Cavs Opening Day 2014

The Cleveland Cavaliers began their season Thursday, Oct. 30th at The Q. FOX Sports Ohio, SportsTime Ohio, and covered the Cleveland celebration all day long. The game was exclusively on TNT and the Cavs lost to the Knicks 95-90

 Drennan Live on SportsTime Ohio – 3:30pm-7:00pm
  • From 3:30pm to 7:00pm on SportsTime Ohio, Drennan Live, the ever popular sports talk show hosted by Bruce Drennan, broadcasted live from outside Quicken Loans Arena. The set was located at The Q’s ceremonial northwest entrance on the corner of Ontario and Huron.
  • Guests included FOX Sports Ohio Cavs broadcasters Fred McLeod, Campy Russell, Jeff Phelps, and Allie Clifton, Cavs radio play by play voice John Michael, beat writer Sam Amico, writer Joe Gabriele, and additional members from the Cavs, media and more.
Cavaliers Live on FOX Sports Ohio
Pregame show 7:00pm – 8:00pm
  • A special hour-long Cavaliers Live pregame show began at 7:00pm. Austin Carr, Campy Russell and Jeff Phelps hosted from the set outside The Q and Fred McLeod and Allie Clifton reported from inside the arena. In addition to commentary and in-depth pregame coverage, the show, presented by Toyota, included a feature with Coach Blatt, “At Home with Anderson Varejao”, and sit downs with Dan Gilbert and LeBron James.  
Postgame show immediately following the game
  • Following the final buzzer, Cavaliers Live postgame show, presented by Conrad’s Tire Express and Total Car Care Centers, showcased highlights, interviews and analysis live from the outside set.
FOX Sports Ohio Girls Bridget and Kristine as well as FOX Sports robot Cleatus were also part of the celebration.
  • Bridget and Kristine were at Harry Buffalo on East 4th St. downtown 6:00pm to 7:30pm to play games and win cool prizes.
  • Cleatus, the giant FOX Sports Robot, was outside The Q next to the FOX Sports set from 5:00pm to 7:30pm and fans lined up to take pictures with him. & social media

Cleveland Cavaliers' local TV home is also a hot ticket

Cleveland Cavaliers' local TV home is also a hot ticket in Crain's Cleveland noted that FOX Sports Ohio is heading into 2014-15 season having already sold all but 5% of its ad inventory. Here's the article:

Cleveland Cavaliers' local TV home is also a hot ticket

Fox Sports Ohio is heading into 2014-15 season having already sold all but 5% of its ad inventory

LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers drew a sellout crowd, along with a huge local TV rating, for an Oct. 20 game in Columbus.
Fox Sports Ohio isn't joining the Cleveland Cavaliers in revamping its roster, but the NBA team's local TV home since 1989 is rapidly running out of advertising inventory.

Fox Sports Ohio is on pace to sell 95% of its ad inventory by the start of its first regular-season broadcast — the Cavs' second game of the season, Friday, Oct. 31, at the Chicago Bulls.

Francois McGillicuddy, the general manager and senior vice president of the Broadview Heights-based arm of Fox's vast regional sports umbrella, told Crain's the network is “way ahead” of its pace from previous seasons.

“The demand for Cavs inventory started earlier than we've seen in the past,” McGillicuddy said. “There is a strong interest from a variety of categories — the auto industry, fast food, retail — and it's a great combination of local and national (companies). We've never been at this sellout level this early.”

The sellout theme is a common one for any product associated with the Cavs, who reached their self-imposed cap of a little more than 12,000 season tickets fewer than eight hours after LeBron James announced his return on July 11.

The Cavs, Las Vegas' prohibitive choice to win the franchise's first championship, open the season Thursday, Oct. 30, against the New York Knicks in a game that will be exclusively broadcast by TNT.

The next night, Fox Sports Ohio gets into the act. By then, almost every ad, including those associated with pregame and postgame shows, and ancillary broadcasts such as “Cavaliers in the Paint,” will have been sold.

McGillicuddy said because James' comeback is “a story that transcends sports,” the anticipation for the season has carried over to companies that want to be associated with Cavs programming.

“That's part of what's driving this,” he said. “It appeals to businesses of all kinds. Everyone can understand the pull of coming home.”

Ratings juggernaut

The Cavaliers' three preseason games at Quicken Loans Arena all drew more than 19,000 fans, as did their sellout contest against the Chicago Bulls in Columbus on Oct. 20. Those numbers are 3,000 to 4,000 ahead of the team's attendance norms for the last three regular seasons.

The enthusiasm was every bit as evident on local TV.

The first six Cavaliers preseason broadcasts on Fox Sports Ohio and SportsTime Ohio averaged a 3.33 rating, which is 84% ahead of the norm for the 2013 preseason. The figure doesn't include a 2.0 rating for the broadcast of the Cavs' preseason finale on Wednesday, Oct. 22, but even that game — with James resting up for the regular season and ESPN pulling more than 40% of the viewers away from Fox Sports Ohio with its broadcast of the contest — had a larger audience on Fox Sports Ohio than a typical preseason event.

Two Cavs preseason broadcasts generated ratings of 4.1 or higher on Fox Sports Ohio and SportsTime Ohio. Last season, when the Cavs were 33-49 and again wound up as prominent players in the NBA lottery, their broadcasts on Fox Sports Ohio ranked seventh in the league with an average rating of 2.79.

McGillicuddy said the robust preaseason ratings “bode very well” for the type of audience the network will attract for its regular-season broadcasts.

Using James' first tenure with the organization as a barometer, the Cavs' local TV ratings could at least triple this season.

In 2008-09 and 2009-10, the two seasons preceding James' free-agent exit, the Cavs' local TV ratings were the best in the league, and it wasn't close. The 2008-09 campaign produced a record 8.79 ratings norm — 40% ahead of the average for the San Antonio Spurs, whose ratings were the NBA's second-best. The following season, the Cavs' local TV broadcasts topped No. 2 San Antonio by 27%.

McGillicuddy said it wouldn't surprise him if the Cavs' ratings this season “end up back there again.”

The skyrocketing viewership — James' final five seasons in Cleveland produced ratings that were between 45% and 215% ahead of Fox Sports Ohio's norm for the 2013-14 season — comes with an increased cost for anyone who wants to do business with the team and its local TV affiliate.

Eric Wright, president and executive director of research for Joyce Julius & Associates, an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based company that measures the impact of corporate sponsorships, said he assumes Fox Sports Ohio raised its advertising rates, “so things are going pretty well.”

McGillicuddy wouldn't comment on the network's rates, but said “with increased demand comes increased pricing.”

'Everyone is willing to pay'

When Forbes analyzed the NBA's largest local TV deals in January, the magazine reported that the Cavs had the league's seventh-richest contract, with Fox Sports Ohio paying the team a reported $27 million per year. The 10-year contract, which started with the season in which James led the Cavs to their first NBA Finals (2006-07), runs through the 2015-16 campaign.

Assuming James, as he has repeatedly stated, is here for the long haul, the Cavs would seem to be able to command much more in their next TV negotiations. But Joyce Julius' Wright said “there is a cap” to the amount of money teams can receive in local TV deals — a rule that doesn't seem to apply to the national TV contracts that have soared into the billions.

Earlier this month, the NBA agreed to a nine-year extension with ESPN and Turner Sports that will begin in 2016-17 and raise the average annual value of the combined contract from $930 million to $2.66 billion. According to Forbes, the NBA's 30 teams collected a combined $628 million from regional sports networks in 2012-13, accounting for only 33% of the league's $1.9 billion in media revenue.

The national TV revenue soon will be almost three times as great as the current contract, but that doesn't necessarily mean the local deals will follow in the same manner.

“Each market is unique as to what the local brands can pay,” Wright said. “Cleveland is not New York and not some other markets that might be able to pay a larger number like that.”

Forbes' research showed the Los Angeles Lakers, whose 20-year deal with Time Warner Cable is worth a reported $200 million per year, are the only NBA team with a local TV contract that exceeds $45 million annually. Two spots ahead of the Cavs at No. 5 on Forbes' list of the richest local contracts are the Detroit Pistons, who have a 10-year contract with Fox Sports Detroit that reportedly is worth $350 million.

Does that mean the Cavs will be able to fetch at least $10 million more per season in their next contract with Fox Sports Ohio or another provider?

McGillicuddy wouldn't comment on the network's contract with the Cavs, and the team would only say that it has a “multiyear partnership in place” and Fox Sports Ohio “has been and continues to be a great broadcast partner.”

Wright said he doesn't have enough data to venture a guess on what the Cavs' next TV contract could bring. What is certain, he said, is that the Cavs and Fox Sports Ohio are operating from a position of power.

“If it's the hot item, everyone in the sponsorship game wants to be there, and everyone is willing to pay,” Wright said. “They feel like they're going to get a bang for their buck that way.”

Cavs preseason ratings successes

The seven Cavs preseason games on FOX Sports Ohio/SportsTime Ohio averaged a 3.1 HH, the best preceding a season that was not shortened and where more than one preseason game was televised.
  • The first Cavs preseason game set a record for FOX Sports Ohio with the highest rated preseason game. The exhibition against Maccabi Tel Aviv (also the former team for Cavs Coach David Blatt) delivered a 3.5 HH in Cleveland (approx. 52,000 households). The game also garnered ratings in Columbus and Cincinnati with a 0.97 (9,000 HH) and a 0.42 (3,800 HH) respectively.
  • Their 106-100 win over the Bucks on 10/14 on SportsTime Ohio garnered a 3.27 HH in Cleveland and a 1.83 HH in Columbus. 
  • Their 98-93 win vs. the Pacers on 10/15 on FOX Sports Ohio earned a 2.87 HH in Cleveland and 1.94 in Columbus [photo gallery from game]. Wednesday’s game was at Xavier University’s Cintas Center in Cincinnati and the FOX Sports Ohio Girls were on site to interact with fans. 
  • The Cavs-Mavs preseason game on 10/17 garnered a 4.1 HH rating in Cleveland on SportsTime Ohio, the highest rated preseason game to date on STO, and a 1.2 in Columbus (the same time as the Blue Jackets game on FSO). The second highest rated Cavs preseason game on STO in CLE is the 3.27 HH from 10/14.
  • The Cavs beat the Bulls 107-98 10/20 at Ohio State University’s Schottenstein Center and the game on FOX Sports Ohio got a 4.3 HH rating in Cleveland (tied the highest Cavs preseason rating on FSO from 12/20/2011 game vs. Pistons) and a 1.9 HH in Columbus. FOX Sports Ohio Girls Bridget and Kristine were at the game to highlight the fan experience via social media, including Burst videos of Cavs intro and OSU marching band.
  • The Cavs-Grizzlies game Wed. 10/22 garnered a 2.0 HH rating on FOX Sports Ohio, beating ESPN +29% in the side by side.

Blue Jackets Home Opener 2014

The Columbus Blue Jackets are 2-0 after defeating the New York Rangers 5-2 in a physical game on Saturday in their 2014 home opener. 

The game garnered a 0.94 HH rating in Columbus. 

The FOX Sports Ohio Girls were at R-Bar for Blue Jackets Fan Cam before the game and Blue Jackets Live pre and postgame show was anchored outside Nationwide Arena. 

Check out Burst videos and photos from the day, including pregame player interviews, red carpet photos, shots of the set and more.

Cavs in Brazil and Bearcats in Miami

Coming up on SportsTime Ohio & FOX Sports Ohio:

The Cavs play their second preseason game vs. the Miami Heat at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil tomorrow at 5pm. The game will be on SportsTime Ohio. Check out the many pictures and Burst videos of the trip to Brazil and Sam Amico’s report on how LeBron feels about the upcoming matchup.

FOX Sports Ohio will be airing the University of Cincinnati Bearcats vs. University of Miami Hurricanes football game tomorrow at noon. 

To date, the teams have met 11 times in a series that started in 1947, with the Hurricanes holding a 10-1 advantage. The two squads played every year from 1982-89 with Miami ranked in the Top-10 for six of the eight matchups. The most recent meeting was in Cincinnati in 1998. 

UC Head Coach Tommy Tuberville was on the Miami staff from 1986-93 first as the defensive line and linebackers coach and later as defensive coordinator (1993). While serving on the staffs of Jimmy Johnson and Dennis Erickson, Tuberville helped coach Miami to three national titles, an 87-9 record and eight-straight New Year’s Day bowl appearances.

Jackets season opener rating up

The Columbus Blue Jackets opened their season last night with a 3-1 WIN @ Buffalo Sabres, and the game garnered a 1.38 HH rating in Columbus, a 25% increase from last season’s opener and up +86% compared to their 2013 average. 

We featured CBJ content on and social media all day leading up to the game, including Burst videos from Dave Maetzold and Jody Shelley in Buffalo and video of Ryan Johansen talking with media

Check out Rick Gethin’s three takeaways from the game and Zac Jackson’s postgame article.

Tomorrow in their home opener, the Jackets play host to the NY Rangers at Nationwide Arena at 7pm. FOX Sports Ohio will have a special hour-long Blue Jackets Live pregame show starting at 6pm. The FOX Sports Ohio Girls will be at R-Bar 6-7pm for the first Blue Jackets Fan Cam of the season.

CBJ Rink-side chats are back!

The Blue Jackets rink-side chats are back Wednesday nights at 8:00pm on

Blue Jackets fans can chat online live with our on-air rink-side reporter Dave Maetzold, CBJ writers Rick Gethin and Alison Lukan, and Jackets digital coordinator Rob Mixer. 


While the Columbus Blue Jackets are back in action, FOX Sports Ohio is excited for the return of Blue Jackets Fan Cams.

Throughout the Jackets season, FOX Sports Ohio will host pregame events at various bar/restaurants downtown Columbus. Jackets fans will have the chance to be recorded answering hockey questions. Their appearance will later be aired during Blue Jackets Live post-game shows throughout the week! Prizes will also be given away at every event.

The first Blue Jackets Fan Cam of the season will take place this Saturday, October 11th at R-Bar from 6pm to 7pm before the Jackets – Rangers game.

See below for the complete Fan Cam schedule and check as well as FOX Sports Ohio’s Facebook and Twitter for updates:

Oct. 11
Nov. 4
Nov. 18
3 Legged Mare
Dec. 9
Jan. 14
Feb. 3
3 Legged Mare
Feb. 24
Mar. 24

It's the Final Countdown

This preseason, the Columbus Blue Jackets finished 7-1-0 to set a team record for most preseason wins. It's time for FOX Sports Ohio's final Countdown to Face-Off

The Blue Jackets begin their 2014 regular season this Thursday, October 9th in Buffalo to battle the Sabres.

For the past several weeks, the network has been gearing up for the CBJ regular season with:

-Seven Blue Jackets Classic Rewinds 2014 

-Blue Jackets Slap Shots Preview Show
  • Jody Shelley sits down with Scott Hartnell 
  • featured Brandon Dubinsky, Mark Letestu and Jack Johnson mic’d up during a practice 

-Countdown to Face-Off promotional spots, including: 
  • three player vignettes on Dubinsky, Hartnell & Horton
  • three memorable moment spots featuring the first franchise goal and OT wins in 2014 Playoffs Game 2 & 4

-Countdown to Face-Off Sweepstakes

  • We asked fans daily CBJ trivia questions for a chance to win a FOX Sports Ohio prize pack.
  • To date, over 100 fans entered the contest. 

-Approx. 72 training camp features and preseason coverage pieces posted on by Rick Gethin and Alison Lukan

- streamed live four CBJ home preseason games

-Daily posts on FOX Sports Ohio and FOX Sports Ohio Girls social media