SMJ Inbox- March 21, 2011

It’s a new week…let’s take a peak into what’s been gathering in the Sports Media Journal inbox…

More Big Numbers for CBS/Turner After Week One of Tournament- Over the first week of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, CBS and Turner Sports have seen an average rating of 5.5, a 15% increase over CBS’ lone coverage in 2010.  The average audience on CBS, TNT, TBS, and truTV was 8.4 million viewers, up 14% over last year.  That average viewership is the highest for the tournament in 17 years.  Sunday’s third round coverage garnered a rating of  6.6, a 16% increase over 2010 and the highest since 2000.

March Madness on Demand Seed Big Numbers Through First Week- The success of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is also translating into big numbers of online viewers.  The March Madness on Demand product has had 26.7 million visits in the first week of the tournament, a 47% increase over 2010.

ESPN Tournament Challenge Sees Lack of Bracket Success- ESPN reports that only one of the 5.9 million brackets filled out in it’s Tournament Challenge contest had 15 of the 16 teams still in the tournament.  No one selected this year’s Sweet 16.  By the way, President Obama sits at 7,549 in the ranking of all brackets.  Not bad.

ESPN Announces MLB Schedule for Opening Weekend- ESPN has announced that it will televise six MLB games to begin the 2011 season.  Here is the schedule and announcer line-up:

Thursday, March 31, 1 p.m. Detroit at N.Y. Yankees
Sean McDonough, Rick Sutcliffe, Aaron Boone, Tim Kurkjian, Buster Olney

4 p.m. San Diego at St. Louis
Dave O’Brien, Nomar Garciaparra, Pedro Gomez

8 p.m. San Francisco at L.A. Dodgers
Dan Shulman, Orel Hershiser, Bobby Valentine, Wendi Nix
ESPN,, ESPN Mobile TV, ESPN Radio

Friday, April 1st, 1 p.m. Houston at Philadelphia
McDonough, Sutcliffe, Boone, Kurkjian

4 p.m., Boston at Texas
Shulman, Hershiser, Valentine, Olney
ESPN,, ESPN Mobile TV, ESPN Radio

Saturday, April 2nd, 3 p.m. San Diego at St. Louis
ESPN Radio

Sunday, April 3rd, 8 p.m. San Francisco at L.A. Dodgers
Shulman, Hershiser, Valentine, Nix, Olney

Telemundo Announces World Cup Qualifying Match Extension- The NBC Sports Group has announced that Telemundo has extended its agreement to televise the Mexican National Team’s away World Cup qualifying matches through 2013.  Legendary announcer Andres Cantor will be on the call.

ESPN Announces Schedule of 2011 Women’s FIFA World Cup- ESPN has set-up its schedule of matches in this summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany.  You can find the entire schedule here.

NFL Network Looks at Top 100 Players of 2011- After the completion of the 2011 NFL Draft, the NFL Network will present The Top 100: Players of 2011, a look at the top players of today, as selected by the players themselves.  The program will debut Saturday, April 30th at 8:00pm ET.

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