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ESPN to Show Every Wimbledon Match Live

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ESPN is ramping up its Wimbledon coverage this year. The network has announced plans to show every single match live as it happens across multiple platforms. Matches will be seen on ESPN television as well as ESPN3 and ESPN+.

The coverage – first ball to last ball – includes more than 500 matches from the All England Club’s pristine grass courts, all available for fans between ESPN3 and the new ESPN+ on the ESPN app, with 140 hours of action on TV.  The action will climax with the Ladies’ Championship and the Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s Doubles Championships on ESPN on Saturday, July 14, and the Gentlemen’s Championship on Sunday, July 15, followed by the Mixed Doubles Championship.

Qualifying rounds are already underway and streaming exclusively on ESPN+.

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Study Estimates Nielsen Undercounting Out-Of-Home Viewership Cost Networks $350 Billion

“We now know that error is tracking towards 60 billion lost TV impressions and $700 million worth of TV ads that marketers couldn’t buy.”  

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In December, marketing research firm Nielsen admitted that it had been undercounting “out-of-home” audiences for national TV programming since monitoring that viewership in September 2020.

Nearly a month later, how much money Nielsen’s error cost TV networks in advertising revenue has been estimated by a different research firm. According to the Video Advertising Bureau (as reported by TheWrap), which represents the major TV networks for advertisers, $700 million worth of unsold ad time was lost because of Nielsen.

That number is based on 60 billion lost TV impressions, according to VAB’s research and a task force the firm hired to examine the out-of-home data Nielsen said it undercounted over a 16-month span.

During an eight-month period that from May to December 2021, VAB’s study determined that Nielsen didn’t count nearly 30 billion ad impressions. That resulted in more than $350 million in advertising that networks couldn’t sell.

You can view the VAB report here.

“The only thing worse than Nielsen’s admitted error of 65 consecutive weeks of undercounting TV viewing was their claim of ‘no impact to minimal impact’ from that blunder,“ said VAB president and CEO Sean Cunningham (via Broadcasting + Cable).

“We now know that error is tracking towards 60 billion lost TV impressions and $700 million worth of TV ads that marketers couldn’t buy because of Nielsen’s second admitted case of 2020-2021 pervasive undercounting.”  

Nielsen stood by its previous assessment that its error had little effect on TV networks’ revenue.

“We reviewed the information shared by the VAB today,” Nielsen said in a statement to TheWrap, “and while we acknowledge the understatement in a portion of our National out-of-home audiences, we stand by our prior statements that the magnitude of the issue was very small for the majority of telecasts.”

Those findings likely won’t appease TV network executives who were already unhappy with Nielsen for delaying its rollout of out-of-home viewership measure. Nielsen cited the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason for the delay, but it looks more apparent that Nielsen knew it wasn’t ready to count out-of-home numbers properly.

Last August, Discovery president and CEO David Zaslav publicly criticized Nielsen in an investor call.

“I don’t have a lot of hope for Nielsen,” Zaslav said, according to the New York Times. “I think somehow, as an industry, we’re just going to have to work our way out of it from a technology perspective and leave them in the dust.”

VAB’s study quantifying a $700 million loss in ad revenue is sure to increase such a sentiment.

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Joe Buck Talks About Possibility of Troy Aikman Leaving Fox for Amazon

“We talk about what he’s deciding between and everything else, but I only ask questions and talk about it to a point.”

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Joe Buck joined Jimmy Traina on this week’s Sports Illustrated Media Podcast and discussed his thoughts on the possibility of Troy Aikman leaving Fox for Amazon. Buck and Aikman have worked in the booth together for 20 years calling NFL games.

Buck claims that he is trying not to think about it but says he respects Aikman’s decision, no matter what.

“I try not to because it’s been 20 years and I can honestly say, the same hand to the same god, he and I have never had one moment where we have felt like… at least I haven’t, and we talk about it all the time, we’re lucky that we’re good friends,” said Buck.

“And in this business, with as much as there is on the line, at least in our own minds every time you go on, and this business can be kind of backstabby, everybody’s climbing over one another to make something happen for themselves, he and I just have never played that game. He’s legitimately one of my best friends and I think he would say the same about me.

“So I try not to think about it. And we talk about it, we talk about what’s out there. We talk about what he’s deciding between and everything else, but I only ask questions and talk about it to a point. Because that’s his life, that’s his career. He knows how I feel. I don’t want him going anywhere. And that’s understood. But at the end of the day, he’s gonna do what he wants to do.”

If you’re wondering who might replace Aikman alongside Buck, Buck is too.

“It’s funny. I haven’t said one word to Fox about all that,” said Buck. “And they have not talked to me about all that. Not at any point.”

“I think I would be in the conversation but I think they certainly are in no way, shape, or form obligated to listen to anything I have to say. They’re the boss, I’m the guy who sits in the booth.

“I’ve worked with multiple people in baseball, I’ve worked with multiple people in football. I started with Tim Green and I’ve been with Bill Maas and Brian Baldinger and different people along the way. I just… it’s been 20 years, and when you do these games, that are as intense as they are, I know where he’s going and he knows where I’m going, and I know what he wants to talk about and he knows when and what I want to talk about. That’s really hard to replicate.”

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‘The Tournament: A History of ACC Men’s Basketball’ Premieres Feb. 7 on ACC Network

Two episodes of the 10-part documentarry will air each Monday at 9 and 10 p.m. ET through March 7.

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ACC Network

ACC Network and ESPN Films are teaming up to produce a multi-part documentary on the history of the ACC Tournament.

The Tournament: A History of ACC Men’s Basketball Presented by New York Life will debut Monday, Feb. 7 at 9 p.m. ET following ACCN’s telecast of the Pitt-West Virginia game. Part 2 of the documentary will premiere directly afterward at 10 p.m. ET.

Two episodes of The Tournament will air each Monday at 9 and 10 p.m. ET through March 7. The 10-part documentary, spanning 1954 through 2020, will be the largest production of original programming for ACC Network since its launch in August 2019.

Here’s a look at the trailer for the docuseries:

For anyone wondering if the ACC Tournament warrants a multi-part documentary, consider the history and impact of the event. Beginning in 1954, the ACC was the first conference to determine its champion with a postseason tournament. And this was during an era when conferences received only one bid to the NCAA Tournament.

But the ACC Tournament also features the rich history of the conference with its many star players and iconic coaches. Michael Jordan, Ralph Sampson, David Thompson, Len Bias, and Tim Duncan are among the many to shine in the tourney. Of course, Dean Smith, MIke Krzyzewski, Roy Williams, and Jim Valvano headline the coaches who built their legends in those games. In addition, ACC play changed college basketball with innovations like the shot clock and three-point line.

The Tournament will also feature an ad campaign starring Grammy Award-winning rapper Rapsody leading viewers through ACC basketball history, the figures who made it, and the stories that will be told in each pair of episodes.

Filmmaker Jonathan Hock (who’s directed several 30 for 30 projects for ESPN Films among many documentary projects) and John Dahl (ESPN’s vice president and executive producer for original content, films, and special projects) are executive producers on the project. Emmy Award-winning director Larry Weitzman (NBA at 50, The Last Gladiators) helmed the longform series.

“After having the opportunity to work on the 30 for 30 Survive and Advance and later The Class That Saved Coach K, I was already a true believer in ACC basketball as the essence of the college game,” said Hock in the official ACCN announcement.

“But telling the story of the ACC Tournament from its very beginning was a journey of discovery for me and the whole production team, with every unopened film can revealing another treasure, and every interview bringing to life priceless stories. There’s no greater conference tournament in sports, and it’s all in here.”

“All we had to do was sit down with the wonderful characters who have created ACC lore, and the stories and the passion just poured out,” added Weitzman. “The challenge wasn’t finding enough fascinating material. The struggle was which amazing stories we would have to leave out.”

You can read a synopsis of each episode of The Tournament: A History of ACC Men’s Basketball at ESPN Press Room. The documentary premieres Feb. 7 at 9 p.m. ET.

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