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TEAMAVG. VIEWERS% +/- (YR-to-YR)Canucks228,000-19%Flames130,000+11%Maple Leafs341,000-17%
VERSUS NATIONAL RATINGS: Through 17 NHL games on Versus this season, the net is averaging a 0.3 cable rating and 306,000 viewers, up from a 0.2 rating and 250,000 viewers through the same period last season (18 games). Versus most-viewed regular-season game this season to date was the Maple Leafs-Red Wings game on October 9, which drew a 0.5 cable rating and 577,000 viewers. The net is also seeing gains in key male demos, including M18-34 (+49%), M18-49 (46%) and M25-54 (31%) (THE DAILY).
U.S. REGIONAL RATINGS: In San Jose, John Ryan reports the Sharks are averaging a 1.2 HH local rating on CSN Bay Area, a 50% increase from the same time period in '07. The increase is the third-largest jump among NHL teams, behind the Capitals (140%) and the Blackhawks (71%) (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 12/4). The Capitals also have a local HH rating of 1.2 for games airing on CSN Mid-Atlantic (Nielsen).
DEF-INITELY WATCHING: USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand cites a Nielsen report that indicated "at least 22%" of U.S. HHs receive HDTV, and in those HDTV HHs, "ratings for TV sports are 20% higher than in the USA overall." Nielsen said that sports commentary is the "most popular TV programming of any kind for HD viewers" (USA TODAY, 12/4).
Third Dimension On-Tap For Raiders-Chargers
RED CARPET APPEARANCES: Patriots Owner Robert Kraft, who serves as Chair of the NFL Broadcasting Committee and "will help shape how the league uses 3-D," is expected to attend the screening in Boston. In addition, Vikings Owner Zygi Wilf, Giants President & CEO John Mara, Jets Owner Woody Johnson and Redskins Owner Dan Snyder, who also sits on the league's Broadcasting Committee, are slated to attend the N.Y. screening (AP, 12/3).
RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK: PRO FOOTBALL TALK's Mike Florio reported the league originally planned to show the game only in N.Y., L.A. and San Diego, which "made sense" because the NFL HQs are in N.Y., 3ality is based in L.A. and the game is being played in San Diego. The Raiders reportedly "felt a bit left out, since a screening of the game in the Bay Area would have been a great way for the organization to engender goodwill with current local sponsors, potential local sponsors, and folks who plunk down big money each year for luxury suites at home games." But Florio wrote the decision to allow the Patriots to screen the game at the Emerald City outside Boston "sent blood pressures in Oakland soaring." Florio: "How do the Raiders get shut out completely from demonstrating the new technology via a game involving their team while the Patriots -- who have no direct or indirect stake in the outcome -- secure a valuable marketing tool?" (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 12/3).
Over the past 24 hours, the firing of Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville was the most popular topic among the top sport blogs, with the majority of bloggers disagreeing with the decision. The ACC/Big Ten Challenge in college basketball was also highly discussed, especially Duke's win over Purdue on Tuesday night and North Carolina's win over Michigan State last night. A video of a shot by SUNY Geneseo basketball player Scott Morton to win a game versus SUNY Oswego is making the rounds, with bloggers amazed by the winning bucket. Sean Avery's comments and ensuing suspension remained in the top five, with many thinking the punishment was too harsh. Also re-appearing in the top five was the banned substance-related suspensions of five NFL players and a Minnesota judge issuing a restraining order allowing the two suspended Vikings players to re-join the team. Visit www.sportsmediachallenge.com for more info or see chart below.
Melrose Back At ESPN
With New Three-Year Deal
NEW VENTURE: Bobcats Owner and BET Founder Bob Johnson participated in a Q&A with TVNEWSDAY, which reported Johnson is "proposing to launch another network targeting black viewers, this time using digital broadcasting as the distribution platform rather than cable." Johnson's partner in the project is Ion Media, which owns stations in 42 markets and has been "struggling for years to find programming that will produce some audience and revenue growth." When asked what he envisions "in terms of programming" for the net, Johnson said, "I really don't know yet. I know it's got to have a public interest focus. It's got to serve the broad base of the urban population, which is sorely underserved. So, I'm thinking about a range of things -- going out to Hollywood and talking to some of the top African-American producers to see what they'd like to see on television that they can't get on" (TVNEWSDAY.com, 12/2).
BUCS OVER DENNY CRANE: In St. Petersburg, Eric Deggans notes WFTS-ABC's simulcast of the "MNF" broadcast of Buccaneers-Panthers next Monday night "will pre-empt two major TV events: the finale of long-running drama Boston Legal and the December showing of the Peanuts cartoon, A Charlie Brown Christmas." "Charlie Brown" will air on the station Tuesday, December 16 at 8:00pm ET, while "Boston Legal" will air Sunday, December 14 at 4:00pm (TAMPABAY.com, 12/3).
CUTS ALREADY COMING: The GLOBE & MAIL's William Houston reported as part of the job cuts at Rogers, "five staffers, including reporter-anchor David Bastl, have lost their jobs" at Rogers SportsNet. The total number of firings at Rogers has been "estimated to be 100, but some sources pegged it at closer to 200" (GLOBEANDMAIL.com, 12/3).