Sports Media Digest- March 5, 2013

NHL Action Scores Big on NBC and NBC Sports Network– NBC Sports has announced that Sunday’s NHL action on NBC and NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) gave each network a new high in terms of regular season ratings.  The NBC game between the Blackhawks and Red Wings had a rating of 1.6, the best-ever regular season rating for the network and 60% above last year.  NBCSN’s coverage of the Canadiens and Bruins had an audience of 813,000 viewers, the most-watched Sunday night regular-season game in the network’s history.

NBA Double Header Sunday on ABC–  ABC will have a NBA double header this Sunday as part of its NBA Sunday Showcase. Tip-off begins at 1:00p.m. ET as the Celtics take on the Thunder with Mike Tirico, Hubie Brown and Heather Cox on the call.   At 3:30p.m. ET Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy and Lisa Salters have the call as the Lakers host the Bulls.

ESPN Announces Initial Slate of SEC, ACC and Big 12 College Football Games–  ESPN today announced a slate of six games in its early release of match-ups featuring teams in the SEC, ACC and Big 12.  Other schedules will be released at a later date.  Here is the early list of games and the networks on which they will be telecast:

Date Time (ET) Game Network
Thu, Aug 29 6 p.m. North Carolina at South Carolina * ESPN
9:15 p.m. Ole Miss at Vanderbilt ESPN
Sat, Aug 31 5:30 p.m. Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game: Virginia Tech vs. Alabama (Atlanta) ESPN
8 p.m. Georgia at Clemson ABC
9 p.m. Cowboys Classic: TCU vs. LSU ESPN
Thu, Oct 24 7:30 p.m. Kentucky at Mississippi State ESPN

Feinstein goes One on One with Costas on CBS Sports Radio Special– CBS Sports Radio has announced that part of his mid-morning program, John Feinstein will go One on One with some of the top news makers in sports. Tomorrow at 11:00a.m. ET Feinstein will sit down and interview NBC Sports personality Bob Costas.  Future guests for the weekly segment will include David Stern, Tom Watson and Steve Kerr.

Kentucky Hoops Part of Turner Documentary–  Turner Sports says that it will look into the history and legacy of the University of Kentucky basketball program in its next documentary to air on truTV.   The documentary provides a chronology of the Wildcats’ history from its origins through the 2012 NCAA championship team.  Bluegrass Kingdom: The Gospel of Kentucky Basketball will debut March 17th at 8:00p.m. ET.

NASCAR Nationwide Series this Weekend from Las Vegas on ESPN– The next stop in the NASCAR Nationwide Series will take place this Saturday from the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  Alan Bestwick will be joined by Dale Jarrett 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 4:00p.m. ET.

In Play with Jimmy Roberts Debuts Next Tuesday– The Golf Channel will debut its new monthly program with host Jimmy Robert next Tuesday, March 12th at 10:30p.m. ET.  In Play with Jimmy Roberts will be a world-wide effort to uncover the most compelling stories in golf.

Sports Media Digest- November 12, 2012

New NFL Network Segment to Examine Officials Rulings-  The NFL NEtwork announced today the creation of a new segment which will look back at some of the calls made by league officials the previous week.  “Official Review” will be part of the Wednesday Around the League Program live at 5:00p.m. ET.  The segment will feature Carl Johnson (Vice President of Officiating) and Dean Blandino (Director of Officiating) of the NFL Officiating Department to review key officiating rulings from that week’s games. “Official Review” will also be seen on NFL Total Access (Wedensdays at 7:00pm ET) and the following morning on NFL AM (6:00 am ET).

NFLN to Produce Series on Player Health and Safety-  The NFL Network (NFLN) will debut a four-part series on football player health and safety this week.  The Health of the Game will debut tomorrow night on NFL Total Access tomorrow night at 7:00p.m. ET.  The second segment will air Wednesday at 7:00p.m. also on NFL Total Access.  Segment Three will air during the 6:00p.m. ET Thursday Night Football Kick-off show while the finale Friday returns to NFL Total Access at 7:00p.m. ET.  Andrea Kremer will host three of the segments while Steve Cyphers will host Wednesday’s segment.

CBS Selects SEC Game for November 24th–  CBS Sports has announced that the match-up between Alabama and Auburn will be its SEC game of the week on Saturday November 24th.  Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson, and Tracy Wolfson will have that call that day beginning at 3:30p.m. ET.

TNT’s NBA Doubleheader this Thursday–  This week’s NBA doubleheader on TNT will begin at 8:00p.m. ET as the Celtics travel to Brooklyn to take on the Nets. Marv Albert, Steve Kerr, Mike Fratello and Craig Sager will be on the call.  At 10:30p.m. Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, and David Aldridge will be on the scene as the Heat take on the Nuggets in Denver.

truTV’s Exclusive Coverage of Coaches vs. Cancer Classic–  tru TV will be the exclusive home of this week’s Coaches vs. Cancer Classic college basketball tournament.  Action begins Friday from Brooklyn at 7:00p.m. with Brigham Young taking on Florida State, followed by Notre Dame and Saint Joseph’s.  The consolation and championship games are Saturday beginning at 7:00p.m. ET. Brian Anderson will call the games alongside Greg Anthony, Steve Smith and Craig Sager.

Sports Media Digest- July 9, 2012

Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Championship Highest Rated Tennis Event Ever on ESPN-  ESPN reports that yesterday’s Gentlemen’s Final at Wimbledon gave the network a coverage rating of 2.9, making it the highest rated tennis match on the network.  The total rating for the final was 2.5, 39% higher than a year ago.  The Women’s total rating Saturday was 2.0, up 5% over 2011.  Over the course of the tournament, ESPn had an average audience of 981,000 viewers, up 65% over last year.

Turner Gets Solid Ratings For NASCAR-  Turner Sports reports that this weekend’s coverage of the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona scored a 3.8 rating and 6.18 total viewers, making it the highest rated Daytony 400 event since 2008.  The race was simulcast on both TNT and truTV and featured Wide Open coverage, where the race was aired uninterrupted by commercial breaks.  The 3.8 rating was 12% higher than a year ago.

Online Viewers of ESPN Set Records for June-  ESPN reports that its programming online on ESPN3 and WatchESPN topped 1.1 billion minutes viewed across computers, smartphones, tablets and Xbox to record its best month ever.  It also logged an average minute audience of 24,467 across platforms, up 452 percent compared to the same month last year on computers.  The numbers were bouyed by strong viewing online for its coverage of Euro 2012.

MLB Network to Produce Documentary on Daryl Kile-  With 2012 being the 10th Anniversary of the passing of former Cardinals, Rockies, and Astros pitcher Daryle Kile, the MLB Network will produce a special documentary on his life.  The Life and Death of Darryl Kile looks back at Kile’s All-Star career, his reputation as a great teammate and family man, and how his death impacted the Cardinals’ play throughout the rest of the 2002 season.  Kile died of a heart attack on June 22, 2002 prior to a game between the Cardinals and Cubs.  The documentary will feature many exclusive interviews and will be narrated by Bob Costas.  The one-hour film debuts Thursday at 9:00p.m. ET.

Sports Media Digest- July 3, 2012

ESPN Sees Increased Viewership for Wimbledon-  In the first year of its exclusive agreement to televise Wimbledon ESPN is reporting an eight percent increase over its household audience last year.  After six days ESPN is seeing its average household impression at 569,000 homes, while its average rating (0.5) is the same over a year ago.  ESPN is reporting an increase in ratings in the younger demographics of male 18-34 (up 13 percent),  male 18-49 (up 20 percent), and male 25-54 (up 11 percent).

NASCAR Coke Zero 400 from Daytona This Saturday on TNT–  TNT is getting set to provide live prime time coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Coke Zero 400 at Daytona. Turner will simulcast the race on truTV and offer what it calls Wide Open coverage, race action with no commercial interruptions.  Pre-race coverage begins at 6:30p.m. ET with  Adam Alexander and analysts Larry McReynolds and Kyle Petty. Alexander will also provide play-by-play for the race with analysts Petty and Wally Dallenbach and reporters Ralph Sheheen, Marty Snider, Matt Yocum and Chris Neville.

Colorado at Seattle this Saturday’s MLS Action on NBCSN–  The weekend’s MLS match-up on the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) will pit the Colorado Rapid at the Seattle Sounders FC.  Coverage begins at 11:00p.m. ET with Arlo White and Kyle Martino on the call the with  Russ Thaler hosting the pre-game, halftime and post-game segments on-site.

Boxing After Dark Returns to HBO-  HBO Sports will be presenting another edition of its Boxing After Dark cards this weekend.  Nonito Donaire will take on Jeffrey Mathebula and Kelly Pavlik will battle Will Rosinsky this Saturday night at 10:00p.m. ET.  Bob Papa, Max Kellerman and Roy Jones Jr. will be ringside for the event.

Prep Hoops Action Returns to CBS Sports Network-  The CBS Sports Network will again be the home for the adidas Grassroots Basketball events.  The action tips off July 15th at 2:00 PM, ET from Indianapolis. The action continues on Sunday, July 29  at 9:00 PM, ET with the 2012 adidas Super 64 Championship from Las Vegas, Nev. and concludes Monday, Aug. 6 with the adidas Nations third-place 8:00 PM, ET and championship games 9:30 PM, ET in Los Angeles, Calif.

Schedule for NCAA Basketball Tournament Regionals

We are down to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.  Here is the schedule of planned coverage from CBS and Turner Sports beginning Thursday Night:


7:15p.m. Wisconsin vs. Syracuse (Verne Lundquist, Bill Raftery, Lesley Visser) CBS
After game 1 Cincinnati vs. Ohio State (Verne Lundquist, Bill Raftery, Lesley Visser) CBS

7:47p.m. Louisville vs. Michigan State (Kevin Harlan, Len Elmore, Reggie Miller, Marty Snider) TBS
After game 1 Florida vs. Marquette (Kevin Harlan, Len Elmore, Reggie Miller, Marty Snider) TBS


7:15p.m. Baylor vs. Xavier  (Jim Nantz, Clark Kellogg, Tracy Wolfson) CBS
After game 1  Kentucky vs. Indiana (Jim Nantz, Clark Kellogg, Tracy Wolfson) CBS

7:47p.m. North Carolina vs. Ohio  (Marv Albert, Steve Kerr, Craig Sager) TBS
After game 1 Kansas vs. NC State (Marv Albert, Steve Kerr, Craig Sager) TBS

More Ratings Gains for NCAA Tourney

CBS and Turner Sports announced that Saturday’s combined rating for the third round of the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship registered at 6.1, up three percent over 2011.

For the first three days of the tournament the networks are averaging a rating of 5.3, up 4% over last year. The average audience of eight million viewers is up 3% over 2011.


Friday’s Rating for the NCAA Tourney Highest Rated in 21 Years

Friday’s coverage of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship across CBS, TBS, TNT, and truTV earned a combined rating of 5.4, making it the highest rated Friday of action since 1991.  The rating was 8% over last year.

The 8 million viewers who turned in was 5% higher than 2011.

Over the first two days of the tournament, CBS and Turner Sports had an average rating of 5.3, 5% over last year.  That was also the highest average rating for the first two days since 1991.



Sports Media Digest- March 16, 2012

Solid Ratings for First Day of NCAA Tourney-  CBS and Turner Sports report that the ratings for the first day of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship was a combined 5.3, 6% higher than 2011.  The combined audience was 7.7 million viewers, up 4% from a year ago.  Yesterday’s action was the most-viewed Thursday of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship since 1991, when the tournament expanded to four telecast windows.

ESPN has Sunday Night NBA Double Header-  ESPN will provide NBA fans with a double header this Sunday Night.  It all kicks-off at 7:00p.m. ET as the Miami Heat host the Orlando Magic.  Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy have the call.  The nightcap at 9:30p.m. will feature the Portland Trailblazers at the Oklahoma City Thunder with Terry Gannon and Bruce Bowen at the mic.

TNT Has its Own NBA Tin Bill on Monday-  TNT will provide a Monday night NBA double header on March 19th.  The opener gets underway at 8:00p.m. with the Chicago Bulls at the Orlando Magic. Matt Devlin will have the call with Chris Webber and David Aldridge. The finale will feature the Dallas Mavericks at Denver Nuggets at 10:30p.m. ET with Dick Stockton, Mike Fratello and Cheryl Miller (reporter).

Suns/Heat Next Weeks’ NBA TV Fan Night Game-  Fans have selected the Phoenix Suns at the Miami Heat as this Tuesday’s NBA TV Fan Night game of the week.  Tip-off is at 7:30p.m.  Here are the match-ups fans can vote on to air on March 27th: the Cleveland Cavaliers @ Philadelphia 76ers, the Minnesota Timberwolves @ Memphis Grizzlies, the Atlanta Hawks @ Milwaukee Bucks, the San Antonio Spurs @ Phoenix Suns, or the Los Angles Lakers @ Golden State Warriors.

Terry Francona Makes ESPN Game Coverage Debut Monday-  Coming-up this Monday, the new ESPN Sunday Night Baseball crew will call its first game.  Dan Shulman will be joined by Orel Hershiser and newcomer Terry Francona for pre-season coverage of the Tigers at the Phillies beginning at 1:00p.m. ET on ESPN.

Real Sports Returns Tuesday to HBO-  HBO Sports will produce its next Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel this Tuesday, March 20th at 10:00p.m. ET.  Here are this month’s segments: A profile of New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundquist; behind the scenes with the high-wire Wallenda Family; the story of the Seattle Mariners’ Steve Delabar; and a look at the 2001 and 2011 tragedies at Oklahoma State University.

Gymnastics This Weekend on NBC-  NBC Sports will have coverage this weekend of the Kellogg’s Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships.  Coverage begins Saturday, March 18, at 1:00p.m. ET on NBC.

Sports Media Weekly Podcast No. 96

Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I take it easy on this week’s edition of the Sports Media Weekly Podcast.

We have no guest this week, allowing all of you to focus on watching the NCAA Basketball Tournament.

Speaking of the Big Dance, Ken and I lead-off the show by discussing the early ratings numbers for truTV for the First Four Games in Dayton.  We also look back at how CBS, Turner, and ESPN handled coverage of the unveiling of the 68 team field Sunday Night.

We then shift gears and talk about a report in Sports Business Journal on the possible extension of the television deal between ESPN and the Big 12 Network.

We wrap up the show by predicitng whether ESPN will be able to re-sign three of its higher profile talent, Erin Andrews, Michelle Beadle, and Scott Van Pelt.  The contracts of all three expire soon.

SMJ Inbox- March 30, 2011

More and more great sports media information continues to make its way into the Sports Media Journal inbox…

ESPN Announces Coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament from Houston- ESPN has announced how it plans to provide extensive coverage of this weekend’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four in Houston.  Among the programming, daily SportsCenter and ESPNEWS reports from Houston beginning Friday, April 1st and special editions of College Gameday.

WWL Welcomes Jaime Moyer as Baseball Analyst- Former Major Leage pitcher Jamie Moyer has been hired by ESPN to serve as a baseball analyst.  Moyer’s first appearance will be on Baseball Tonight tomorrow as part of ESPN’s coverage of Opening Day.

MLB Network Announces Live Game Coverage Opening Week- The MLB network will kick off its series of 30 Games, 30 Clubs, 30 Days with live coverage of the Seattle Mariners at Oakland A’s Friday at 10pm ET.  Viewers in select markets will see the San Francisco Giants take on the Los Angeles Dodgers.  MLB Network’s first produced telecast will be Friday, April 8th at 2pm ET when the Boston Red Sox host the New York Yankees.

MLB on Fox Announces Opening Weekend Coverage- The MLB on Fox will have three games to share with the country this Saturday.  59% of the country will hear Joe Buck and Tim McCarver telecast the Tigers and Yankees.  20% of the country will watch the San Francisco Giants at the Los Angeles Dodgers with Kenny Albert and Eric Karros.  The remainder of the country will have Thom Brennaman and Mark Grace call the San Diego Padres at St’ Louis Cardinals.

PGA Shell Houston Open Kicks off on NBC and the Golf Channel- The NBC Sports Group will again provide coverage of this weekend’s PGA Tour event, the Shell Houston Open.  The first two rounds will air from 3pm to 6pm ET Thursday and Friday on the Golf Channel.  The Golf Channel will also have third and fourth round coverage Saturday and Sunday from 1pm to 3pm ET with NBC taking over each day from 3pm to 6pm ET.

truTV has College Hoops All-Star Game from Houston- The 2011 Reese’s College All-Star Game will take place this Friday A