We start off tonight with an interesting survey that says sports fans are ready for schools to pay the same in scholarships for women as they do for men.Poll: Fans support legal mandate to keep scholarships equal
A majority of U.S. sports fans (63%) want equality in college scholarships and that it should be mandated by law. A quarter of the fans polled were neutral to the concept of schools paying an equal amount of scholarships to men and women and 12% were opposed. The data was generated from a new study by the National Research Group in conjunction with Ampere Analysis.
Among the 2,500 respondents to the survey conducted earlier this month, 54% of sports fans also felt there should be more accountability for athletic departments that run afoul of Title IX, while 38% were neutral/not sure and 11% were opposed. When asked whether there should be a law to hold the NCAA accountable to Title IX, 51% of sports fans supported the idea, 40% were neutral/not sure and only 9% were opposed.
U.S. sports fans were less likely to support a law mandating that TV networks broadcast equal amounts of men's and women's games. Only 41% were in favor of such a law, while 32% were neutral/not sure and 26% were opposed.
Check out more data on women's sports from NRG in tonight's SBJ Unpacks newsletter.Intersport ready for Gonzaga-Tennessee hoops test on PPV
Intersport tips off a busy season of college basketball on Friday when it will produce the opening Gonzaga-Tennessee matchup for InDemand, which is selling the game at a suggested retail price of $9.99 through cable and satellite providers. Putting a high-profile game like the Zags and the Volunteers on pay-per-view is unique in the college space, to say the least, but this is routine for InDemand, the largest distributor of PPV and on-demand programming in North America. Proceeds from the event will benefit the McLendon Foundation. The Legends of Basketball Classic between Gonzaga and Tennessee is the first of nine separate events for Chicago-based agency Intersport. Intersport also will produce the Citi Shamrock Classic on Nov. 12 in partnership with the Notre Dame women in St. Louis.Week 8 viewership: Syracuse-Clemson leads; Ole Miss-LSU best since 2014
ABC in Week 8 had its best college football tripleheader since Week 1, fueled by Clemson's comeback over Syracuse, notes SBJ's Austin Karp. That matchup from Death Valley in the 12pm ET window led all Week 8 games with 4.7 million viewers. That ranks among ABC's five best 12pm games over the last five seasons. The game peaked at 7.2 million viewers.
Texas-Oklahoma State was the No. 2 game for Week 8 with 4.5 million viewers, which is the Big 12's best audience this season to date (easily topping the Oklahoma-Texas game from earlier this month).
Fox had the No. 3 game in the Big Noon Saturday window, with Ohio State's drubbing of Iowa delivering 4.4 million viewers. Despite Ole Miss-LSU drawing the best figure for that matchup since 2014 (3.9 million viewers), the game on CBS was only the No. 4 matchup for the weekend.
The Big 12 hired Jenn Hunter from the Trail Blazers to be the conference’s new chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer. Here’s a rundown of DEI officers in FBS conference offices:Big 12: Jenn Hunter, chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer Big Ten: Omar Brown, SVP and people and culture officer Pac-12: Quashan Lockett, chief people and inclusion officer Speed reads As NIL has grown into a burgeoning industry with some of the largest brands in sports marketing like Dr Pepper, Nissan and Degree Deodorant signing athletes to lucrative contracts, it has overshadowed some of the deals that give NIL a deeper purpose beyond simply paying athletes. Oak View Group has formed GOAL (Green Operations and Advanced Leadership), a membership-based organization designed to help sports and entertainment venues make their operations more environmentally sustainable, notes my colleague Bret McCormick. Its founding circle of members includes Mullett Arena (Arizona State) and Moody Center (Texas). SBJ Daily had a roundup of some of the social media reaction to the news that Jim Nantz will call his last Final Four this season.