Veteran producer Mark Wolff has rejoined CBS as Lead
Game Producer for "The NFL on CBS." Wolff will be teamed
with Larry Cavolina, who will serve as the Lead Game
Director/Coordinating Director (CBS Sports)....The Whitbred
sailing race, a nine-month event, will have a "live
television finish" for the first time. Whitbred execs "may
order" the fleets to sail "extra miles to accommodate" the
TV schedule "if the finish is ahead of schedule" (Ellen
Gamerman, Baltimore SUN, 5/22).
The following lists ratings for select sporting events
from last weekend. All times are EDT. The numbers are from
the networks (THE DAILY).
EVENT DATE NET TIME RAT/SHR
Indianapolis 500 Time Trials 5/16 ABC 1:00-2:00pm 1.4/5
PGA Tour: Byron Nelson Classic 5/16 ABC 2:00-4:30pm 2.3/8
Horse Racing: Preakness Stakes 5/16 ABC 4:30-6:00pm 3.6/11
CBS Sports Spect: Gymnastics 5/16 CBS 1:00-3:00pm 1.8/7
CBS Sports Spectacular: PBA Tour 5/16 CBS 3:00-4:00pm 1.6/6
LPGA Championship 5/16 CBS 4:00-6:00pm 1.2/4
"NBA on NBC": Lakers-Jazz 5/16 NBC 3:30-6:00pm 5.3/17
Indianapolis 500 Time Trials 5/17 ABC 1:30-3:00pm 1.5/5
PGA Tour: Byron Nelson Classic 5/17 ABC 3:00-6:00pm 2.8/8
CBS Sports Spect: Gymnastics 5/17 CBS 3:00-4:00pm 2.5/8
LPGA Championship 5/17 CBS 4:00-6:00pm 1.3/3
"NHL on Fox": Blues-Red Wings 5/17 FOX 2:00-5:00pm 1.5/5
"NBA on NBC": Pacers-Bulls 5/17 NBC 3:30-6:00pm 8.9/24
NHL RATINGS NOTES: Fox's 1.7/5 average rating through
four weeks of its NHL playoff coverage is down 15% from last
year's average for the same period of 2.0/5 (THE DAILY). In
N.Y., George Vecsey notes the decline of NHL ratings under
the header "Whatever Happened To Hockey?" (N.Y. TIMES,
5/22). The Caps-Senators series, which featured four games
on HTS, had a 2.0 rating, "pushing the team's playoff
ratings to a cumulative 1.73." For comparison, the Orioles
are averaging a 2.2 for the season (WASHINGTON POST, 5/22).
....The final Caps-Senators game last Friday night on CBC
drew "a disappointing" 928,000 viewers in primetime. On
Saturday night, the Oilers-Stars drew 1.14 million, also a
"below-average playoff number" (GLOBE & MAIL, 5/22). In
S.F., Susan Slusser examines NHL ratings, writing,
"Nationally, hockey is an ice-cold television proposition.
Locally, hockey is a hit" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 5/22).
NBA RATINGS NOTES: Through 16 telecasts, NBC's NBA
playoff coverage is averaging a 6.1/18, down 3% from last
year's 6.3/18 (THE DAILY)....Tuesday's Pacers-Bulls game
gave Fox Sports Chicago its season-high rating with a 20.7.
The rating also topped the time period encompassing pregame,
game and postgame shows -- a period that included the season
finale of ABC's "NYPD Blue" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 5/22).
SI For Kids Publisher Cleary Simpson and Research Dir
Donna Sabino are the subject of the "SGB Interview" by Chris
McEvoy. Sabino, on which leagues kids favor: "[W]hen I
started at SI for Kids in 1991 the NBA was not one of kids'
favorite leagues. Then the NBA made this deliberate,
concerted effort to reach out to kids and say, 'Here's this
guy Michael Jordan.' Then kids responded by thinking that
well, this is kind of cool. The NFL then took the
initiative and started telling kids 'We want you to keep
track of your team. ... Pay attention every Sunday.' The
leagues can't take for granted anymore that kids are
inherently going to know about their sport." Simpson noted
that kids "were very effected by the [MLB] strike," and
added that MLB has "to find a way to get the players more
involved with some of these programs for kids" to boost
popularity. Simpson, on the ages of SI For Kids readers:
"[W]e're getting them earlier. We have a lot of seven-year-
old readers. That's really when you're beginning to learn
to read, and they're keeping it longer. We're graduating
most of them by 14 or 15. ... Right now, our total
readership is about 70/30 boys/girls" (SGB, 4/15 issue).
The first-ever live, interactive, video and audio
telecast of a pro baseball game will be broadcast over the
Internet on Monday at 1:30pm PT, when the AAA PCL Fresno
Grizzlies host the Albuquerque Dukes. CA-based Computer
Aided Technologies (CAT) and the Grizzlies are partners in
the Intercast, which will be available to anyone with
Netscape, AOL or Microsoft Web Browser software, and can be
found at www.amintercast.com (CAT). CAT CEO Ed DeReyes said
that he expects 15,000-20,000 people to watch the game
online. Four cameras have been set up for the game, as well
as chat areas for fans to interact with the announcers and
other fans (Jon Swartz, S.F. CHRONICLE, 5/21).