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The NBA begins its postseason this weekend, and the league’s games on ABC this season averaged a 2.0 Nielsen rating, down from a 2.2 last year. But ABC had only one Christmas Day game this year, compared to two last year, and if Christmas Day games are not included, ABC’s ratings are even with last year, averaging a 1.9 rating for 18 telecasts. TNT earned a 1.2 cable rating this season, down 7.69% from a 1.3 last season. On ESPN, ratings were down slightly from last season, but the network saw gains in households, up 1.53%. The following presents NBA regular-season ratings for ’06-07. View game-by-game ratings for ABC telecasts (THE DAILY).
FINAL NBA REGULAR-SEASON RATINGS——'06-07————'05-06——NETGMS.RAT/ (000s)GMS.RAT/ (000s)% +/-ABC192.0/ (2,251)202.2/ (2,430)-9.09%TNT521.2/ (1,061)521.3/ (1,189)-7.69%ESPN711.147/ (1,061)641.156/ (1,045)-0.77%ESPN20-----60.8/ (722)-----
NOTE: Ratings for cable networks are coverage area ratings. ABC ratings and HHs listed above are live + same day viewing.
Barkley Feels TNT Covered
Too Many Kings Games
CHUCK’S WAGON: USA TODAY’s Michael Hiestand reports TNT for the playoffs will have “in-car webcams” in the vehicles of Barkley, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson as they drive to work; the content will be available on NBA.com. TNT also created a MySpace page where the TNT crew will “describe what’s off-camera.” Highlights supervisor John O’Connor wrote, “One of the biggest topics of conversation is what our second meal is going to be.” Meanwhile, on ABC, analyst Mark Jackson will call his first NBA Finals, replacing Hubie Brown, who still calls games. Analyst Jon Barry, who was initially “hired to work a few games,” now is scheduled to work ABC’s on-site studio shows Saturday and Sunday, and serve as a game analyst for Saturday’s Heat-Bulls Game One (USA TODAY, 4/20). TNT has again added former NBA coach Mike Fratello to its broadcast team for the postseason (MIAMI HERALD, 4/20).
GONE TO MARKETS: In L.A., Tom Hoffarth notes ABC selected Games One and Four of Lakers-Suns for its exclusive Sunday afternoon windows and will likely have Game Seven if necessary. TNT will air Games Two and Three, but does not have exclusivity until the second round, meaning KCAL-Ind in L.A. can air Games Two and Five, and FSN West can air Games Three and Six (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 4/20)....Raptors analyst Jack Armstrong believes that the NBA “gave basketball fans short shrift” by scheduling Nets-Raptors Game One for 12:30 ET Saturday. He added that the storyline of the Raptors against former player Vince Carter “deserved prime time.” Armstrong: “The Raptors are one of the great stories in the NBA, but you couldn’t tell that by the 12:30 start time. ... Toronto’s a big market, but unfortunately it doesn’t register on the U.S. ratings.” In Toronto, William Houston reports TSN averaged 154,000 viewers for its 20 Raptors games this season, up 29% from ’05-06, while The Score averaged 111,000 viewers for 30 games, up 44%. The eight national telecasts on Rogers Sportsnet averaged 130,000 viewers, up 12% (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 4/20).
NBC’s Ratings Down For Game
Two Of Flames-Red Wings Series
APPLE DUMPLINGS: The NHL Rangers averaged a 1.51 cable rating for their three first-round playoff games against the Thrashers that aired on MSG Network, a 12% increase over the two Devils-Rangers games on MSG in the first round last year. Game One of the Rangers’ four-game sweep aired on NBC last Saturday. In addition, the Rangers’ ratings grew game-to-game, with the 1.72 cable rating for Wednesday night’s Game Four marking the highest rating for a Rangers game on the net since the lockout. Meanwhile, the Devils, who are tied 2-2 with the Lightning, are averaging a 0.68 cable rating for the first four games of the playoffs on Fox Sports New York, up 37% over the 0.50 for the two Devils-Rangers playoff games on FSNY last year. The Islanders, down 3-1 to the Sabres, are averaging a 0.71 cable rating in the playoffs on FSNY and MSG, which have split the games (THE DAILY). With seven N.Y. teams in action Wednesday night, the Yankees game on YES Network drew a 4.1 cable rating, followed by the Mets on SNY with a 2.1. The Rangers’ 1.7 on MSG topped the Islanders’ 0.8 on FSNY and the Devils’ 0.4 on an FSNY spillover channel Bulls-Nets earned a 1.0 on WWOR-MYT and a 1.1 on ESPN, “a combined audience more than 10 times as large” as the Knicks’ 0.2 on an MSG spillover channel (NEWSDAY, 4/20).
NORTHERN LIGHTS: TSN drew 554,000 viewers Wednesday night for Sabres-Islanders Game Four and 557,000 for Predators-Sharks, increasing its average for the playoffs to 411,000, up 26% from last season. The CBC on Tuesday averaged 1.75 million viewers for Senators-Penguins Game Four, followed by 1.375 million for Flames-Red Wings Game Three (TORONTO SUN, 4/20).
DUCK AND COVER: The Ducks averaged a 0.63 cable rating in L.A. through the first four games of their series against the Wild. Game One aired on FSN West and Game Three aired on FSN Prime Ticket, while Games Two and Four aired on KDOC-Ind, which posted a 0.8 for Game Four, marking its highest rating ever for a Ducks game. The Ducks’ seven-game first-round series against the Flames last season averaged a 0.58 in the market (L.A. TIMES, 4/20).
Writer Feels NHL Needs
Rangers In Finals
CELEB BLOGS: Christie Brinkley’s Stanley Cup Playoffs blog on NHL.com has generated more than 160,903 page impressions since its April 9 debut, while rapper Lil’ Jon’s blog ranks second with 102,129 (THE DAILY).
The following lists final Nielsen ratings for recent sports events (THE DAILY).
Marshall's U.S. Figure Skating
Golf: LPGA Tour: Ginn Open: Third Round4/14CBS1:30-3:00pm0.8/2 Golf: PGA Tour: Verizon Heritage:
MLB: (regional)4/14Fox3:30-7:00pm2.4/6 NHL playoff special (taped)4/14NBC2:30-2:58pm0.6/2 NHL: Eastern Conference Quarterfinals: (regional)4/14NBC2:58-6:00pm1.0/3 "NBA Countdown"4/15ABC12:30-1:00pm1.0/- NBA: Bulls-Wizards4/15ABC12:57-3:30pm1.4/3 NBA: Spurs-Mavericks4/15ABC3:30-6:02pm2.2/5 Monster Jam World Finals (taped)4/15CBS12:00-1:00pm1.0/3 Golf: LPGA Tour: Ginn Open: Final Round4/15CBS1:00-3:00pm1.3/3 Golf: PGA Tour: Verizon Heritage:
NASCAR Nextel Cup: Samsung 5004/15Fox2:19-5:55pm5.6/12 National Heads-Up Poker Tournament (taped)4/15NBC12:00-1:00pm1.2/3 NHL: Western Conference Quarterfinals: Flames-Red Wings: Game Two4/15NBC1:00-4:00pm1.0/2 Champ Car World Series: Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach4/15NBC4:00-6:00pm0.6/1
SHOWDATENETU.S. AREACOV. AREA000s
MLB: Red Sox-Royals4/2ESPN0.91.11,010 NCAA: Women's Basketball Championship: Tennessee-Rutgers4/3ESPN1.92.32,129 NBA: Kings-Nuggets4/4ESPN0.91.0954 Golf: The Masters: First Round4/5USA1.61.91,760 NBA: Suns-Spurs4/5TNT1.11.31,203 Golf: The Masters: Second Round4/6USA2.12.52,337 NBA: Mavericks-Nuggets4/6ESPN0.91.11,024 NASCAR Busch Series: Pepsi 3004/7ESPN20.91.11,032 MLB: Sunday Night Baseball: Red Sox-Rangers4/8ESPN1.82.22,057 MLB: Mets-Braves4/8TBS0.81.0918
NOTE: ^ Rainout coverage. Final round aired Monday morning on Golf Channel.
NASCAR NUMBERS: In L.A., Ed Hinton reports TV ratings are down about 11% for live NASCAR Nextel Cup races through the first seven races, compared to last year. ISC Exec VP & COO John Saunders: “Certainly the TV ratings have been off this year. But the events continue to be ratings winners, compared to other professional sports” (L.A. TIMES, 4/20). However, A.G. Edwards analyst Tim Conder said that the ratings trend “could carry significant risk for Nextel Cup teams recruiting sponsors.” Conder: “A sponsor has a pretty good point in negotiations of saying, ‘My exposure’s not going up, why should I pay more?’” (USA TODAY, 4/20).
GOLF LOOKING GOOD: CBS has averaged a 3.0/7 for its coverage of the PGA Tour, up 11% from a 2.7/6 and up 7% from a 2.8/7 in ’06 and ’05, respectively (CBS).
With the NFL fining Bears LB Brian Urlacher $100,000 for wearing a hat for Glaceau’s vitaminwater during Super Bowl Media Day, bloggers are criticizing the league for being overly-protective of its sponsors, while at the same time acknowledging the exposure the story has meant for vitaminwater.
Newsday's What about Bob?
Posted By: Bob Glauber
“Pretty expensive ad, although we suspect Vitaminwater is only too happy about having Urlacher wear the hat. And getting fined, as well. After all, do you think we would ever think of mentioning the product unless Urlacher got slapped with the fine?” Odds and Sods “The NFL cracked down on Urlacher because he committed the ultimate crime. He tried to make money without big brother having its well greased hand in the pot. The result is a fine that is nearly 3 times as much as Terrell Owens was fined for spitting in someone’s face.” Kurt Nose Best
Posted By: Kurt Nose Best
“It’s times like these when you just shake your head at what the NFL does. Uniform police aside (different rant for another day), this dictating of appropriate corporate attire has to border on unconstitutional. Isn’t Urlacher simply exercising his right to freedom of expression?” Bangers and Mishmash
Posted By: kilted domer
“This makes me laugh until you think about how un-American it is. If we are a country that stands up for the freedom of choice, then what business is it of the NFL or its sponsors which beverage Brian Urlacher or any other player chooses to drink, no matter where he is?” The Sports Frog
Posted By: edwzipper
“Vitaminwater. Let’s say that again Vitaminwater. This is great for the Vitaminwater company. Over two months after the Big Game (we won’t mention the actual name, no idea who Petty Goodell will fine next) the Vitaminwater company is in the news. Not only are they in the news but they couldn’t buy publicity like this.”
BUILDING THE BUZZ: Sports Media Challenge’s Sports Blog Index measured exposure as it relates to vitaminwater's brand. Click for more analysis.
- In general, the blogosphere responded positively towards vitaminwater, resulting in what could be considered a successful ambush marketing tactic.
- Several blogs are reminded of Jim McMahon's incident with his adidas headband in ‘85.
Do you have a blog post that our readers would find interesting? Please forward your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE DAILY presents "What's The Frequency?," which highlights the subjects being discussed this week during afternoon drive shows on sports talk radio across the U.S. The following chart lists some of those topics. Local stations are listed in order of market size.NATIONAL SHOWS
Sirius NFL Radio (3-7pm ET) “The Afternoon Blitz” NFL Draft preview; JaMarcus Russell vs. Brady Quinn; Dolphins’ QB situation; Michael Turner trade rumors; Will Lions not pick a WR in draft?MARKET -- STATIONSHOW Detroit -- WXYT “The Sports Inferno” Lions trading down in NFL Draft?; NHL playoffs; NBA playoff preview; Virginia Tech tragedy Miami -- WAXY “The Dan Le Batard Show” Virginia Tech tragedy; Marlins put Jorge Julio on disabled list; Heat playoff preview; Dolphins draft preview Miami --WQAM “Power Hour” Dolphins to acquire Trent Green?; Who should Dolphins draft?; Heat-Bulls playoff preview Seattle -- KJR “The Gas Man” Felix Hernandez injures elbow; Sonics could leave city after arena vote falls through; Canucks starting hot in NHL playoffs; Emerald Downs opens season Friday night Phoenix -- KDUS “Calling All Sports With Roc & Manuch” Can Cardinals handle Matt Leinart’s troubles with the law; NASCAR in Phoenix; Randy Johnson nearing return; Suns-Lakers Minneapolis -- KFAN “The Chad Hartman Show” Two Vikings players arrested in last week; Vikings draft preview; Twins; Wild in playoffs; Kevin McHale returning to T’Wolves; Text messaging with college recruits Charlotte -- WFNZ “Prime Time With The Packman” Virginia Tech tragedy; Spring football reports; NBC hires Keith Olbermann for NFL telecasts; Bobcats’ future; Steve Spurrier and Confederate flag controversy
Want to add your own Frequency? Contact Josh Rosen at email@example.com.
Credit Suisse Securities LLC has been retained as the Wicks Group’s financial advisor to aide in seeking strategic alternatives for the Daily Racing Form, including a possible sale (Wicks Group).
VIDEOGAME REVIEW: In Pittsburgh, Chuck Finder wrote 2K Sports’ “Major League Baseball 2K7” is a “good-looking game and an easier one to play” than Sony’s “MLB ‘07 The Show.” In the former, PNC Park “looks especially crisp and clean, with a lovely skyline in the background, even though the ad space behind home plate shills only for this video game’s sponsors.” The players’ faces “aren’t so sharp,” but ESPN’s Jon Miller and Joe Morgan “provide their fine brand of broadcasting.” Sony’s game “doesn’t do considerable justice” to PNC Park. It is a “mite slow to load and confounding in its game play” (PITT. POST-GAZETTE, 4/19).