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SBD/Issue 135/Sports Media
Published April 7, 2005
NCAA WOMEN: ESPN earned a 2.6/ (2,369,000 HHs) cable Nielsen rating for its coverage of the Baylor-Michigan State NCAA women’s basketball final, down 39.5% from a 4.3/ (3,801,000 HHs) for Connecticut-Tennessee in ’04, which was the highest-rated women’s basketball game ever. ESPN averaged a 2.5/ (2,260,000 HHs) for all three games of the Final Four, down 26.5% from last year’s three-game average of 3.4/ (2,990,000 HHs). For the entire women’s tournament, ESPN averaged a 1.3/ (1,133,000 HHs) for 15 games, down 13.3% from 1.5/ (1,300,000 HHs) for 17 games in ’04. But the ’05 tournament was the second most-viewed for ESPN in the network’s ten-year history of televising the event, and tied for second best rated with three other years. ESPN2 averaged a 0.6/ (491,000 HHs) for 14 broadcasts, up 20.0% from a 0.5/ (445,000 HHs) for the same number of games last year, and marking ESPN2’s best-rated women’s tournament in the ten years (THE DAILY).
STONE COLD: Steve Stone moved from the Cubs broadcast booth and team flagship WGN-AM to WSCR-AM this season, and in Chicago, Paul Sullivan reports that Stone’s criticisms of Cubs Ps Kerry Wood and Carlos Zambrano “already have rankled some.” Cubs manager Dusty Baker believes that Stone’s remarks “are making news because the outlets promoting Stone are in direct competition” with The Tribune Co., which owns the Cubs. Baker: “He’s on a radio station opposite WGN, and I guess his comments come out regularly in a newspaper opposite the Tribune” (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 4/7). Excerpts from Stone’s commentary on WSCR are appearing in the Chicago Sun-Times (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 4/7). Stone’s criticism of the Cubs is reportedly one reason he is not back with the team this season (THE DAILY).