SMJ Inbox- April 28, 2011

Since I’ve been back from vacation I haven’t had time for a look at what’s in the Sports Media Journal inbox. We’ll do so today. Some of the material may be a day or two old…so be it…

Second Round coverage of the playoffs begins tonight on Versus with Game 1 of the series between the Nashville Predators and Vancouver Canucks.  NBC begins its second round coverage Saturday with Game 1 of the Boston Bruins at Philadelphia Flyers.

Big Ratings Number for the NHL on NBC Sports Group- The NBC Sports Group reports that ratings for the first round of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on its properties were up 22 percent over 2010.  Versus saw ratings which were the highest NHL Playoffs on cable in 17 years.  NBC numbers were the best for network coverage of the NHL post season first round in seven years.

TNT Seeing Great Ratings Numbers In Early NBA Playoff Coverage- TNT is reporting that it’s average rating thus far in it’s coverage of the NBA Playoffs is 2.7, up 29% over 2010 levels.  The average viewer number of 4.3 million is up 33% from 2010.  Turner Sports also reports that viewership is also up among all key demographics.

ESPN to Produce Centennial Moments to Commemorate 100th Anniversary of Indianapolis 500- Beginning May 1st, ESPN SportsCenter will air video segments looking back at some of the great moments from the Indianapolis 500, which will celebrate its 100th Anniversary this year.  This year’s race will air on ABC on May 29th.

NBC Sports Group Preps for Coverage of the Kentucky Derby- The NBC Sports Group will be providing 14 hours of Kentucky Derby coverage over Versus and NBC.  Coverage on Versus begins May 4th.  The Kentucky Derby will air on NBC Saturday, May 7th beginning at 4pm ET.

MLB and NASCAR This Saturday on Fox- Fox has unveiled it’s weekend sports line-up, with the Fox Saturday MLB Game of the Week featuring the St. Louis Cardinals at Atlanta Braves which will be seen in 52% of the country.  Kenny Albert and Mark Grace will have the call.  25% of the country will have Josh Lewin and Eric Karros on the call of the Los Angeles Angels at Tampa Bay Rays while the rest of the country will view the New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies with Matt Vasgersian, Tim McCarver, and Ken Rosenthal calling the action.  Game time is 1pm ET.

At 7:00pm ET Fox will bring live coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup race from the Richmond Motor Speedway.

ESPN has Roundtable Discussions on Top 20 College Football Teams Heading Into New Season- ESPN’s College Football Live will feature special roundtable discussions on the status of the preseason top 20.  The first program will air Monday, May 2nd at 3:30pm ET.  The last of the 20 shows will air Friday, May 27th.

ESPN Announces Announcing Team for FIFA Women’s World Cup- Ian Darke and Julie Foudy will serve as the lead commentators for ESPN’s coverage later this summer of the 2011 Women’s FIFA World Cup to be held in Germany.  Darke played a lead role in the WWL’s coverage of the 2010 Men’s World Cup in South Africa while Foudy will serve as the lead analyst for her second Women’s World Cup.


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