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SBD/Issue 150/Sports MediaPrint All
TSN Playoff Viewership Up 19% Thanks In
Large Part To Flames-Blackhawks Series
FULL STEAM AHEAD: Versus President Jamie Davis Tuesday noted the network this season posted its highest-ever NHL regular-season ratings, and the net's playoff ratings are "blowing away" the regular-season figures. Davis: "People might say there’s a recession out there, but there's not in television ratings for hockey because our first week in the playoffs right now, our total viewership is up 50% over last year, the household rating up over 33% and in the key male demos -- men 18-49 -- are up 40% and men 25-54 up over 50%." Meanwhile, Davis said the net's pre-, intermission and post-game programming seeks to build enthusiasm for hockey and "promote it heavily," but he added, "Having the key markets and the teams playing well is also helping" ("NHL Live!" NHL Network, 4/21).
RATINGS NOTES: The Bruins' four game sweep of the Canadiens in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs earned a 9.2 average local rating (221,000 HHs), making it the highest-rated playoff series in NESN’s 25 year history. NESN’s previous record rating for a Bruins playoff series was an 8.4 local rating for the '04 Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the Canadiens, which went seven games (NESN)....FS Detroit earned a 12.0 local rating for Tuesday's Red Wings-Blue Jackets Western Conference Quarterfinal Game Three, marking the highest-rated Red Wings telecast on the net since the '04 playoffs. The net is averaging a 10.4 rating for the series (FSN)....CSN Philadelphia posted a 5.2 local rating for Tuesday's Penguins-Flyers Eastern Conference Quarterfinal Game Four, up 13% over the net's coverage of Game Two (CSN)....MSG Network earned a 2.72 local rating for Monday's Capitals-Rangers Eastern Conference Quarterfinal Game Three, the net's highest-rated Rangers game since April '97 (NEWSDAY.com, 4/21).
Tonight's Sharks-Ducks Game Four Blacked Out
For Many San Diego Hockey Fans
STREAMING EFFECT: PAID CONTENT's Staci Kramer reported the NHL, using a "mix of database and contextual marketing," has been able to "boost playoff orders of NHL GameCenter Live" by 50%, including a revenue increase of 120%. The NHL through the first five days of the playoffs earned $100,000 for the service, compared to $40,000 during the same period last year (PAIDCONTENT.org, 4/22).
ESPN's coverage of the '08-09 NBA regular season on ABC saw a 16% increase in viewers, as an average of 3,684,000 watched the net's 18 broadcasts this season, up from 3,175,000 for 19 broadcasts last year. The total makes the '08-09 regular season the most-viewed on ABC in six years. The NBA on ESPN averaged 1,680,000 viewers for 71 regular-season telecasts, which marks the net's most-viewed NBA regular-season ever and a 14% increase from 1,468,000 viewers for 70 telecasts in '07-08 (ESPN). TNT for its regular-season telecasts averaged a 1.1 cable rating, up 4% from '07-08, and also posted a 14% increase in total viewers (1,711,000 from 1,496,000 in '07-08) and a 5% increase in HHs (1,296,000 from 1,230,000 in '07-08) (TNT). Meanwhile, in Portland, John Canzano reported Tuesday's Rockets-Trail Blazers game earned a 27.5 local rating on KGW-NBC. But "more impressive" is that the game "had a 21.4 to 10.8 advantage locally over 'American Idol'" while both were on the air (OREGONLIVE.com, 4/22).
Magic Coach Stan Van Gundy Says He
Never Complains About NBA Schedule
COACHSPEAK: ESPN.com's Bill Simmons wrote in a "noble effort to give viewers more inside access than ever before, the NBA began allowing sideline reporters to interview each coach before the start of the second and fourth quarters." But with the exception of Lakers coach Phil Jackson, "who uses these moments as veiled psychological warfare, coaches greet these interludes with the enthusiasm of someone being frisked by an off-duty police officer." Simmons listed three issues he has with the interviews: coaches "getting pulled away during crucial times when ... they're supposed to be dispensing advice to their players;" sideline reporters dealing with the NBA's "unspoken ground rules," which means "every question inevitably revolves around the same three themes;" and that "as they tape these interviews, the coaches know employees from the opposing team will be watching the finished product, so they aren't exactly dying to spill secrets" (ESPN.com, 4/22).
Writer Feels Doug Collins Breaks
Game Down Better Than Any Analyst
STICK TO THE GAME: In Utah, Doug Robinson wrote, "Memo to networks: Please don't turn ballgames into 'Entertainment Tonight.' If we want to listen to talking heads fawning over celebs, we'll watch Fox News. Does any real sports fan enjoy the blurring of the line between Hollywood and professional sports?" Robinson wrote the NBA "not only goes along with this, it encourages it," as the NBA Web site "features a list of the Lakers' celebrity fans" (DESERET NEWS, 4/22).
Siegel (r) Wants To See More Opportunities
Created In NASCAR For Minorities
BREAKING BARRIERS: In a cover story for HISPANIC magazine, Marissa Rodriguez profiles NASCAR driver Juan Pablo Montoya and writes Montoya is "one of the few Latinos behind the wheel at NASCAR races, but his successes paired with the organization's push for attention among Latinos have caused interest in the sport to grow." A study reveals that 38% of Latinos "call themselves NASCAR fans, at least casually." In '05, NASCAR released data stating that 8.9% of their fan base was Latino, a "small growth from 2001's rate of 8.1[%]." Although Montoya "admits to thinking about the fact that there aren't many Hispanics within the NASCAR family, Montoya says that leaving his imprint as a Latino in NASCAR is not his driving force." Montoya: "I am one of the first Latinos to be able to make it to the top leagues. (But) I don't do it for the legacy, I do it because I love it. It's more of a personal thing" (HISPANIC, 4/ '09 issue).
SportsNet N.Y. has signed a multi-year deal to extend its exclusive partnership with the Jets that goes into effect Saturday during the NFL Draft, when the RSN will have draft-room access and live contributions from Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum and coach Rex Ryan on "Jets Nation: Draft Day 09." The deal will see SNY continue to telecast "Jets Post Game Live," as the team is affording the RSN priority locker-room access, including Ryan's closed-door address to the team. The deal also gives SNY the right to distribute content via SNY.tv, subject to NFL guidelines. "The Jets have been a cornerstone of SNY's programming since the network's launch, and we're excited that together, we continue to find new ways to take our viewers further behind-the-scenes and closer to the action," said SNY President Steve Raab.
Hawks Playoff Site Part Of Overall Strategy
To Emphasize New Media
AthleteTweets.com Will Follow More
Than 130 Athletes' Tweeting