The 200 Most-Watched Live Events of 2013

If, as I’ve suggested, the only purpose of linear television going forward will be to show live events that many people want to watch at the same time, then ratings for live events become a particularly important category to look at, because they form the underpinning of everything else. So here are the 200 most-viewed live programs of 2013 to my knowledge, with the top 50 ranked.

Breaking news outside of primetime (which basically means outside the manhunt for the Boston Marathon bomber), and other non-primetime news events such as the funeral for Nelson Mandela, are not counted because I couldn’t find any numbers for them. I’ve also guesstimated where to put the Tournament of Roses Parade and one NFL window because viewers (or at least, reliable viewer numbers) weren’t reported for them. I also assumed all non-audition episodes of American Idol were live, but marked the Hollywood and Vegas episodes with question marks. Events in red are news events; in blue are NFL games; in green are other sports events; in orange are awards shows; in purple are reality shows; and all other events are white.

Read moreThe 200 Most-Watched Live Events of 2013

2013 UFC and MMA Ratings Wrap-Up

Here are the top 50 most-watched live MMA cards of 2013, 30 from UFC and 20 from Bellator, with prelims and main cards separated out. Below that are full numbers for every UFC card not on Fuel/FS2 in chronological order. See here for all Fuel/FS2 main cards (not prelims) as well as numbers for every episode of The Ultimate Fighter.

Numbers for boxing are not consistently well-reported with enough specificity for my tastes, but this contains, to my knowledge, viewership for every boxing match of 2013 on HBO and Showtime with over a million viewers.

Viewership and household ratings for Fox Sports 1 cards from Son of the Bronx. Viewership and household ratings for Fox and some other cards from SportsBusiness Daily. Where 18-49 ratings appear, viewership and 18-49 ratings from The Futon Critic, with some from TVbytheNumbers. PPV buyrates from Wikipedia. Other numbers from various other sources. Click here to learn more about how to read the charts.

Read more2013 UFC and MMA Ratings Wrap-Up

Is There a Place for Common Sense in Supreme Court Decisions?

The Supreme Court Wednesday ruled 6-3 against Aereo, declaring the start-up’s array of miniature antennas available for rent to consumers in violation of copyright law. Astoundingly, the three dissenters were Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito, three of the court’s more conservative members. If you had to pick one person to symbolize the modern Supreme Court’s tendency to favor moneyed interests over ordinary Americans, the law, intent of the Constitution, and precedent be damned, it would probably be Scalia, followed by Thomas, then Alito and Chief Justice Roberts neck-in-neck. I would never have expected the conservatives to actually believe what they say they do enough to stand with the consumer and the scrappy, innovative start-up at the expense of the big, multi-national conglomerates, and as much as Democratic politicians may be in bed with Hollywood, I never would have expected every last one of the liberal justices to stand with the big corporations against the ordinary American. I know President Obama’s Justice Department filed a brief supporting broadcasters, but that was widely seen as disappointing, not sadly expected; I suspect this is an issue on which the Democratic decision-makers are well out of step with their rank and file. Maybe I’m just naïve (support in Congress and opposition among the public to SOPA was, after all, largely bipartisan), but it would be hard for me to deal with it if this turned out to be an issue on which I stand with conservatives and against Democrats.

But that’s not what I want to talk about. Rather, I want to talk about the tendency for pro-Aereo corners of the blogosphere (as well as Aereo itself) to decry the decision as being obviously wrong, to gloss over the sketchier elements of what Aereo was trying to do, take its own description of it at face value, and dismiss the majority’s reasoning as the “looks-like-a-duck test“, to speak of Aereo’s setup being designed to follow the law as opposed to “going around” it as though that were more than a semantic distinction. One of the things Americans don’t like about the legal system is the tendency to create overly complicated documents written in horrendously obtuse language with no resemblance to anything ordinary Americans could recognize so that people can get off on obscure technicalities. But when the Supreme Court finally looks past the technicalities and boils things down to what they actually are, but we happen to be on the side that wanted to take advantage of those technicalities, suddenly we want the court to follow the obtuse legal language, ignore what we’re actually trying to do, and let us skirt through the loophole?

I personally felt that, while Aereo was clearly trying to take advantage of a loophole in the law, it was the place of Congress, not the Supreme Court, to close it, and it sounds like the commenters on (the very liberal) Daily Kos agree with me. But I don’t think we’re giving the position the majority accepted enough credit. Leaving aside the technicalities of how it all works, what Aereo was selling was the ability to watch broadcast television stations, regardless of whether you had the ability to view them at your current location if you had an antenna, indeed without you needing to worry about having an antenna or where it was located. You, the viewer, don’t see where Aereo’s antenna is and don’t even necessarily know anything about where Aereo is getting the signals from. All you know is that you are giving Aereo money and they are supplying you with a bunch of television channels you may or may not be able to receive otherwise. Boiled down to those facts, there really is very little difference between Aereo and basic cable service (and some of the things Aereo had said about potentially carrying cable channels didn’t really help their case).

What this shows is that our communications and copyright laws are woefully outdated and rooted in assumptions that don’t hold water, that failed to anticipate technological developments that rendered the technological distinctions encoded in the law obsolete. The entire Aereo affair had a company resorting to technological contortions to provide a fairly basic service there was a clear demand for and broadcasters being undermined by the very nature of, and wanting to be rid of, their own nominal method of delivery, their own neglect of which helped create the demand for Aereo in the first place (and while they’ve won this battle, they may ultimately lose the war). The court said that if Aereo wanted relief they should go to Congress when they should have said that to the broadcasters, not only because that would have been the right approach but because the broadcasters would likely have been more able to get that relief. But putting the onus on Aereo does give Congress incentive to clear up a regulatory framework that assumes the primacy of the obsolete technology of cable television and undermines the potential of broadcasting, while creating perverse and unintentional disincentives for maximizing the distribution of content.

2013 College Football Ratings Wrap-Up

Obviously I’m several months late with this, but here are the ratings and viewership for all 347 FBS football games on a Nielsen-rated national network for the 2013 season (note that CBS Sports Network is not rated by Nielsen). Sports Media Watch has a list ordered by week; this list is ordered by number of viewers, with the number in gray interpolated. Bowl games are separated out into a separate list. All times Eastern.

Ratings and viewership for broadcast networks from SportsBusiness Daily and Sports Media Watch, for cable networks from Son of the Bronx. 18-49 ratings, when available, from TVbytheNumbers and The Futon Critic.

Read more2013 College Football Ratings Wrap-Up

Demystifying Sports Ratings

It occurs to me that there’s a massive amount of ignorance about how TV ratings actually work among those that pay attention to sports ratings, even among those that should know the most about them. I’ve put up a FAQ that I hope will aid people in reading my ratings posts, as I hope to spew out a whole bunch of them next week, but I want to clear up a few misconceptions here in hopes of elevating the discourse over sports ratings.

The level of ignorance is so bad that this sort of nonsense can spread almost unchecked across social media:

But Paulsen is himself part of the problem here: he regularly posts the overnight ratings from sports events when they come out and compares them to overnight ratings from past years, even though they’re next to useless and most people actually within the industry don’t even pay attention to them anymore. I seem to recall reading that he actually knows better, but still posts overnight ratings because networks – capitalizing on the general ignorance of how ratings actually work – will tout them regularly. But I don’t think that applies to SportsBusiness Daily, which posts overnight ratings for sports events on broadcast every Monday, as though anyone beyond its more ignorant clientele cares.

People who talk about general sports ratings often show a disappointing level of ignorance, but on this front they’re leaps and bounds ahead of the sports world. Overnight ratings, which only reflect viewership within the 56 “metered markets”, are ignored so much that TV Media Insights is pretty much the only general ratings site that regularly reports them, at least on broadcast. Most everyone else is willing to wait the few hours it takes for the fast national ratings to show up around 8 AM ET (which some sites confusingly label “overnight” ratings). Moreover, the fast national ratings aren’t always as accurate as some people would have you believe by referring to “final” ratings “according to Nielsen fast nationals”; there are almost always at least some adjustments from the fast nationals to the final ratings for broadcast primetime shows, and for sports and other live events on broadcast in primetime in particular the fast nationals are next to useless because they incorporate what would be on a given station on the West Coast at the scheduled time, so a sports event at 8 PM ET, which is 5 PM PT, would incorporate whatever aired on a West Coast station at 8 PM PT into the fast nationals.

Part of the reason no one pays any attention to overnight ratings is that the total viewership and household rating numbers that tend to be the most widely available, the latter of which is all that overnight ratings supply, are themselves pretty much useless for the purposes that actually matter – a beauty pageant, something to tout in a press release, and little more. Nielsen exists to provide a benchmark for networks to sell ad space, and networks in this day and age are in the business of selling demographics, not general viewers – especially the 18-49 demographic everyone knows is valuable but don’t generally grasp how valuable. TVbytheNumbers has been able, for a few years now, to predict the fate of (openly) scripted shows on broadcast television based solely on the 18-49 rating, without any reference to total viewership or household rating, and perhaps as a result it and The Futon Critic report only total viewers and 18-49 rating in their daily ratings posts, not household rating. Of course, different networks target different demographics based on what audiences they’re targeting, but what matters to the broadcast networks is particularly relevant here because broadcast networks at least nominally don’t target any audience in particular (and sports has to compete for space on the broadcast networks with pretty much any other kind of programming), so the hegemony of the 18-49 demographic is determined by the free market alone, and the boom in sports rights fees is precisely (in part) the result of sports’ ability to attract the 18-49 demographic like little else, the hegemony of which – as I explained in my Nexus of Television and Sports in Transition series – is in this day and age the result of the fact that 18-49-year-olds simply watch less television than anyone else. So when Paulsen says this…

…he’s implying the 6.8 isn’t the “real” ratings number for the NBA Finals, when – from the perspective of the actual decision-makers – it might be more “real” than the household rating he’s referring to. As if to underscore the point about the rarity of the 18-49 demographic, that household rating was a 10.3, meaning the 18-49 rating was maybe two-thirds of the household rating – and the NBA is known as a league that disproportionately attracts 18-49-year-olds compared to other properties. But the only sources that regularly report 18-49 ratings are the general ratings sites I referred to earlier, The Futon Critic and TVbytheNumbers. Anything else comes from network press releases. To my knowledge, no site that regularly talks specifically about sports ratings pays any attention to 18-49 ratings.

This also helps explain why people so often tend to overstate the importance of the broadcast/cable distinction, as though it were still the 90s. Yes, any given sports event will have a substantial drop-off when it moves from broadcast to cable, but teams, leagues, and networks have proven time and again since 2008 that this matters little to them, that the dropoff isn’t substantial enough to overcome the ability to collect subscription fees from cable customers. A naïve reading of the ratings for the Stanley Cup Final would look at the total viewer and household numbers – 4.777/3.0, 6.413/3.7, 2.893/1.7, 3.383/2.0, 6.021/3.7 – and conclude that the two games on NBCSN are suffering horribly and should move to broadcast, and the fact that they aren’t on broadcast like all the other big events (except the BCS, college football playoff, Final Four, Monday Night Football, most of the World Cup including quite possibly all the American matches…) reflects poorly on the NHL. But when you look at the 18-49 ratings – 1.90, 2.10, 1.16, 1.32, 2.31 – the dropoff, while still there, isn’t quite as severe, especially if you take Game 1 (which was neither a potential series-ender nor had a Triple Crown attempt in the Belmont Stakes as a lead-in) as the broadcast baseline, and it becomes easier to see why NBC and the NHL would take lower ratings for two games in exchange for keeping people tied to their cable subscription, and keeping NBCSN in demand for cable operators. For a variety of reasons, some obvious some not, the people that advertisers actually want to reach tend disproportionately to be cable subscribers; cord-cutting hasn’t yet caught on enough to change that calculus, and sports fans are disproportionately unlikely to cut the cord precisely because so many sports events are on cable now.

I’m going to try to come up with a formula to try and calculate what rating a sports event on cable would get if it aired on broadcast, but for a number of reasons comparing the popularity of sports events between broadcast and cable directly, or even from one cable network to the other, is in large measure a fool’s errand, and comparisons are best made within one network. (Even on broadcast, observe the trouble Fox has had getting people to watch nominally-marquee college football games.) Just moving from ESPN to ESPN2 results in a pretty substantial dropoff for all but the most can’t-miss sporting events, and NBCSN and Fox Sports 1 are lagging behind both ESPNs substantially despite not really being that far behind in distribution. I’ve observed a trend where, once someone starts watching something, they don’t always turn the set off until a good long while after the event is over; a really popular event like an NFL game can have ripple effects on a network’s ratings for hours afterward. Even middle-of-the-night re-airs on ESPN can beat just about anything on ESPN2 or any other network; NASCAR, college football, and the World Cup are the only things on ESPN2 that can regularly stand up to anything the powers that be decide to put on ESPN. (This becomes really obvious during college basketball season, when there’s no logical reason why games on ESPN should be so consistently far ahead of games on ESPN2, even when they’re both power-conference games with little discernible difference between them.)

TV ratings have become an increasingly watched scoreboard as the financial stakes in the sports TV business continue to ratchet up, but people seem to be unclear on how to read them or what their limitations are. I hope to increase my coverage of sports ratings at least back to the level they were at in mid-to-late 2013 in upcoming weeks (sans the Studio Show Scorecard), and I hope you’re able to recognize what the ratings actually say – and what they don’t – going in.

2013 Soccer Ratings Wrap-Up

As the World Cup starts to rev into gear, here are the top 10 most-viewed soccer matches of 2013 in both English and Spanish as well as regardless of language.

The World Cup qualifying matches between the United States and Mexico were two of the three most-watched soccer matches in 2013 across languages, bracketing the FIFA Confederations Cup final between Brazil and Spain, which was the most popular match not to involve either the American or Mexican national teams for both languages. The match at Stadio Azteca was the second-most popular match in each individual language and the most popular overall; the Confederations Cup final was fourth-most popular in English and fifth in Spanish. The CONCACAF Gold Cup final between the USA and Panama likely edged out the Costa Rica-Mexico qualifying match as the most popular match to involve only one of the two national teams, with the caveat that the Costa Rica-Mexico numbers include only viewership on Telemundo; both matches were the most popular in their respective languages, though it is not conclusive whether the Gold Cup final beat Mexico-USA in English. The Liga MX final between Club America and Cruz Azul was the most popular club match (and the third-most popular match in Spanish overall), while the UEFA Champions League final was the most popular club match in English.

Numbers for matches on broadcast from Sports Business Daily. Numbers for FIFA Confederations Cup matches, or any other match where household ratings are not available, on Univision and UniMas from Univision press releases. 18-49 numbers for Telemundo broadcasts from Telemundo press releases. Numbers for matches on ESPN networks from Son of the Bronx. 18-49 numbers for English-language broadcasts, when available, from TVbytheNumbers or The Futon Critic. Numbers for matches on Fox Soccer are not available.

Top 25 Most-Viewed Soccer Matches of 2013 Regardless of Language

  Vwr (mil) HH 18-49 Time Net
1 FIFA World Cup Qualifying:
Mexico v. United States



3/26 10:30 PM

2 FIFA Confederations Cup Final:
Brazil v. Spain



6/30 6:00 PM

3 FIFA World Cup Qualifying:
United States v. Mexico




9/10 8:00 PM

4 CONCACAF Gold Cup Final:
United States v. Panama


7/28 3:30 PM

5 FIFA World Cup Qualifying:
Costa Rica v. Mexico



10/15 9:15 PM

6 Liga MX Final:
Club America v. Cruz Azul



5/26 8:50 PM

7 FIFA World Cup Qualifying:
Mexico v. Panama



10/11 9:00 PM

8 FIFA World Cup Qualifying:
Mexico v. New Zealand




11/13 3:15 PM

9 FIFA Confederations Cup:
Mexico v. Italy


6/16 2:45 PM

10 FIFA World Cup Qualifying:
Mexico v. Honduras



9/6 9:15 PM

11 FIFA World Cup Qualifying:
New Zealand v. Mexico




11/20 1:00 AM

12 FIFA World Cup Qualifying:
Mexico v. Jamaica



2/6 9:15 PM

13 Liga MX Apertura Final:
Leon v. Club America, Leg 2




12/15 6:50 PM

14 CONCACAF Gold Cup Semifinal:
Panama v. Mexico



7/24 9:36 PM

15 FIFA World Cup Qualifying:
Mexico v. Costa Rica




6/11 7:54 PM

16 FIFA Confederations Cup:
Brazil v. Mexico


6/19 3:00 PM

17 FIFA Confederations Cup:
Japan v. Mexico


6/22 3:00 PM

18 FIFA World Cup Qualifying:
Jamaica v. Mexico




6/4 9:15 PM

19 Liga MX Apertura Final:
Leon v. Club America, Leg 1





20 FIFA World Cup Qualifying:
United States v. Panama




6/11 10:00 PM

21 CONCACAF Gold Cup Quarterfinal:
Mexico v. Trinidad and Tobago



7/20 6:11 PM

22 FIFA Confederations Cup Third Place:
Uruguay v. Italy


6/30 12:00 PM

23 Liga MX: CD Guadalajara v. Club America



3/31 9:55 PM

24 FIFA World Cup Qualifying:
Panama v. Mexico




6/9 9:45 PM

25 FIFA World Cup Qualifying:
United States v. Honduras



6/18 8:30 PM


Read more2013 Soccer Ratings Wrap-Up

CBS Releases Announcer Pairings for the 2014 NFL Season

The retirements of Dan Dierdorf and Marv Albert from NFL coverage, and the move of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms to covering Thursday Night Football, have forced a shakeup of the announcer teams for CBS’ NFL coverage for the coming season.

Nantz and Simms and the team of Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts are the only teams that remain intact from last year. As previously reported, Eagle and Fouts will move to the #2 broadcast team and will call CBS’ top game on weeks when Nantz and Simms do not.

Greg Gumbel will drop to the #3 team and work with Trent Green, who directly replaces Dierdorf, while the remaining teams will consist of Kevin Harlan and Rich Gannon, Spero Dedes and Solomon Wilcots, and a three-man booth of Andrew Catalon, Steve Beuerlein, and Steve Tasker. Previously, Gannon worked with Albert, Harlan worked with Wilcots, Tasker worked with Bill Macatee, and Dedes worked with Beuerlein. Late in the season when an eighth team became necessary, Catalon worked some games with Adam Archuleta.

A seventh team has not been defined, but Brian Anderson and Tom McCarthy will work play-by-play during the season, alongside analysts Archuleta and Chris Simms, Phil’s son. Anderson is another in a line of Turner Sports talent to cross over and work for CBS since the alliance between the two entities for the NCAA Tournament; Albert also started working NFL games after the alliance started, and Harlan has long juggled NBA coverage for Turner with NFL duties for CBS. McCarthy is the Philadelphia Phillies’ play-by-play announcer and has called NFL games for Westwood One.

It is not clear why Macatee is no longer calling NFL games for CBS, but he does have numerous other duties for the network.

CBS will also bring sideline reporters back to its broadcasts full-time. Tracy Wolfson will move from SEC duties, where she will be replaced by Allie Laforce, to working NFL games alongside Nantz and Simms, and Jenny Dell and Evan Washburn will also work the sidelines for CBS.

Report: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts to be Promoted to #2 Broadcast Team for NFL on CBS

“The Bird and the Beard” are moving up in the world. Sports Illustrated‘s Richard Deitsch reports that CBS will name Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts its #2 broadcast team for the upcoming NFL season.

Eagle and Fouts had received widespread acclaim over the past few seasons as CBS’ #3 team from both the media and fans. CBS’ previous #2 team consisted of Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf; Dierdorf retired from broadcasting after this past season. Deitsch reports that Gumbel and Trent Green are expected to be the new #3 team. The full NFL on CBS announcing lineup will be released later this week.

The #2 broadcast team is a big step up from the #3 team; when their network has the doubleheader, they will usually call the most prominent of the early games, leaving the big late game for the top team, and Eagle and Fouts will now call a divisional-round game for CBS in years when CBS has two divisional games. (Starting this season, NBC will have one divisional game, with CBS and Fox alternating between one and two games.) The #2 spot is even more plum at CBS this year, as Eagle and Fouts will now call the top game of the singleheader, as the top team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms focus on their new Thursday Night Football duties.

Report: WGN America to Drop Chicago Sports

For at least two decades now, and certainly for the past decade-plus, Tribune Broadcasting has been an anachronism: the last relic of an age of truly local, independent broadcasters, from a time when broadcasting was so dominant that broadcast stations’ fear of cable had to do with the prospect of importing other stations from outlying markets, a time when independent broadcasting was so strong that Tribune, the owner of the dominant independent stations in its markets, didn’t affiliate them with the fledgling Fox network, leaving Fox to leave Tribune’s VHF stations behind in favor of UHF stations in markets like Chicago and Denver in a time when that still mattered. Even as its stations have affiliated with the WB and later the CW, Tribune has steadfastly avoided being identified with those networks and, especially with the CW (which, unlike the WB, it doesn’t hold an ownership stake in), has downplayed its affiliation as much as possible. In the very biggest markets, the biggest general-entertainment stations outside the Big Four networks tend to be owned by CBS, Fox… or Tribune, the one company of the group not to be a massive conglomerate, even as it has increasingly become a more standard owner of affiliates of the Big Four networks in smaller markets, especially ABC and Fox.

A big reason Tribune has managed to maintain this strange, hybrid status has been its flagship station in Chicago, WGN, and its own status as the last relic of the early days of cable, when imported “superstations” were the main distinguishing feature from standard broadcast. While Ted Turner was exporting WTBS throughout the South, Tribune was doing the same with WGN throughout the Midwest, showcasing Cubs games in much the same way TBS did Braves games. Broadcast stations were able to get “syndication exclusivity” rules passed that required any syndicated programming on imported broadcast stations that also aired on a local station to be wiped from the feed, requiring the likes of TBS and WGN to set up separate feeds to export to outlying markets, but because such rules didn’t apply to cable networks that didn’t originate as local stations it left the superstations at a substantial competitive disadvantage and helped hasten their demise.

In the case of WGN, the advent of the WB further sealed its fate; WGN was able to carry the WB on its national feed in its early years, helping that network gain traction throughout the country in areas that didn’t have a WB affiliate, but as that problem slowly waned WGN eventually dropped the WB from its national feed, meaning the national feed increasingly became very different from the local Chicago one – which ironically may have helped it keep going longer. Tribune’s relatively smaller status also may have helped; TBS divorced its national feed from its local Atlanta station once and for all once it won a national baseball contract. Eventually, the WGN national feed was renamed “WGN America” with a different logo, and the only things it had in common with the Chicago feed were the 9 PM CT news and local Chicago sports.

Now, however, Tribune has signaled its intention to turn WGN America into a more traditional cable network and is wiping the last vestiges of WGN America’s superstation status from its lineup. WGN America dropped local Chicago news earlier this year, and now Tribune CEO Peter Ligouri has told Crain’s Chicago Business that WGN America intends to drop Cubs games and other Chicago sports at the end of 2014. (The article is behind a paywall, but if you want to read a possibly-illegally-copy-pasted version that reads like it was sent through a machine translator and back again, click here.)

The continued presence of Cubs games on WGN America was yet another vestige of a bygone age. In the early days of cable, there was no MLB Extra Innings, no more than one game a week on TV nationally, and MLB had a lot fewer teams than it does now. The Braves and Cubs were able to build large regional fanbases through the exporting of WTBS and WGN. With games with national interest on TV every day of the week on ESPN, FS1, and MLB Network, Cubs games on WGN America are less special, and the continued presence on broadcast those games require means missing out on the dual revenue stream from a regional sports network.

Despite all that, this is a bit of a head-scratcher to me. Tribune seems to be trying to catch the general cable network market on a downswing, right as it reaches a tipping point and starts to decline as online services like Netflix step on its turf. The value of linear television going forward is sports, so WGN America seems to be going in the exact wrong direction; I’d be very surprised if Cubs games, even with the team sucking in recent years, would be less popular than whatever original programming WGN America tried to put on its air (how much money it makes for WGN given production costs is another matter). This is especially the case since, owing to the SyndEx rules, WGNA has rather limited distribution compared to other networks of similar vintage, and may have to renegotiate its contracts from scratch if it divorces itself from WGN in Chicago completely. I would mention that the national carriage WGNA gives the Cubs is the one big value WGN would bring to an impending renegotiation of its contract, except that this move may itself be an admission that WGN is likely to lose the contract.

Tribune is in the process of spinning off its newspapers into a separate company, leaving its broadcast stations and WGN America as the heart of the company, along with digital investments. But those stations are themselves prone to potentially suffer the same fate the newspaper industry did as the Internet stepped onto its turf, and without affiliation with a Big Four network or (with the only exceptions being WGN and WPIX in New York) a sports presence, Tribune’s legacy stations seem particularly exposed. Tribune has been run by private equity firms since its emergence from bankruptcy in 2012, and besides turning WGN America into a conventional cable network, those firms have shown every sign of running Tribune as a traditional owner of broadcast affiliates (purchasing the Local TV group, another group of stations run by private equity firms, last year), yet no company is in better position to affect the future course of the broadcast industry. I hope the people in charge of Tribune have, or at least can acquire, a mindset of the television industry of the future, not the past.