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Thread: Is Intermat next?

  1. #10
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    Default Re: Is Intermat next?

    Gawd, I hope ESPN never buys Intermat. Instead of having a medium designed for wrestlers, we'd then have a medium driven by a corporation's bottom line. I wouldn't be surprised if they'd use such a vehicle to promote pro wrestling.

  2. #11

    Default Re: Is Intermat next?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dart Shark View Post
    I'm a sportswriter, thus, I'll never be rich.

    The affiliate thing is a way to ensure that ESPN.com covers wrestling and runs its rankings, just like they do with other sports that don't have AP polls and such.

    I may not be rich, but I definitely do something I love. WOO HOO!
    And, as a person who works for a Catholic school, I understand that completely. That is the most important thing.

  3. #12
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    Default Re: Is Intermat next?

    As Porter Wagoner sang: "I'm richer by fa-ar, with a satisfied mind".

  4. #13
    Herbert DEC Askren 5-4
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    Default Re: Is Intermat next?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dart Shark View Post
    There is no money involved with the InterMat/ESPN.com affiliate. The term affiliate is not based on an affiliate program, which could be similar to the MLM programs around the net for groups like Quikstar, etc.

    ESPN's wrestling feature writer is Mike Rand from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, one of the best storytellers in the business. Good guy and writes some good stuff, all on deadline. Not something I personally would have had the time do to.

    The agreement, in a sense, continues that wrestling gets billing on ESPN.com when we release rankings -- which are every Tuesday -- news services love to be able to count on consistency with release dates.

    ESPN has zero influence over content, other than maybe a press release directed our way for show times and broadcast schedules. There would be no "exercising" anything, since ESPN has zero pull with InterMat, but I have worked with ESPN in the past and have helped the NCAA with their ESPN broadcasts in digging up information, headshots and such for NCAA Championship broadcasts.

    Right now, they run the rankings, but I think ESPN's gotten more out of the affiliate agreement than we have in relation to goods and services. Consider it good will, or consider it just planting a seed for the future.

    Right now, it's more of an in-kind relationship. ESPN.com gets the traffic that no other sports site can compete with.
    Gotcha. I got a better feel for what the affiliate is.

    However, I'm still kind of unsure on the true nature of the relationship. Basically what I'm hearing is that the ESPN gets intermat's rankings....and thats it. What is Intermat's "give"? Is there one?

    Answer these questions.

    So what would happen if Intermat stopped giving ESPN their rankings? Any legal issues? Or would they just go somewhere else?

    What if ESPN came and said they needed to run an article on Intermat (i don't know why they would need that....but lets just say they did). Could you tell them to eff themselves?

    I only wonder because at NCAA's for instance....when ESPN wants to flex its muscle, Sandy and the rest of the wrestling world does WHATEVER ESPN says. I wasn't sure whats at the root of that. Was it a contract type thing (affiliate) or was it just that everyone cowers in the face of almighty ESPN....
    I wish I could kick Matt Dragon in the balls. In his Dragonballz.

  5. #14

    Default Re: Is Intermat next?

    I'm sure part of it is that the NCAA, and the wrestling world in general, is so happy that wrestling got the airtime that it did, that Sandy et al. would do whatever ESPN would say. ESPN always has the trump card of limiting coverage of the sport.

  6. #15
    Super Moderator Dart Shark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Intermat next?

    Have you filled out that 25-32 bubble yet?

    While I'm slightly biased in the thinking that InterMat's rankings are the best out there, it's a win-win in that respect. ESPN.com has the volume of traffic and can add exposure to even the smallest of wrestling guys out there.

    For example, remember the hubbub whenever a wrestler was on ESPN.com? It usually accompanied Mike Rand's article and the InterMat rankings. Now, with ESPN.com being one of the most widely-viewed web pages in the world, the chances of getting a non-wrestling fan to read that story would be better than getting a non-wrestling fan to come to InterMat, Rev, TheMat, TWM to read a story about wrestling.

    Then, along with it, the reference to any ranking has the name "InterMat" in it, thus, if for some ungodly reason, someone wants to look up rankings, it's the InterMat rankings that ESPN.com is going to find.

    The (dot)com side of ESPN and the broadcast side are different entities within the overall company.

    If ESPN(dotcom) wanted to run something, I'd be open to it, but it would have to be within the realm of reasonable content. If the word "wrestling" is mentioned anywhere in the story, chances are, I've already seen it, but if they wanted me to run a story on Title IX or something that ESPN has a blatant agenda to promote, it's within my rights to say "No, I'm not going to post that story" -- because it doesn't fit within the framework.

    You could say this is censorship, but I guess it would be fair to say that I also have a blatant agenda to promote -- Title IX reform. So I'm going to push those stories more than I would the man-hating stuff that's currently flowing all over the place via Google News.

    When it comes to ESPN (The network), they have their own passes at events, which kind of makes me feel the rest of the working media, that cover these sports for a living, get cast aside because of the NCAA's relationship with ESPN.

    Unfortunately, the contracts lie with ESPN and the NCAA, not the rest of the working media. InterMat's in an interesting situation because we have had a contract with the NCAA regarding live text coverage the past three years.

    At times, this makes us look like "the bad guy" for trying monopolize, but the College World Series just booted out a Louisville blogger, so who knows what's going to happen with Live-Text/Live Results of wrestling in the future.

    I know that a couple of web sites have had credentials pulled in the past -- I think TWM did one year and I know InterMat (pre-NWCA buyout) had one person's credential revoked. So the NCAA does take a look at these things.

    We have a contract with ESPN(dotcom), but not the network, although I have seen wrestling rankings across ESPNEWS' ticker on Tuesdays, which makes me happy when I leave work and see that.

    Remember, without that affiliate program, it's doubtful that any rankings would be on ESPN's family of networks, because while there are other rankings out there -- name recognition (NWCA) does help in that respect.

  7. #16

    Default Re: Is Intermat next?

    I think it's also important to note that all sports are at the mercy of TV. The men's basketball schedules for March Madness are set by CBS, not the NCAA. Living in Wrigleyville, I would always be annoyed whenever ESPN changed a mid-afternoon Sunday Cubs game (which would not affect my trip home from my parents' house in the burbs) to a Sunday night Cubs game (which would turn a 20 minute trip home into an hour trip home.)

  8. #17
    Super Moderator Dart Shark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Intermat next?

    I had a similar experience with the Cubbies.

    One year, in one of my themat.com documented blog-type journeys across the U.S., I was driving to Fargo from Virginia and had the trip planned to see some baseball.

    First game was in Chitown with the Cubbies playing the Marlins at 8 p.m. ... ESPN Sunday Night Baseball, my first trip to Wrigley = me stoked.

    Driving down Addison in my 1989 Ford Bronco II (With at the time, over 250K miles on it), people are pouring down the street. I talk to a cop, apparently the D-Backs/Dodgers game was more pivotal for a playoff race (It was July mind you). So i missed my Wrigley experience.

    First ever MLB game ended up being the next day was the Reds vs. Brewers at Miller Park and then followed that up with the Twins vs. Angels (I'm a huge Halos fan) in a game that ended up being a preview of the ALCS the year the Angels won the Series.

    So yeah, ESPN's burned me on a baseball game before.

  9. #18

    Default Re: Is Intermat next?

    One sort-of off-topic thought regarding ESPN coverage driving the actual NCAA event itself...

    I love to b*tch as much as the next fan about the situation, but I do think it's improving... and, it certainly is better than it was 20-30 years ago.

    Recently I got a tape of ABC Wide World of Sports' coverage of the NCAAs from the late 1970s and early 80s. For those of you too young to remember, the NCAAs were just one of the events covered in a particular episode that week. So, you'd get a match from the NCAAs... then cut away to figure skating... then back to a second wrestling match... then to a lumberjack competition in the northwoods of Wisconsin... then a capsulized segment of "who else won" at the NCAAs -- 5-10 second highlights of each match, or worse, a still pic of each of the champs in those "missing" weight class. It added up to 20-30 minutes of coverage total, with maybe 2-4 complete finals matches. And, if I remember correctly, it was always shown on a tape-delay basis.

    The world has changed so much. Thirty years ago, wrestling fans waited weeks for their copy of AWN and the tape-delay broadcast of WWoS to get some coverage of the NCAAs. Now we get online radio broadcasts, live text updates, and promptly posted wrap-up articles, not to mention live TV coverage of more and more of the event itself. We've come a long way, baby.

    The Old Guy in the 'nati,
    Mark

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