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The following lists final national and cable Nielsen ratings from recent sporting events (THE DAILY).
EVENT DATE NET TIME RAT/SHR NTRA: Santa Anita Handicap6-MarFox5:00-6:00pm1.6/4 World Sprint Speedskating6-MarABC2:30-3:30pm1.2/4 NCAA Men's B-Ball (UCLA-AZ)6-MarABC3:30-6:00pm1.6/4 ISU Fig Skating Grand Prix6-MarABC9:00-11:00pm4.5/8 Conference USA Men's Final6-MarCBS12:30-2:30pm1.8/5 Big 10 Men's Semifinals6-MarCBS2:30-4:30pm2.5/7 Big 10 Men's Semifinals6-MarCBS5:00-7:15pm2.6/6 American Cup Gymnastics6-MarNBC1:00-3:00pm2.4/7 Doral Ryder Open6-MarNBC3:00-6:00pm2.2/6 Four Continents Fig Skating6-MarNBC8:00-9:00pm5.0/9 "NHL on Fox" (regional)7-MarFox3:00-6:00pm1.3/3 ISU Fig Skating Grand Prix7-MarABC1:00-2:30pm2.7/7 Las Vegas 4007-MarABC2:30-6:00pm6.0/15 SEC Men's Championship7-MarCBS12:30-3:00pm2.7/7 Big 10 Men's Championship7-MarCBS3:00-5:00pm3.6/9 NCAA Tourney Selection Show7-MarCBS6:30-7:00pm5.9/12 NBA "Showtime"7-MarNBCnoon-12:30pm2.1/6 "NBA on NBC": (regional)7-MarNBC12:30-2:45pm3.3/9 Doral Ryder Open7-MarNBC2:45-6:00pm3.5/8 "NBA on NBC": (Lakers-Jazz)7-MarNBC6:00-8:30pm6.1/11
CABLE PROGRAM DATE NET AA US
000 "NBA on TBS": (Lakers-Nuggets)22-FebTBS1.72.231687 "NBA on TNT": (Sonics-Rockets)23-FebTNT1.21.621215 World Golf Championships25-FebESPN1.11.541134 World Golf Championships26-FebESPN1.5251488 "NBA on TNT": (Knicks-Celtics)26-FebTNT1.21.531151 HBO Boxing: Johnson-Taylor27-FebHBO2.48.3142349 HBO Boxing: Bazan-Johnston27-FebHBO2.48.5172405
Former CBS Sports Exec Producer Rick Gentile has joined with ID-based Diamond Sports, which specializes in live event, sports franchise and venue management. Gentile will serve as President & Exec Producer of Diamond Sports and Entertainment, which will focus on production, packaging and syndication of televised events and programs. Gentile will oversee program development, domestic and int'l program sales, TV production and sponsorship. Diamond Sports Management President Cord Pereira will serve as Exec VP of the Sports & Entertainment division. Current Diamond Sports properties include the WCHL Idaho Steelheads, the Boise Hawks and El Paso Diablos minor-league baseball teams and Sports radio KTIK-AM in Boise, ID (Diamond Sports).
CBS Radio Sports/Westwood One and the NFL have agreed to a 3-year extension for the exclusive national radio rights to the NFL. The deal allows CBS/Westwood to provide live coverage of the NFL and related NFL programming to radio stations across the country (NFL)....Jacor Communications, owners of WEAE-AM in Pittsburgh, have agreed to allow new owner ABC to bring on ESPN programming for the station starting Monday (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 3/12). POLITICAL POINTS: In Baltimore, Gerard Sheilds writes that U.S. Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC) is worried that ESPN "might pay" the Cuban government "for the right to televise" the Orioles-Cuba exhibition game, which would "violate the spirit of earlier agreements that revenue" would go to Cuban and U.S. youth sports groups and charities. ESPN and MLB execs said that "such fears were groundless" (Baltimore SUN, 3/12)....The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Brooks Boliek reports that a U.S. House panel approved legislation requiring satellite TV companies to "buy over-the-air antennas for many of their customers whose network signals are cut off by a federal court order." A satellite TV exec said afterward, "It's a Republican Congress imposing a tax on satellite companies" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 3/12). CRITIC'S CORNER: In Chicago, Phil Rosenthal wrote that he was "baffled" that Fox Sports Net "ignored" Joe DiMaggio's death on Monday morning, "even as" ESPN and other networks "broke in with special coverage." Rosenthal: "For all the money Fox tosses around for talent, rights fees, and those really annoying sound effects and graphics, it apparently is determined never to be taken seriously as a reliable source for sports news" (SUN-TIMES, 3/11)...In Miami, Barry Jackson: "Look for Fox and NBC to pursue NASCAR races vigorously in the next year" (MIAMI HERALD, 3/12).
CBS Sports' presentation of the opening day of the NCAA men's basketball tournament "was smooth and seamless," according to Howard Manly of the BOSTON GLOBE, writing under the header "CBS Manages To Push The Right Buttons" (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/12). In Baltimore, Milton Kent writes that CBS "seemed to get off to a good start editorially yesterday," as it "is to be commended for its coverage" of the MN test- taking scandal (SUN, 3/12). In S.D., Jay Posner writes under the headline, "Tournament Blowouts Aren't TV Bore, Thanks To Switch-Savvy CBS." CBS Sports VP/Programming Mike Aresco: "We're not infallible. But it's good to hear we make a good decision once in a while" (UNION-TRIBUNE, 3/12). COME SALE AWAY: CBS MARKETWATCH's David Wilkerson writes that ad sales for the tournament "are up from last year by double-digit percentages." Exact dollar figures "weren't disclosed" (CBS MARKETWATCH, 3/12). In Toronto, Chris Zelkovich writes that young men are "driving" the Canadian TV market for college basketball, as networks are "bending over backward to please them, mainly because advertisers like them so much." That is "one reason" CTV SportsNet will carry 50 hours of the men's tourney. TSN VP/Programming Phil King, whose net was "tempted" to carry the games: "U.S. college basketball has no audience here. But it's very saleable" (TORONTO STAR, 3/12). ROLLING THE DICE: In a USA TODAY Cover Story, Tom Lowry reports that March "money madness is moving on line" as "millions of people are betting on the NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments on the Internet." Around $70M could be bet on the NCAA tournament in Las Vegas this year, which is $10M less than '98, as the gambling business is "being pinched" by the new competition (USA TODAY, 3/12). ESPN MAGAZINE reports that an "estimated" $2.5B will be wagered on the men's tournament across the U.S. through un- licensed bookies, on-line services and company pools (ESPN MAGAZINE, 3/22)....WALL STREET SPORTS reported 101,000 entries into its men's basketball pool, while ESPN.com had 402,109 users register for its pool, with 70.1% of the fans picking Duke to win the tournament (THE DAILY). PRESS CREDENTIALS: St. Paul Pioneer Press Editor Walker Lundy tells Ed Sherman of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE that he feels "it would have been irresponsible to hold the story" on MN basketball players involved in an academic scandal. Lundy: "People are complaining about when we ran the story, but nobody is complaining that we got the facts wrong, and that's what matters to me" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/12).
SI for Women hit newsstands yesterday with a "breezy thunk" and an editorial mix that is "an easy balance" and influenced "as much by its venerable brother as by traditional women's magazines," according to Shawna Richer of the Toronto GLOBE & MAIL. Richer calls its content "lively" (GLOBE & MAIL, 3/12). In Orlando, Shannon Rose calls the new SI for Women "definitely an improvement" over earlier test issues. It is "geared toward athletes, not sports fans" and the title's ads "either show females in them or are geared toward a female buyer." Rose: "Even if 'SI For Women' isn't exactly what female athletes and women's sports fans want, it's pretty close" (O.S. 3/12). NASCAR CAN ONLY SHAKE ITS HEAD AND SI? In Indianapolis, Bill Koenig writes that SI's "lack of attention" to NASCAR "remains a major hurdle," as some of its top races have "only earned the corresponding edition's lead spot in the 'Inside Motor Sports' column," which is published "near the back" of the magazine. SI's Senior Publicist Joe Assad, when asked about the Daytona 500 story which was "put at the back of the magazine," said that the race "got caught up there in a busy sports week," and added that SI puts out "occasional special NASCAR issues" (STAR-NEWS, 3/12).