Ok, we have quite a few press releases for a Friday. Lots of stuff going on. Let’s get to them without any delay. I hope to get to the megalinks before the afternoon ends.
ESPN says viewership for the NBA Finals continues strong through Game 4.
NBA Finals Continue to Deliver for ABC in PrimetimeGame 4 Earns 10.9 Overnight
The NBA Finals – exclusively broadcast on ABC – delivered a 10.9 overnight rating, the highest yet for the series, for a thrilling overtime game in which the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Orlando Magic 99-91. The 2009 Finals continue to provide the highest-rated and most-viewed programs of the night in primetime. If the 10.9 overnight rating holds, it will propel the 2009 Finals to outpace the 2008 Finals in viewership.
The 10.9 overnight rating (9 p.m. ET-12:30 a.m.) was up five percent over last year’s Game 4 between the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers (10.4 overnight rating). This year’s Game 4 was the second overtime game of this year’s Finals; the first time a Finals has seen two overtime games since 1984.
The game registered a 27.3 rating in Los Angeles, the highest-rated NBA broadcast locally since Game 5 of the 2008 Finals. In Orlando, the game earned a 26.7 rating.The Lakers hold a 3-1 series lead. Game 5 of The Finals, an elimination game for the Magic, will be broadcast Sunday, June 14, at 8 p.m. on ABC, ABC HD and ESPN Radio.
However, the Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand tweets: “Good NBA Game 4 overnights. But it’s the 2nd lowest rated Lakers’ Finals Game 4 in the last decade, after 00, 01, 02, 04, but above 08.” Nice to have some numbers crunching to go with the release.
Here’s quotage from the TNT Inside the NBA guys on NBA TV.
Notes from NBA TV’s Pre and Postgame Coverage of the NBA Finals Game #4 – Thursday, June 11, 2009
NBA TV’s coverage of the NBA Finals continues on Sunday, June 14 with pre-game coverage beginning at 7 p.m. ET. Post-game coverage will follow Game #4 between the
Los AngelesLakers @ Magic. Orlando
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Announcers: Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith
Barkley on claims that Lakers guard
Bryant is fatigues following Game #3: “Kobe Bryant just had a bad second half. He’s human. He’s not going to dominate the game every night.” Kobe
Barkley on the importance of
winning Game #4: “This is the biggest game of the series. Orlando has a good chance of being back in the series after tonight. If Orlando wins tonight, I think this series is up for grabs.” Orlando
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Inside the NBA
Announcers: Johnson, Barkley and Smith
Barkley on the Magic’s loss in Game #4: “
gave this game away.” Orlando
Smith on Magic center Dwight Howard’s performance in Game #4: “A superstar needs to dominate in three areas. Dwight (Howard) was only able to dominate in two; defense and rebounding. He couldn’t get the third thing in this game and that was scoring.”
Barkley on Magic guard Mickael Pietrus: “Mickael Pietrus is becoming one of my favorite players.”
Smith’s response to Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy saying experience doesn’t play a role in the Finals: “I disagree (with Stan Van Gundy) about experience. There is a reason not many rookies have led their team to an NBA Championship. Experience is a big part in playing a basketball game. It’s composure, not panicking, belief, and trust.”
Barkley: “I disagree. Missing free throws and leaving a player open to make a three-pointer doesn’t have anything to do with experience. The bottom line is the Orlando Magic blew this game.”
Barkley on Stan Van Gundy’s decision not to foul late in the game, which led to overtime: “I think Stan Van Gundy missed it. (Lakers head coach) Phil Jackson was right and Van Gundy was wrong. Phil Jackson was right when he said they (the Magic) had a foul to give.”
TNT’s David Aldridge interviewed Magic guard Mickael Pietrus following the game
Pietrus on his thoughts going into Game #5: “It’s going to be tough. The Lakers are going to play hard. I think we just need to relax and play basketball the way we’ve been playing.”
TNT’s David Aldridge interviewed Magic guard Jameer Nelson following the game
Nelson on losing to the Lakers in Game #4: “We played well enough to win the game, but we made some mistakes.”
To Jimmy Kimmel Live and what transpired on its Game Night show before the NBA Finals last night.
Jimmy Kimmel Live: Game Night #4
Thursday night on “Jimmy Kimmel Live: Game Night,” Jimmy’s guests included Jack Black and Michael Cera, (who got stuck in the elevator and spent the whole show talking to Jimmy via security camera), a cameo appearance from Paula Abdul and a hidden camera segment with Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade conspiring with Jimmy’s Cousin Sal to torture unknowing autograph seekers.
Here is the link to Dwyane Wade and Cousin Sal’s hidden camera segment:
Additional clips from tonight’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live: Game Night:”
Stan Van Gundy as a Greek Restaurant Manager
Be sure to join Jimmy throughout the NBA Finals as he delivers primetime specials airing every night of the NBA Finals at 8 pm ET/MT and following the NBA Finals PT/MT on ABC. In each 30 minute episode, Kimmel welcomes celebrity guests such as Denzel Washington, Magic Johnson and 50 Cent, in addition to signature comedy pieces including a Jimmy’s parking lot security guard Guillermo interviewing such NBA Finals 2009 notables as Phil Jackson, Lamar Odom, Derek Fisher, Pau Gasol, Sasha Vujacic and Luke Walton of the L.A. Lakers, and Hedo Turkoglu, Dwight Howard and Rashard Lewis of the Orlando Magic.
“Jimmy Kimmel Live: Game Night” primetime specials to air:
Sunday, June 14 at 7pm ET/CT and following the game PT/MT
Tuesday, June 16 at 8pm ET/CT (if necessary) and following the game PT/MT
Tuesday, June 18 at 8pm ET/CT (if necessary) and following the game PT/MT
Over to TBS and its coverage of the Mets-Yankees this Sunday.
“Sunday MLB on TBS” Features a
in the Big Apple Battle
Mets @ Yankees face off in interleague play starting at 1 p.m. ET
“Sunday MLB on TBS” continues on Sunday, June 14th at 1 p.m. ET with an interleague showdown featuring David Wright and the New York Mets of the National League heading across town to battle Mark Teixeira and the New York Yankees of the American League at the new Yankee Stadium. Two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana is scheduled to take the mound for the Mets against Yankees probable starter A.J. Burnett. Chip Caray (play-by-play) and Buck Martinez (analyst) will call the action from the broadcast booth.
“Sunday MLB on TBS” includes match-ups on TBS every Sunday afternoon throughout the regular season. The network will also exclusively televise the MLB All-Star Selection Show on Sunday, July 5. Additionally, beginning in October TBS will once again provide exclusive coverage of the Division Series and the National League Championship Series (NLCS).
TBS has broadcast MLB coverage for more than 30 years serving as the exclusive home of the MLB Division Series (DS) and one League Championship Series (LCS) since 2007 and home of Atlanta Braves coverage from 1977 to 2007.
SUNDAY MLB ON TBS SCHEDULE:
Sun., June 14
New YorkMets @ Yankees New York
Announcers: Chip Caray (play-by-play) and Buck Martinez (analyst)
SUNDAY MLB ON TBS UPCOMING SCHEDULE:
Sun., June 21
Braves @ Boston Red Sox Atlanta
Announcers: Chip Caray (play-by-play) and Ron Darling (analyst)
Sun., June 28
BostonRed Sox @ Braves Atlanta
Announcers: Chip Caray (play-by-play) and Buck Martinez (analyst)
MLB Network brings back “Studio 42 with Bob Costas” for a talk with former St. Louis Cardinals Bob Gibson and batterymate Tim McCarver about their teaming up for great success in the 1960′s. Plus MLB Network will re-air the original broadcast of Game 1 of the 1968 World Series following the Costas interview.
MLB NETWORK’S BOB COSTAS TO HOST Q&A WITH HALL OF FAMER BOB GIBSON AND TIM MCCARVER ON JUNE 15
Interview to discuss ’64, ’67, ’68 World Series and feature interviews with Jim Bouton, Willie Horton, Al Kaline & Jim Lonborg
Following the interview, MLB Network will air Game One of the 1968 World Series, featuring Gibson’s record-setting 17 strikeouts
June 12, 2009 – MLB Network’s Studio 42 with Bob Costas will host a conversation with former St. Louis Cardinals teammates Hall of Famer Bob Gibson and Tim McCarver that will air on June 15 at 7:00 p.m. ET on MLB Network. The conversation includes interviews with players from the 1964, 1967 and 1968 World Series, including former New York Yankees pitcher Jim Bouton, former Detroit Tigers left fielder Willie Horton, former Detroit Tigers right fielder Al Kaline and former Boston Red Sox pitcher Jim Lonborg.
Following the interview, MLB Network will air Game One of the 1968 World Series at 8:00 p.m. ET, in which Gibson threw a record-setting 17 strikeouts. NBC’s TV announcers for the original game were Harry Caray, Curt Gowdy and George Kell.
Highlights of the interview include:
GIBSON ON SEGREGATION DURING SPRING TRAINING IN 1958:
“I went up to the desk and I said ‘My name is Bob Gibson, I’m with the Cardinals and you’re supposed to have a place for me.’ And the guy looks at me and says, ‘Yeah, we have a place for you, just go through that door there.’ I went through the door and I opened the door and it was outside and there was a cab sitting out there. I got in the cab, took me to a house where the black players stayed.”
MCCARVER ON TRYING TO SLOW DOWN GIBSON ON THE MOUND:
“When I went out to the mound, Bob looked at me in that Gibsonian glare that we came to love and admire over the years. He looked at me and he said, ‘What are you doing out here?’ He tilts his head to the side, ‘What are you doing out here?’ he said, ‘Get on back behind the plate, the only thing that you know about pitching is that it’s hard to hit.’”
MCCARVER ON GAME ONE OF THE 1967 WORLD SERIES:
, for Game One, the one thing that I remember more than anything was all the white shirts in center field. And I thought, going out there I said, ‘Man, you know, if they think Gibson is tough from a hitting standpoint with a dark background, think about trying to hit him with white shirts in centerfield,’ because they didn’t have a batters eye at the time. Well not only was Bob tough to hit that first day, but so was Jose Santiago. You couldn’t see the ball. And that made him doubly, doubly tough.” Fenway Park
To view the on-air promo for this episode of Studio 42 with Bob Costas, please click here.
One more note from MLB Network.
MLB NETWORK TO AIR SPECIAL DON DRYSDALE SEGMENT ON MONDAY, JUNE 15
Bob Costas to voice special segment on Drysdale’s sixth straight shutout game on the night of Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination
June 12, 2009 – MLB Network will air on Monday, June 15 a special feature narrated by Bob Costas about Don Drysdale’s sixth straight shutout game, pitched in 1968. The game, held on June 4, 1968 between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Pittsburgh Pirates, coincided with Robert F. Kennedy’s victory in the 1968
primary. In the first words of his acceptance speech, Kennedy congratulated Drysdale; moments after the speech, Kennedy was assassinated. Four days later, on June 8, Drysdale broke a 55-year old record for consecutive scoreless innings and wore a black arm band to honor Kennedy’s memory. California
The piece includes original interviews with Drysdale’s former teammates former Dodgers first baseman Wes Parker and Hall of Fame pitcher Don Sutton, Drysdale’s widow Anne Myers and Kennedy’s speechwriter Jeff Greenfield.
“Baseball’s past is incredibly important to today’s fans and this feature shows how baseball intersects with all aspects of our country’s history,” said Tony Petitti, President and Chief Executive Officer of MLB Network. “We feel a responsibility to baseball fans to describe and relive these key moments.”
The piece will first air between 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. ET and re-air throughout the night on MLB Tonight and Quick Pitch.
MLB.com set a record for hits during the MLB Draft.
DRAFT TRAFFIC ON MLB.COM SETS NEW STANDARDS
NEW YORK, June 12, 2009 – MLB.com, the official Web site of Major League Baseball, announced today that its live coverage of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft drew 332.5 million page views and 29.8 million visitors over the three-day event, shattering traffic records for the comparable draft time period. The total page views represents a 75 percent increase over the 2008 mark of 189.5 million, while visitors were up more than 30 percent year-to-year.
In addition to the live broadcast of the first round on MLB Network and MLB.com, this year’s round-the-clock coverage on MLB.com included the integration of Twitter into the live interactive media application, Draft Caster, and the real-time searchable database of every draft-eligible player, Draft Tracker. Fans embraced being part of a Draft-related online conversation while following the Draft live on MLB.com as the designated hashtag “#mlbdraft” consistently ranked among the most popular ‘Trending Topics’ on Twitter.com.
The complete recap of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, searchable by round, player name, position, MLB Club, school, home state and country, can be found here.
A quick note from NESN on its ratings for the just-completed Yankees-Red Sox series.
The Red Sox swept the Yankees at Fenway Park this week and Red Sox fans were watching on NESN in near record numbers. NESN averaged a 16.7 HH rating in the Boston DMA for the three games, the network’s best 3 game series since August of 2007 (16.8). NESN’s season average continues to rise (9.4 HH) as the Red Sox travel to Philadelphia to take on the defending World Series Champion Phillies this weekend.
Golf Channel will have Christina Kim miked once again during its coverage of the LPGA Championship today.
Gregarious LPGA professional Christina Kim, who entertained GOLF CHANNEL viewers Thursday mic’d for sound during the network’s Round 1 telecast of the LPGA Championship, wants to repeat the experience and has agreed to be mic’d up for Friday’s second round, including her preparation. Live coverage of the second round of the LPGA Championship will air on GOLF CHANNEL Friday beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET. Kim, paired with Michelle Wie and Shanshan Feng, will tee-off at 1:20 p.m. ET.
Below is a link to the segment from Thursday’s telecast featuring Kim’s entertaining post-round interview with host Brian Hammons and analyst Dottie Pepper, and a funny exchange with Wie:
Universal Sports which is still not on DirecTV will have coverage of Michael Phelps in the pool this weekend.
MICHAEL PHELPS HEADLINES AS UNIVERSAL SPORTS PRESENTS LAST STOP OF USA SWIMMING GRAND PRIX
Live Coverage of Finals Begins this Friday at 8 p.m. ET
Series Concludes With the Swimnetwork.com Santa Clara International Grand Prix Featuring Phelps, Ryan Lochte, and More
LOS ANGELES – June 11, 2009 – Fourteen time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps joins Olympians Ryan Lochte, Katie Hoff and Aaron Peirsol as Universal Sports, in cooperation with USA Swimming and SwimNetwork.com, presents live television and online coverage of the final stop of the USA Swimming Grand Prix Series, the Swimnetwork.com Santa Clara International Grand Prix. Live television and online coverage of the Santa Clara International Grand Prix finals begins this Friday at 8 p.m. ET.
Three-time Olympic gold medalist and NBC Sports Olympic swimming analyst Rowdy Gaines and NBC Sports’ Emmy Award-winning broadcaster Ted Robinson will provide commentary for the event, with Olympic gold medalist Summer Sanders reporting live from Santa Clara.
COVERAGE ON UNIVERSAL SPORTS: Universal Sports, available in 45 million homes, presents live coverage of the Santa Clara International Grand Prix Finals. In addition, UniversalSports.com will live stream each event. More information, as well as highlights, full-length videos, photos, breaking news and more available at Universal Sports’ swimming channel at UniversalSports.com/swimming.
June 12 SANTA CLARA DAY 1 (LIVE) 8 – 10 p.m.
June 13 SANTA CLARA DAY 2 (LIVE) 8 – 10 p.m.
June 14 SANTA CLARA DAY 3 (LIVE) 8 – 10 p.m.
ABOUT THE EVENT: The Santa Clara International Grand Prix is the final stop on the USA Swimming Grand Prix Series and the last major competition before the 2009 USA Swimming National Championships next month. The swimmer with the most points at the end of the series will be the winner of the $20,000 grand prize. Michael Phelps was the winner of the 2007-2008 Grand Prix Series and received the first-ever $20,000 grand prize offered for the event.
Phelps made his return to the pool this year at the Charlotte UltraSwim event, where he won the gold medal in the 200-meter freestyle and 100-meter backstroke events. Going into the final competition, swimmer Mary Descenza is in first place with 19 gold medals, Ryan Lochte is in second with 10, and Chloe Sutton is in third place with nine gold medals.
And here’s an upcoming program of interest from National Geographic Channel on “Iran and The West”. There are videos for you to preview as well.
IRAN AND THE WEST
Monday, June 22 at 9PM ET/PT
Called “documentary-making at its best” by The Economist, this landmark special takes viewers inside the top-secret meetings and public declarations that shaped the last three decades of the complex relationship. What were the forces at play that led to the current volatile state of affairs? How did this nuclear-seeking Middle East nation evolve into a strong supporter of Islamic terrorists in the region? And why is Iran so crucial to Western interests and world stability today? Using first-person testimonials to present comprehensive and compelling perspectives on Iran’s turbulent relationship with the West and what may lie ahead, the two-hour special includes fascinating historical footage and more than 40 rare, thought-provoking interviews. Viewers will hear directly from the key officials on both sides, including former Iranian Presidents Rafsanjani and Khatami; former U.S. President Jimmy Carter; former Vice President Walter Mondale; former Secretaries of State George Shultz, Warren Christopher, Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell; other high-level U.S., European and Iranian officials; and notable Iran experts and foreign policy specialists.
“Birth of Hezbollah” – A look at the circumstances surrounding the founding of Hezbollah.
Video “Confusion Over Iran” – In 1978, the shah of Iran receives an ambiguous message from the United States on how to respond to the revolution.
Video “Iran and Diplomacy” – European leaders attempt to negotiate a compromise with Iran that the U.S. won’t support.
Video “Albright in the U.N.” – Madeline Albright tells of sitting face-to-face with a representative of Iran’s government at the U.N. — but who is he?
Certainly looks like an interesting program. I hope to review this program for you before it airs.
Back later with the megalinks.