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Sports Media Digest- April 29- 2013

ESPN Sees Increase in Viewership and Ratings for NFL Draft– ESPN reported today that its three day coverage of the NFL Draft resulted in an increase of viewers and ratings for the network.  ESPN recorded a 2.1 US rating, a three percent gain from 2012 (2.0) and a six percent increase from 2011 (1.9). The average viewership of 3,035,000 viewers is a four percent gain over both 2012 (2,924,000) and 2011 (2,918,000).  Even though the numbers were up overall, ESPN saw a drop in viewers during the first round Thursday night.  Thursday’s 4.1 rating was down 7% from 2012.

ESPN to Produce Special Featuring Bryce Harper–  ESPN has produced a a one-hour special on National’s outfielder Bryce Harper’s journey from a young teenager to MLB star. Bryce Begins will air tomorrow at 9:00 p.m. ET. ESPN will also use its Wednesday Night Baseball telecast between the Nationals and Braves to position analysts Mark Mulder and Doug Glanville near the dugout – instead of in the booth.  Wednesday’s game begins at 7:00p.m. ET.

ESPN To Telecast All 16 NCAA Baseball Regionals–  For the first time, all 16 NCAA Division I baseball regional championships will air on the networks of ESPN.  Every game will also be available on WatchESPN.  The Regionals take place May 31st through June 3rd.  ESPNU will televise the 64 team selection show May 27th at Noon.

CBS Sports Takes a Look at PGA Tour Golfers over a Seven Day Period–  CBS Sports is producing a one-hour special on the schedule of a PGA Tour professional between and during a tournament. PGA Tour 2013: Seven Days presented by Mercedes-Benz will look at six golf stars on seven different days of the week of a tournament.  The golfers are: Graeme McDowell, Russell Henley, Martin Kaymer, Rickey Fowler, Scott Langley and Justin Rose. PGA Tour 2013: Seven Days presented by Mercedes-Benz culminates at the Heritage Tournament from Hiton Head. The program debuts Saturday, May 4th at 2:00p.m. ET.

NASCAR Nationwide Series this Weekend from Talladega on ESPN– The next stop in the NASCAR Nationwide Series will take place this Saturday from the Talladega Superspeedway.  Alan Bestwick will be joined by Carl Edwards and Andy Petree for the call of the race while Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch report from the pits.  Action begins at 2:30p.m. ET with NASCAR Countdown with Nicole Briscoe, Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty.

Special Thursday Night Edition of Friday Night Fights on ESPN–  This week’s edition of Friday Night Nights on ESPN will take place Thursday night and feature former Lightweight world title challenger Ji-Hoon “Volcano” Kim taking on Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera in the 10-round Junior Welterweight main event.  Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas have the call with Todd Grisham as pre and post fight host.   Pablo Viruega 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 on ESPN2.

The Story of Gay NBA Player Jason Collins on the Cover of Sports Illustrated-  This week’s edition of Sports Illustrated will look into the coming out of gay NBA player Jason Collins.  Here is this week’s SI cover:
SI 5-6-13

Sports Media Digest- April 23, 2013

UFC on Fox Shows Viewership Increase– Last Saturday’s UFC on Fox telecast posted a 2.2 average household rating, with 3.7 million viewers, a 47% increase over the Fox UFC telecast the same time last year.  After two events this year, UFC on Fox is averaging a 2.3 rating with 4.0 million viewers, which is a 10% increase in households and a 11% increase in average audience over the two-event average from 2012.

Former Bills To Host a New Show on SiriusXM Radio–  SiriusXM Radio announced today that former Buffalo Bills greats Jim Kelly, Andre Reed and Steve Tasker will host a new program on SiriusXM NFL Radio channel 88.  No Huddle will make its debut with a special preview broadcast tomorrow at 7:00p.m. ET and will air in its weekly timeslot during the 2013 NFL season.

Durant, Boston on the Cover of Sports Illustrated–  Sports Illustrated has released two covers for this week’s edition: One featuring the Thunder’s Kevin Durant, the other saluting Boston following the Marathon bombings.
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Sports Media Digest- April 16, 2013

Marathon Tragedy on Cover of Sports Illustrated  This week’s cover of Sports Illustrated reflects upon yesterday’s tragic bombing at the Boston Marathon:
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Hawks/Raptors Replaces Pacers/Celtics Tonight on TNT-  Because of the canellation of tonight’s Pacers/Celtics game in Boston, TNT has added the Atlanta Hawks at Toronto Raptors with tip-off at 8:00p.m. ET.  Tonight’s second game will remain the Portland Trail Blazers at the Los Angeles Clippers at 10:30p.m. ET.

NBA Action this Week on ESPN– As the NBA season winds down, ESPN will televise a double header tomorrow night.  At 8:00p.m. the Utah Jazz take on the Memphis Grizzlies with Mark Jones and Jon Barry at the mic. At 10:30p.m. ET Dave Pasch and Doris Burke will call the Houston Rockets at Los Angeles Lakers.

Final Masters Ratings Highest in 12 Years–  CBS Sports released the final ratings numbers for last weekend’s Masters and the number are the best for the network in 12 years.  Sunday’s final round was watched in all-or-part by 37.4 million viewers, up 13% from last year.  Sunday’s rating was 9.4, up 18% over 2012.

NFL Network has Exclusive Announcement of the 2013 NFL Schedule-  The 2013 regular season NFL schedule will be released Thursday night and the announcement will be carried live on the NFL Network.  Andrew Siciliano will host along with analysts Willie McGinest, Heath Evans, Shaun O’Hara and Brian Baldinger beginning Thursday at 8:00p.m. ET.

Point Guards Focus on Next Face to Face with Hannah Storm–   The fifth installment Hannah Storm’s interview special will be an in-depth look at several elite NBA point guards.   The one-hour special highlights star point guards Steve Nash, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and Rajon Rondo, as well as the young, up-and-comer Kyrie Irving.  Face to Face with Hannah Storm – debuts Thursday, April 18, at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

Sports Media Digest- April 9, 2013

NBA Basketball this Week on ESPN and ABC–  ESPN will have a NBA double header tomorrow night and will produce the NBA game Sunday on ABC.  Tomorrow at 8:00p.m. ET Mike Breen, Jon Barry and Doris Burke will call the Nets at Celtics.  At 10:30p.m. ET the Spurs take on the Nuggets with Dave Pasch and Hubie Brown on the call.    On Sunday at 1:00p.m. ET Breen, Burke and Jeff Van Gundy will call the Bulls at the Heat.

Baseball this Week on ESPN–  ESPN will have two Major League Baseball games this week.  Tomorrow night on ESPN2 at 7:00p.m. ET the Yankees take on the Indians with Dave O’Brien, Aaron Boone and MArk Mulder on the call.  ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball returns with weekend as Dan Shulman, John Kruk, Orel Hershiser and Buster Olney call the Orioles at Yankees at 8:00p.m. ET.

Notre Dame Football Coach Brian Kelly Next SiriusXM Town Hall–  SiriusXM Radio has announced that its next Town Hall sports interview will feature Notre Dame head football coach Brian Kelly.  SiriusXM’s Notre Dame Town Hall with Brian Kelly will air on SiriusXM College Sports Nation, channel 91 Thursday, April 18th at 6:30p.m. ET. The Town Hall broadcast will be moderated by former Notre Dame football great Tim Brown.

Louisville Championship on the Cover of Sports Illustrated-  The Louisville Cardinals and their national championship is the focus of this week’s cover of Sports Illustrated:
SI 4-15-13

Sports Media Digest- April 2, 2013

Mike Francesa Signs Contract Extension with WFAN/CBS Radio–  WFAN in New York and CBS Radio have announced that longtime afternoon drive radio host Mike Francesa has signed a contract extension that will keep him at the station through 2017.  Francesa will also bring his long running Sunday morning “The NFL Now” show toCBS Sports Radio beginning this fall.  The program is broadcast live on WFAN from 9:00AM-12:00Noon, ET and will be available to more than 250 affiliate radio stations nationwide.

More People Continue to View NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Online–  Turner Sports, which maintains the March Madness Live site where viewers can watch the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament online, reports the project has garnered 45 million live streams, up a staggering 158% over 2012 to date.  12.6 million hours of combined live viewing has been consumed, an all-time high.

Tiger, NCAA Tourney on this Week’s Sports Illustrated Covers–  This week’s edition of Sports Illustrated looks at the resurgence of Tiger Woods as well as previewing this week’s Final Four.  There are three covers for the week:

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Sports Media Digest- March 19, 2013

Cowboys and Dolphins to Play in Hall of Fame Game–  The NFL announced today that the Dallas Cowboys will take on the Miami Dolphins in the traditional Hall of Fame game to kick-off the 2013 NFL pre-season.  The game will take place Sunday, August 4th at 8p.m. ET and air on NBC.

Scruggs to Host Voices of the Game Middays on NBC Sports Radio– NBC Sports Radio has announced that weekend sports talk host Newy Scruggs will host a 12:00-3:00p.m. ET weekday show beginning April 1st.  Voices of the Game with Newy Scruggs will feature a recognizable sports “voice” during the entire second hour of the show. Personalities will include Chipper Jones (Tuesdays), Stan Van Gundy (Fridays), Bobby Valentine (Thursdays) and Chris Mannix (Wednesdays).

NBC and Golf Channel Prep for Arnold Palmer Invitational–  NBC Sports and the Golf Channel will provide blanket coverage of this weekend’s PGA Arnold Palmer Invitational.  The networks will devote nearly 80 total hours of news and tournament action, which includes 22 live hours of tournament coverage on NBC and Golf Channel.  The Golf Channel will have first and second round action Thursday and Friday beginning at 3:00p.m. ET.  Third and fourth round coverage on Golf Channel begins at 12:30p.m. ET while NBC takes over Saturday and Sunday at 2:30p.m. ET. Golf Broadcast teams will include Rich Lerner and Frank Nobilo (Golf Channel), and Dan Hicks and Johnny Miller (NBC). For telecasts on both networks, Gary Koch and Peter Jacobsen will report from tower positions, while Roger Maltbie, Mark Rolfing and Notah Begay will walk the course. Steve Sands will conduct player interviews. Jimmy Roberts will be around for the weekend.

Four Covers this Week on SI–  Sports Illustrated previews the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament with four covers this week:
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Sports Media Digest- March 12, 2013

USA-Canada WBC Telecast Most-Watched Non-Playoff Game Ever on MLB Network– The MLB Network reports that Sunday’s USA-Canada World Baseball Classic game earned an average audience of 726,000 viewers, making the most-watched non-postseason game ever on the channel.  All WBC games last Friday through Sunday drew an average of 252,000 viewers, the most-watched weekend in the network’s history.

Fox Sports/ECAC Lacrosse Reach Deal–  Fox Sports has reached a deal with the ECAC Conference to telecast conference Lacrosse matches.  The deal begins this season as the Fox Sports Networks will televise the ECAC Lacrosse semifinals on Thursday, May 2nd (5:00 PM ET and 8:00 PM ET) and finals on Saturday, May 4th (4:00 PM ET) live from Hobart College.  The games will also be available on FUEL TV and FOX College Sports.  Beginning in 2014 the ECAC Lacrosse tournament will air on Fox Sports 1.

Pro Bowlers Association and CBS Sports Network Sign Multi-Year Deal–  The CBS Sports Network will be the new home for the Professional Bowlers Association Tour (PBA).  The deal begins this summer,  with five two-hour telecasts from four PBA Summer Swing events, and concludes with a GEICO PBA Summer King of the Swing special event featuring the top five competition points leaders from the Summer Swing events.

NBA on TNT-  TNT will have another NBA double header this Thursday.  The opener begins at 8:00p.m. ET as the Dallas Mavericks take on the San Antonio Spurs.  Ian Eagle, Mike Fratello and David Aldridge are on the call.  At 10:30p.m. ET Kevin Harlan, Chris Webber and Craig Sager will call the New York Knicks at Portland Trail Blazers.

ABC has Single NBA Game This Sunday–  Only one NBA game is on tap this Sunday as part of ABC’s NBA Sunday Showcase.  The Knicks will take on the Clippers beginning at 3:30p.m. ET with Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy and Lisa Salters on site.

Blackhawks on SI Cover–  The sterling start to the NHL season by the Chicago Blackhawks has placed them on this week’s cover of Sports Illustrated:
SI Cover 3-18-13

Sports Media Digest- March 6, 2013

NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Sunday on Fox–  Fox Sports will continue its coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup series as it telecasts this Sunday’s race from Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  Coverage begins at 2:30p.m. ET with Chris Myers, Darrell Waltrip and Michael Waltrip in with pre-race commentary.  Race action will be called by Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds while Steve Byrnes, Krista Voda and Matt Yocum patrol the pits

BTN has Announcement of Big Ten Basketball Awards–  The Big Ten Network (BTN) will have exclusive coverage of the Big Ten basketball awards during the All-Conference Selection Show at 7:00 PM ET Monday, March 11th. Dave Revsine will host the show alongside analyst Jim Jackson.  Revsine, Jackson and Shon Morris host the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament Preview Show at 8:00 PM ET next Wednesday, March 13th.

Friday Night Fights on ESPN–  This week’s edition of Friday Night Nights on ESPN will feature Victor “Mermelada” Cayo and Emanuel “Tranzforma” Taylor in the 10-round main event. Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas have the call with Todd Grisham as pre and post fight host.   Alex Pombo and Delvin Rodriguez will call this week’s fights for ESPN Deportes’ Viernes de Combates (Friday Night Fights) with Leopoldo Gonzalez and Pablo Viruega in the studio. Bilingual reporter Bernardo Osuna will present live interviews and reports for both shows.

Boxing Returns to HBO Saturday Night–  The next installment of World Championship Boxing on HBO takes place this Saturday night from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. Tavoris Cloud takes on Bernard Hopkins and Keith Thurman battles Jan Zaveck beginning at 9:30p.m. ET.

Sports Illustrated Cover for Next Week–  ESPN looks at the 50 most powerful people in sports in this week’s issue.  Here is the cover:
SI Cover 3-11-13

ESPN Magazine Cover- Here is the cover of the next edition of ESPN the Magazine:
ESPN Mag 3-11-13

Sports Media Digest- February 27, 2013

NBA Doubleheader Tomorrow on TNT–  Here is a look at tomorrow’s NBA doubleheader on TNT.  At 8:00p.m. ET the Philadelphia 76ers take on the Chicago Bulls with Kevin Harlan, Greg Anthony and David Aldridge  on the call.  At 10:30p.m. ET, Marv Albert, Mike Fratello, and  Craig Sager will call the Minnesota Timberwolves at L.A. Lakers.

MLS Season Begins This Weekend on NBC Sports Network–  The 2013 Major League Soccer season gets underway and the NBC Sports Network will have the opener between D.C. United and the Houston Dynamo. Arlo White,  Kyle Martino and Russ Thaler have the call beginning at 8:00p.m. Saturday night.

Honus Wagner Baseball Card Focus of Next 30 for 30 Short–  The next ESPN 30 for 30 short is now available for viewing on Grantland and it looks at the fascination of the most revered baseball card in history, the T206 Honus Wagner card.  Holy Grail: The T206 Honus Wagner features baseball card experts and enthusiasts including Keith Olbermann, Michael O’Keeffe, David Hall and Matt Federgreen.

Top Women Tennis Players Highlight BNP Paribas Showdown on ESPN–  ESPN will provide coverage of #1 Serena Williams and #2 Victoria Azarenka as part of its coverage of the BNP Paribas Showdown Monday from Madison Square Garden.  Rafael Nadal will also take part, facing Juan Martin Del Potro. Coverage begins at 7:00p.m. ET on ESPN3 with ESPN2 taking over at 9:00p.m. ET.

PBA Tour This Weekend on ESPN–  ESPN will provide live coverage of the next stop of the Pro Bowlers Association (PBA) Tour and PBA League with coverage of the Don Carter Classic.  Lon McEachern and Randy Pedersen have the call Sunday at 3:00p.m. ET.

Friday Night Fights on ESPN–  This week’s edition of Friday Night Nights on ESPN will feature an IBF Title fight between Featherweight titlist Billy “The Kid” Dib and undefeated challenger Evgeny “The Mexican Russian” Gradovich in the 12-round main event. Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas have the call with Todd Grisham as pre and post fight host.   Alex Pombo and Delvin Rodriguez will call this week’s fights for ESPN Deportes’ Viernes de Combates (Friday Night Fights) with Leopoldo Gonzalez and Pablo Viruega in the studio. Bilingual reporter Bernardo Osuna will present live interviews and reports for both shows.

CBS Sports Spectacular this Sunday–  CBS Sports will present Bikes and Bulls again this Sunday’s CBS Sports Spectacular telecasts.  The action begins at 12:00p.m. ET as Jeff Emig, and Erin Bates call the Monster Energy AMA Supercross event from St. Louis.  At 1:00:p.m. ET CBS will telecast the Dickies Iron Cowboy IV bucking bulls event from Dallas. with Craig Hummer, Ty Murray and Leah Garcia.

SI Covers this Week–  As part of its Spring College Football issue, Sports Illustrated has two covers this week:
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