Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, February 08, 2021

What can be extrapolated from the news that the CNN’s and MSNBC’s websites each generate twice as many pageviews as that of Fox News?

One: That the synergies attempted between the two mediums — especially with teasers on both referring readers/viewers to their corresponding partners — don’t appear to be working. At the least, it seems that media consumers prefer to stick with a single channel for getting their news.

Two: That portals are still critically important in snaring Web traffic. Fox should know this firsthand, as FoxSports.com vaulted into second place among sports-news portals after reaching a content deal with MSN Network. No surer way to get traffic than by making it a default click away.

Some good traffic and ad-rate data related to the online news race:

CNN.com charges between $9 and $30 for 1,000 page views of a display ad. (For comparison’s sake, a 30-second spot during Anderson Cooper 360 costs around $10,000, according to one television buyer. That means an advertiser would pay around $16 to reach 1,000 viewers.)

Assuming the cheapest rate, $9, and assuming a single ad per page, the site would make $12 million per month, at the very minimum.

In truth, CNN.com often has at least two display ads per page, and sometimes the whole thing is sponsored by a single company. On Feb. 6, for example, AT&T owned every ad on the home page.

Other intangibles muddy the algorithm: discounts given advertisers, graduated rates for targeting specific audiences (sports fans, for example) and click-through ads, which pay only when a viewer chooses to click on them.

Nevertheless, given the ad density and the prices, it’s safe to guess that display ads alone make tens of millions of dollars for CNN.com and MSNBC.com each month.

And that doesn’t include the priciest part of Web advertising: video ads. Last month, users watched 26,862,029 clips on CNN.com, according to the network. At prices between $35 and $45 per thousand views, the 10-second ad spots attached to each clip would have brought in an additional million dollars, at least, for the network.

Hmm. I think AdSense is ripping me off.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 02/08/2021 09:04 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Internet, TV
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I guess Al Michaels is more attached to John Madden than to weekday football. The longtime ABC sports announcer is set to join his broadcast partner at NBC for Sunday Night Football next season, while ESPN announced a new Joe Theismann-led trio for its adopted Monday Night game.

Of course, the Peacock Network also broadcasts NHL games for the next couple of years. Dare I hope that Michaels will work a few hockey games, along with the NFL gig? He should have plenty of time, since the departure from ABC means he’s also giving up NBA announcing. It should be an even workload swap for Mr. “Miracle On Ice”.

As for the Theismann-Tony Kornheiser-Mike Tirico lineup at ESPN: My heart goes out to Tirico, who’ll represent the only voice worth listening to in that booth. Just another stage in the overall decline of MNF.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 02/08/2021 07:41 PM
Category: Football, Hockey, TV
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you bet
The Rick Tocchet sports-betting scandal is gaining steam quite nicely, and some folks are jumping all over it as the hockey scandal of the century.

Without getting too deep into it, I don’t see it that way. I don’t condone Tocchet’s actions, any more than others defend Pete Rose’s gambling forays. If the Phoenix assistant coach turns out to be guilty, then he probably ought to be booted from the NHL coaching ranks. But I don’t see this having a particularly long-term impact on the league, neither internally nor with the public image (not even if Wayne Gretzky winds up being complicit — which wouldn’t surprise me, since his wife seems to be knee-deep in this).

I do like how Deadspin used a post headline — “Not Even Hockey Players Gamble on Hockey” — to poke fun at a key detail in this item. It brings to mind my favorite hockey joke, which I’ll re-present here now:

A guy goes out golfing all day Saturday. That evening, after his 18 holes, he calls up his bookie.

“Hey Bobby, how you doing, it’s me. Listen, how did I do on the baseball today?”

The bookie replies, “On baseball, you lost a thousand.”

“What?” the guy says. “A thousand? Oh no, that’s terrible! My God… Well, how did I do on the football then?”

Without missing a beat, Bobby the bookie answers, “On football, you lost a thousand.”

“Another thousand?!” the guy exclaims. “You mean I lost two thousand today? I don’t understand it, this is unbelievable… Tell me how I did on the basketball?”

Bobby deadpans: “On the basketball, you lost a thousand.”

“Three thousand dollars? You’re saying I lost three thousand dollars in bets, all in one day? I can’t believe this, this can’t be… what am I going to tell my wife? My God, this is just terrible!”

“So listen,” says Bobby. “You wanna put something on the hockey game tonight?”

“Hockey?” the guy replies. “What the fuck do I know about hockey?”

What, indeed.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 02/08/2021 06:34 PM
Category: Comedy, Hockey
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