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ESPN earned a 2.1 overnight Nielsen rating for UConn’s 93-60 win over Louisville in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship, down 19% from a 2.6 overnight for Baylor’s win over Notre Dame last year. The 33-point victory was by far the biggest margin in women's title game history (previous high was 23 in '87). UConn-Louisville is also down 9% from a 2.3 overnight for Texas A&M-Notre Dame in ’11. UConn’s last title in ’10 (against Stanford) drew a 2.6 overnight. The Louisville market drew a 20.7 local rating for the game, marking the highest women’s tourney rating in the market on record. Meanwhile, Hartford-New Haven scored a 22.5 local rating, marking the best for that market in nine years (dating back to the school’s ’04 win) (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).
A FEW SHINING MOMENTS: The NCAA Tournament averaged a 6.7 fast-national Nielsen rating and 10.7 million viewers across CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV, marking the tourney’s best rating since '05 and best viewership since '94. The four-network averages also were up 10% and 11%, respectively, from '12. Monday night's Louisville-Michigan national championship finished with a 14.0 rating and 23.4 million viewers, up 15% and 12%, respectively, from the Kentucky-Kansas matchup last year (CBS/Turner). ESPN’s Michael Wilbon said Louisville-Michigan was a “spectacular game” and the “season needed it." Wilbon: "This season -- I don’t care what people think -- has been a 3 on the 1-10 scale and college basketball in general has just flattened out. College basketball needed this game, and they got a thriller in the championship.” ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said, “I thought it was a season saver. ... The rating was ... way higher than any NBA Finals game last year. So a lot of people tuned in and they got exactly what they wanted” (“PTI,” ESPN, 4/9). ESPN’s Pablo Torre said, “This tournament desperately, desperately needed this game” (“Around The Horn,” ESPN, 4/9).NCAA MEN'S BASKETBALL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME TRENDYEARNETRAT.VIEWERS (000)
MATCHUP'13CBS14.023,400 Louisville-Michigan'12CBS12.320,900 Kentucky-Kansas'11CBS11.720,100 UConn-Butler'10CBS14.223,944 Duke-Butler'09CBS10.817,649 North Carolina-Michigan State'08CBS12.119,501 Kansas-Memphis'07CBS12.219,563 Florida-Ohio State'06CBS11.217,543 Florida-UCLA'05CBS15.023,895 North Carolina-Illinois'04CBS11.017,088 UConn-Georgia Tech
WEEI fill-in play-by-play voice and Red Sox broadcast host Jon Rish "resigned Monday after being asked to take a pay cut by parent company Entercom," according to Chad Finn of the BOSTON GLOBE. Rish had been working "without a contract since the end of the year." He has been the "pregame and postgame host on the network since" '06 and has been the "fill-in voice on the game broadcasts since" '08. But sources said that Rish was asked to take a 30% reduction in salary, the "latest of several instances of cost-cutting by Entercom." He often has "filled in on Wednesdays in recent years when" Dave O’Brien has been away calling “Wednesday Night Baseball” for ESPN. Rish will "remain on the job until April 24." His remaining play-by-play duties "will include Monday’s Patriots Day game" against the Rays. It is "uncertain who will replace Rish, though Celtics pregame and postgame host John Ryder is a logical choice." Dale Arnold has "handled the fill-in play-by-play duties in the past, but his responsibilities as NESN’s Bruins studio host would seem to preclude him from doing so again" (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/10).
Adobe Systems today released its U.S. Digital Video Benchmark report, showing major spikes in online and mobile video consumption during '12. Compiled from traffic from Adobe Marketing Cloud customers, the company in particular measured a tripling of smartphone and tablet video consumption from 3.1% of all digital video starts to 9.7%. In total, Adobe measured 15.6 billion video streams during Q4 last year, up 30% from the comparable period in '12. The study also found that pre-roll ads still account for 82% of video ad impressions for clips more than two minutes, and 93% of content less than two minutes. But post-roll ads posted a far higher click-through rate than pre-roll spots, showing consumers are more receptive to a call to action after viewing the content. The development of the Digital Video Benchmark report is part of a broader effort to become more of a presence in the widely debated world of online metrics. To that end, the company has also created Adobe Primetime, a new package of video streaming, authentication, ad serving and measurement, and analytics tools designed to help programmers enter into the TV Everywhere landscape. NBC Sports, sister outfit Comcast Cable and Cisco Systems are among the initial clients of Adobe Primetime. Adobe Digital Index Senior Manager Tamara Gaffney said, "We see a real opportunity to associate the Adobe brand name in the digital marketing space. We already have real recognition among developers, the creative space, but the marketing space is where we're targeting next."
NBC Sports Group has hired New Jersey-based Deluxe MediaRecall to "digitize, catalog and store the group's film and video library, representing up to 400,000 hours of sports-media content," according to Richard Lee of the STAMFORD ADVOCATE. NBC Sports VP/Digital Workflow Darryl Jefferson said that company "took advantage of its move" from N.Y. to a new facility in Stamford to bring on Deluxe for the project. Jefferson estimated that NBC's sports library "goes back 52 years, but much of it cannot be reviewed because the needed equipment could not be found." The digitizing process has been "an eye-opener for Jefferson because it has uncovered material that he didn't know existed, including a short clip" of Pro Football HOFer Jim Brown going through a practice. As the digital migration is "completed, the new master files are imported into the group's advanced media asset management system for search, discovery and file-based workflow delivery on a global basis." Deluxe GM Dan Glasser said, "We're capturing about 9,000 hours of content a month" (STAMFORD ADVOCATE, 4/10).