SBD/Issue 28/Sports Media

Media Notes

ESPN Suspends Phillips One
Week After Admitting Affair
In N.Y., MacIntosh & Mangan cite a source as saying that ESPN MLB analyst Steve Phillips "has been suspended for a week" after confessing to his wife and Connecticut police that he "slept with ESPN assistant Brooke Hundley several times this past summer before dumping her." Phillips, who is "now being sued for divorce" by his wife, Marni, said that Hundley "became 'obsessive and delusional' after he dumped her." A police report indicates that "in retaliation" to the break-up, Hundley wrote Marni Phillips a letter detailing the affair and repeatedly called her, saying, "We both can't have him!" (N.Y. POST, 10/21). ESPN issued a statement today that reads, "We were aware of this and have already taken appropriate action. We have no further comment" (THE DAILY).

KING OF THE COURT: In N.Y., Howard Beck reports Championist.com ranks the NBA's "top Twitter users," and Cavaliers C Shaquille O'Neal is the "undisputed king of NBA Twitterdom, with more than 2.4 million followers -- twice as many as his closest rival," Magic C Dwight Howard. Celtics F Paul Pierce is the "only other member of the million-follower club from the NBA, with 1.24 million." Lakers F Lamar Odom ranks fourth on the list with 201,781 followers, followed by Lakers G Derek Fisher at No. 5 with 149,354 followers (N.Y. TIMES, 10/21).

NUMBERS GAME: The GLOBE & MAIL's Grant Robertson writes a "new method for tracking TV ratings has shaken up the television sector" in Canada, and sports "has emerged as a big winner." Randomly selected viewers "now carry pager-like devices on their hips," and Canada's three biggest sports networks -- TSN, Rogers Sportsnet and The Score -- "have each seen ratings jumps of about" 50%. Score Media President & CEO John Levy "believes this is because the pagers are better at counting groups of people at home or in bars where the audio signal is loud enough to be detected." Levy: "In addition to being more accurate, we're getting out-of-home viewing in these ratings. It has allowed us to vary our rates a little bit. We did take them up as a result" (GLOBE & MAIL, 10/21).

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