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ESPN AND FOX TANGLE IN MARTZKE'S FORUM OVER RATING INCREASES
Published August 19, 1998
Six months after ESPN's "SportsCenter" ratings "plummeted," ESPN Exec Editor John Walsh said that the show "now has a larger audience than last year at this time," according to USA TODAY's Rudy Martzke. The show's 1.23 rating is up 7% from last year's 1.15, and "SportsCenter" ratings "have jumped" 29% from the 0.95 in '98's first quarter. CNN's "Sports Tonight" has remained at 0.3, while FSN's "Fox Sports News" shows at 10:00pm and 11:00pm earn a combined 0.9. Walsh said that the 6:30pm ET "SportsCenter" is "beating Fox Sports News by five to six times." Walsh: "What's real gratifying is that this tells us that Kenny Mayne and Dan Patrick (11pm anchors) have checked out well with the viewers. To say that Kenny and Danny's shows rate higher than Dan and Keith Olbermann is pretty impressive." Fox Sports Senior VP/Media Relations Vince Wladika noted that FSN's rating has increased 50% in a year from 0.6 to 0.9. Wladika: "ESPN should be out-rating us. They've been doing this for 19 years; us for two. We're concerned with growing our Fox Sports News. They have an unhealthy preoccupation with us. We are flattered they are devoting this much attention to us" (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY, 8/19).