Here are some press releases that have come in over the day. This is going to be ESPN-heavy so be prepared.
First, ESPN is moving Saturday’s heavyweight championship boxing title bout from ESPN2 to the lesser viewed ESPN Classic.
ESPN Media Advisory: Live Klitschko-Gomez Fight Moved to ESPN Classic
Saturday’s live telecast of the Vitali Klitschko-Juan Carlos Gomez WBC heavyweight title fight has been moved to ESPN Classic and will now air at 6-7 p.m. ET on March 21. Additionally, for fans without ESPN Classic, a tape-delayed version of the fight will be on ESPN2 at 7-8 p.m. ET. The bout will also be presented live on ESPN360.com, ESPN’s broadband sports network, from 6-7 p.m.
Next, ESPN says interest in the World Baseball Classic is growing.
ESPN’s World Baseball Classic Audience Continues to Grow
ESPN Platforms to Showcase Semifinals and Final from
Beginning March 21 L.A.
New SNB Team – Miller, Morgan & Phillips – to Debut
ESPN’s World Baseball Classic coverage is demonstrating consistent audience growth across multimedia platforms. Through the second round to date, ESPN’s telecasts are averaging 1,675,000 viewers (up 53 percent), 1,264,000 household impressions (up 36 percent) and a 1.3 average rating (up 30 percent). At this time in 2006, ESPN’s telecasts were averaging 1,098,000 viewers, 930,000 households and a 1.0 rating.
The World Baseball Classic has also led to significant audience growth for additional ESPN outlets:
- ESPN Deportes’ live World Baseball Classic telecasts are averaging a 1.9 Hispanic household rating, 82,000 Hispanic households and 115,000 Hispanic viewers;
United Statesvs. Puerto Rico game (March 14) is the network’s highest-rated World Baseball Classic telecast to date delivering a 3.4 Hispanic rating, 148,000 Hispanic households and 211,000 Hispanic viewers;
- The USA/Puerto Rico telecast is ESPN Deportes’ highest-rated, non-soccer event ever;
- World Baseball Classic telecasts account for the network’s top 13 highest-rated, non-soccer events.
- The World Baseball Classic has helped ESPNdeportes.com deliver 68.8 million page views for March 2009.
- There have been 3.1 million views of World Baseball Classic-related video.
Semifinals and Final Across ESPN Platforms
ESPN will showcase the World Baseball Classic semifinals (Saturday, March 21, and Sunday, March 22) – including Team USA facing the Korea/Japan winner on Sunday – and final (March 23) across the following platforms: ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes Radio, ESPN360.com, ESPN Mobile TV and ESPN International. ESPN’s coverage of the semifinal and final will mark the debut of the new Sunday Night Baseball commentator team of Jon Miller, Joe Morgan and Steve Phillips. Pedro Gomez will also report during ESPN’s telecasts, along with SportsCenter. Jon Sciambi will handle the call for ESPN Radio with analyst Dave Campbell.
ESPN Deportes will include a commentator team of Ernesto Jerez (play-by-play), analysts Juan Marichal and Candy Maldonado and reporters Guillermo Celis and Carolina Guillen. Eduardo Ortega (Saturday/Monday) and Jaime Jarin (Sunday) will call the games for ESPN Deportes Radio, teaming with analyst Renato Bermudez.
ESPN International will distribute the games in Africa, Asia (via ESS),
Australia, China, Europe (via ESPN America), Guam ( U.S.feed), Japan, Latin America, the Middle East, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. New Zealand
ESPN’s SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight and ESPNEWS – along with ESPN.com and ESPNdeportes.com – will also provide comprehensive highlights, news and information.
Sat., March 21
Korea vs. Venezuela
ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes Radio, ESPN360.com, ESPN Mobile TV
Sun., March 22
Japan vs. United States
ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes Radio, ESPN360.com, ESPN Mobile TV
Mon., March 23
Final: Semifinal #1 winner vs. Semifinal #2 winner
ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes Radio, ESPN360.com, ESPN Mobile TV
The Alleged Worldwide Leader tells us that there were more than five million entries for ESPN.com’s Tournament Challenge Bracket game.
MORE THAN FIVE MILLION ENTRIES FOR MEN’S TOURNAMENT CHALLENGE BRACKET GAME ON ESPN.COM
Fans Agree with President Obama, “National Bracket” Picks North Carolina as Champs; Louisville, Memphis, Pittsburgh, North Carolina in Final Four
Fans submitted more than five million entries to ESPN.com’s 14th annual Men’s Tournament Challenge, surpassing last year’s record of 3.65 million entries by 37 percent. At the peak period, fans registered nearly 3,900 entries per minute (nearly 65 entries per second).
The Women’s Tournament Challenge will be accepting entries until tip-off of the first game on Saturday, March 21.
The Men’s Tournament Challenge “National Bracket” – reflecting the percentage of people picking each match-up throughout the Men’s Tournament – showed that more fans picked Louisville, Memphis, Pittsburgh, North Carolina to reach the Final Four than any other teams. In those predicted games (Louisville vs. Memphis, Pittsburgh vs. North Carolina):
- Louisville was picked to defeat Memphis 62.9 percent of the time;
- North Carolina was picked to defeat Pittsburgh 58.3 percent of the time;
- Fans picked North Carolina to defeat Louisville in the national championship game 60.0 percent of the time.
The growth in the Tournament Challenge entries has been spurred by multiple factors, including the newly redesigned ESPN.com front page (which allowed users to submit their brackets directly from the main engagement area of the site) and buzz surrounding the bracket submitted by President Barack Obama. Fans could also submit (and can follow) their ESPN Tournament Challenge entries via mobile devices.
Bracket groups featuring fans playing with ESPN personalities also helped drive entries, with groups for Mike and Mike in the Morning (90,713 entries), Around The Horn (49,362), Pardon The Interruption (41,687), The Herd with Colin Cowherd (29,210), ESPN First Take (27,030), Bill Simmons’ B.S. Report (19,598) and several other ESPN programs.
In addition to President Obama’s bracket, Miami Heat star (and former Marquette star) Dwyane Wade and Hollywood heavyweight Samuel L. Jackson squared off in the first-ever SportsCenter Bracket Challenge (the SportsCenter Bracket Challenge group has 14,055 entries from others as well).
An analysis of early round picks by the five million entries finds:
- 1.8% of entries picked Stephen F Austin to defeat Syracuse;
- 38.6% of entries picked Western Kentucky to defeat Illinois;
- 98.5% of entries picked Connecticut to defeat Chattanooga;
- 41.8% of entries picked BYU to defeat Texas A&M;
- 0.42% of entries picked Morehead St. to defeat top-seeded Louisville;
- 50.6% of entries picked Tennessee to defeat Oklahoma St.;
- 47.8% of entries picked USC to defeat Boston College;
- 28.1% of entries picked Virginia Commonwealth to defeat UCLA;
- 98.5% of entries picked North Carolina to defeat Radford;
- 55.1% of entries picked Utah to defeat Arizona;
- 91.2% of entries picked Xavier to defeat Portland State;
- 20.1% of entries picked Wisconsin to defeat Florida St.
At the end of the Tournament the Men’s Tournament Challenge entrant with the most points wins $10,000. Runner up is a random drawing $5,000 Best Buy gift card. The Women’s Tournament Challenge winner will receive a $3,000 Best Buy gift card and a $1100 Best Buy random drawing. Entries for the Men’s Tournament Challenge game were accepted until just prior to the tip-off of the Tournament’s first game today. The Women’s Tournament Challenge will accept registration until just prior to tip-off of the first game on Saturday, March 21st.
Additionally, for the first time, this year’s downloadable bracket on ESPN.com is a special Adobe(r) Acrobat(r) 9 interactive PDF file* – the Ultimate Tourney Guide*. It is an interactive document that can be saved to your computer and delivers live updates, news, information and more straight to your desktop. The downloadable Ultimate Tourney Guide includes:
- Tournament Challenge Bracket;
- Tournament news
- Team Preview Videos
- A chance to sign up and win an LCD TV being given away by Adobe.
Adobe Acrobat 9 enables the creation of electronic documents including interactive PDFs that allow users to actively engage with information in the documents. Adobe Acrobat 9 supports the inclusion of dynamic content directly into PDF files, including Adobe Flash(r) videos, news feeds, polls, and other live updating content.*The Ultimate Tourney Guide will feature your personal bracket picks once input to Tournament Challenge.
You want another ESPN press release? Of course you do. ESPN will be all over the NCAA Division I Men’s Hockey Championships.
NCAA Div. I Men’s College Hockey Championships, Frozen Four to Receive Extensive Live Coverage on ESPNU, ESPN2, ESPN, ESPN Classic and ESPN360.com
ESPNU, ESPN2, ESPN and ESPN360.com will combine for expanded live coverage of all 15 games from the 2009 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championships, March 27-April 11. ESPNU will telecast eight regional games exclusively, while ESPN2, ESPN Classic and ESPN360.com, ESPN’s signature broadband service, also will offer live coverage of regional semifinals and finals. The Frozen Four, live from the Verizon Center in Washington, DC, will be presented in high definition on ESPN and ESPN2, while ESPN360.com also will provide extensive live coverage.
Coverage of the tournament begins Sunday, March 22, at 11:30 a.m. ET, with the NCAA Hockey Selection Show on ESPN2 HD and ESPN360.com, hosted by John Buccigross, who will be joined by analysts Barry Melrose and former University of Michigan hockey standout Sean Ritchlin.
ESPNU will provide extensive coverage of the tournament, from the regional semifinals Friday, March 27, through the regional finals Sunday, March 29. Also, on Friday, April 10, at 7 p.m., the network will present the Hobey Baker Award live in high definition from the Verizon Center in Washington, DC. The presentation honors college ice hockey’s top men’s player and will be hosted by Clay Matvick and Ben Holden.
ESPN HD, ESPN2 HD and ESPN360.com will showcase the Frozen Four, live from Washington, DC, with the national semifinal games Thursday, April 9, at 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on ESPN2 HD and ESPN360.com. The national championship will be telecast on Saturday, April 11, at 7 p.m. on ESPN HD and ESPN360.com.
The Frozen Four telecasts will feature Gary Thorne (play-by-play), Barry Melrose (analyst), Clay Matvick (ice-level reporter) calling all the action from Washington, DC, and John Buccigross will host the intermissions. At regional semifinals and finals, commentators include Justin Kutcher (play-by-play), Damian DiGuilian (analyst) and Ken Hodge (ice-level reporter) in the East Regional, Bridgeport, Conn.; Matvick and Jim Paradise in the West Regional, Minneapolis; Buccigross and Melrose in the Northeast Regional, Manchester, N.H.; with Ben Holden and Sean Ritchlin calling the action in the Midwest Regional, Grand Rapids, Mich. Also during coverage of the regional round, the ESPNU studio will be anchored by Lowell Galindo and Bob Norton.
ESPN360.com is available at no cost to millions of U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel. Users accessing ESPN360.com from an on-campus “.edu” or “.mil” network domain in the United States receive free, seamless access to the NCAA Div. I Men’s Ice Hockey Championships and hundreds of other live college and professional sporting events each month. ESPN360.com is also available via affiliated ISPs nationwide, including AT&T, Verizon, RCN, Insight, Frontier, Cavalier, Charter, Mediacom, Conway, Grande Communications and many more.
Schedule (all times Eastern)
NCAA Selection Show
Sun., Mar 22 11:30 a.m. ESPN2 HD / ESPN360.com
NCAA Div. I Men’s Ice Hockey Championships
Fri., Mar 27. 3 p.m. East Regional Semifinal #1, Bridgeport, CT, ESPNU HD
5:30 p.m., West Regional Semifinal #1, Minneapolis, ESPN2 HD
6:30 p.m., East Regional Semifinal #2, Bridgeport, ESPNU HD
9 p.m., West Regional Semifinal #2, Minneapolis, ESPNU HD
Sat., Mar 28, 2 p.m., Northeast Regional Semifinal #1, Manchester, NH, ESPN2
4 p.m., Midwest Regional Semifinal #1, Grand Rapids, MI, ESPNU
5:30 p.m., Northeast Regional Semifinal #2, Manchester, ESPN2
6:30 p.m., East Final, Bridgeport, ESPNU HD
7:30 p.m., Midwest Regional Semifinal #2, Grand Rapids, ESPN Classic
9 p.m., West Final, Minneapolis, ESPNU HD
Sun., Mar 29, 5:30 p.m., Northeast Final, Manchester, ESPNU
8 p.m., Midwest Final, Grand Rapids, ESPNU
Verizon Center, Washington, DC
Thur., Apr 9, 5 p.m., National Semifinal #1, ESPN2 HD/ESPN360.com
8:30 p.m., National Semifinal #2, ESPN2 HD/ESPN360.com
Fri., Apr 10, 7 p.m., Hobey Baker Award, ESPNU HD
Sat., Apr 11, 7 p.m., NCAA Championship Finals, ESPN HD/ESPN360.com
Let’s move to NBA TV which let’s us know about its programming schedule for the next few days.
NBA TV Tips Off Four Days of Exciting NBA Matchups Including Two Appearances by NBA Champion Boston Celtics
NBA TV will air four consecutive nights of NBA matchups from Fri., March 20 – Mon., March 23. The airwaves will heat up on Fri., March 20 as NBA TV showcases a Noche Latina match-up between the Boston Celtics @ San Antonio ‘Los Spurs’ with tip off at 8:30 p.m. ET. The Celtics will also be featured on the network on Sat., March 21 as they face the Memphis Grizzlies, with the game tipping off at 8 p.m. ET. LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers take on Vince Carter and the New Jersey Nets on Sun., March 22 at 6 p.m. ET. On Mon., March 23 the Philadelphia 76ers face the Portland Trail Blazers with game coverage beginning at 10 p.m. ET.
Sister network TNT will feature a special Tuesday night doubleheader on Tues., March 24 beginning at 8 p.m. ET with the Detroit Pistons @ Chicago Bulls followed by the Houston Rockets @ Utah Jazz. NBA TV will air its next Fan Night matchup on Tues., March 31 allowing the voting window to be extended on NBA.com until Wed., March 25. Fans will vote between:
- Detroit Pistons @ Cleveland Cavaliers
- Chicago Bulls @ Indiana Pacers
- Atlanta Hawks @ Philadelphia 76ers
- Oklahoma City Thunder @ San Antonio Spurs
- Utah Jazz @ Portland Trail Blazers
- New Orleans Hornets @ Sacramento Kings
NBA TV’s Euroleague Game of the Week coverage continues featuring Tau Ceramica vs. Olympiakos. The game will air on Sat., March 21 at 1 p.m. ET and is part of the network’s weekly Euroleague matchup that airs every Saturday throughout the regular season.
NBA TV’s coverage of the NBA D-League continues on Wed., March 25 featuring the Sioux Falls Skyforce @ Bakersfield Jam. Coverage will begin at 4 p.m. ET with D-League Central, a weekly studio show featuring an update on the news, transactions and D-League action, followed by tip-off of the game at 4:30 p.m. ET. NBA TV will air a D-League match-up every Wednesday.
NBA TV’s weekly programming will feature its three signature nights, including:
- Fan Night (Tues. March 24): The Beat is a weekly roundtable show featuring NBA beat writers from newspapers across the country who will join host Marc Fein and TNT Insider David Aldridge to cover hot topics and NBA news.
Fan Night voting is currently open on NBA.com for fans to decide the next NBA matchup they most want to see televised on NBA TV on Tues., March 31. Voting will remain open until Wed., March 25 with the fans’ selection being announced that night on NBA TV.
· Premiere Night (Wed., March 25): Premiere Night will feature Last Night at the Spectrum at 7 p.m. ET. After opening in 1967, the Spectrum was home to countless memories for the Philadelphia 76ers – four trips to the NBA Finals including the 1983 Championship win. Recently, the team honored this rich chapter in its history by playing its final game at the Spectrum, which is scheduled to be torn down later this year. During this show, viewers will hear from present and past 76ers, including a special, exclusive walk through the empty building by Hall of Famer Julius Erving. As the current Sixers fight for playoff position, the memories come flooding back to the days when the Spectrum was one of the most venerable arenas in the NBA.
At 7:30 p.m. ET, NBA Roundtable: Rookies will examine what it means to be a rookie in the league. Four of the NBA Draft’s top ten picks got together during NBA All-Star 2009 to share stories of their rookie years including Memphis Grizzlies guard OJ Mayo, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, L.A. Clippers guard Eric Gordon and New Jersey Nets center Brook Lopez. Topics include their most embarrassing moments, dealing with veterans, hitting the ‘rookie wall’ and being counted upon to lead their teams to success.
· Legends Night (Thurs., March 26): Thursday nights on NBA TV will continue to showcase the rich heritage of the NBA during Legends Night. This week, Legends Night will feature specials on past NBA MVP winners including Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki, Steve Nash, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, Allen Iverson, Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon.
The Golf Channel says for the first time will produce its outside studio shows in HD at Bay Hill for the Arnold Palmer Invitational tournament.
GOLF CHANNEL News and Talk Shows Produced in HD for First Time at Bay Hill
, March 19, 2009 – For the first time outside of its Orlando, Fla., studios, GOLF CHANNEL will produce and televise its signature news and talk shows in high definition as part of the network’s coverage of the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard. ORLANDO, Fla.
Studio G, GOLF CHANNEL’s on-site studio, will be home base for the news and talk shows. Golf Central (Monday – Sunday), Golf Central Pre Game (Thursday – Sunday), The Approach with Callaway Golf (Tuesday) and the Grey Goose 19th Hole (Wednesday) all will commence from Bay Hill Club & Lodge.
Monday’s Golf Central (6 p.m. ET), will feature tournament host and GOLF CHANNEL co-founder Arnold Palmer, who will join hosts Inga Hammond and Rich Lerner. Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET, Palmer also will be a special guest on The Approach, when he will give his tournament predictions. Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET,
Vince Celliniand Golf World senior writer John Hawkins will host the 19th Hole, with featured guests scheduled to appear.
The network also will deliver live tournament coverage of the Arnold Palmer Invitational Thursday and Friday at 3 p.m. ET, and will re-air in prime time 8:30 p.m. ET.
Peter Jacobsen will join the broadcast team as a special on-course tower reporter for both GOLF CHANNEL’s opening rounds and NBC Sports’ weekend action. Kelly Tilghman and Brandel Chamblee will serve as play-by-play host and lead analyst for the telecast. Gary Koch and Jacobsen will call the action from an on-course tower, with Bob Murphy, Roger Maltbie, Mark Rolfing and Dottie Pepper reporting from the course. Scott Walker will conduct post-round interviews.
GOLF CHANNEL Programming Schedule from Bay Hill Club & Lodge
Golf Central, Monday – Sunday, 6 and 11:30 p.m. ET
Golf Central Pre Game, Thursday – Friday, 2:30 p.m. ET, Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET, Sunday, 12 p.m. ET
The Approach, Tuesday, 8 p.m. ET
19th Hole, Wednesday, 8 p.m. ET
Thursday – Friday, 3 p.m. ET (Live), 8:30 p.m. ET (replay) Arnold Palmer Invitational,
Finally, Sirius XM Radio will provide the entire American LeMans Racing Series to subscribers.
SIRIUS XM RADIO TO BROADCAST AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES RACES LIVE NATIONWIDE
Season begins March 21; SIRIUS and XM listeners will hear every race
NEW YORK – March 19, 2009 – SIRIUS XM Radio announced today that it will offer live coverage of 2009 American Le Mans Series races to SIRIUS and XM subscribers nationwide.
SIRIUS XM will air every 2009 American Le Mans Series race on both the SIRIUS and XM platforms starting this Saturday, March 21, with the season’s first event, the 57th Annual Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by “Fresh from Florida,” from Sebring International Speedway in Sebring, FL. Coverage will run from 10:00 am to noon ET and again from 9:00 pm ET to the finish on SIRIUS channel 126 and XM channel 242. Listeners will hear on track action plus pre- and post-race coverage.
The American Le Mans Series is
North America’s premier sports car series, featuring high-tech cars from the most prestigious automobile manufacturers in the world – including Acura, Aston Martin, Audi, Porsche, Corvette, Ferrari and Panoz – competing in a combination of endurance and sprint races on road racing tracks as well as street circuits in major urban markets. Races feature exotic, open-top prototypes and sophisticated production-based Grand Touring (GT) cars all competing on the track at the same time.
American Le Mans Series races aired on XM Radio last season. This year marks the first year the races will be available to both SIRIUS and XM subscribers.
“This season, SIRIUS XM will deliver American Le Mans Series races to more than 19 million subscribers around the country, allowing more listeners than ever before to experience this unique and entertaining form of auto racing,” said Scott Greenstein, SIRIUS XM Radio’s President and Chief Content Officer. “The American Le Mans Series is a key part of our extensive motorsports coverage and another reason why SIRIUS XM is a ‘must have’ for racing fans.”
In addition to American Le Mans Series coverage, SIRIUS XM Radio broadcasts every NASCAR race and every Formula 1 race, giving motorsports fans around the country access to world class racing on oval tracks, road course tracks and street circuits.
SIRIUS XM’s motorsports schedule is a feature of the extensive European sports programming the satellite radio broadcaster offers. Listeners can also hear world class soccer from the English Premier League, Champions League and Scottish Premier League, plus World Cup skiing events from around the globe.
There you go. Those were the press releases that were in my inbox today.