SBD/May 11, 2012/Media

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  • CBC's Ron MacLean Clarifes His Comments About 9/11 First Responders

    MacLean issued a clarification saying NHLers "in no way compare" with first responders

    The CBC's Ron MacLean Thursday tried to clarify comments he made prior to the start of Wednesday's Rangers-Capitals Game Six, in which he appeared to compare the players on the two teams to the first responders to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He appeared on "Prime Time Sports" on Toronto's CJCL-AM and said, “It’s Washington and New York, and I go back-and-forth looking at those two cityscapes and it just struck me as I watched the series played out that many of the traits that the players demonstrate are those of firefighters and police officers. I know full well that you don’t make a link between that and 9/11 in the sense of the first-responders. But I very much felt that the essence of those two cities, being the political and economic hubs of America, they are just such symbolic towns, and the style of the game represented what I think is symbolic of a hockey player. If I was going to pay them the ultimate compliment to the way they were playing, it would be to say you’re playing like a firefighter or police officer. Not a 9/11 first-responder, but I was trying to marry those ideas.” MacLean aded, “I wanted to make it clear that I am not connecting the work of the first-responders at that time. But I wanted to sow the seed of the spirit of what they did has to come from somewhere, and it comes from the kinds of things you see players doing in these games, and I said that.” More MacLean: "My intentions were clearly to pay homage to the police and firefighters in those two cities, simple as that, and sort of compliment the players. Was it done well? Obviously not” ("Prime Time Sports," CJCL-AM, 5/10).

    COMING TO HIS PARTNER'S DEFENSE: The CP's Jason Keller noted the CBC's Don Cherry has "come to the defence" of MacLean, his "HNIC" co-host. Cherry said Thursday, “I couldn’t believe it when the boss came in during the end of the second period and said people were upset. I think what happens is people don’t think as much of hockey players as we love hockey players. We think hockey players are the top people in the world. We think they’re tough, that’s all Ron was doing. For people to take it out of context is just unbelievable to me" (CP, 5/10). Cherry added, "I think it's ridiculous. It's just people trying to stir up trouble, I guess" (TORONTO SUN, 5/10).

    NOT A GOOD DECISION: In Montreal, Pat Hickey writes MacLean "took a stab at gravitas Wednesday night and the result was that he embarrassed himself and CBC." MacLean was "just plain dumb -- not to mention insensitive -- when he compared a group of highly paid, privileged athletes with true heroes." Hickey: "The sad part of this story is that it shows an inherent weakness at the public broadcaster, which has failed to address the issue. The controversy could have been avoided if someone at Hockey Night in Canada had the cajones to take control and vet this material before it got on the air" (Montreal GAZETTE, 5/11). The GLOBE & MAIL's Bruce Dowbiggin asks, "Who’s producing these shows that MacLean can get to air with such twaddle? Is there no vetting of his script? He’s in a CBC headquarters in Toronto thick with suits. Surely there must be someone who can pass an eye over these scripts in advance. Instead CBC prefers to rewrite the script the next day. Strange" (GLOBE & MAIL, 5/11). However, in Toronto, Steve Buffery writes MacLean "shouldn't be overly lambasted." He issued a "clarification on Thursday afternoon, saying that hockey games in no way compare with first responders." Buffery: "Fair enough. MacLean means well and he’s a very fine broadcaster. Maybe he just needs an impartial set of eyes to go over his copy before the red light comes on" (TORONTO SUN, 5/11).

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  • Potential Rangers-Kings Stanley Cup Final Likely Would Earn Big Ratings For NBC

    A Rangers-Kings Cup Final could be a boon for NBC's NHL ratings

    The NHL would "clearly receive a huge ratings and PR boost should the Rangers and Kings face each other in the Stanley Cup Final, according to Stuart Levine of DAILY VARIETY. The ratings bar "was set high last year" as the Bruins-Canucks Cup Final Game Seven "drew 8.5 million viewers, making it the most-watched NHL game in 38 years." The Rangers have not won the Stanley Cup since '94 and the Kings have never won a championship, "so anticipation and viewership in both cities would be high." NBC Sports & NBC Sports Network President of Programming Jon Miller said, "New York and Los Angeles is a sexy and exciting matchup." Levine noted while the Rangers and Kings would "surely draw eyeballs, the same may not be true ... on a national stage" if the Devils and Coyotes were to reach the Cup Final. Miller: "Anytime you can get the New York market, that helps" (VARIETY.com, 5/10). ESPN NHL analyst Barry Melrose said, "League marketers would consider it a home run if it was an L.A.-New York final." NBC Sports NHL Exec Producer Sam Flood said that the "halo effect is a resurgence of hockey in markets such as Chicago and Boston during their Stanley Cup championship runs the past two seasons, which could happen with the L.A. market." In L.A., Tom Hoffarth notes a possible resurgance, as opposed to TV ratings, is how Flood "measures the success of the current media rights deals." Flood said, "Hockey went to the backburner for a time in Chicago and Boston, and now, nothing is hotter. That's what happens when you catch the fever. That's happening in L.A. even when there are two basketball teams in the playoffs. We realize they have a lot bigger fan base, and they can catch the bug and be passionate fans" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 5/11).

    MUST-SEE TV: In N.Y., Bob Raissman writes Rangers coach John Tortorella  is "must-see TV" with his postgame press conferences, and viewers "watch to see how much of a jerk he will be." He is a "belligerent, deadpan, defensive witness with little use for the peons cross-examining him," and his "playoff podium performances border on classic." Raissman: "While we find Tortorella’s act amusing, even entertaining, it could be a complete turn-off to fans, especially casual ones the NHL desperately tries attracting to its playoff telecasts." MSG Network analysts also "have taken issue with the coach." Tortorella after the Rangers' Stanley Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinals Game Four loss to the Capitals "pulled an in-and-out" press conference that was "shorter than a trip through a revolving door." MSG analyst Mike Keenan, who coached the Cup-winning '94 Rangers, said, "Probably John should spend a little bit more time with the media after the game. It’s part of your responsibility (as a coach). I understand his frustration, but that’s no excuse" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/11).

    WHAT'S UP, DOC? SI's Michael Farber writes NBC NHL play-by-play annnouncer Mike "Doc" Emrick "surely is among the most remarkable working in any sport." Emrick "uses his voice like an instrument, modulating it to impute significance to a moment in the manner of classic old-school announcers." He "marbles his calls with information and pertinent digression and wry humor, which makes him as fresh as some of the other leading practitioners of hockey's modern style" (SI, 5/14 issue).

    Print | Tags: Media, NHL
  • Final Nielsen Ratings From Recent Sports Telecasts

    The charts below list final Nielsen ratings from rcent sports telecasts. All ratings listed are U.S. ratings. Figures were not available at deadlkine for ABC's NBA coverage last weekend (THE DAILY).

    TELECAST
    DATE
    NET
    TIME (ET)
    RAT.
    Kentucky Derby (race segment)
    5/5
    NBC
    6:06-6:54pm
    9.0
    Kentuckty Derby: Pre-Race coverage
    5/5
    NBC
    5:00-6:06pm
    5.3
    NASCAR Sprint Cup: Aaron's 499 (Talladega)
    5/6
    Fox
    1:00-4:00pm
    5.1
    Kentuckty Derby: Pre-Race coverage
    5/5
    NBC
    4:30-5:00pm
    3.3
    Kentuckty Derby: Pre-Race coverage
    5/5
    NBC
    4:00-4:30pm
    2.5
    PGA Tour: Wells Fargo Championship: Final Round
    5/6
    CBS
    3:00-6:18pm
    2.3
    NASCAR Nationwide Series: Aaron's 312
    5/5
    ABC
    3:15-6:45pm
    2.3
    "UFC on Fox 3": Diaz d. Miller
    5/5
    Fox
    8:00-10:10pm
    1.5
    PGA Tour: Wells Fargo Championship: Third Round
    5/5
    CBS
    3:00-6:00pm
    1.3
    NHL Eastern Conference Semifinal:
    Rangers-Capitals: Game Four
    5/5
    NBC
    12:30-3:10pm
    1.2
    MLB: (regional)
    5/5
    Fox
    4:00-7:00pm
    1.2
    Kentucky Derby (NBC Sports Net simulcast coverage)
    5/5
    NBC
    3:10-4:00pm
    1.1
    NHL Western Conference Semifinals:
    Kings-Blues: Game Four
    5/6
    NBC
    3:00-6:00pm
    0.8
    PBR: Stanley Tools & Security Invitational
    5/5
    CBS
    1:00-2:00pm
    0.4
    "PGA Tour 2012: Portraits"
    5/5
    CBS
    2:00-3:00pm
    0.4
    "The Players Club"
    5/6
    CBS
    1:00-2:00pm
    0.4
    Monster Energy AMA Supercross (taped)
    5/6
    CBS
    2:00-3:00pm
    0.4
    Cycling: Giro d'Italia (taped)
    5/6
    NBC
    2:00-3:00pm
    0.3
    TELECAST
    DATE
    NET
    TIME (ET)
    RAT.
    VIEWERS (000)
    NBA Western Conference First Round:
    Thunder-Mavericks: Game Two
    4/30
    TNT
    9:47pm-12:42am
    3.2
    4,763
    NBA Western Conference First Round:
    Lakers-Nuggets: Game Four
    5/6
    TNT
    9:44pm-12:18am
    3.1
    4,622
    NBA Western Conference First Round:
    Thunder-Mavericks: Game Three
    5/3
    TNT
    9:50pm-12:24am
    3.0
    4,622
    NBA Eastern Conference First Round:
    Heat-Knicks: Game Two
    4/30
    TNT
    7:09-9:47pm
    2.8
    4,373
    NBA Eastern Conference First Round:
    Heat-Knicks: Game Three
    5/3
    TNT
    7:09-9:50pm
    2.8
    4,132
    NBA Western Conference First Round:
    Nuggets-Lakers: Game Two
    5/1
    TNT
    10:44pm-1:18am
    2.6
    3,931
    NBA Western Conference First Round:
    Lakers-Nuggets: Game Three
    5/4
    ESPN
    10:36pm-1:09am
    2.4
    3,594
    NBA Eastern Conference First Round:
    Hawks-Celtics: Game Four
    5/6
    TNT
    7:09-9:44pm
    2.4
    3,588
    NBA Western Conference First Round:
    Thunder-Mavericks: Game Four
    5/5
    TNT
    7:39-10:19pm
    2.1
    3,391
    NBA Western Conference First Round:
    Clippers-Grizzlies: Game Two
    5/2
    TNT
    9:44pm-12:33am
    2.2
    3,137

    Print | Tags: Media, Nielsen Media Research
  • Media Notes

    CBS Sports Chair Sean McManus called Charley Casserly "terrific" in his role as the NFL Insider on the net's "The NFL Today" pregame show, but McManus said he was "amazed at the information" new hire Jason La Cafora uncovered. McManus: "I was looking to be more aggressive seven days a week." USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand notes La Canfora "also will work on the CBS Sports Network cable channel and cbssports.com." McManus said CBSSN "will relatively shortly be doing greatly expanded NFL programming." He added a Sunday pregame show is "a possibility" (USA TODAY, 5/11). In Albany, Pete Dougherty writes Casserly "had good information, but he doesn't have the TV presence of competitors such as ESPN's Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen and Fox's Jay Glazer" (Albany TIMES UNION, 5/11).

    TALK DERBY TO ME: In Las Vegas, Richard Eng writes TV ratings are "the least understood number" in the horse racing industry. As opposed to watching races from home, "most racing fans are out at racetracks, off-track betting locations and race books," and these participants "aren't counted in Nielsen ratings." The Kentucky Derby earned a 9.0 final rating, up 6% over '11, but Eng writes the numbers "underestimate the growing interest in the Derby, and to a degree, the sport of horse racing" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 5/11).

    TEE TO GREEN: In N.Y., Phil Mushnick writes, "Give NBC, and now its Comcast partner Golf Channel, credit for persistence," as the nets "keep pushing" The Players as the PGA Tour's "fifth major." Mushnick: "If rights belonged to a competing network? Not a chance. Wouldn’t even make NBC’s weekend sports news updates" (N.Y. POST, 5/11).

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