SBD/December 15, 2010/Sports Media

Media Notes

ESPN earned a 7.7 U.S. rating and 11.927 million viewers for the Ravens' OT victory over the Texans on "MNF", down 7.2% and 8.8%, respectively, from an 8.3 rating and 13.077 million viewers for Cardinals-49ers in Week 14 last year. The game led ESPN to win the night Monday among all networks, cable or broadcast. Through 14 weeks, "MNF" is averaging an 8.9 U.S. rating and 14.190 million viewers, down 1.1% and 1.3%, respectively, from a 9.0 rating and 14.384 million viewers through the same point last season (THE DAILY).

FILLING THE VOID: NBC tennis announcer Ted Robinson and Wild radio announcer Bob Kurtz, both former Twins announcers, "will work about 25 games each to replace" Twins radio announcer John Gordon, "who will have a reduced schedule" of 90 games in '11. The Twins said that studio host Kris Atteberry "also will handle play-by-play or analyst duties for about 45 games." Twins analysts Dan Gladden and Jack Morris "both return to their roles in the broadcast booth." Gladden "will be heard during about 140 games and Morris for about 25" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 12/15). In St. Paul, Charley Walters writes the Twins "got a real pro" in Kurtz, the "peerless play-by-play radio voice" for the Wild who called Twins games from '79-86 (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 12/15).

A NEW HOME: MMAWEEKLY.com's Ken Pishna reported Bellator Fighting Championships announced that MTV2 is its new TV partner in a three-year deal that "will commence in 2011." This comes as "recent signs had all pointed to Bellator closing in on a deal to air on Fox's FX channel." Instead, MTV2 will telecast two seasons of Bellator's 12-week tournament, plus a "collection of unspecified special feature events." The first event will premiere in March '11 (MMAWEEKLY.com, 12/14). YAHOO SPORTS' Maggie Hendricks wrote the "key" to the deal is that MTV2 will provide live coverage. Bellator "was with Fox Sports Net for their last two seasons, and they were often pre-empted by other local programming" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 12/14).

CAPTAIN JACK WILL GET YOU BY TONIGHT: ESPN 3D will carry the premiere of the Walt Disney Pictures 3D trailer for "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" this Friday during the Heat-Knicks telecast (John Ourand, THE DAILY).

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