SBD/Issue 84/Sports Media

Media Notes

TV MONITOR: Last night's 10:00pm ET 60-minute edition of FSN's "The Keith Olbermann Evening News" led with the idea of the competitive balance draft in MLB, followed by Raptors-76ers. The first report on Arnold Palmer being removed as Honorary Chair of the USGA was at 8:04 into the broadcast. The first report on the Australian Open was at 9:20. Last night's 11:00pm ET 30-minute edition of CNN/SI's "Sports Tonight" led with Heat-Lakers, followed by Suns-Jazz. The first non-basketball report, at 4:58, was the Super Bowl. The first report on the Australian Open was at 11:15. The first report on Palmer was at 17:59. Last night's 11:00pm ET 60-minute edition of ESPN's "SportsCenter" led with Raptors-76ers, followed by Pacers-Knicks. The first non-basketball report, at 5:08, was the Super Bowl. The first report on the Australian Open was at 56:28. "SportsCenter" did not report on Palmer (THE DAILY).

NETWORK NEWS: In N.Y., Bob Raissman noted that CBS will address the Ravens LB Ray Lewis "situation" during pre-game Super Bowl coverage. Lesley Visser will interview Lewis (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/21)....In St. Paul, Brian Lambert writes NBC will "use pretty much the same three-channel arrangement" for the Salt Lake City Olympics as "it used from Sydney: NBC in prime time for the marquee events, CNBC and MSNBC in daytime for the rest, almost all of that live." When asked about "bigger events" that occur during the day, including alpine skiing, NBC Sports Chair Dick Ebersol said, "We have to hold [them] for prime time" (PIONEER PRESS, 1/22)....In Boston, Will McDonough reported that Rick Pitino will "work for CBS as a college basketball analyst during the NCAA Tournament." Pitino will do three games likely with Tim Brando. During the Final Four, Pitino will be an in-studio analyst (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/20)....In Atlanta, Prentis Rogers calls NBC's coverage of the "first-ever access" into the NBA referees' locker room before the Kings-Trail Blazers game Saturday "forgettable." Rogers: "While it was OK to toss out a couple of cream-puff questions their way, how could [NBC's Mike] Breen not ask one of them if they talk beforehand about dealing with Portland's volatile Rasheed Wallace?" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 1/22).

RATINGS: Ratings for Raptors games in Ontario on CTV Sportsnet are up 22% from last season. Audiences for 19 games are averaging 86,800 viewers, compared to 71,000 last season. Sportsnet reported an average rating of 102,000 viewers in November, but for the five games Raptors F Vince Carter missed with injury, the average was 69,000 (TORONTO STAR, 1/20)....The Univ. of CT-LA Tech women's basketball game on January 7 was the most watched non-NCAA tournament women's basketball game in ESPN2 history. The four women's basketball games with the highest viewership on ESPN2 have all involved the Univ. of CT (AP, 1/21).

NOTES: While TBS last year "experimented with running shots of live race coverage in a portion of the screen" during commercials on NASCAR broadcasts, Fox Sports TV Group Chair David Hill "won't try it 'unless sponsors are 100% on board,'" according to USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand. But Hill said that Fox announcers "will be expected to refer to cars by their numbers or drivers' names, not their sponsors" (USA TODAY, 1/22)....Michael Agnew, who owns the domain name, will give the domain name to the Big East Conference "to settle a federal lawsuit" over the Web site. Agnew had been operating a pornography site at the Web address. The Big East Conference said that Agnew and his Web hosting company, Just Net Inc., will transfer the domain name as their "own expense" (PROVIDENCE JOURNAL, 1/20).

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