Archive for March, 2011
As I’ve been dealing with a Denial of Service attack that hit the server where this site is hosted, I try to provide some things and hope things get back to normal. I thank you for your patience.
This is from HBO Sports and concerns Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel which airs Wednesday and will deal with college sports as its theme. Among the people you’ll see is former CBS
bitter curmudgeon college basketball analyst Billy Packer, Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock, former Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez and others. We have details what these men will be doing on Real Sports.
REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL, DEVOTING AN ENTIRE HOUR TO THE STATE OF COLLEGE SPORTS IN AMERICA AND FEATURING A ROUNDTABLE PANEL WITH BILLY PACKER, RICH RODRIGUEZ, JASON WHITLOCK AND JEFF ORLEANS, RETURNS ON A SPECIAL NIGHT AND TIME WEDNESDAY, MARCH 30, EXCLUSIVELY ON HBO
Winner of 21 Sports Emmys® in 15 years, REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL departs from its traditional format to present a special hour-long edition dedicated to the state of college sports in America. Presented three days before the men’s NCAA Final Four tip off in Houston, the show will present an entertaining and substantive dialogue on the current state of big-time athletics in college sports, addressing hot-button issues and offering practical solutions to current problems. Available in HDTV, the 168th edition of REAL SPORTS debuts WEDNESDAY, MARCH 30 (10:00 p.m. ET/PT & 9:00 p.m. CT), exclusively on HBO.
Other HBO playdates: March 30 (4:55 a.m.) and 31 (4:15 p.m., 12:30 a.m.), and April 1 (8:00 a.m., 8:00 p.m.), 2 (11:00 a.m., 3:05 a.m.), 3 (3:30 p.m.), 4 (2:30 p.m., 12:30 a.m.) and 6 (7:00 p.m.)
HBO2 playdates: April 3 (11:00 p.m.), 5 (8:00 a.m., 7:00 p.m.), 7 (noon, 2:30 a.m.), 9 (3:00 p.m.), 10 (8:00 a.m.) and 14 (1:30 p.m., 9:30 p.m.)
HBO On Demand availability: April 2-25
Two long-form segments anchor the program, setting the stage for an extended roundtable panel hosted by Bryant Gumbel and featuring former University of Michigan head football coach Rich Rodriguez, outspoken college basketball commentator Billy Packer, print journalist Jason Whitlock of FoxSports.com and former Ivy League Athletics Commissioner Jeff Orleans. The group will address a host of issues relating to the NCAA and the regulation of its 1,055 member schools.
*The Money Trail. Every year, thousands of talented young student-athletes sign letters of intent and obtain full-ride athletic scholarships (tuition and board) from the biggest, wealthiest programs in America, effectively giving up all rights to revenue generated by their participation, including TV rights fees, merchandising and ticket sales. But with a dramatic increase in revenue from top programs and athletes’ growing awareness of their contribution, many are starting to ask if there should be financial compensation. REAL SPORTS correspondent Bernard Goldberg examines the notion of student-athletes remaining untainted amateurs while generating pro-type revenue for their schools. Are they getting a fair shake?
Producer: Joe Perskie.
*Pay to Play. Should athletes at Division I programs be financially compensated? And would that curb the headline-grabbing stories of inappropriate payments and benefits? More and more standout athletes in top programs are seemingly putting their education on the back burner to focus on what’s really important – the money. Those destined for the NBA and NFL face the moral dilemma of dealing with “advisors” and “street agents” who can deliver the funds and material items they desire while in school in exchange for a promise of future reciprocation when they reach the pros. REAL SPORTS correspondent Andrea Kremer delves into the controversial and complex subject of premium college-bound athletes receiving benefits that are prohibited by the NCAA.
Producer: Tim Walker.
Immediately following the March 30 presentation of REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL, at 11:00 p.m. (ET), viewers can log on to hbo.com/realsports for an exclusive “overtime” webcast segment, in which the roundtable panel will continue the discussion and answer questions from viewers.
REAL SPORTS has won the Sports Emmy® for Outstanding Sports Journalism 13 times, in addition to being the first sports program honored with the duPont Award for excellence in broadcast journalism.
The executive producers of REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL are Ross Greenburg and Rick Bernstein; Kirby Bradley is senior producer.
That’s all for now.
When it began in 1993, ESPN2 was mostly a channel to show extreme sports and cater to younger viewers. Now, it’s a compliment to ESPN and has become home to soccer, tennis as well as the sports on the Mothership. This Friday, April 1, ESPN2 will reach 100 million homes, just a couple months after the Mothership hit the century mark.
100M Homes for ESPN2 Too
As of Friday, April 1, ESPN2 will be received in more than 100 million homes – No Foolin’! ESPN2, which launched October 1, 1993, has now matched ESPN and its 14-year head start with a nine-digit universe – 100,004,000 homes – just two months after ESPN hit the milestone (now in 100,122,000 homes).
ESPN2’s schedule boasts an extensive lineup of college football and basketball, as well serving as the home of NASCAR’s Nationwide Series and ESPN’s tennis offerings highlighted by all four majors. Studio programming includes an array of sport-specific shows, including NASCAR Now and NBA Coast to Coast, as well as the popular weekday morning block of Mike and Mike in the Morning (6-10 a.m.) and ESPN’s First Take (10 a.m. – noon).
More coming up.
NCAA Women’s Tournament
Philadelphia, PA Region
UConn vs. Duke – ESPN, 7 p.m.
Dallas, TX Region
Baylor vs. Texas A&M – ESPN, 9 p.m.
National Invitation Tournament, New York, NY
Wichita State vs. Washington State – ESPN2, 7 p.m.
Alabama vs. Colorado – ESPN2, 9:30 p.m.
Detroit vs. New York Yankees – ESPN/YES, 1 p.m.
Seattle vs. Colorado – FSN Rocky Mountain, 4 p.m./MLB Network, 11 p.m.
Minnesota vs. Atlanta – MLB Network/SportSouth, 7 p.m.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Anaheim Angels – Fox Sports West, 10 p.m.
San Francisco vs. Oakland – Comcast SportsNet California, 10 p.m.
Miami at Cleveland – NBA TV, 7 p.m.
Buffalo at Toronto – MSG Buffalo/Rogers Sportsnet Ontario, 7 p.m.
Carolina at Washington – Fox Sports Carolinas/Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, 7 p.m.
Florida at Columbus – Fox Sports Florida/Fox Sports Ohio, 7 p.m.
Philadelphia at Pittsburgh – Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia/FSN Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.
Chicago at Boston – Versus/TSN2, 7:30 p.m.
Atlanta at Montreal – RDS/Fox Sports South, 7:30 p.m.
Ottawa at Tampa Bay – Rogers Sportsnet East/Sun Sports, 7:30 p.m.
Minnesota at St. Louis – Fox Sports North/Fox Sports Midwest, 8 p.m.
Vancouver at Nashville – Rogers Sportsnet Pacific/Fox Sports Tennessee, 8 p.m.
Los Angeles at Edmonton – TSN/Fox Sports Prime Ticket, 9:30 p.m.
Dallas at Phoenix – Fox Sports Southwest/Fox Sports Arizona, 10 p.m.
NHL on the Fly – NHL Network, 8 p.m.
NHL Overtime – Versus, 11 p.m.
Ecuador vs. Peru – Fox Soccer Channel, noon
Germany vs. Australia – ESPN2, 2:40 p.m.
England vs. Ghana – Fox Soccer Channel, 3 p.m.
United State vs. Paraguay – Fox Soccer Channel, 8 p.m.
Sony Ericsson Open/Men’s Last 16 & Women’s Quarterfinals – Tennis Channel, 7 p.m.
NCIS – CBS, 8 p.m.
Jump City: Seattle – G4, 8 p.m.
NCIS: Los Angeles – CBS, 9 p.m.
Lights Out – FX, 10 p.m.
Body of Proof (series premiere) – ABC, 10:01 p.m.
Conan – TBS, 11 p.m.
Late Show with David Letterman – CBS, 11:35 p.m.
On tonight’s NFL Network’s NFL Total Access, host Rich Eisen spoke extensively with Indianapolis Colts center Jeff Saturday about the lockout. Saturday is also an NFL Players Association Executive Committee member. Saturday’s on NFL Network as a guest analyst for the first part of this week. We have the full interview transcript, but we’ll have to do a jump break because the interview is quite long. We have details about the interview first, then the actual transcript.
NFL Network’s Rich Eisen 1-on-1 Interview with Colts Center Jeff Saturday on NFL Total Access
Monday, March 28, 2011
NFL Network host Rich Eisen sat down Colts Center and NFL Players Association Executive Committee member Jeff Saturday for a 1-on-1 interview on the state of the CBA negotiations. Saturday is serving a guest analyst on NFL Total Access Monday, March 28 – Wednesday, March 30.
The following is a transcription of the interview in its entirety. Part I aired tonight on NFL Total Access at 7:00 PM ET. Part II of the interview will be on NFL Network’s NFL Total Access Tuesday, March 29 at 7:00 PM ET.
Excerpts from the interview can also be viewed by visiting the following links on NFL.com:
NFL Total Access airs Monday-Friday at 7:00 PM ET with re-airs at 11:00 PM ET.
And now the jump.
From Turner Sports, we have the numbers for March Madness on Demand and the visits online for the NCAA Tournament are way up from last year. According to Turner, the number of visits from computers, iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches were up 16% from last year. During the second and third rounds, March Madness on Demand saw a total average of 3.8 million visits on March 17 and 18.
Take a look at the press release from Turner Sports.
2011 NCAA® March Madness® on Demand Sees 60% Increase in Total Visits Across Multiple Platforms for the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship
With over 12.7 million total hours of streaming video, total online and mobile consumption of NCAA March Madness grows 16% percent
New iPad app complements strong growth of television ratings on four networks: TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV
Turner Sports, CBS Sports and the NCAA announced today that for the first two weeks of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship they have delivered a 60% increase in total visits across the NCAA March Madness on Demand (MMOD) online product and iPad and iPhone apps. In total, there were 41.6 million visits across the MMOD broadband and mobile platforms from the start of the First Four® on March 15 to the completion of the Regional Finals on March 27. Additionally, the first five rounds of the tournament garnered 12.7 million total hours of streaming video consumed through MMOD online and the iPad and iPhone apps.
Other NCAA.com and MMOD highlights for the Tournament to date include:
- An average of 3.8 million daily unique visitors on broadband and 782,000 average daily unique users on the mobile apps for March 17 – March 18.
- 29% of all streams for MMOD from March 15 – March 27 were from the iPad and iPhone apps.
- An average of 64 minutes per daily unique visitor was spent streaming MMOD on broadband from March 15 – 27.
- An average of 25 minutes per daily unique visitor was spent streaming MMOD on mobile apps on March 17-18.
NCAA March Madness on Demand provides live streaming video, plus interactive TV companion functionality, of every game of the new 68-team tournament as they are broadcast for the first time this year nationally in their entirety on four networks: TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV. Free to users across all platforms, including on broadband, the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch (over Wi-fi and 3G), March Madness on Demand offers new features for fans to view the games including improved live viewing with richer quality and larger format streams, a personalizable channel lineup feature, and live stats and social media interaction.
Through the Elite Eight, the television coverage on TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV for the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship, including the FIRST FOUR, is averaging a 6.0 US HH Rtg /13 share, up 11% from a 5.4/12 for CBS Sports’ 2010 coverage according to Nielsen Fast Nationals. CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV averaged 9,412,000 million total viewers, up 11% over CBS Sports’ 8,480,000 million total viewers in 2010.
And we’re done.
This from CBS/Turner. The NCAA Tournament TV Collaborative is touting the overall tournament ratings which are up from last year. So far, the total average viewership is 9.4 million this year on the CBS/Turner networks as compared to 8.5 million last year. The ratings are 6.0 with a 13 share which are up 11% from 2010. That’s factoring the totals all of the networks involved, CBS/TBS/TNT/truTV.
But alone, CBS on Sunday received a 7.6 final rating with a 16 share. CBS says that’s even with last year. The press release is below.
THE 2011 NCAA® DIVISION I MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP ON TBS, CBS, TNT AND truTV DELIVERS MOST-WATCHED TOURNAMENT SINCE 2005 AVERAGING 9.4 MILLION TOTAL VIEWERS
CBS Sports’ and Turner Sports’ exclusive live coverage of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV is the most-watched tournament since 2005, averaging 9.4 million total viewers, +11% from 8.5 million total viewers for CBS Sports’ 2010 coverage.
The overall tournament average-to-date, including the FIRST FOUR®, is a 6.0/13 rating/share, +11% from a 5.4/12 for 2010, according to Nielsen Fast Nationals. The 6.0/13 is the highest average rating for the NCAA Tournament through the Sunday regional finals since a 6.3/14 in 2005.
Coverage of the regional finals on CBS on Sunday, March 27 averaged 12.6 million total viewers, +6% from 11.9 million viewers from CBS Sports’ coverage in 2010. This year’s 12.6 million is the highest viewer average for the Sunday regional finals since 2005 (UNC-Wisconsin; Michigan State-Kentucky – 2OT). Sunday’s regional finals earned a household rating/share of 7.6/16, even with 2010.
Source: Nielsen Media Research, based on Fast National Data, Live +SD data stream. 2011 NCAA Tournament Dates, include First Four telecast gross. Dates of NCAA Tournament: 2011 3/15/11 – 3/27/11 vs. 2010 3/18/10 – 3/27/10. 2011 averages based on weighted average of 4 telecast gross across CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV. Dates of the NCAA Tournament historical audiences, CBS 1994 through 2005 based on Live data. 2006 through 2010 based on Live + SD. 2003 based on CBS/ESPN average of First Round.
That will do it.
Been busy today for no particular reason. Well, work is a very good reason, but it just seems to be piling up today. We give you the links while we still can.
Michael Hiestand from USA Today starts us off and he wonders if the Butler-VCU matchup in the NCAA Tournament Final Four® Cinderella matchup will translate into ratings.
Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand tweeted that it will no matter which team is there.
Marcus Vanderberg of SportsNewser writes about Nick Charles calling his very last fight last Saturday night.
Nellie Andreeva at Deadline talks about FX carrying a full slate of college football games this fall.
Glenn Davis in SportsGrid says The Simpsons took an indirect swipe at Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and his Jones Mahal stadium outside Dallas.
SportsGrid’s Dan Fogarty has Dan Patrick taking issue with various media types for their ripping of BYU’s Jimmer Fredette.
Marisa Guthrie of the Hollywood Reporter notes that the NCAA Tournament steered CBS to a primetime win last night.
Georg Szalai of the Reporter says the networks are preparing alternative plans in case the NFL Lockout goes into the fall.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News reports that MLB Network is expanding its game broadcasts to Tuesdays and Fridays this season.
Mike talks about FX getting back into sports with a full slate of college football games.
Toni Fitzgerald from Media Life Magazine notes that the NCAA Tournament’s ratings slipped when the games shifted solely to CBS on Saturday.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell looks at whether this year’ s Final Four will be good for business.
Another reason to dislike the New York Post’s Phil Mushnick, he doesn’t like CBS’ Gus Johnson.
Ken Schott of the Schenectady Gazette has the NCAA Frozen Four faceoff times.
Dan Steinberg from the Washington Post responds to Washington Wizards/Capitals owner Ted Leonsis’ contention that newspapers have “lost a step.”
And Dan notes that John Feinstein won’t be appearing on Tony Kornheiser’s radio show anymore.
Tom Jones of the St. Petersburg Times looks back at the weekend on sports TV, but he errs in saying Reggie Miller has been working with Steve Kerr on the NCAA Tournament. Reggie worked with Dan Bonner two weekends ago and then Len Elmore this past weekend. Steve worked with Marv Albert the last two weeks.
Jodie Valade of the Cleveland Plain Dealer looks at the return of legendary Cavs voice Joe Tait to the microphone last night. Tait has been battling health problems this season.
Bob Finnan of the News-Herald also writes about Tait’s return and subsequent retirement at the end of this season.
Bob Wolfley from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel talks with ESPN’s Orel Hershiser.
Tom Hoffarth at the Los Angeles Daily News has your sports calendar for this week.
The Toronto Globe and Mail’s Bruce Dowbiggin says former NHL player Theo Fleury had to endure horrible taunting on Twitter.
Raju Mudhar at the Toronto Star examines the third all-sports Canadian network, The Score.
Matt Yoder from Awful Announcing has the video of ESPN’s Jay Bilas and Dick Vitale bashing VCU’s selection into the NCAA Tournament three weeks ago.
That will finish the links for today.
This just in from the Fox Networks, FX in particular, the cable home to Fox will carry a 13 game college football schedule starting this fall. The games will consist of Big 12, Conference USA and Pac 12 games. All games will be produced by Fox Sports and announcers will be assigned at a later date. It marks the first time FX has carried any sports since 2006. From 1996-2006, FX carried MLB, NASCAR races, boxing matches and NFL Europe.
Now after establishing FX as an entertainment destination, Fox wants to broaden its scope by bringing sports back and I wholeheartedly applaud this move. The schedule will be announced later. In the meantime, we have the official announcement.
FOX Sports Provides FX Full-Season, Game-of-the-Week Slate
New York & Los Angeles – FX, Fox Network Group’s popular general entertainment basic cable network, is teaming with FOX Sports Media Group (FSMG) in 2011 to carry a major college football game-of-the-week, it was announced today by FX President John Landgraf, along with Randy Freer and Eric Shanks, Co-President and COOs of FOX Sports Media Group. FX is one of the most-watched and widely distributed cable networks in the country, now available in more than 99 million U.S. households.
This year, FOX Sports on FX features a minimum 13-game schedule featuring premier conference and non-conference match-ups from the Big 12, Pac-12 and Conference USA, FSMG’s newest collegiate partner, beginning Saturday, Sept. 3, with one game televised weekly. Game times vary to maintain maximum scheduling flexibility. The first three games on the FOX Sports on FX schedule will be announced in June, while remaining games will be selected six to 12 days in advance.
The games on FX are being produced by FOX Sports, and plans for the FX broadcast team and any potential shoulder programs are to be announced.
“Sports programming is a key component that has been missing on FX for a while and we look forward to its return on our schedule,” said Landgraf. “This NCAA football package will feature some of the nation’s marquee schools and matchups, and it will be a great addition to our lineup. It will also provide an excellent promotional platform for our returning hit original series and primetime movies this fall.”
“FX, which already has a history for quality sports programming, is one of cable’s premier networks in overall reach and especially with young men,” said Freer. “FOX Sports looks forward to establishing a home for college football there, and maximizing exposure and value for our college football partners.”
The Big 12, Conference USA and Pac-12 combined to send 17 teams to bowl games last season and feature many of college football’s most renowned programs from around the country.
Additional Big 12, C-USA and Pac-12 games are scheduled for telecast throughout the country on FOX’ owned-and-operated and affiliated sports channels. In 2011, FOX also features regional SEC and ACC football packages. Either nationally or regionally, FSMG outlets combine to televise close to 200 college football games this coming season. Highlighting the schedule is the C-USA Championship Game as well as the inaugural Big 10 and Pac-12 Championship games.
FX is off to the best start in its history this year, averaging 1.6 million total viewers and 883,000 adults 18-49 marking respective gains of +22% and +19% compared to calendar-year 2010. FX ranks seventh in total viewers and adults 18-49 and fifth in both men 18-34 and men 18-49 out of 89 ad-supported cable networks.
FX, home to the Golden Globe Award-winning drama series Sons of Anarchy, critically acclaimed dramas Rescue Me and Justified, and the hit comedy It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is no stranger to big time sports. At various times from 1996 to 2006 FX carried MLB, NASCAR, college football, boxing and NFL Europe League action.
This from NESN, a.k.a. The New England Sports Network, we have their coverage plans for the Boston Red Sox. Overall, NESN will carry 150 regular season games plus plenty of pregame and postgame programming. In addition, there will be weekly programming involved. Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy return to call the games in their 11th season together. Heidi Watney will be the on-field reporter to cover breaking stories and conduct interviews. Tom Caron is back as studio host and he’ll be joined by a host of analysts including Peter Gammons, Dennis Eckersley and Jim Rice. We have the particulars from NESN.
NESN ANNOUNCES 2011 RED SOX SEASON PLAN
Spring Training Game Ratings on NESN Up 108%
BOSTON, MA – Charging into the 2011 regular season with impressive spring training ratings, NESN will launch its 28th season of Red Sox coverage on Friday, April 1 from Arlington, Texas when the team will face the defending American League Champion Texas Rangers. NESN’s opening day coverage will begin at 3:00 PM with the premiere of the network’s new half-hour pre-game show Red Sox First Pitch. Red Sox GameDay LIVE will begin at 3:30 PM with live game coverage at 4pm.
Don Orsillo, Jerry Remy and Heidi Watney will lead NESN’s broadcast of 150 exclusive, high definition Red Sox games. The network’s 2011 Red Sox programming will offer unprecedented team access including micing of players, in-game interviews and post game appearances by Red Sox players. The game telecasts will introduce new robotic cameras in both dugouts at Fenway Park. The programming will also include an enhanced production package with new show openings, music and graphics.
“While the Red Sox were making plenty of exciting news this off-season, our NESN team has been creating new and enhanced production elements which will bring the ballpark experience directly to our fans,” said Joel Feld, NESN’s executive vice president of programming and executive producer. “We will have a lot of fun this year micing the players, using innovative camera angles and telling more in-depth stories about the players.”
NESN’s pre and post-game studio programming will be led by host Tom Caron. Caron will be joined by NESN’s lineup of analysts Dennis Eckersley, Peter Gammons and Jim Rice, all members of Baseball’s Hall of Fame. The network will again originate its home pre-game coverage from Yawkey Way, the most unique outdoor setting in baseball. This year many post-game shows will also be produced from NESN’s Yawkey Way stage and feature live appearances by Red Sox players, questions from fans, in-depth game analysis and clubhouse interviews.
NESN’s 2011 Red Sox Programs and Talent
- Play-by-Play – Don Orsillo (11th year)
- Analyst – Jerry Remy (24th year)
- Reporter – Heidi Watney (4th year)
- Red Sox First Pitch – half-hour show that airs one-hour before the start of every game
- Red Sox GameDay LIVE – half-hour before every game
- Red Sox Monster Monday – Half hour special, Starts 90 minutes before every Monday night game
- Friday Night Fenway – Half hour special, Starts 90 minutes before every Friday night home game
- Host – Tom Caron (8th year)
- Analysts – Dennis Eckersley (9th year), Jim Rice (9th year), Peter Gammons (2nd year)
- Extra Innings LIVE – half-hour show that airs immediately following the game
- Red Sox Final – a second half-hour of post-game coverage that airs immediately after Extra Innings LIVE
- Same talent team as pre-game shows
- The Ultimate Red Sox Show with Heidi Watney – Every Sunday at Noon featuring in-depth interviews with players and other team personnel. Season premiere: Sunday. April 10.
- Red Sox Report – Weekly look at the team’s off-the-field work
NESN is in its 28th season of covering the Red Sox dating back to 1984. Time Warner Cable and Bright House subscribers receiving NESN National will receive the pre and postgame shows, but not the actual games unless they subscribe to the MLB Extra Innings out-of-market pay per view package.
From ESPN, we have this news that a new corporate blog called, “ESPN Front Row” will debut this week. It will come from inside ESPN and be about ESPN. A former writer with the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and San Jose Mercury News will lead the blog. We have the details below.
ESPN to Launch New Corporate Blog – March 30
ESPNFrontRow.com to Offer Window into ESPN; Address Company Questions on Key Issues; Two-Way Communication
ESPN announced the launch of its new corporate blog site, ESPNFrontRow.com, which will debut Wednesday, March 30.
The new blog, to be updated daily, will be managed by the Communications department, and be a collaborative effort among the company’s key personnel — meaning it will feature a variety of voices, opinions, and insights. Topics will focus on ESPN news and people, the employee experience, behind-the-scenes activity and will serve as a platform to address select company issues that are making news. ESPNFrontRow.com will feature a comment-posting functionality to allow two-way communication.
Sheldon Spencer, a journalist with more than 25 years of experience, will serve as the site’s primary voice. Spencer, most recently an NFL editor for ESPN.com, working with NFL blogs, served as a staff writer for the National Sports Daily (1990-91), Seattle Post-Intelligencer (1991-96) and the San Jose Mercury News (1997-2000).
As a more informal and personal source of news and insights than a traditional website, ESPNFrontRow.com will engage readers with both personality and authority as a source of information, photos, video and more. The blog will feature posts that attempt to educate the consumer as well as entertain them.
Opening Day, ESPNFrontRow.com will launch with a collection of real time photos that depict “A Day in The Life” at ESPN.
“The goal for ESPNFrontRow.com is to provide fans a window into ESPN,” said Mike Soltys, ESPN vice president, communications, U.S. networks. “We will provide credible, relevant, informative and fun content that will take readers inside ESPN.”
Consumers will be able to access the site directly at www.espnfrontrow.com or via links on ESPN.com and ESPNMediazone.com home pages. Posts on the site will also be distributed via social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter.
I will be interested to see what comes out from this blog. It is not to be confused with the ESPN Ombudsman.
The CBS/Turner collaboration is crowing about the overall total NCAA Tournament ratings through the Elite 8 which are quite good. Overall, the average has totaled 6.8 with a 14 share which is up 15% from the average from a year ago. But then, the press release states Sunday’s overnight rating received a combined average 8.5/17 share which is pretty good, but when I look at last year when CBS had Michigan State-Tennessee which drew a 7.5 overnight rating and Duke-Baylor which had a stunning 9.9 overnight and you average them together, you get an 8.7 which is higher than this year’s average.
That’s the first time that CBS/Turner has seen a lower rating from the year before. We should have the final ratings sometime later today. Here’s the press release.
CBS SPORTS’ AND TURNER SPORTS’ EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE OF THE 2011 NCAA® DIVISION I MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP DELIVERS HIGHEST OVERALL TOURNAMENT RATINGS IN 18 YEARS
CBS Sports’ and Turner Sports’ exclusive live coverage of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTv combined to deliver the best overall tournament-to-date average ratings in the metered markets in 18 years (1993). The overall tournament average-to-date, including the FIRST FOUR®, in the metered markets is a 6.8/14, +15% from a 5.9/13 for CBS Sports’ 2010 coverage according to Nielsen.
Coverage of the regional finals on CBS on Sunday, March 26 delivered an overnight household rating/share of 8.5/17.
And that’s it for now.
It’s been quite a while since the last mailbag, October of last year to be precise and I’ve been meaning to do one. Let’s do one now since we have a few questions stockpiled. Thanks to you for sending questions and if you want to have one answered for the next mailbag later in the spring, send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I want to know what you think of Kirk Herbstreit having to move his family from Columbus, Ohio to Nashville to get away from sicky Buckeye fans who don’t appreciate him speaking negatively on their team.
That was very sad. That Kirk Herbstreit felt the need to move from his home to Columbus to escape the wrath of some crazy Ohio State fans who did not understand that he can’t lean one way or the other on ESPN/ABC is quite sad. Yes, he’s paid to give his opinions, but they have to be down the middle. Kirk is an Ohio State grad, but the fact that he didn’t “love” them on College GameDay or during college football games wasn’t enough for some Buckeyes fans who don’t understand. It’s too bad that he has to move away from the area where he grew up for the sake of his wife and children.
With the success of the NCAA across multiple-media platforms. Do you see other sports going the same way with live broadcasts across a variety of networks, websites, and portable visual displays? thank you.
Thanks, Dr. Jeff. I do. The success of the NCAA Tournament on March Madness on Demand shows how an online platform should be run. All of the games were available to watch in conjunction with the live broadcasts. Unfortunately, MLB NBA, NFL and the NHL have not put their postseason online and if they do, will probably charge a fee. I would like to see a portion of their playoffs be put online and for free as the NCAA has done with the men’s basketball tournament. I believe the interest in the tournament has increased this year thanks to access to the multiple platforms both online and on TV.
How do you think the ratio of online to televised coverage will change as the tourney advances round by round?
Thanks, Russell. Well, as the tournament advanced round-by-round, there’s no doubt that the number of online views went down, after a stunning first day of visits to the digital platforms. Turner Sports says the first three rounds also saw record numbers as people wanted to see all of the games.
We did see increased TV ratings for the Sweet Sixteen, but they were even for Saturday’s Elite 8 games. I would think online viewing went down by at least 30% from the week before. I hope to get the online viewing numbers sometime today or tomorrow.
Much appreciated, Peter. The NHL definitely has more suitors than the last TV negotiation when Versus and NBC pretty much had the table to themselves. Yes, Fox would be interested and could place the games on FX to ensure a national platform for the NHL. ESPN says it’s interested, but I really don’t know how much. To me, ESPN has decided to lie in bed with the NBA and I have a feeling it will show tepid interest in bidding for the NHL. CBS/Turner has a commitment to March Madness, so I don’t know how serious this interest is, but with more bidders at the table, this will drive the rights fee up and that’s encouraging to the NHL. I still think NBC and Versus will remain the main rightsholders. I now think that a second cable partner will be signed, but I don’t think it will be ESPN.
Worst national sports network package announcer combos, in your opinion?
That’s a tough one, Chris, but I’ll go with MLB on Fox. Joe Buck, Tim McCarver, Chris Rose, Eric Karros, sometimes Thom Brennaman, sometimes Josh Lewin, not the best lineup in my opinion.
Each of the major pro sports leagues in US/Canada now has a channel devoted to covering that league (i.e. MLB Network, NHL Network, etc.), as well as some of the major individual sports (i.e. Golf Channel, Tennis Channel, etc.). Some are affiliated with one of the league’s broadcast partners (like NBATV is now run by Turner Sports where TNT is a TV partner of the league and Golf Channel is now part of the NBC family where NBC is one of the many TV partners) while others are independent (like Tennis Channel is independent and MLB Network isn’t directly affiliated with any of MLB’s TV partners). So my question is this…
- Is it better for the league, viewers, ratings, content, etc. for the league/sport TV channel to be completely independent, or is it better in some or all of those areas to for it to be affiliated? Like are viewers of the Golf Channel better off now that it’s part of the NBC Sports Group? And would the NHL Network be better in the U.S. if it were affiliated with NBC/Versus or in Canada if it weren’t part of the TSN family?
Do you see ESPN creating a College Football Bowl game to be named after themselves (i.e. the “ESPN Bowl”)?
Programming sports in a vacuum, which broadcast or cable network do you trust broadcasting (as the best to present a broadcast to be watched) each of the major sports, given their current resources, history, production values, and ability to bring in the right on-air talent?
Quite a few questions from regular reader, DyHrd. All good ones too. Let’s tackle the first one.
I don’t have a problem with the league-owned networks. Both MLB and NFL Networks have shown they can cover a story and not get shackled by being a league mouthpiece. NBA and NHL Networks are highlight factories and there’s nothing wrong with that either. There’s no one particular formula for these networks. Yes, Turner is now running NBA TV and it’s 100 times better than when it was run by the league itself. NHL Network continues to be run by TSN in Canada and while the production values have improved, there’s still room for improvement. MLB and NBA are the best-run and they have people who have led network sports divisions running the channels. I think each of the four networks have merit, but whether they’re affiliated with NBC, ESPN, CBS doesn’t matter. It’s all part of how the league wants to be presented.
Second, I think ESPN sells bowls based on sponsorship and ad revenue. If it named a bowl ESPN, there won’t be much money to make from sponsoring it itself. For example, The Capital One Bowl not only gets bowl sponsorship, but ESPN can also sell ads to Capital One. It’s a win-win for both parties. While ESPN executives may joke privately about naming a bowl after itself, I don’t think it’s gotten to the activation stage.
And last, the sports network I trust the most. It’s easy for many to say ESPN because of its inventory, but not so for me. I like CBS because of their history with college basketball, NFL and the PGA. I know what I’m going to get. In addition, Jim Nantz is a good fit on all three. Gus Johnson has become popular thanks to his NFL and NCAA calls. And CBS has a very good bench. After that, I like NBC’s coverage of the NFL due to the signing of the old Monday Night Football crew from ESPN/ABC. ESPN as far as MLB and college sports are concerned are very solid and there’s a good track record. And I also like Turner’s coverage as well.
And there you have it, our mailbag for March. I hope to do another mailbag either in April or May. Thanks for sending the questions.
NCAA Women’s Tournament
Dayton, OH Region
Tennessee vs. Notre Dame – ESPN, 7 p.m.
Spokane, WA Region
Stanford vs. Gonzaga – ESPN, 9 p.m.
College Basketball Invitational
Game 1/Oregon at Creighton – HDNet, 8 p.m.
Florida vs. New York Mets – SNY, 1 p.m.
Houston vs. Philadelphia – Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, 1 p.m.
Pittsburgh vs. Minnesota – MLB Network/Fox Sports North, 1 p.m.
Cincinnati vs. Chicago White Sox – MLB Network/Comcast SportsNet Chicago, 4 p.m.
Washington vs. Atlanta – Fox Sports South, 6 p.m.
Tampa Bay vs. New York Yankees – YES, 7 p.m.
Anaheim vs. Los Angeles Dodgers – KCAL, 10:10 p.m.
Oakland vs. San Francisco – MLB Network/Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, 10:15 p.m.
MLB’s 20 Greatest Games – MLB Network, 9 p.m.
Boston at Indiana – Comcast SportsNet New England, 7 p.m.
Philadelphia at Chicago – NBA TV, 8 p.m.
Chicago at Detroit – Versus/TSN2, 7:30 p.m.
Colorado at Anaheim – NHL Network (Canada)/Altitude/Fox Sports Prime Ticket, 10 p.m.
NHL on the Fly – NHL Network, 8 p.m.
NHL Overtime – Versus, 11 p.m.
Sony Ericsson Open, Men’s 3rd Round and Women’s Last 16 – Tennis Channel, 11 a.m.
Raid on Entebbe – Fox Movie Channel, 8 p.m.
Mad Love – CBS, 8:30 p.m.
Disappeared – Discovery ID, 9 p.m.
Nurse Jackie (season premiere) – Showtime, 10 p.m.
James May’s Road Trip – BBC America, 10:20 p.m.
United States of Tara (season premiere) – Showtime, 10:30 p.m.
Conan – TBS, 11 p.m.
Late Show with David Letterman – CBS, 11:35 p.m.
Four live games on NBA TV including the Fan Night game which will have the Miami Heat returning to Cleveland as LeBron James, the prodigal sun returns to his home state once again. We’ll see what the reaction from fans are this time. It’ll probably be a lot calmer than his first game back when fans booed him unmercifully, but then quieted down as the Heat went on to slaughter the Cavs. The press release is here from NBA TV.
Fans Select Miami Heat @ Cleveland Cavaliers for NBA TV’s Fan Night on Tuesday, March 29
NBA TV to air NBA Unscripted: Golden State Warriors, Thursday, March 31 at 7:00 p.m. (ET)
NBA TV’s Tuesday Fan Night game will feature two-time MVP LeBron James as he returns to Cleveland again to take on the Cavaliers. The Miami Heat at the Cleveland Cavaliers game, winning with 64-percent of the fan vote on NBA.com, will air on Tues., March 29 at 7:00 p.m. (ET). Host Rick Kamla and analysts Kevin McHale and Chris Webber will be on-hand for studio coverage beginning at 6:30 p.m. (ET).
Fan Night voting will continue on nba.com/nbatv/fannight from Tues., March 29 (8 a.m. ET) – March 31 (Midnight ET) as fans select the match-up for the last Fan Night of the NBA season on Tues., April 5 between:
- ·Charlotte Bobcats @ Cleveland Cavaliers
- ·Minnesota Timberwolves @ New Jersey Nets
- ·Milwaukee Bucks @ Orlando Magic
- ·Toronto Raptors @ New York Knicks
- ·Utah Jazz @ Los Angeles Lakers
NBA TV will air the newest installment of NBA Unscripted on Thursday, March 31 at 7 p.m. (ET). NBA Unscripted: Golden State Warriors gives viewers an all-access look at the Golden State Warriors, starting at the top with their new owners, Joe Lacob, a successful venture capitalist, and Peter Guber, a renowned Hollywood producer. The show also introduces viewers to the team’s other key figures, including their dynamic young backcourt of Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry. Other stories include David Lee, the former New York Knick All-Star who has emerged as a team leader in his first season with Golden State, and Keith Smart, the hero of Indiana’s 1987 NCAA championship victory, who is carving out a new identity as the first year head coach of the Warriors.
Fans can stay connected to the latest NBA action every Tuesday with The Jump, a live, interactive show designed for the ultimate NBA fan. Fans can submit questions and comments via NBA.com, Facebook or Twitter. Host Kyle Montgomery, analyst Dennis Scott, Brent Barry and ‘chat-master’ Sekou Smith will respond and give their comments and analysis on everything happening around the league. The show will stream live on March 29 at 1 p.m. (ET) on NBA.com and air at 5:00 p.m. (ET) on NBA TV.
The Beat returns this week to prep fans for game action with news and storylines across the league with host Marc Fein, with regular contributors David Aldridge, SLAM’s Lang Whitaker as well as reporters from across the country. The Beat airs March 29 at 6:00 p.m. (ET).
NBA TV GAMES OF THE WEEK:
MARCH 28 – APRIL 3
NBA TV SCHEDULE (all times ET): MARCH 28 – APRIL 3 MONDAY, MARCH 28 8:00 – 10:30 p.m. NBA Regular Season: Philadelphia 76ers @ Chicago Bulls Local Announcers TUESDAY, MARCH 29 Fan Night 7:00 – 9:30 p.m. NBA Fan Night: Miami Heat @ Cleveland Cavaliers Ernie Johnson, Kevin McHale and Chris Webber SATURDAY, APRIL 2 10:30 p.m. – 1:00 a.m. NBA Regular Season: Oklahoma City @ Los Angeles Clippers Local Announcers SUNDAY, APRIL 3 7:00 – 9:30 p.m. NBA Regular Season: Indiana Pacers @ New Orleans Hornets Local Announcers
That does it.
Just before CBS’ Final Round coverage of The Masters®, two weeks from today, we have another edition of Jim Nantz Remembers, where he looks into a memorable tournament from years past. This year, Jim looks back at the 1975 Masters where Jack Nicklaus had to fend off the charging Tom Weiskopf and Johnny Miller to win his 5th Green Jacket at Augusta.
Every year since 2006, Jim Nantz takes an in-depth hour-long look at a Masters tournament and this year, it’s 1975. Here’s a preview of what you’ll see on April 10.
CBS SPORTS SPECTACULAR FEATURES “JIM NANTZ REMEMBERS AUGUSTA: THE 1975 MASTERS®” ON SUNDAY, APRIL 10
CBS Sports will broadcast a CBS SPORTS SPECTACULAR special JIM NANTZ REMEMBERS AUGUSTA: THE 1975 MASTERS® on Sunday, April 10 (1:00-2:00 PM, ET) on the CBS Television Network. Jim Nantz, this year covering his 26th Masters for CBS Sports, and 24th as host, revisits one of the most memorable showdowns in golf history – the 1975 Masters – when Jack Nicklaus fended off Tom Weiskopf and Johnny Miller through the final holes to win the coveted green jacket. Nicklaus sank a 40-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole that proved to be the difference in his record fifth Masters victory.
“Back in 1975 people didn’t have TiVo or DVRs to be able to record events if they missed them on television,” said Nantz. “This is a rare mulligan for people to look back and experience this historic tournament. It is a privilege to bring back the 1975 Masters, considered by many golf purists to have been the most dramatic final round in the history of this storied event.”
This one-hour special includes a conversation with six-time Masters champion Nicklaus, as well as Weiskopf and Miller, as each relives that classic Sunday afternoon in April 1975.
JIM NANTZ REMEMBERS AUGUSTA: THE 1975 MASTERS is produced and directed by Chris Svendsen. The Executive Producer is Jim Nantz.
About Jim Nantz Productions:
Jim Nantz Productions was established in 2005. This year’s retrospective on the 1975 Masters is Nantz’s sixth production of the Emmy Award-nominated series. On Masters Sunday, April 9, 2006, JIM NANTZ REMEMBERS AUGUSTA re-aired the 1986 Masters that featured Jack Nicklaus’s epic victory. In 2007, JIM NANTZ REMEMBERS AUGUSTA: THE 1960 MASTERS featured Arnold Palmer’s historic win which was, for the first time, re-broadcast and colorized. THE 1960 MASTERS special was nominated for a 2007 Sports Emmy Award for the George Wensel Technical Achievement Award. In 2008, JIM NANTZ REMEMBERS AUGUSTA: THE 1978 MASTERS featured Gary Player’s improbable win; in 2009, JIM NANTZ REMEMBERS AUGUSTA: SEVE AT THE MASTERS looked back on one of the game’s and the Masters’ greatest players, Seve Ballesteros; and in 2010 JIM NANTZ REMEMBERS AUGUSTA: THE 1977 MASTERS told the story of the classic showdown between Tom Watson holding off Jack Nicklaus for the victory.
And after the jump, we have another press release on another CBS special that will before the Third Round of The Masters®.
Here we are. We’re down to the Final Four®. We now have the tip times for Saturday in Houston.
THIS JUST IN…
…from CBS Sports and Turner Sports
CBS Sports’ exclusive coverage of the 2011 NCAA® Division I Men’s Basketball Final Four® on Saturday, April 2 (6:00-11:00 PM, ET) tips-off with Butler taking on VCU (6:09 PM, ET). Connecticut against Kentucky follows 40 minutes after the conclusion of the first game. Jim Nantz, Clark Kellogg and Steve Kerr call the games along with Tracy Wolfson serving as reporter.
Coverage begins with THE ROAD TO THE FINAL FOUR® (4:00-6:00 PM, ET) hosted by Greg Gumbel along with analysts Charles Barkley, Greg Anthony, Kenny Smith and Seth Davis, live from Houston, Texas.
That’s it. Enjoy the games.
Golf Channel has sent over the guest list for its morning show, Morning Drive. Among the guests include Boo Weekley, Tom Watson and Amy Alcott. Here’s what you can expect starting on Monday.
Coming Up on Morning Drive…March 28-April 1
Boo Weekley and Tom Watson to Make Morning Drive Debuts
Gary Koch, Jim Furyk, Amy Alcott and Curtis Granderson Headline This Week’s Roster of Guests
ORLANDO, Fla., March 27, 2011 – PGA TOUR professional Boo Weekley and World Golf Hall-of-Famer Tom Watson will make their Morning Drive debuts this week. Weekley will join hosts Erik Kuselias and Gary Williams in-studio on Monday, with Watson joining via satellite on Wednesday. Also headlining this week’s roster of guests include 2010 FedExCup champion Jim Furyk, Golf Channel on NBC analyst Gary Koch, LPGA Hall-of-Famer Amy Alcott and New York Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson.
Members of Golf Channel’s on-air team also are scheduled to contribute throughout the week on-site from professional golf’s various tours. Morning Drive airs live Monday-Friday from 7-9 a.m. ET, and re-airs Monday-Wednesday from 9-11 a.m. ET. Audio for Morning Drive also is streamed live online at www.GolfChannel.com/morning-drive.
Morning Drive (March 28-April 1; Live, All Times Eastern)
Live Airings: Monday-Friday, 7-9 a.m.
Re-Airs: Monday-Wednesday, 9-11 a.m.
Hosts: Erik Kuselias, Gary Williams
News Updates: Holly Sonders
Scheduled Guests this week include:
Monday, March, 28
Boo Weekley – PGA TOUR Professional
Jim Furyk – 2010 FedExCup Champion
Rex Hoggard – GolfChannel.com Senior Writer
Tim Rosaforte – Golf Channel Insider
Tuesday, March 29
Gary Koch – Golf Channel on NBC Analyst
Wednesday, March 30
Tom Watson – World Golf Hall of Famer
Alex Miceli – Golf Channel Contributor
John Hawkins – Golf Channel Contributor
Thursday, March 31
John Feinstein – Golf Channel Contributor
Friday, April 1
Curtis Granderson – New York Yankees Center Fielder
Amy Alcott – LPGA Hall of Famer
That’s going to do it.
CBS’ two games which were extremely compelling and went down to the wire received a 6.2 rating with a 13 share. That’s even with last year. The average viewership was 9.9 million viewers which is the highest average since 2005.
Overall, the tournament is averaging 5.9/13 which is the highest average since 2005. We have the press release from CBS/Turner Sports.
THE 2011 NCAA® DIVISION I MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP ON TBS, CBS, TNT AND truTV MOST-WATCHED TOURNAMENT SINCE 2005 AVERAGING 9.1 MILLION TOTAL VIEWERS
CBS Sports’ and Turner Sports’ exclusive live coverage of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV is the most-watched tournament since 2005, averaging 9.1 million total viewers, +11% from 8.2 million total viewers for CBS Sports’ 2010 coverage. The overall tournament average-to-date, including the FIRST FOUR®, is a 5.9/13 rating/share, +13% from a 5.2/12 for 2010, according to Nielsen Fast Nationals.
The 5.9/13 ties with 2006 as the highest average rating for the NCAA Tournament through the Saturday regional finals since a 6.1/13 in 2005.
Coverage of the regional finals on CBS on Saturday, March 26 averaged 9.9 million total viewers, the highest viewer average for the Saturday regional finals since 2005 (when both games went to OT), and earned a household rating/share of 6.2/13 even with 2010.
Source: Nielsen Media Research, based on Fast National Data, Live +SD data stream. 2011 NCAA Tournament Dates, include First Four telecast gross. Dates of NCAA Tournament: 2011 3/15/11 – 3/26/11 vs 2010 3/18/10 – 3/27/10. 2011 averages based on weighted average of 4 telecast gross across CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV. Dates of the NCAA Tournament historical audiences, CBS 1994 through 2005 based on Live data. 2006 through 2010 based on Live + SD. 2003 based on CBS / ESPN average of First Round.
And that will conclude this post. Look for the Saturday Final Four tip times later tonight.
Let’s provide some links on this Sunday. Original plans to go to work have been scrapped leaving me free to do links which is good for you. I certainly hope you had a chance to read my Sunday thoughts which I hope to make a weekly feature here at Fang’s Bites.
Here are the links.
Jon Weisman of Variety talks with CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus who’s happy to be focusing totally on sports after being the President of both the network’s news and sports divisions until this year.
Jon says Fox Sports Net will air a bi-weekly spring basketball series.
Mike Reynolds at Multichannel News looks at the NCAA Tournament’s ratings for Friday.
Marcus Vanderberg of SportsNewser writes about WWE announcer Michael Cole tweeting a gay slur at a colleague, just two weeks after the company announced an alliance with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
Dan Fogarty from SportsGrid has the video of CBS/Turner’s Charles Barkley urging college players to remain in school.
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe writes about ESPN taking Baseball Tonight on the road for Sunday Night Baseball.
To Phil Mushnick of the New York Post who sees things that nobody else does.
Keith Groller from the Allentown (PA) Morning News says tonight’s 60 Minutes profile on legendary high school basketball coach Bob Hurley should be quite interesting.
Dave Hughes from DCRTV.com writes in Press Box that the voice of the Maryland Terrapins, Johnny Holliday has been honored by the ACC.
Jim Williams from the Washington Examiner notes that Howard University students are learning the machinations behind the marketing of NASCAR.
Chris Hays of the Orlando Sentinel talks with Golf Channel/NBC’s Dottie Pepper who’s back trudging along the courses with the PGA/LPGA pros this season.
Brandon Marcello of the Jackson (MS) Clarion-Ledger says Mississippi State University is considering moving its football season opener to accommodate Fox Sports Net.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News writes about sportscaster Nick Charles’ last fight. Literally.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer says a Reds TV special airs live locally tonight.
The Denver Post notes that Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow is going to be modeling underwear for the Jockey™ brand.
The Denver Business Journal reports that ESPN Radio will switch affiliates in the Rocky Mountain region starting next year.
Ferd Lewis of the Honolulu Advertiser says the future of University of Hawaii sports on TV is quite cloudy right now.
Sports Media Watch notes that CBS/Turner continues to do well for the NCAA Tournament.
Joe Favorito says sports leagues would help themselves by tapping the growing Hispanic market.
And that’s going to do it.
This is the first of what I hope will be weekly Sunday posts. I’ll provide three or four thoughts into one post and I hope you enjoy them. Consider this to be a throwback to when sports media writers would write a lengthy column in the Sunday newspapers. As I mentioned, I hope to make this a regular occurrence at Fang’s Bites. I hope you’ll like it.
Can Other Sports Lend Themselves to Multiple Networks?
It’s obvious that the NCAA Tournament on CBS/TBS/TNT/truTV has been a phenomenal success. By having all of the games available nationally on four networks in the first three rounds, viewers watched in droves and in higher numbers than in previous years. Instead of waiting for CBS to make a switch to another game during a blowout or having to purchase the March Mega Madness pay per view package on DirecTV, viewers could do it themselves by either looking at the scoreboard bug on top of the screen or having the game announcers give an alert or even through social media like Twitter which gave alerts to close games.
The ratings have proved that airing four games simultaneously adds interest and eyeballs to the TV set. You’ll have a blowout here and there, but you can turn away if you so desire.
CBS/Turner’s spreading the games over four networks got me to thinking what other sports could use the NCAA Tournament treatment and I immediately thought baseball. You have four League Division Series and with TBS already having the rights to the entire LDS, why not spread them out to TNT and truTV? You don’t have to have four games at once, perhaps TBS can start with a game at 4 p.m. Eastern, then have three games at 7:30 p.m. on TBS again, TNT and truTV. And you won’t have to worry about airing a game at 10 or 11 p.m. which would anger East Coast fans.
What about other sports? The NBA used to have playoff games on TBS and TNT. Instead of spreading series out over a span of two weeks, why not go to the old system of conducting them every other night and having TNT and ESPN involved? Commissioner David Stern could stagger start times, Eastern Conference series could tip off at 7 and 8 p.m. Eastern, then the Western Conference would tip at 9:30 and 10:30 respectively. Or the games could begin a half-hour apart.
The NHL could do something similar with Versus and other another cable partner, say ESPN2 perhaps or even NHL Network. The possibilities are endless
And if NBC ever came to its senses and decided to truly show the Olympics live, we could see events on multiple networks such as track and field on NBC, basketball on Versus, gymnastics on USA Network, diving on MSNBC and cycling on Bravo. Do it, NBC.
So as you can see, this can be done provided the sports leagues allow it. But this would heighten interest and provide the viewer with more games and more choices.
The Insanity of 3-D TV
Over the last few weeks, I have seen articles about the slow sales of 3-D TV throughout the country. I have also seen articles about Best Buy’s stock being downgraded over poor sales due to 3-D TV and other factors. The fact that 3-D TV has not taken off tells me one thing. Americans aren’t interested in buying another expensive TV set after making the investment to HDTV.
Let’s face it. The digital conversion from analog TV to High Definition was botched by the Feds. The date of the mandatory conversion kept getting pushed back to 2009 when it was finally decided that it could not be pushed back any further. It didn’t matter, the forced drop dead date was still confusing to some who thought that TV as they knew was coming to an end. Some people to this day still don’t have TV coming to their homes. However, most people did make the conversion to high definition, in some cases, spending well over $1,000 to make the change.
Now after making the transition to HDTV, TV manufacturers rushed out 3-D TV sets based on the success of the movie, Avatar. However, one movie does not a whole movement make. The fact that there’s hardly a surplus of 3-D programming, ESPN 3D asides, people don’t have the urge to buy a 3-D set. In addition, the economy has hit many Americans right in the wallet or pocketbook. They aren’t rushing to Best Buy or other electronic retailers. Many Americans aren’t thinking they’re missing anything by not owning a 3-D TV. Asking people to buy a $3,000 set after they’ve already spent money on new HD TV’s just two years previous is like asking them to waste money like a local government. It’s not going to happen.
In addition, their favorite sports aren’t making a big push to go 3-D. The NFL is very skeptical about putting its games in the third dimension and the league certainly doesn’t see it as a moneymaker.
So where does this leave us with 3-D? Right where it started, struggling to find an audience. I don’t see 3-D taking off as network executives and TV manufacturers had hoped. And even when the economy bounces back, I don’t see a huge wave of people looking to buy 3-D. Let’s call this for what it is, 3-D TV is a colossal failure.
You know The Masters is coming when you hear that familiar theme, “Augusta” being played during the NCAA Tournament and even on promos on the CBS Evening News. For many people, it will be the first golf tournament on which they will pay attention.
For me, The Masters is a true sign that spring is here. My only problem with The Masters is the referential treatment from CBS. Granted, Augusta National calls the shots and signs one year renewals with CBS, but sometimes the restrictions by the membership can go too far. Announcers like Jack Whitaker and Gary McCord were booted from CBS’ coverage for saying things that Augusta National didn’t like.
We haven’t any similar incidents at The Masters in the past few years, but one has to think that we’re due based on CBS’ track record which has been quite good.
More Sunday thoughts coming next week.
Just received from CBS/Turner, the last split telecasts of the NCAA Tournament took place on Friday and once again, the ratings and viewership were up from last year. Altogether, the nighttime doubleheader of the Southwest Regional and the East Regional semifinals took in a 7.0 rating with a 14 share on CBS/TBS, up 13% from last year on CBS. In addition, an average viewership of 11.3 million people watched the games.
Overall, the total average viewership of the Tournament as a whole is 9 million which is up 13% from 2010. We have the CBS/Turner press release.
THE 2011 NCAA® DIVISION I MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP ON TBS, CBS, TNT AND truTV MOST-WATCHED TOURNAMENT IN 17 YEARS WITH MORE THAN 9.0 MILLION TOTAL VIEWERS
Friday’s Regional Semi-Finals Delivers 11.3 Million Total Viewers, 7.0 US HH Rating +13% Over 2010
Turner Sports’ and CBS Sports’ exclusive live coverage of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship across CBS, TBS TNT and truTV is the most-watched tournament in 17 years (1994), delivering more than 9.0 million total viewers, +13% from 8.0 million total viewers for CBS Sports’ 2010 coverage. The overall tournament average-to-date, including the FIRST FOUR®, is a 5.8 U.S. HH rating/ 13 share, +14% from a 5.1 U.S. HH rating/12 share for 2010, according to Nielsen Fast Nationals.
Coverage of the regional semi-finals on TBS and CBS on Friday, March 25 combined to deliver 11.3 million total viewers, +13% from 10.0 million total viewers for CBS Sports’ 2010 coverage, and a household rating/share of 7.0 U.S. HH rating/ 14 share, +13% from a 6.2 U.S. HH rating/12 share for 2010.
The overall tournament average-to-date continues to deliver double-digit growth in key adult and male demos over 2010, including:
- A18-34 +36% (2,321 vs. 1,712)
- A18-49 +17% (4,269 vs. 3,651)
- A25-54 +13% (4,384 vs. 3,875)
- M18-34 +37% (1,564 vs. 1,144)
- M18-49 +20% (2,991 vs. 2,489)
- M25-54 +18% (3,093 vs. 2,629)
Source: Nielsen Media Research, based on Fast National Data, Live +SD data stream. 2011 NCAA Tournament Dates, include First Four telecast gross. Dates of NCAA Tournament: 2011 3/15/11 – 3/25/11 vs 2010 3/18/10 – 3/26/10. 2011 averages based on weighted average of 4 telecast gross across CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV. Dates of the NCAA Tournament historical audiences, CBS 1994 through 2005 based on Live data. 2006 through 2010 based on Live + SD. 2003 based on CBS / ESPN average of First Round.
That is all.
Unfortunately, I was not able to do the Friday megalinks as I was traveling in between two offices and had to hit a couple of places in between. And when I got home, I wasn’t in the mood to do links. But I may incorporate some Friday stories here in the links. Let’s take a look at what we have.
From the Wall Street Journal, Sam Schechner has a story where networks are angry with Time Warner Cable for providing their programming on iPads. This is going to be an interesting battleground because if Time Warner wins, the networks will have no control over their content on tablets. Keep an eye on this as sports is involved as well. Thanks to John Daly of The Daly Planet NASCAR blog for the link.
Georg Szalai of the Hollywood Reporter says despite network protests, Time Warner Cable is forging ahead with its iPad app.
Andrea Morabito from Broadcasting & Cable notes that the NCAA Tournament’s ratings continue to soar on CBS and Turner.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News says ESPN2 and Tennis Channel will be all over the Sony Ericsson Open starting today.
Marcus Vanderberg of SportsNewser says Nasty Boy Rob Dibble has found a new radio home.
Brad Cohen from SportsGrid has the too-steamy-for-TV ad featuring Serena Williams.
The Nielsen Wire blog notes that the two most marketable MLB players are New York Yankees.
Newsday’s Neil Best has ESPN’s Jay Bilas standing by his anti-VCU comments from before theNCAA Tournament. This story came out before VCU won last night.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union has your NCAA Tournament Regional Final tip times for the weekend.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner notes that the IndyCar racing season gets underway on Sunday.
Barry Jackson from the Miami Herald says Charles Barkley has added some much needed humor into the NCAA Tournament studio.
Tom Jones of the St. Petersburg Times reviews the Sports Emmy Award nominations.
At the Grand Rapids (MI) Press, Michael Zuidema discusses how ESPN’s MLB analysts see the Detroit Tigers faring this season.
John Kiesewetter at the Cincinnati Enquirer talks with Bearcats and Pawtucket Red Sox voice Dan Hoard about his very busy schedule.
In his blog, John says some of Dan’s professional goals now surprise him.
Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business has his winners and losers in sports business and media.
Dan Caesar at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes that former Cardinals first baseman Jack Clark is back on the air in the Gateway City.
John Maffei of the North County Times has enjoyed the CBS/Turner coverage of the NCAA Tournament.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News is not a fan of Charles Barkley on the NCAA Tournament. I disagree.
Tom has his extensive media news and notes.
Lou Clinton of 38 Cliches notes that his arch-nemesis, Florida Marlins announcer Glenn Geffner is now on Twitter.
I think we’ll end it there for this Saturday.
Another night in the NCAA Tournament and another rise in the overall overnight ratings. Last night got off to a bad start with two blowouts (North Carolina-Marquette and Kansas-Richmond), but the late window really ramped up with two compelling games (Kentucky-Ohio State and VCU-Florida State). Thanks to games that went down to the wire in the nightcap, ratings on CBS and TBS rose from a 5.9 in the first window to an amazing 9.2 with a 16 share. The late Friday night window ratings are the highest in 20 years.
The total average rating for the entire night 7.6/14 which is up 17% from 2010 on CBS. So we have some good news for CBS/TBS. Now the real test will be with the rest of the games on CBS, will the ratings go up or will they be level with last year? That’s the question. Here’s the press release.
CBS SPORTS’ AND TURNER SPORTS’ EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE OF THE 2011 NCAA® DIVISION I MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP DELIVERS HIGHEST OVERALL TOURNAMENT RATINGS IN 20 YEARS
Friday’s Regional Semi-Finals Ratings +17% Over 2010
CBS Sports’ and Turner Sports’ exclusive live coverage of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTv combined, ties with 1993 as the best overall tournament-to-date average ratings in the metered markets since the tournament expanded coverage to all live games in 1991. The overall tournament average-to-date, including the FIRST FOUR®, in the metered markets is a 6.6/14, up +18% from a 5.6/12 for CBS Sports’ 2010 coverage according to Nielsen.
Coverage of the regional semi-finals on TBS and CBS on Friday, March 25 combined to deliver an overnight household rating/share of 7.6/14, up +17% from a 6.5/12 for CBS Sports’ 2010 coverage, according to Nielsen. The 7.6/14 was the highest rating for the Friday regional semi-finals in the metered markets since a 7.8/14 in 2005.
The first telecast window of the night combined to earn a 5.9/11, even with last year.
The second window of the night delivered a 9.2/16, up +30% from a 7.1/13 last year. The 9.2/16 is the highest rating for the second Friday regional semi-finals in the metered markets since the tournament expanded coverage to all live games in 1991.
I hope to have links for you provided that I’m not surprised and don’t have to go to work.
Ok, we have your tip times for Sunday as we had two stellar games in the late evening session to determine the last two entries into the Elite 8, the Regional Finals. CBS has both games starting at 2:20 p.m. Eastern Time. Here are the tip times with announcing assignments. I hope Marv Albert’s voice recovers after he battled through a bout of laryngitis during the Southwest Regional semifinals.
SUNDAY, MARCH 27 REGIONAL FINALS (2:00-7:00 PM, ET)
2:20 PM – CBS: San Antonio I: Kansas vs. VCU, Marv Albert/Steve Kerr//Craig Sager
5:05 PM – CBS: Newark I: North Carolina vs. Kentucky, Jim Nantz/Clark Kellogg//Tracy Wolfson
And I’ll bring you CBS’ preview of Sunday’s action plus a reminder of Saturday’s tip times shortly.
UPDATE: 12:45 a.m.: And as promised, here’s CBS/Turner Sports joint press release on the Sunday tip times complete with Saturday’s games.
CBS SPORTS AND TURNER SPORTS ANNOUNCE TIP-TIMES FOR REGIONAL FINALS ON SUNDAY, MARCH 27 ON CBS
Exclusive Coverage Continues with Regional Finals on Saturday, March 26 on CBS
CBS Sports and Turner Sports announce tip-times and match-ups for the Regional finals of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship on Sunday, March 27 (2:00-7:00 PM, ET) on CBS. Kansas takes on VCU in the first game, followed by Kentucky playing North Carolina
The NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Championship with BYU-Hawaii taking on Bellarmine (1:00-3:00 PM, ET) tips-off Saturday’s coverage on CBS followed by THE ROAD TO THE FINAL FOUR®, hosted by Greg Gumbel along with analysts Charles Barkley, Greg Anthony, Kenny Smith and Villanova head coach Jay Wright (3:00 PM, ET).
Coverage begins both days on truTV with NCAA Tip-Off (12:00 NOON, ET on Saturday and 1:00 PM, ET on Sunday) with Ernie Johnson, Seth Davis, Steve Smith and Clemson head coach Brad Brownell. Inside March Madness wraps up the action on Saturday and Sunday on truTV, following CBS Sports’ live game coverage, with Gumbel, Barkley, Anthony, Smith and Wright.
Fans also will be able to access the games through NCAA March Madness on Demand. NCAA March Madness on Demand provides live streaming video of every game of the new 68-team tournament as they are broadcast by CBS Sports and Turner Sports, which started with the First Four™ from Dayton, Ohio on March 15, and concludes with the Men’s Final Four® semi-finals and national championship game from Houston, Texas on April 2 and April 4, respectively.
Following are the tip-times and announce teams for the Regional finals on Saturday.
SATURDAY, MARCH 26 REGIONAL FINALS (4:30-9:00 PM, ET)
4:30 PM – CBS: New Orleans: Florida vs. Butler, Gus Johnson/Len Elmore/Reggie Miller//Marty Snider
7:05 PM: CBS: Anaheim: Connecticut vs. Arizona, Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery//Lesley Visser
And we are done. The next tip time update will be after the games on Sunday. That will be for the Final Four®.
Turner Sports brings in Clemson coach Brownell this weekend.
THIS JUST IN…
…from Turner Sports and CBS Sports:
Clemson University head coach Brad Brownell joins CBS Sports’ and Turner Sports’ coverage of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, serving as a guest analyst in the Atlanta studio. Brownell will work truTV’s hour-long Infiniti NCAA Tip-Off (NOON, ET) prior to CBS’ coverage of the regional finals on Saturday, March 26 beginning at 4:00 PM, ET and Sunday, March 27 beginning at 2:00 PM, ET. He joins the studio team of host Ernie Johnson and analysts Seth Davis and Steve Smith.
This just in from CBS/Turner Sports. The ratings for the start of the NCAA Tournament Regional Semifinals turn out to be very good once again for the CBS/Turner Sports consortium. With CBS and TBS airing the Sweet Sixteen games from New Orleans and Anaheim, the final total average ratings turned out to be 7.6 with a 14 share, up 15% from CBS’ solo coverage last year. And it’s the highest ratings for the Sweet Sixteen Thursday games since 1994. An average audience of 8.8 million viewers watched the games last night.
We have your press release from CBS/Turner.
THE 2011 NCAA® DIVISION I MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP ON TBS, CBS, TNT AND truTV DELIVERS MOST TOTAL VIEWERS FOR THE TOURNAMENT IN 17 YEARS AND +14% OVERALL RATINGS GROWTH THROUGH THURSDAY
Thursday’s Regional Semi-Finals Also Score Highest Rating in 17 Years, 15% and Deliver 12 Million Total Viewers, +14% Over 2010
Turner Sports’ and CBS Sports’ exclusive live coverage of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship across CBS, TBS TNT and truTV combined to deliver the most total viewers in 17 years (1994) with 8.8 million total viewers, +13% over CBS Sports’ 7.8 million total viewers in 2010.
The overall tournament average-to-date, including the FIRST FOUR®, is a 5.7 U.S. HH rating/13 share, +14% from a 5.0 U.S. HH rating/11 share for CBS Sports’ 2010 coverage according to Nielsen Fast Nationals.
Coverage of the regional semi-finals on CBS and TBS on Thursday, March 24 combined to deliver a household rating/share of 7.6 U.S. HH rating/14 share, +15% from a 6.6 U.S. HH rating/12 share for CBS Sports’ 2010 coverage. The networks also averaged 12 million total viewers, +14% over CBS Sports’ 10.5 million total viewers in 2010.
The 7.6 U.S. HH rating/14 share was the highest rating for the Thursday regional semi-finals since an 8.2 U.S. HH rating/16 share in 17 years (1994).
The first telecast window of the night combined to earn a 7.4 U.S. HH rating/14 share, +23% from a 6.0 U.S. HH rating/11 share last year.
The second window of the night delivered a 7.8 U.S. HH rating/15 share, +10% from a 7.1 U.S. HH rating /13 share last year.
The overall tournament average-to-date continues to deliver double-digit growth in key adult and male demos over 2010, including:
- A18-34 +36% (2,308 vs. 1,698)
- A18-49 +17% (4,182 vs. 3,584)
- A25-54 +13% (4,290 vs. 3,792)
- M18-34 +38% (1,563 vs. 1,129)
- M18-49 +21% (2,957 vs. 2,441)
- M25-54 +19% (3,058 vs. 2,573)
Source: Nielsen Media Research, based on Fast National Data, Live +SD data stream. 2011 NCAA Tournament Dates, include First Four telecast gross. Dates of NCAA Tournament: 2011 3/15/11 – 3/24/11 vs 2010 3/18/10 – 3/25/10. 2011 averages based on weighted average of 4 telecast gross across CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV. Dates of the NCAA Tournament historical audiences, CBS 1994 through 2005 based on Live data. 2006 through 2010 based on Live + SD. 2003 based on CBS / ESPN average of First Round.
Overall, very good numbers once again.
Lost in the NCAA Tournament action last night was the blood rivalry game between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens. The Bruins got the job done last night by shellacking the Canadiens by a 7-0 score making B’s fans across the country quite happy. It also translated to record ratings for NESN, also known as the New England Sports Network, making the regional sports network number one in the Boston-Manchester, NH market in the men’s 25-54 demographic and giving it a 6.6 Household rating which is a record for a regular season NHL game. The previous record was a 6.2 set
earlier in the month last year. Oops.
Yes, the Bruins are hot in Boston right now. Here are the details from NESN.
Last night’s 7-0 Bruins win over the Canadiens garnered a 6.6 household rating on NESN according to Nielsen, which is the highest rated regular season game in the network’s 27 year history covering the Bruins. NESN’s previous regular season ratings record was a 6.2 household rating for the March, 18, 2010 game when the Bruins played the Pittsburgh Penguins at TD Garden.
Against a very competitive network prime lineup, which included the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, the Bruins ranked #1 in the Boston DMA in Men 25-54, #2 in Adults 18-49 and #3 in Households and Adults 25-54.
NESN’s pre and post-game shows as well as NESN Daily also earned strong numbers.
Bruins FaceOff LIVE - 1.4 HH rating
Bruins Overtime LIVE - 5.3 HH rating (season best)
NESN Daily – 2.7 HH rating
NESN has two more games over the weekend and I would think they would do well also.
Another night at the NCAA Tournament, this one for the Sweet Sixteen and again, having multiple platforms for the games, this time CBS and TBS gave the overall ratings another boost last night. Overall, the two networks received an average overnight rating of 8.6 with a 14 share. It means that these are the highest ratings since CBS received a 9.0/16 back in 1993 and that was a much different TV universe. Last night’s numbers are 28% higher than last year when CBS had exclusive rights.
Having two compelling games to begin the night on CBS/Turner certainly helped. These are absolutely stunning numbers. We have the press release from CBS/Turner.
CBS SPORTS’ AND TURNER SPORTS’ EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE OF THE 2011 NCAA® DIVISION I MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP DELIVERS HIGHEST OVERALL TOURAMENT RATINGS IN 18 YEARS
Thursday’s Regional Semi-Finals Score Best Ratings In 18 Years, Up +28% Over 2010
CBS Sports’ and Turner Sports’ exclusive live coverage of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV combined to deliver the best overall tournament-to-date average ratings in the metered markets in 18 years (1993). The overall tournament average-to-date, including the FIRST FOUR®, in the metered markets is a 6.5/14, up +18% from a 5.5/12 for CBS Sports’ 2010 coverage according to Nielsen.
Coverage of the regional semi-finals on TBS and CBS on Thursday, March 24 combined to deliver an overnight household rating/share of 8.6/14, up +28% from a 6.7/12 for CBS Sports’ 2010 coverage, according to Nielsen.
The 8.6/14 was the highest rating for the Thursday regional semi-finals in the metered markets since a 9.0/16 in 1993.
The first telecast window of the night combined to earn an 8.5/14, up +37% from a 6.2/11 last year.
The second window of the night delivered an 8.7/15, up +21% from a 7.2/13 last year.
And that will do it. We’ll see if the ratings momentum continues as some marquee programs like Duke fell by the wayside. CBS will have the games exclusively from the Elite 8 through the Championship Game a week from Monday.
I can’t believe Keith Thibault of Sports Media Journal and I have 49 podcasts, but we have. You can count them! On Thursday, Keith and I convened via Skype once again and recorded the latest edition of the Sports Media Weekly Podcast which needs a new name. If you have any suggestions, let me know and I’ll forward them to Keith to see if your title can become the new name of our podcast. And I’ll see if I can come up with a prize like a free book or some other type of swag.
In the latest edition of the podcast which again is guestless, Keith and I talk about the NCAA Tournament and how CBS/Turner is doing on the game production. We both say positive things about the games being aired nationally on four platforms, plus we disagree on a couple of minor points.
We then go to the Sports Emmy Award nominations which were released this week. Keith and I predict who will win in some of the “glamor” categories.
And we wrap up the podcast by talking about the proper use of Twitter by sportswriters. Keith thinks sportswriters should have two accounts, one for their reporting and another for their personal tweets. I have no problem if they want to show a bit of their personality and showing us a different side to them. And I give a shout out to Joe Haggerty of Comcast SportsNet New England, but I course, forget his name in the process. Sorry, Joe.
Overall, a good podcast and one which re-introduces us to our adoring public. Of course, I’m being totally sarcastic.
Anyway, find the podcast and subscribe to it at iTunes by searching for “Sports Media Journal” or you can find it
Saturday, March 26
Oxford vs. Cambridge – BBC America, 12:30 p.m.
Boxing After Dark/Featherweights, Yuriorkis Gamboa vs. Jorge Solis (title fight) & Matt Remillard vs. Mikey Garcia – HBO, 9:45 p.m.
NCAA Division I Men’s Hockey Tournament
Northeast Regional, Manchester, NH
New Hampshire vs. Miami (OH) – ESPNU, 4 p.m.
Merrimack vs. Notre Dame – Comcast SportsNet New England/MASN, 7:30 p.m.
East Regional Final, Bridgeport, CT
Yale vs. Minnesota-Duluth – ESPNU, 6:30 p.m.
West Regional Final, St. Louis, MO
Colorado College vs. Michigan – ESPNU, 9 p.m.
ESPN Sports Saturday
30 for 30 – ABC, 4 p.m.
Winners Bracket – ABC, 5 p.m.
LPGA Tour/Kia Classic, 3rd Round – Golf Channel, 6:30 p.m. (same day coverage)
PGA Tour/Arnold Palmer Invitational, 3rd Round – Golf Channel, 12:30 p.m./NBC, 2:30 p.m.
Mixed Martial Arts
Bellator Fighting Championships 38 – MTV2, 7 p.m.
Atlanta vs. New York Mets – CSS/SNY, 1 p.m.
Pittsburgh vs. New York Yankees – FSN Pittsburgh/YES, 1 p.m.
St. Louis vs. Florida – Fox Sports Midwest/Fox Sports Florida, 1 p.m.
Toronto vs. Philadelphia – MLB Network/WPHL, 1 p.m.
Chicago Cubs vs. Texas – ESPN2/Fox Sports Southwest, 4 p.m.
Anaheim vs. Chicago White Sox – Comcast SportsNet Chicago, 4 p.m.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Diego – Cox 4, 4 p.m.
Cincinnati vs. San Francisco – KNTV, 6 p.m./MLB Network, 11 p.m.
Minnesota vs. Boston – MLB Network/NESN, 7 p.m.
New Jersey at Atlanta – NBA TV, 7 p.m.
Chicago at Milwaukee – WGN America, 8:30 p.m.
Nationwide Series: Fontana – ESPN, 5:30 p.m.
New York Rangers at Boston – MSG Network/NESN, 1 p.m.
Colorado at Los Angeles – Altitude/Fox Sports West, 1 p.m.
Toronto at Detroit – CBC/Fox Sports Detroit, 7 p.m.
Washington at Montreal – CBC/RDS/NHL Network (US)/Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, 7 p.m.
New Jersey at Buffalo – MSG Plus 2/MSG Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Philadelphia at New York Islanders – Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia/MSG Plus, 7 p.m.
Tampa Bay at Carolina – Sun Sports/Fox Sports Carolinas, 7 p.m.
Dallas at Nashville – KTXA/Fox Sports Tennessee, 8 p.m.
St. Louis at Minnesota – Fox Sports Midwest/Fox Sports North, 8 p.m.
Anaheim at Chicago – Fox Sports West/Comcast SportsNet Chicago, 8:30 p.m.
San Jose at Arizona – Comcast SportsNet California/Fox Sports Arizona, 9 p.m.
Calgary at Edmonton – CBC, 10 p.m.
NHL on the Fly – NHL Network, 10 p.m.
Wales vs. England – ESPN2, 10:55 a.m.
Ecuador vs. Columbua – Fox Soccer Channel, 1 p.m.
United States vs. Argentina – ESPN2, 7 p.m.
Sony Ericsson Open, Men’s 2nd Round/Women’s 3rd Round – Tennis Channel, 11 a.m.
Giada at Home: Bake Sale – Food Network, 1:30 p.m.
Dear Genevieve – HGTV, 8 p.m.
Cash & Cari – HGTV, 8:30 p.m.
America’s Most Wanted: America Fights Back – Fox, 9 p.m.
Being Human – BBC America, 9 p.m.
48 Hours Mystery: Dream Killer – CBS, 10 p.m.
The Graham Norton Show – BBC America, 10:20 p.m.
That Metal Show – VH1 Classic, 11 p.m.
Norm Macdonald: Me Doing Standup – Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 27
NCAA Division I Men’s Hockey Tournament
Green Bay, WI Regional
ESPNU, 5:30 p.m.
Manchester, NH Regional
ESPNU, 8 p.m.
Australian Grand Prix – Speed, 1:30 a.m.
LPGA Tour/Kia Classic, Final Round – Golf Channel, 7 p.m. (same day coverage)
PGA Tour/Arnold Palmer Invitational, 3rd Round – Golf Channel, 12:30 p.m./NBC, 2:30 p.m.
Grand Prix of St. Petersburg – ABC, 12:30 p.m.
Philadelphia vs. Atlanta – MLB Network/Fox Sports South, 1 p.m.
Boston vs. Baltimore – NESN/MASN, 1 p.m.
Detroit vs. Houston – Fox Sports Detroit, 1 p.m.
Oakland vs. Colorado – FSN Rocky Mountain, 4 p.m.
Texas vs. Seattle – KTXA, 4 p.m./MLB Network, 5 p.m.
Sprint Cup Series/Auto Club 400 – Fox, 2:30 p.m.
Boston at Minnesota – Comcast SportsNet New England, 7 p.m.
Portland at Oklahoma City – ESPN, 8 p.m.
Dallas at Phoenix – ESPN, 10:30 p.m.
Florida at Pittsburgh – Fox Sports Florida/FSN Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.
Ottawa at Atlanta – Rogers Sportsnet East/SportSouth, 2 p.m.
Vancouver at Columbus – Rogers Sportsnet Pacific/Fox Sports Ohio, 5 p.m.
Boston at Philadelphia – RDS/NESN/Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
NHL on the Fly – NHL Network, 8 p.m.
Scotland vs. Brazil – ESPN2, 8:55 a.m.
Sony Ericsson Open, Men’s 3rd Round/Women’s 3rd Round – Tennis Channel, 11 a.m.
CBS News Sunday Morning – CBS, 9 a.m.
10 Dollar Dinners with Melissa: Cost-Cutting Effort – Food Network, 10 a.m.
The Minimalist: Latin – Cooking Channel, 10:30 a.m.
Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee: Bake Sale Birthday – Food Network, 11:30 a.m.
Luke’s Vietnam: Bac Ha – Cooking Channel, 12:30 p.m.
60 Minutes – CBS, 7 p.m.
The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business: I Feel Like A Monkey in a Circus Parade – CBS, 8 p.m.
Mildred Pierce, Part One & Part Two – HBO, 9 p.m.
Alaska State Troopers: Vice Squad – National Geographic Channel, 9 p.m.
Snapped: Shayne Lovera – Oxygen, 9 p.m.
Californication – Showtime, 9 p.m.
Shameless – Showtime, 10 p.m.
Alaska State Troopers: Dazed and Confused – National Geographic Channel, 10 p.m.