saying that he plans to remain in the Patriots radio broadcast booth for WBCN for next season and into “the forseeable future.”

It just won’t be the morning drive without hearing Santos at :15 and :45 past the hour…