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Sports Media Digest- October 16, 2013

SEC Football Fairing Well on CBS

CBS Sports reports today that through five games its series of SEC football games is averaging a 4.6 rating and 7.3 million viewers, the highest rated and most watched games since CBS began its SEC-only schedule in 2001.

The 4.6 rating and 7.3 million viewers are 48% and 49% above 2012’s numbers.

Fox Still Seeing Strong Numbers for ALCS

Fox Sports announced today that through three games of the American League Championship Series, the network is averaging a 4.4 rating and 6.9 million viewers, a 26% increase over the network’s coverage of the NLCS in 2012.  The rating is also the highest for the ALCS on Fox since the 2009 series between the Yankees and Angels.

Tuesday’s game three had a rating of 3.7 and an audience of  5.6 million viewers, up 37% from the NLCS of 2012.

TBS Seeing Viewership Gains for NLCS

Turner Sports reports that TBS’ coverage of the National League Championship Series is seeing viewership gains over the last time the network covered the NLCS in 2011.

Through four games TBS  is averaging a 3.2 rating and five million total viewers, up 23% and 22% compared with a 2.6  rating and 4.1 million total viewers for the same number of games in 2011.

NFL Action Still Ruling the Roost

The NFL is still the top draw in the television ratings world.  For the past week NFL games were the number one rated program in 28 of the 30 NFL markets:

Week of 10/7-10/13  

 

HH

HH

RTG

Market Game

Date

RTG

SHR

Rank

New Orleans Saints at Patriots 10/13/2013 52.8 73

1

Kansas City Raiders at Chiefs 10/13/2013 42.1 72

1

Milwaukee Packers at Ravens 10/13/2013 40.9 75

1

Denver Jaguars at Broncos 10/13/2013 40.3 75

1

Pittsburgh Steelers at Jets 10/13/2013 35.7 65

1

Dallas Redskins at Cowboys 10/13/2013 35.3 52

1

Boston Saints at Patriots 10/13/2013 35.1 62

1

Seattle Titans at Seahawks 10/13/2013 34.4 66

1

Washington, DC Redskins at Cowboys 10/13/2013 33.3 52

1

Cincinnati Bengals at Bills 10/13/2013 32.4 57

1

Buffalo Bengals at Bills 10/13/2013 32.1 62

1

Cleveland Lions at Browns 10/13/2013 30.8 59

1

Baltimore Packers at Ravens 10/13/2013 28.6 52

1

Minneapolis Panthers at Vikings 10/13/2013 27.5 63

1

Chicago Giants at Bears** 10/10/2013 27.3 42

1

Nashville Titans at Seahawks 10/13/2013 26.8 43

1

Houston Rams at Texans 10/13/2013 24.6 50

1

Philadelphia Eagles at Buccaneers 10/13/2013 24.5 51

1

Charlotte Panthers at Vikings 10/13/2013 24.1 48

1

Phoenix Cardinals at 49ers 10/13/2013 23.1 46

1

Atlanta Jets at Falcons* 10/07/2013 21.6 33

1

San Fran-Oakland Cardinals at 49ers 10/13/2013 21.3 56

1

Tampa Eagles at Buccaneers 10/13/2013 19.9 42

1

Jacksonville Jaguars at Broncos 10/13/2013 19.8 34

1

San Diego Saints at Patriots 10/13/2013 17.8 41

1

Indianapolis Packers at Ravens 10/13/2013 16.3 33

1

New York Steelers at Jets 10/13/2013 13.6 33

1

Miami Saints at Patriots 10/13/2013 13.4 25

1

SI Cover this Week

Sports Illustrated has an exclusive interview with Kobe Bryant.  Bryant graces the cover of this week’s issue:

SI 10-21-13

Sports Media Digest- October 2, 2013

NL Wild Card Ratings Up 15% over 2012

Turner Sports reports that last night National League Wild Card game between the Reds and Pirates averaged a 3.0 rating and 4.6 million total viewers, up 15% over last year’s NL Wild Card game between the Cardinals and Braves.

The game also  won the night across all cable networks among total viewers.

ESPN Sees 14% Increase in Ratings for MLB

With the Major League Baseball regular season complete ESPN reports that its ratings numbers for the 2013 season are up 14% over 2012.

ESPN finished with a 0.8 U.S. household rating in 2013, up from a 0.7 in 2012, according to Nielsen.

Avery Johnson Joins ESPN as NBA Analyst

ESPN announced today that former NBA player and coach Avery Johnson has joined the network as a NBA analyst.

Johnson will provide analysis for NBA Coast 2 Coast and NBA Tonight, while also making regular appearances on SportsCenter and additional ESPN news and information programming.  Johnson will make his in-studio debut on Monday, October 21.

“I have a wealth of knowledge that I’ve accumulated in my 23 years in the NBA as a head coach and point guard and I’m excited to share my insights with NBA fans,” said Johnson. “I’m thrilled to re-join ESPN and work with their talented team.”

New Features for NBA League Pass as it Enters its 20th Season

NBA Digital announced today that there will be some added features to its NBA League Pass is this, its 20th season.

The new features will be available on NBA League Pass Broadband, which is available complimentary to NBA League Pass and as a standalone product.  Additional package options include NBA League Pass Mobile and NBA League Pass Choice, allowing fans to choose up to five teams to watch during the regular season.

NFL Action Still Tops In Ratings

For the fourth season NFL games were the top ranked program in television.  Additionally, NFL action was the top ranked program in 28 of the 30 NFL markets:

Week of 9/23–9/29  

 

HH

HH

RTG

Market Game

Date

RTG

SHR

Rank

Denver Raiders at Broncos* 09/23/2013 44.4 65

1

Kansas City Giants at Chiefs 09/29/2013 39.3 72

1

Seattle Seahawks at Texans 09/29/2013 36.1 68

1

Boston Patriots at Falcons 09/29/2013 34.5 56

1

Indianapolis Colts at Jaguars 09/29/2013 34.0 57

1

Buffalo Ravens at Bills 09/29/2013 33.7 64

1

Minneapolis Steelers at Vikings 09/29/2013 33.2 67

1

Detroit Bears at Lions 09/29/2013 32.3 56

1

Pittsburgh Steelers at Vikings 09/29/2013 31.0 59

1

Baltimore Ravens at Bills 09/29/2013 30.5 58

1

Chicago Bears at Lions 09/29/2013 30.4 61

1

Cincinnati Bengals at Browns 09/29/2013 29.2 51

1

Washington, DC Redskins at Raiders 09/29/2013 29.0 51

1

Nashville Jets at Titans 09/29/2013 28.9 44

1

Cleveland Bengals at Browns 09/29/2013 27.6 56

1

San Diego Cowboys at Chargers 09/29/2013 27.5 55

1

Houston Seahawks at Texans 09/29/2013 27.3 55

1

Dallas Cowboys at Chargers 09/29/2013 26.8 48

1

Philadelphia Eagles at Broncos 09/29/2013 26.2 44

1

Atlanta Patriots at Falcons 09/29/2013 25.5 40

1

Tampa Cardinals at Buccaneers 09/29/2013 20.5 40

1

Phoenix Cardinals at Buccaneers 09/29/2013 19.3 40

1

San Fran-Oakland 49ers at Rams** 09/26/2013 18.7 39

1

St. Louis 49ers at Rams** 09/26/2013 16.6 28

1

Jacksonville Colts at Jaguars 09/29/2013 16.4 33

1

New York Giants at Chiefs 09/29/2013 15.2 35

1

Charlotte Patriots at Falcons 09/29/2013 15.0 26

1

Miami Eagles at Broncos 09/29/2013 11.1 21

1

MLB Playoff Preview on Cover of SI

This week’s Sports Illustrated previews the Major League Baseball playoffs.  Here is the cover:

SI 10-7-13

Sports Media Digest- September 25, 2013

ESPN Continues to Receive Strong Ratings for Monday Night Football

Monday’s Monday Night Football  telecast on ESPN Monday night drew an average rating of 8.9 with an audience of 13.9 million viewers, winning th enight on all of television among the network’s key adult and male demographics (18-34 & 18-49)

Through four games this season, Monday Night Football  is averaging a 8.9 rating and an audience of 14 million viewers, up three percent and five percent respectively over 2012.

NFL Ratings Continue to Top the Charts

Once again NFL action was at the top of the television ratings list.  The top two programs of the week were NFL games; Sunday’s CBS national game (primarily Colts/49’ers) with 26.5 million average viewers and NBC’s  Sunday Night Football (Bears/Steelers) with 20.5 million viewers.

NFL games were also tops in 29 NFL markets:

Week of 9/16 – 9/22  

 

HH

HH

RTG

Market Game

Date

RTG

SHR

Rank

New Orleans Cardinals at Saints 09/22/2013 47.8 73

1

Indianapolis Colts at 49ers 09/22/2013 40.2 64

1

Buffalo Bills at Jets 09/22/2013 39.7 58

1

Kansas City Chiefs at Eagles 09/19/2013 39.6 59

1

Pittsburgh Bears at Steelers 09/22/2013 39.1 56

1

Milwaukee Packers at Bengals 09/22/2013 38.9 70

1

Seattle Jaguars at Seahawks 09/22/2013 38.3 68

1

Cincinnati Steelers at Bengals* 09/16/2013 38.2 54

1

Chicago Bears at Steelers 09/22/2013 36.1 53

1

Philadelphia Chiefs at Eagles** 09/19/2013 32.6 51

1

Minneapolis Browns at Vikings 09/22/2013 30.4 65

1

Boston Buccaneers at Patriots 09/22/2013 30.3 59

1

Baltimore Texans at Ravens 09/22/2013 30.2 58

1

Cleveland Browns at Vikings 09/22/2013 26.8 54

1

Washington, DC Lions at Redskins 09/22/2013 25.1 50

1

San Diego Chargers at Titans 09/22/2013 25.0 54

1

Nashville Chargers at Titans 09/22/2013 24.5 43

1

Detroit Lions at Redskins 09/22/2013 24.4 48

1

Dallas Rams at Cowboys 09/22/2013 24.2 48

1

Houston Texans at Ravens 09/22/2013 23.0 46

1

Charlotte Giants at Panthers 09/22/2013 21.7 46

1

Jacksonville Jaguars at Seahawks 09/22/2013 21.5 33

1

Atlanta Falcons at Dolphins 09/22/2013 21.4 38

1

San Fran-Oakland Colts at 49ers 09/22/2013 21.3 50

1

Miami Falcons at Dolphins 09/22/2013 18.7 34

1

Tampa Buccaneers at Patriots 09/22/2013 18.3 34

1

Denver Colts at 49ers 09/22/2013 17.0 40

1

Phoenix Bears at Steelers 09/22/2013 16.7 27

1

St. Louis Rams at Cowboys 09/22/2013 13.7 30

1

Lofton Joins Crew at SiriusXM Radio

SiriusXM Radio announced today that former NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver James Lofton has joined the network as a host on its NFL channel (channel 88).

Lofton begins his new job Friday and will host The SiriusXM Blitz alongside co-host Bruce Murray every Friday live from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm ET, and will also be heard on various other SiriusXM NFL Radio shows throughout the year.

“I’ve been a regular listener to SiriusXM NFL Radio for some time and it is a tremendous channel for NFL fans of every team, so I’m very pleased to be a part of it,” said Lofton.  “I’ve seen quite a bit from my time in the league as both a player and a coach.  I’m excited both to share what I know and to hear directly from the fans about what’s on their minds.”

“Very few receivers in the history of the league played with the level of production and consistency that James did over his 16 years in the NFL.  His career is extraordinary and we’re excited to have someone with his accomplishments and expertise talking to our listeners every week on SiriusXM NFL Radio,” said Steve Cohen, SiriusXM’s SVP of Sports Programming.  “He’s also an accomplished broadcaster accustomed to working on national NFL game broadcasts.  He’s excellent at communicating the nuances of the game to his audience and I’m thrilled to reunite with him on SiriusXM’s airwaves.”

NBC Creates New Football Program Around Talent from Comcast RSN’s

NBC Sports is creating a new weekly football program which will harness the talent from some of Comcast’s SportsNet’s regional sports networks (RSNs).

3 and Out will debut on Tuesday, October 1 and air each remaining week of the 2013 NFL season across its lineup of Comcast SportsNet RSNs.

The program will feature regular appearances from CSN Houston’s Kelli Johnson, CSN Mid-Atlantic’s Brian Mitchell, CSN New England’s Mike Felger and CSN Bay Area’s Ray Ratto.

“We feel great about the fact that there is nothing like 3 and Out among the many football shows currently available,” said Stathakes. “Our ability to feature multiple perspectives, many of which will be on the ground in the markets where these stories are unfolding, will give our discussion and debate a level of depth and texture that is hard to find. While some think that we only produce great NBA, MLB and NHL live event coverage, fans in our markets know how well we cover the NFL, and 3 and Out is our first move to expand on that area of strength.”

NBC Sports Touts Premier League Numbers

Through five weeks of the Premier League season, NBC Sports reports a total of 10 million viewers have tuned in to view the action on NBC, NBC Sports Network (NBCSN),  CNBC,  and mun2.  The 27 English-language games on NBC, NBCSN and CNBC drew a total of 9.1 million viewers – up 92% from the 4.8 million total for the first five weeks of live action on ESPN and Fox Soccer last year.

Here is a chart, provided by NBC Sports PR, showing the viewership growth of its networks compared with the competition over the same period a year ago:

Average Total Day Viewership Growth:

NETWORK 8/17/2013 to9/22/2013 8/18/2012 to 9/23/2012 %DIFF
NBCSN 77 46 67%
MLB NETWORK 86 66 30%
NBA TV 29 24 21%
FOX SPORTS 1 121 102 19%
NFL NETWORK 302 272 11%
ESPN 1232 1125 10%
ESPNEWS 75 70 7%
GOLF CHANNEL 136 132 3%
ESPN2 353 356 -1%
FOX SPORTS 2 17 19 -11%
ESPNU 83 n/a n/a

This Week’s Covers of Sports Illustrated

Its NHL preview time in this week’s edition of Sports Illustrated.  The magazine has two regional covers this week:

SI 9-30-13a SI 9-30-13b

Sports Media Digest- September 4, 2013

Dial Global Returns to WestwoodOne Moniker

Dial Global radio announced today that it is changing its name to WestwoodOne, a name once synonymous with network radio until it merged with Dial Global in 2011.

Programming on the network will not change, with 225 million listeners still gaining access to he NFL, Olympic Games, Barclays Premier League, and the Grammy Awards.

“We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished as Dial Global.  Through our belief in the power of sound we are dedicated to continuously reinventing the industry and creating the most dynamic audio programming that connects people to their passions,” said Paul Caine, CEO of Dial Global. “With the audio industry’s ever-changing landscape we know we’ve just scratched the surface of what’s possible for audio’s broad consumption. By reclaiming and reviving an iconic audio brand name, we are not changing who we are, but accelerating the great work we are doing to contribute to the growth of audio.”

Country Star Gretchen Wilson to be Part of ESPN’s NASCAR Chase Coverage

ESPN announced today that Grammy Award-winning Country artist Gretchen Wilson will be featured in ESPN’s telecasts of the 10 races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

Wilson will narrate and appear in the opening teases of the telecasts of the 10 races, with each tease tailored to the racetrack hosting that week’s event. Her music will also be featured through the entire Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup on ESPN.

“Just as NASCAR appeals to a great cross-section of American people, the same can be said for Gretchen Wilson’s blend of song and attitude that has made her an icon of the music industry for the past decade,” said Rich Feinberg, ESPN vice president, motorsports, production. “We look forward to showcasing her music and personality during the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.”

“I can’t tell you how excited I am to be associated with NASCAR and ESPN as we begin the Chase,” said Wilson. “Many of the fans who show up at our concerts on Saturday nights are watching the races on Sundays. I’m honored to be a part of this great American tradition and look forward to seeing the fans at some races this fall.”

Battle 4 Atlantis Hoops Tourney To Air on ESPN

ESPN announced today that it has reached a new multiyear agreement for media rights to the Battle 4 Atlantis men’s college basketball tournament starting in 2014.

ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will combine to offer exclusive telecasts of six Battle 4 Atlantis matchups annually, including two quarterfinals, the semifinals, the third place game and championship. Battle 4 Atlantis features eight teams playing in a 12-game tournament format in a temporary stadium with state-of-the-art regulation facilities.

“Battle 4 Atlantis has quickly become one of the premier early-season tournaments in college basketball,” said Nick Dawson, senior director, ESPN programming and acquisitions. “We’re thrilled to bring it to the ESPN networks and know it will be a must watch for fans.”
George Markantonis, president & managing director, Atlantis, Paradise Island, added, “We are excited about our new relationship with ESPN to televise the 2014-2016 Battle 4 Atlantis tournaments, allowing us to share this sports experience with millions of fans.”

This Week’s Covers of Sports Illustrated

Sports Illustrated will have two covers available regionally this week:

SI 9-9-13a SI 9-9-13b

Sports Media Digest- June 12, 2013

ESPN/ABC continue to get solid, but not record-breaking, ratings for NBA Finals-  Yesterday’s game three of the NBA Finals on ABC earned an overnight rating of 10.0.  That number is down form the 10.4 rating from last year’s game three between the Heat and Thunder.  Through three games ABC is averaging a 10.3 overnight rating, down from the average 11.3 rating through three games a year ago.

Soledad O’Brien joins Real Sports-  HBO announced today the hire of journalist Soledad O’Brien to be a member of the reporting team for Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. O’Brien has worked for the news departments of both NBC and CNN.

Tigers sluggers on cover of SI-  This week’s cover of Sports Illustrated features Detroit Tigers sluggers Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera:
SI 6-17-13

Sports Media Digest- June 6, 2013

ESPN Sees Record Ratings for NCAA Baseball Regionals-  ESPN reports that it has received record viewership for the 16 NCAA baseball regionals held last weekend.  Overall, ESPN2 and ESPNU combined to reach 11,680,000 viewers for its game telecasts. In addition, fans watched more than 96,600,000 live and replay minutes of Regionals action on the ESPN3 and WatchESPN platforms.

Women’s College World Series Sees High Ratings in Tennessee and Oklahoma- ESPN reports that the recently completed Women’s College World Series delivered impressive ratings in Knoxville and Oklahoma City, the home markets of two teams.  Knoxville had ratings of 11.9 for game one and 7.8 for game 2.  Oklahoma City has ratings of 6.6 in game one and 6.7 in game two.  Nationally the game drew an average audience of 1.2 million viewers for game one and 1.3 million viewers for game two.

CBS’s Coverage of FedEx St. Jude Classic-  CBS Sports continues its coverage of the PGA Tour this weekend with the telecast of the FedEx St. Jude Classic from Memphis.  Coverage on begins Saturday ans Sunday at 3:00p.m. ET.  Bill Macatee and Ian Baker Finch call the action from the 18th tower  while Peter Oosterhius calls the action at the 17th hole and David Feherty at the 16th hole.

ESPN Sets Jimmy Classic Match-Ups-  ESPN has announced the line-up of games for next season’s Jimmy V Men’s and Women’s Basketball Classics.  The men’s games will be played Tuesday, December 17th on ESPN as Cincinnati faces Pittsburgh followed by Florida against Memphis.  The women’s games take place the same day on ESPN2 with Connecticut at Duke.

Hoyts to Receive Jimmy V Perseverance Award at ESPY’s-  ESPN has announced that the father-son duo of Dick and Rick Hoyt will receive the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at this year’s ESPY’s.  Rick, now 51, was born with cerebral palsy and though unable to use his hands or legs he and his 73-year-old father have run in more than 1,000 endurance events—including triathlons and marathons—with Dick pushing his son in a custom-made running chair.

SiriusXM At the Belmont-  SiriusXM Radio is the satellite radio home of this weekend’s Belmont Stakes.  Race coverage begins Saturday at 5:00 pm ET on Sirius channel 93, XM channel 209, and on channel 961 on the SiriusXM Internet Radio App and online at SiriusXM.com.

Friday Night Fights on ESPN2- This week’s edition of Friday Night Nights on ESPN2  feature former Lightweight world-title challenger “The Gladiator” John Molina Jr. (25-2, 20 KOs) and undefeated Lightweight Andrey Klimov (15-0, 8 KOs) in the 10-round main event.  Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas will be at ringside with Todd Grisham as studio host.  Pablo Viruaga and Delvin Rodriguez will call this week’s fights for ESPN Deportes’ Viernes de Combates (Friday Night Fights) with Claudia Trejos and Leopoldo Gonzalez in the studio.  The telecast begins at 10:00p.m. ET.

Three Covers of Sports Illustrated this week- Sports Illustrated has three covers this week, two celebrating the NHL Playoffs and the third featuring the San Antonio Spurs:
SI 6-10-13a SI 6-10-13b SI 6-10-13c

Sports Media Digest- May 29, 2013

NBA Eastern Conference Finals Game 4 Number 1 Program on TV-  Turner Sports reports that last night’s game four of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals between the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers had a rating of 5.1 and an average audience of 8.1 million viewers, making it the number one prime time show for the night on television (cable and broadcast).  The rating was 26% higher and the audience 24% higher than the network’s coverage of game four of the Western Conference Finals last year.

Costas Looks Back at the Freeh Report on Costas Tonight-  The next edition of Costas Tonight on the NBC Sports Network will feature Bob Costas looking back at the impact of the Freeh report on Penn State athletics and the family of Joe Paterno.  Costas Tonight will air tonight at 11:00p.m. ET following the network’s coverage of game seven of the NHL Western Conference semi-finals between the Red Wings and Blackhawks.

CBS Produces Golf Special Featuring Golfers and their Dads-  CBS Sports is producing a one-hour special looking at the special bond golf has played between fathers and sons.  PGA TOUR 2013: Golf’s Dads talks with PGA stars and their connection to the game with their fathers.  The program debuts this Sunday at 1:30p.m. ET.

LeBron on the Cover of SI-  This week;s cover of Sports Illustrated features the Heat’s LeBron James:
SI 6-3-13

SI To Produce Daily Talk Show on SI.com

Sports Illustrated announced today that it will begin producing a 30-minute daily talk show which will be hosted on its website, SI.com.

SI Now Powered by Ford, will be hosted by Maggie Gray and deliver commentary, analysis and social interaction with SI writers/editors, newsmakers and special guests.  The program premier’s Monday, June 3rd at 1:00p.m. ET.  The show will often travel to big-name sporting events across the country.  The first such occurrence will be at the U.S. Open next month at Merion.

“Our writers and anchors are the brightest in the sports world, and this live show gives them an important new way to interact with sports fans in real time,” said Matt Bean, managing editor of SI.com. “SI Now is a revolution in how we create and deliver video to our audience. It is the next phase in SI.com’s content evolution.”

“Our goal is for SI Now to deliver what SI does best — thoughtful conversation and commentary around the biggest stories in sports,” said Ian Orefice, Time Inc. news and sports executive producer. “Since launching SI Video in 2010, we’ve built tremendous momentum with increased viewership and critical acclaim for our original productions. Now with the addition of the production facility, we can deliver exponentially more video across the site and throughout the spectrum of digital, mobile and broadcast distribution channels.”

Sports Media Digest- May 22, 2013

Andy Roddick to Join Fox Sports Live-  Fox Sports continues to name its roster of talent for the launch of Fox Sports 1 in August.  Today they announced the hire of former tennis star Andy Roddick.  Roddick will serve as co-host with Charissa Thompson for the network’s Fox Sports LIVE nightly highlights show.  Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports LIVE debuts August 17th.

NBC Sees Uptick in Preakness Viewership-  NBC Sports reports viewership for last Saturday’s Preakness Stakes were up 20% over 2012 and the highest since 2009.  The audience averaged 9.7 million viewers.  The 5.9 rating for the race was 13% higher than last year.

Carlesimo Joins ESPN for NBA Playoff Coverage-  Former NBA coach P.J. Carelsimo will be part of the ESPN crew as it continues with its coverage of the NBA Playoffs.  Carlesimo, who will work for the network through the NBA Finals, begins his work Thursday at the 9:00  a.m. ET edition of SportsCenter and contribute to additional studio programming, including NBA Tonight.

ESPN/ABC Preps for Indy 500-  ESPN and ABC Sports are set to telecast the 49th Indianapolis 500 this Sunday. Pre-race coverage begins at 11:00a.m. ET with the green flag set for 12:15 p.m. ET. Marty Reid will call the race with analysis by Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever.  SportsCenter anchor Lindsay Czarniak will host the telecast while pit reporters will be Rick DeBruhl, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch.

NASCAR Nationwide Series on ESPN Saturday from Charlotte-  ESPN will be on hand Saturday to televise the NASCAR Nationwide Series race from the Charlotte Motor Speedway.  Coverage begins with NASCAR Countdown at 2:30 p.m. with the race’s green flag at 3:02 p.m.  Allen Bestwick leads the telecast with analysts Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree.

CBS’ Coverage of the Crown Plaza Invitational-  CBS’ coverage of the PGA Tour continues this weekend with the Crown Plaza Invitation from Colonial.  Action begins Saturday and Sunday at 3:00p.m. ET.  Jim Nantz,and Sir Nick Faldo, abnchor the coverage. Ian Baker-Finch calls the action at the 17th hole and Gary McCord at the 16th hole. David Feherty serves as on-course reporter.

Fox Sports Has UEFA Champions League Finale Saturday-  Fox Sports will provide extensive coverage of the final of the UEFA Champions League this weekend between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.  Gus Johnson and Warren Barton have the call of the match. Rob Stone hosts on-site pregame, halftime and post-game coverage with Fox Soccer analysts Eric Wynalda and Brian McBride beginning at 2:00p.m. ET.

Cardinals Grace SI Cover-  The dominant St Louis Cardinals starting rotation is on the cover of this week’s Sports Illustrated:
SI 5-27-13

Sports Media Digest- May 7, 2013

Underwood Replaces Hill in Performing SNF Theme-  NBC Sports announced today that Carrie Underwood has been selected to record the opening theme to the Sunday Night Football (SNF) package this season.  Underwood, who replaces Faith Hill, makes her Sunday Night Football debut on Sunday, September 8th when Dallas Cowboys host the New York Giants.

NBC Sports Reports Kentucky Derby Second Most-Watched Since 1989-  NBC Sports announced today that the final viewership numbers of Saturday’s Kentucky Derby resulted in an audience of 16.2 million viewers, up 11% over 2012 and the second most-watched Derby since 1989.  The 9.7/21 rating is up eight percent from last year’s race (9.0/20).

SiriusXM Radio Launches Lacrosse Show Ahead of NCAA Tourney-  SiriusXM Radio has announced the creation of Inside College Lacrosse, a program which will preview the 2013 NCAA Lacrosse Championships.  The show, hosted by Paul Mittermeier will debut tonight, May 7, and air Tuesdays at 8:00 pm ET on SiriusXM College Sports Nation (channel 91 on satellite radios, on the SiriusXM Internet Radio App and online at SiriusXM.com).

Curry, Crosby on Cover of SI-  With the NHL and NBA Playoffs well underway, Sports Illustrated decided to feature Penguins star Sydney Crosby and Warriors Guard Stephen Curry on this week’s cover:
SI 5-13-13a Si 5-13-13b