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TNT finished with a 3.1 rating and 5.7 million viewers for the NBA All-Star Saturday night telecast, a figure below recent years, but well above comparable telecasts during Olympic years. The telecast on Saturday night had competition from NBC's primetime coverage from Sochi, which aired from 8:30-11:00pm ET. Last year's All-Star Saturday telecast delivered a 3.3 rating and 5.9 million viewers, and while that event did not have Olympic competition, it aired up against Fox' telecast of the NASCAR Sprint Unlimited race (3.5 rating/5.7 million viewers). FS1 carried the NASCAR race this year. Compared to '10, Saturday night's telecast was flat in rating, but up 5% in viewership. Saturday night's telecast peaked at a 3.7 rating and 6.7 million viewers in the 10:45-11:00pm window during the Sprite Slam Dunk contest. Despite the Olympic competition, TNT's audience ranks among the top five in terms of viewership for NBA All-Star Saturday night in the 29-history of the event. Meanwhile, figures for last night's All-Star Game on TNT were not available at presstime due to the President's Day holiday.NBA ALL-STAR SATURDAY NIGHT TREND ON TNTYEARRATINGVIEWERS (000)14*3.15,700133.35,898'123.66,237'114.48,13010*3.15,441'093.96,554'083.15,206073.14,84506*2.94,728
On Long Island, NEWSDAY reported radio broadcasters John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman "will move with the Yankees to their new radio home on WFAN and begin their 10th season together in the team's radio booth." The move was "expected, but it did not become official" until Friday. WFAN Yankees reporter Sweeny Murti "will be part of the pregame and postgame coverage." The Yankees "remained within the same corporate family" because WCBS-AM and WFAN both are owned by CBS Radio, but WFAN execs "had to sign off on the pair remaining in their roles on the new station" (NEWSDAY, 2/15).
YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS! In N.Y., Bob Raissman reported ESPN signed John McEnroe "to a new multi-year contract, retaining him as its No. 1 tennis analyst but expanding his role to other ESPN assignments, including radio work" on ESPN Radio N.Y. McEnroe said, "Radio is something I really want to pursue. Hopefully we can put our heads together over time and figure out a way to get this done. This (the new contract) is a pretty long one. We can figure out what best suits them and best suits me." Raissman: "Look for McEnroe to soon be interviewing sports personalities on 'SportsCenter' as well as popping up" on "Olbermann" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/16).
UNWELCOME SURPRISE: In Seattle, Joshua Mayers reported MLS Sounders broadcaster Alan Hinton on Friday revealed he "has been removed" from the team's TV and radio coverage for the '14 season. Hinton had been "an analyst during pregame and halftime coverage." Hinton said that "being taken off the broadcast team has left him disappointed and confused." Hinton: "I think it’s totally undeserved. … The way they handled it was really shocking. I felt I was contributing. I felt liked. I always heard I did a great job. I feel that the people that run the broadcast have been disrespectful to me. I’m 71 years of age now, and I think they messed with me." He added that an offer to be the Sounders’ first ambassador in a formal role "was initially intriguing, but that was before learning it wouldn’t be in addition to broadcast work" (SEATTLE TIMES, 2/15).
DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS: In Denver, Dusty Saunders notes Dallas-based WFAA-ABC broadcaster Dale Hansen last week "gained national attention for his two-minute editorial on the widely covered story" about NFL Draft prospect Michael Sam's announcement that he is gay. Hansen's commentary, "supporting Sam, was by far the most logical and emotional analysis of all the electronic opinions offered last week." The commentary "will make you think -- not only about issues regarding gays, but how our society in general and the NFL in particular deal with sports figures" (DENVER POST, 2/17).