Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 24 No. 156

Sports Media

          The following lists final national and cable Nielsen     ratings from recent sporting events (THE DAILY).
EVENT DATE NET TIME RAT/SHR
NTRA: Santa Anita Handicap
6-Mar
Fox
5:00-6:00pm
1.6/4
World Sprint Speedskating
6-Mar
ABC
2:30-3:30pm
1.2/4
NCAA Men's B-Ball (UCLA-AZ)
6-Mar
ABC
3:30-6:00pm
1.6/4
ISU Fig Skating Grand Prix
6-Mar
ABC
9:00-11:00pm
4.5/8
Conference USA Men's Final
6-Mar
CBS
12:30-2:30pm
1.8/5
Big 10 Men's Semifinals
6-Mar
CBS
2:30-4:30pm
2.5/7
Big 10 Men's Semifinals
6-Mar
CBS
5:00-7:15pm
2.6/6
American Cup Gymnastics
6-Mar
NBC
1:00-3:00pm
2.4/7
Doral Ryder Open
6-Mar
NBC
3:00-6:00pm
2.2/6
Four Continents Fig Skating
6-Mar
NBC
8:00-9:00pm
5.0/9
"NHL on Fox" (regional)
7-Mar
Fox
3:00-6:00pm
1.3/3
ISU Fig Skating Grand Prix
7-Mar
ABC
1:00-2:30pm
2.7/7
Las Vegas 400
7-Mar
ABC
2:30-6:00pm
6.0/15
SEC Men's Championship
7-Mar
CBS
12:30-3:00pm
2.7/7
Big 10 Men's Championship
7-Mar
CBS
3:00-5:00pm
3.6/9
NCAA Tourney Selection Show
7-Mar
CBS
6:30-7:00pm
5.9/12
NBA "Showtime"
7-Mar
NBC
noon-12:30pm
2.1/6
"NBA on NBC": (regional)
7-Mar
NBC
12:30-2:45pm
3.3/9
Doral Ryder Open
7-Mar
NBC
2:45-6:00pm
3.5/8
"NBA on NBC": (Lakers-Jazz)
7-Mar
NBC
6:00-8:30pm
6.1/11

CABLE PROGRAM DATE NET AA US
AREA
COV.
AREA
000
"NBA on TBS": (Lakers-Nuggets)
22-Feb
TBS
1.7
2.2
3
1687
"NBA on TNT": (Sonics-Rockets)
23-Feb
TNT
1.2
1.6
2
1215
World Golf Championships
25-Feb
ESPN
1.1
1.5
4
1134
World Golf Championships
26-Feb
ESPN
1.5
2
5
1488
"NBA on TNT": (Knicks-Celtics)
26-Feb
TNT
1.2
1.5
3
1151
HBO Boxing: Johnson-Taylor
27-Feb
HBO
2.4
8.3
14
2349
HBO Boxing: Bazan-Johnston
27-Feb
HBO
2.4
8.5
17
2405

 

NOTES: National ratings for the Las Vegas 400 were up 3% over last year's 5.8 (NASCAR)....The "NHL on Fox" is averaging 1.4/3 for the season, down 13% from the same point last year (Fox)....The "NBA on NBC" is averaging a 4.8/11 for the season, up 4% from last year's final 4.6/12 rating (NBC)...."Fox Sports News" (FSN) averaged a .69 combined two-hour gross rating for February, up 13% over the same month last year. FSN achieved a ratings high of .78 during the week of February 15-22 (FSN).....For the broadcast numbers, one ratings point = 972,000 homes. For cable ratings, "Cov. Area" represents % of homes tuned in to that program in that network's universe of subscribers.

          Former CBS Sports Exec Producer Rick Gentile has joined
     with ID-based Diamond Sports, which specializes in live
     event, sports franchise and venue management.  Gentile will
     serve as President & Exec Producer of Diamond Sports and
     Entertainment, which will focus on production, packaging and
     syndication of televised events and programs.  Gentile will
     oversee program development, domestic and int'l program
     sales, TV production and sponsorship.  Diamond Sports
     Management President Cord Pereira will serve as Exec VP of
     the Sports & Entertainment division.  Current Diamond Sports
     properties include the WCHL Idaho Steelheads, the Boise
     Hawks and El Paso Diablos minor-league baseball teams and
     Sports radio KTIK-AM in Boise, ID (Diamond Sports).

          CBS Radio Sports/Westwood One and the NFL have agreed
     to a 3-year extension for the exclusive national radio
     rights to the NFL.  The deal allows CBS/Westwood to provide
     live coverage of the NFL and related NFL programming to
     radio stations across the country (NFL)....Jacor
     Communications, owners of WEAE-AM in Pittsburgh, have agreed
     to allow new owner ABC to bring on ESPN programming for the
     station starting Monday (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 3/12). 
          POLITICAL POINTS: In Baltimore, Gerard Sheilds writes
     that U.S. Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC) is worried that ESPN
     "might pay" the Cuban government "for the right to televise"
     the Orioles-Cuba exhibition game, which would "violate the
     spirit of earlier agreements that revenue" would go to Cuban
     and U.S. youth sports groups and charities.  ESPN and MLB
     execs said that "such fears were groundless" (Baltimore SUN,
     3/12)....The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Brooks Boliek reports that
     a U.S. House panel approved legislation requiring satellite
     TV companies to "buy over-the-air antennas for many of their
     customers whose network signals are cut off by a federal
     court order."  A satellite TV exec said afterward, "It's a
     Republican Congress imposing a tax on satellite companies"
     (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 3/12).
          CRITIC'S CORNER: In Chicago, Phil Rosenthal wrote that
     he was "baffled" that Fox Sports Net "ignored" Joe
     DiMaggio's death on Monday morning, "even as" ESPN and other
     networks "broke in with special coverage."  Rosenthal: "For
     all the money Fox tosses around for talent, rights fees, and
     those really annoying sound effects and graphics, it
     apparently is determined never to be taken seriously as a
     reliable source for sports news" (SUN-TIMES, 3/11)...In
     Miami, Barry Jackson: "Look for Fox and NBC to pursue NASCAR
     races vigorously in the next year" (MIAMI HERALD, 3/12).
     

          CBS Sports' presentation of the opening day of the NCAA
     men's basketball tournament "was smooth and seamless,"
     according to Howard Manly of the BOSTON GLOBE, writing under
     the header "CBS Manages To Push The Right Buttons" (BOSTON
     GLOBE, 3/12).  In Baltimore, Milton Kent writes that CBS
     "seemed to get off to a good start editorially yesterday,"
     as it "is to be commended for its coverage" of the MN test-
     taking scandal (SUN, 3/12).  In S.D., Jay Posner writes
     under the headline, "Tournament Blowouts Aren't TV Bore,
     Thanks To Switch-Savvy CBS."  CBS Sports VP/Programming Mike
     Aresco: "We're not infallible.  But it's good to hear we
     make a good decision once in a while" (UNION-TRIBUNE, 3/12). 
          COME SALE AWAY: CBS MARKETWATCH's David Wilkerson
     writes that ad sales for the tournament "are up from last
     year by double-digit percentages."  Exact dollar figures
     "weren't disclosed" (CBS MARKETWATCH, 3/12).  In Toronto,
     Chris Zelkovich writes that young men are "driving" the
     Canadian TV market for college basketball, as networks are
     "bending over backward to please them, mainly because
     advertisers like them so much."  That is "one reason" CTV
     SportsNet will carry 50 hours of the men's tourney. TSN
     VP/Programming Phil King, whose net was "tempted" to carry
     the games: "U.S. college basketball has no audience here. 
     But it's very saleable" (TORONTO STAR, 3/12).
          ROLLING THE DICE: In a USA TODAY Cover Story, Tom Lowry
     reports that March "money madness is moving on line" as
     "millions of people are betting on the NCAA men's and
     women's basketball tournaments on the Internet."  Around
     $70M could be bet on the NCAA tournament in Las Vegas this
     year, which is $10M less than '98, as the gambling business
     is "being pinched" by the new competition (USA TODAY, 3/12). 
     ESPN MAGAZINE reports that an "estimated" $2.5B will be
     wagered on the men's tournament across the U.S. through un-
     licensed bookies, on-line services and company pools (ESPN
     MAGAZINE, 3/22)....WALL STREET SPORTS reported 101,000
     entries into its men's basketball pool, while ESPN.com had
     402,109 users register for its pool, with 70.1% of the fans
     picking Duke to win the tournament (THE DAILY).  
          PRESS CREDENTIALS: St. Paul Pioneer Press Editor Walker
     Lundy tells Ed Sherman of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE that he feels
     "it would have been irresponsible to hold the story" on  MN
     basketball players involved in an academic scandal.  Lundy:
     "People are complaining about when we ran the story, but
     nobody is complaining that we got the facts wrong, and
     that's what matters to me" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/12).     
 

          SI for Women hit newsstands yesterday with a "breezy
     thunk" and an editorial mix that is "an easy balance" and
     influenced "as much by its venerable brother as by
     traditional women's magazines," according to Shawna Richer
     of the Toronto GLOBE & MAIL.  Richer calls its content
     "lively" (GLOBE & MAIL, 3/12).  In Orlando, Shannon Rose
     calls the new SI for Women "definitely an improvement" over
     earlier test issues.  It is "geared toward athletes, not
     sports fans" and the title's ads "either show females in
     them or are geared toward a female buyer."  Rose: "Even if
     'SI For Women' isn't exactly what female athletes and
     women's sports fans want, it's pretty close" (O.S. 3/12).
          NASCAR CAN ONLY SHAKE ITS HEAD AND SI? In Indianapolis,
     Bill Koenig writes that SI's "lack of attention" to NASCAR
     "remains a major hurdle," as some of its top races have
     "only earned the corresponding edition's lead spot in the
     'Inside Motor Sports' column," which is published "near the
     back" of the magazine.  SI's Senior Publicist Joe Assad,
     when asked about the Daytona 500 story which was "put at the
     back of the magazine," said that the race "got caught up
     there in a busy sports week," and added that SI puts out
     "occasional special NASCAR issues" (STAR-NEWS, 3/12).