SBD/March 20, 2012/Media

NCAA Tourney Ratings Flat Across CBS/TBS/TNT/TruTV For Second, Third Rounds

Ratings for second- and third-round NCAA games flat compared to last year

The NCAA men’s basketball tournament averaged a 5.6 fast-national Nielsen rating across CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV for the second- and third-round games (Thursday-Sunday), flat compared to last year and up from a 4.8 rating in ’10, when CBS was the only net airing the tournament. Among games on cable TV, Kansas-Purdue on Sunday night has led all telecasts thus far with a 2.7 rating and 4.4 million viewers. The game ranked sixth among all cable TV telecasts last week. No other NCAA men’s tournament game ranked among cable TV’s 40 most-viewed telecasts last week (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).

FAMILY TIME: In N.Y., Bob Raissman notes college basketball analyst Clark Kellogg will not be assigned to call the games in the region in which his son's Ohio Univ. team is playing. Raissman writes CBS’ message "is clear: Working a game is more important than being with your son in what will be one of the most memorable moments of his life." Kellogg has "made it easy for CBS." When asked about the situation, he has said that it was "not a big deal that he wasn’t assigned to call the games in the region his son played, or is about to play in." Raissman: "That's not our point. Kellogg should just go to the game and watch it from the seats." All CBS Sports Chair Sean McManus "has to do -- what he should do -- is pick up the telephone, call Kellogg and say: 'Clark take Friday night off and go watch your son play. I’m not asking you to do this, I’m telling you to go. Moments like this for you and your family won’t come around that often.'" Giving Kellogg Friday night off is the "right thing to do." It is "not like CBS would have to scramble to find an analyst to replace him." Raissman: "Remember, CBS/Turner are using what seems like a cast of thousands to work this tournament. This just in: The absence of Kellogg also won’t cost CBS a single rating point during the Kentucky-Indiana telecast" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/20).

HOLDING A GRUDGE: USA TODAY's Nicole Auerbach noted on Saturday, ESPN analyst Bob Knight "refused to say 'Kentucky' on air." When asked which No. 1 seed should be on upset alert, Knight referred to UK as the "team from the SEC" (USA TODAY, 3/18). AWFUL ANNOUNCING's Matt Yoder asked, "Does it speak well for ESPN and Bob Knight when he won't utter the name of the school that is the odds on favorite to win the NCAA Tournament?" Knight's "grudge against Kentucky and John Calipari is well documented," but when Knight "goes on television and airs this grudge against the top team in the country it hurts himself, ESPN, and college basketball" (, 3/19). SI's Richard Deitsch wrote on Twitter, "This is about Bob Knight dictating what Bob Knight does as an analyst, something he's done on his ESPN Radio Mike and Mike segments and beyond. ... So Knight doesn't like Calipari. Fine. Man up, tell the audience why, and then do the job you are paid to do as a professional broadcaster. Stop insulting me as a viewer with this petulant act."

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