SBD/Issue 138/Sports Media

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  • CBS Averages 9.0/18 Overnight For NCAA Men's Final Four Telecasts

    CBS' Final Four Overnight Ratings Up 7.1%
    From Last Year
    CBS averaged a 9.0/18 overnight rating for Saturday's NCAA men's basketball Final Four telecasts, up 7.1% from an 8.4/16 overnight last year. The net earned an 8.7/18 for Michigan State-Connecticut in the early window from 6:00-8:45pm ET, up 11.5% from a 7.8/16 last year, and the late-window North Carolina-Villanova game from 9:00-11:30pm ET earned a 9.3/17, up 2.2% over a 9.1/16 last year. CBS for the tournament-to-date is averaging a 6.1/13 overnight rating, up 7% over a 5.7/12 last year (THE DAILY).

    MISSING THE MARK: In San Jose, John Ryan writes CBS analyst Clark Kellogg was "less than the world hoped in his first Final Four," and play-by-play announcer Jim Nantz was "what everybody has come to expect, and not in a good way." It is "difficult to see how even Billy Packer would have adopted the see-no-evil apologist stance Nantz and Kellogg took in defense of Connecticut Coach Jim Calhoun." Connecticut last month was linked to "serious recruiting violations," but Nantz, "after excusing Calhoun's continued refusal to say anything in even mild defense of himself, lauded the coach's 'pretty clean dossier.'" Ryan: "Because government records were an actual part of the original article, we can only assume Nantz chose not to read it. Same with Kellogg who added, 'The review continues from the NCAA, and after it runs its course, he feels as though they'll be clean as they've always been'" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 4/6). Meanwhile, in N.Y., Bob Raissman wrote CBS "should consider selecting two voices, whom they believe had the strongest tournament, to call one of the semifinal matchups." Raissman: "Not only would it give every voice an incentive, it would also serve as a reward for a job well-done." And if this system were used this year, announcers Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery "would get the nod." Raissman: "Simply put, they were the stars of this show" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 4/5).

    MOTOWN BLUES: In Detroit, Mekeisha Madden Toby wrote CBS "obviously understood the significance" of Michigan State's (MSU) run to the Final Four amid Michigan's "depressed economy and high unemployment rate." Nantz Saturday said that he "had never before seen a hometown crowd dominate a stadium at an NCAA championship match like the one in Detroit" at Ford Field. CBS cameras often cut to Basketball HOFer and MSU alumnus Magic Johnson and his wife, Cookie, in the crowd. Toby: "Almost every time MSU snatched the lead in the game, and later when they won, a State-shirt clad Johnson, was shown clapping wildly and pointing to players proudly." Meanwhile, Toby noted CBS at halftime aired the presentations for the CBS/Chevrolet Coach of the Year and Player of the Year awards, but producers "should've taken advantage of Detroit's rarely seen April sun and decent weather and shot the obviously pre-recorded segment outdoors." Also missing during commercial breaks were the "obligatory shots of Detroit landmarks -- the giant Uniroyal tire, Hitsville USA, Joe Louis' fist, and the Spirit of Detroit." Toby: "Perhaps CBS will show those ... iconic local symbols on Monday" during the championship game (DETROIT NEWS, 4/5). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Austin Kelley notes CBS throughout Saturday's broadcast "made frequent reference to Detroit's troubles and to the sinking economy, while GM commercials reminded consumers to put on their 'rally caps.'" GM North America VP/Chevrolet Ed Peper during the halftime award presentation "even felt compelled ... to mention that the automaker was 'reinventing' itself" (WSJ.com, 4/6).

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  • HBO To Debut Ted Williams Documentary After MLB All-Star Game

    Ted Williams Will Be Subject
    Of HBO Documentary
    HBO Sports has settled on the Splendid Splinter as the subject of its next documentary. The premium network will debut "The Kid: The Life and Death of Ted Williams," at 10:00pm ET on July 15, the day after the MLB All-Star Game. The documentary will run in the middle of HBO's annual film festival, when it screens documentaries from its library on eight consecutive Mondays during June and July. HBO Sports President Ross Greenburg said he had been considering doing a documentary on Williams for at least 10 years, when NFL Films President Steve Sabol first suggested that he tackle the subject. Williams' story is a natural for Greenburg, especially considering that he took five seasons off to fight in two wars. The documentary will touch on the end of Williams' career, when he had a falling out with his fans and refused to come out for a curtain call after hitting a home run in his last at bat. The story then progresses to '99, when Williams was warmly greeted by Boston fans as he attended the All-Star Game at Fenway Park. "It's a love story between a man and his city," Greenburg said. "He was shunned at first, then welcomed and revered as he got closer to death." The documentary also touches on Williams' death -- when relatives took his body to an Arizona laboratory to be preserved -- but doesn't dwell on it. "There's a tremendous arc to the story," Greenburg said. "Most people dwell on his bizarre passing and don't remember the arc to his story." 

    HBO SPORTS DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL
    DATE
    FILM
    6/8
    ":03 From Gold"
    6/15
    "Back Nine At Cherry Hills: Legends of the 1960 U.S. Open"
    6/22
    "Brooklyn Dodgers: The Ghosts of Flatbush"
    6/29
    "Battle for Tobacco Road: Duke vs. Carolina"
    7/6
    "Jim McKay: My World in My Words"
    7/13
    "Shot Heard 'Round the World"
    7/20
    "Barbaro"
    7/27
    "Breaking the Huddle"

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  • Media Notes

    Marc Leishman's Caddie Wore
    Microphone Saturday
    Some caddies during this past weekend's PGA Tour Shell Houston Open wore microphones for a test run for the PGA Tour and NBC, and in Houston, Jason McDaniel wrote network and tour officials are "concerned about audio quality." That is why they "opted for a test run," with "nothing airing during NBC's coverage." Golfer Marc Leishman's caddie "wore a small wireless microphone Saturday." Golfer Johnson Wagner said, "I personally think it's a terrible idea. There are a lot of things we say out there that I don't personally want being heard" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 4/5).

    MULTI-TASKER: The GLOBE & MAIL's Lorne Rubenstein reported golfer Mike Weir "will not only be playing" The Masters this week, "he'll be providing a daily report on his revamped website as part of a partnership he's entered into with ScoreGolf." ScoreGolf also has "redesigned and taken over the technical and sales side of mikeweir.com." Weir's contributions from The Masters "will appear on the site." Weir "will also be a focal point during the Masters of ScoreGolf's new WebTV show, SG Daily." As part of the agreement with ScoreGolf, Weir "becomes the magazine's Playing Editor, the title as it will appear in the publication." Weir "will provide tips and features about his life as a tour player." The first installment of his regular page "is in the magazine's spring issue" (GLOBEANDMAIL.com, 4/4).

    PLAYOFF PUSH: In Columbus, Aaron Portzline wrote if the Blue Jackets make the Stanley Cup playoffs, "there would be a three-way fight -- between the Blue Jackets, Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Cavaliers -- for springtime TV coverage" on FS Ohio. FS Ohio Senior VP & GM Henry Ford said, "I can assure fans that all of the Blue Jackets games will air in Columbus across all of our affiliates. We'll endeavor to take the Blue Jackets to every corner of the market." However, it could "get tricky in Cincinnati and Cleveland." Ford said that Blue Jackets games "would still air in those markets but could be moved to an alternate channel to make way for the Reds and Cavaliers if there's a conflict" (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 4/5).

    HOME AND NOT AWAY: CRAIN'S CHICAGO BUSINESS' Ed Sherman reported the Illinois Daily Herald has "decided not to send its beat writers Bruce Miles and Scot Gregor on the road to cover the Cubs and White Sox this year." It costs "more than six figures to have writers out there for 81 games on both sides of town" (CHICAGOBUSINESS.com, 4/3).

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