We begin the show by talking about the final ratings for CBS and Turner for the recently-completed NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament. We look back at what was the best and worst of the coverage by both networks.
We wrap-up the segment by looking at plans by TNT to cover tomorrow night’s Thunder/Warriors NBA telecast without a play-by-play announcer, only analysts Steve Kerr, Reggie Miller and Chris Webber.
Our second guest this week is Dan Levy, national lead writer for the Bleacher Report. Dan fills us in on how his role has evolved at the Bleacher Report and the impact Turner has had on the operation after it purchased the site.
Dan also used his appearance to announce a new project, the creation of a graphic novel entitled The Rise of the Umpire Robots. Dan will enlist a star-studded roster of sports writers to help with the project, which will be funded via Kickstarter very soon.
Yesterday Final Four games of the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament were the highest-rated and most watched on eight years. From CBS PR:
Turner Sports and CBS Sports’ coverage of the 2013 NCAA® Division I Men’s Basketball Final Four®on CBS on Saturday, April 6 earned an average fast national household rating/share of 9.4/18, up 4% from last year’s 9.0/17, which is the highest-rated Final Four in eight years (10.5/19; 2005),based on Nielsen Fast Nationals.
The 2013 Final Four averaged 15.702 million viewers, up 3% from last year’s 15.256 million, which is the highest viewer average for the two Final Four games since 2005 (16.647 million; Illinois-Louisville and North Carolina-Michigan State).
The first game, Louisvillebeating Wichita State, earned an average household rating/share of 8.7/18and 14,468,000 total viewers, both up 4% from last year’s 8.4/17 and 13,908,000 total viewers.
The second game featuring Michigan’s victory over Syracusedelivered a 10.2/18, up 6% from last year’s 9.6/17. The corresponding 17,104,000 total viewers areup 3% compared with last year’s 16,603,000 total viewers.
CBS Sports and Turner Sports’ coverage of the 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship is averaging 10.174 million total viewers-to-date, up 10% from last year’s 9.213 million,and is thehighest viewer average for the NCAA Tournament through the Final Four in eight years(10.183 million; 2005).
The 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship has delivered the best overall tournament-to-date ratings since 2005. The overall tournament average-to-date rating/share is a 6.4/13, up 8% fromlast year’s 5.9/12. The 6.4/13 is the highest average rating for the NCAA Tournament through the Final Four in eight years (6.6/14; 2005).
Beginning tomorrow CBS Sports Network will begin its coverage of the NCAA Men’s Baske.tball Final Four from Centennial Park in Atlanta.
Throughout the weekend, hosts Adam Zucker and Brent Stover will be joined by analystsWally Szczerbiak, Mateen Cleaves, Alaa Abdelnaby, Steve Lappas and Pete Gillen, as well as insider Jon Rothstein and reporters Tracy Wolfson and Allie LaForce.
Here is the schedule of shows:
Thursday, April 4
6:30-7:30 PM – COURTSIDE WITH SETH DAVIS
7:30-8:30 PM – NCAA MARCH MADNESS BRACKET BREAKDOWN
Friday, April 5
12:00 NOON-4:00 PM – NCAA MARCH MADNESS 360
5:30-7:00 PM – NCAA MARCH MADNESS BRACKET BREAKDOWN
9:30-10:30 PM – CBS SPORTS PRESENTS 75 YEARS OF NCAA MARCH MADNESS: THE ALL-TIME TEAM
Saturday, April 6
1:30-3:00 PM – NCAA MARCH MADNESS 360
11:30 PM-12:30 AM – NCAA MARCH MADNESS BRACKET BREAKDOWN
Sunday, April 7
11:00 AM-12:30 PM – NCAA MARCH MADNESS 360
5:00-6:00 PM, ET – NCAA MARCH MADNESS BRACKET BREAKDOWN
Monday, April 8
6:30-9:00 PM – NCAA MARCH MADNESS 360
12:00 MIDNIGHT-1:00 AM – NCAA MARCH MADNESS BRACKET BREAKDOWN
CBS and Turner Continue Strong NCAA Tourney Numbers– Despite the fact that three of the regional final games were blowouts, CBS and Turner are averaging 9.7 million viewers, up 11% over 2012 and the highest in 19 years. The average rating is 6.3, up 9% from last year. Sunday’s regional final games had an average audience of 12.8 million viewers, up 31% over 2012.
NBA Double Headers on TNT Tuesday and Thursday– TNT will televise NBA double headers tomorrow and Thursday. Tomorrow at 8:00p.m. ET the Knicks take on the Heat with Kevin Calabro, Greg Anthony and David Aldredge on the call. At 10:30p.m. ET Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Chris Webber and Craig Sager have the call of the Mavericks and Lakers. Thursday at 7:00p.m. ET The Bulls take on the Nets with Marv Albert, Mike Fratello and Nischelle Turner. At 9:30p.m. ET Harlan, Miller and Sager return as the Spurs travel to the Thunder.
NBA Action on ESPN- ESPN will televise four NBA games this week. Wednesday at 7:00p.m. ET the Knicks take on the Hawks with Dave Pasch and Jon Barry on the call. ESPN has a double header Friday with the opener at 8:00p.m. ET as the Bobcats host the Heat with Mark Jones and Hubie Brown.. At 10:30p.m. ET the Rockets take on the Trailblazers with Dave Pasch and Flip Saunders at the mic. The Heat are back on the air Saturday as they take on the 76ers in Philadelphia with Jones and Barry on site.
ABC NBA Double Header Sunday– ABC will televise another double header as part of its Sunday Showcase this weekend. The opener tips-off at 1:00p.m. ET as the Knicks take on the Thunder with Mike Tirico, Hubie Brown, and Heather Cox on the call. At 3:30p.m. ET Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy will broadcast the Clippers and the Lakers.
There’s quite a bit on our plate for this week’s edition of Sports Media Weekly.
Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I begin the show discussing the impact Tim McCarver has had on the coverage of Major League Baseball over the years. McCarver announced today that he will no longer serve as the lead baseball analyst for Fox when his contract expires at the end of this season.
We shift to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and the strong ratings for CBS and Turner on television and online. Overall we feel the networks have covered the tournament well, but the addition of Doug Gottlieb on the broadcasts has been the one misstep thus far.
We stay with college hoops in discussing how the “old” Big East will continue to receive coverage from CBS when the league splits this summer.
We shift to soccer to discuss the big ratings for ESPN from Tuesday night’s coverage of the World Cup qualifier between the U.S. and Mexico. We also look at NBC Sports’ hire of Rebecca Lowe to serve on the network’s coverage of the English Premier League when it takes over the rights to the matches in August.
We wrap the segment looking at ESPN’s re-hire of Rick Reilly and our anticipation of the upcoming Major League Baseball season.
Baseball and basketball are on the docket during Ken’s interview with Dave Sims. Dave recently completed a stint calling college hoops for Dial Global Radio and is prepping for his work for Root Sports calling games on television for the Seattle Mariners.
The average overnight ratings through the first week of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament on CBS and Turner Sports is averaging 6.3, the highest opening week overnight rating for the tournament in 23 years. The number is 5% higher than 2012.
Sunday’s third round combined rating was 7.6, up 19% over last year, and the highest in 20 years.
From CBS and Turner Sports PR, here is a breakdown of the numbers from Sunday’s telecasts:
The first daytime telecast window (12:00-2:45 p.m. ET) averaged a 5.4/13, the highest rating for the window since 2002 (5.8/13) and an increase of 26% over last year’s 4.3/11.
The second daytime telecast window (3:00-5:15 p.m.) averaged a 7.2/15, tied with 2007 as the highest rating for the window since 2006 (7.5/16) and up 20% over last year’s 6.0/13.
The first primetime telecast window (5:15-9:15 p.m.) averaged an 11.8/22, the highest rating for the window since 1991’s 12.1/24 and a 26% increase over a 9.4/18 in 2012.
The second primetime window (8:00 p.m.-12:15 a.m.) averaged a 6.5/11, up 2% vs. a 6.4/10 in 2012.
UPDATE: The final national numbers are in and the rating for the first week of the tournament came in at 5.8, up 7% from 2012 and the highest in 15 years. The combined average audience for the week was 8.9 million viewers, up 9% over last year and the highest in 20 years. Sunday’s national rating was 7.1, up 27% over last year.
CBS Sports and Turner Sports report that the overnight ratings for the first day of the full field NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament came in at 5.8, up 4% over 2012 and the highest for the Thursday opening round in 22 years.
From CBS and Turner PR, here is the breakdown of the ratings during the four game windows yesterday:
§ The first daytime telecast window (12-4:15 p.m. ET) averaged a 4.1/14 to deliver the second highest rating for the time slot since 1991, when the tournament expanded to four telecast windows for the entire day (trailing only 2011’s 4.4/15). The telecast window is up 5% compared with a 3.9/13 last year.
§ The second daytime telecast window (2:30-7:15 p.m.) averaged a 5.5/15 to garner the highest rating ever for the time slot. The window is up 6% over last year’s 5.2/14.
§ The first primetime telecast window (7-10:15 p.m.) averaged a 7.4/14 to register the highest rating ever for the time slot. The window is up 9% over a 6.8/13 in 2012.
§ The second primetime window (9:30 p.m.-12:45 a.m.) averaged a 6.4/11, which included a pair of lopsided victories (VCU’s 46-point win against Akron and Syracuse’s 47-point triumph over Montana), vs. a 6.8/12 in 2012.