ABC earned a 4.8 overnight Nielsen rating for yesterday's Mavericks-Knicks game from 1:00-3:30pm ET, marking the net's third-highest non-Christmas Day NBA regular-season rating. The two games ahead of Mavericks-Lakers are Celtics-Lakers from Jan. 30, 2011 and Lakers-Cavaliers from Feb. 8, 2009, which both earned a 5.0 overnight. Mavericks-Knicks also earned a 10.3 rating in N.Y., which is the market's best local rating ever for an NBA regular-season game. In the late window from 3:30-6:00pm, ABC earned a 4.3 overnight for Magic-Heat (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).
FIGHT NIGHT: Fuel TV averaged 216,000 viewers for its first-ever live UFC card last Wednesday, marking the net’s most-viewed program ever and best night of primetime yet. The net also averaged 129,000 viewers among males 18-49. The viewership figure for the event was up 1,340% from the net’s average viewership in Feb. ’11, with the average among males 18-49 up 2,050%. The network’s previous largest audiences “came from live UFC preliminary bout coverage for UFC on FX 1 on Jan. 20 and UFC on Fox 2 on Jan. 28, which averaged 148,000 and 144,000 viewers,” respectively (MULTICHANNEL.com, 2/18).
ROCKY MOUNTAIN: Recent college conference realignment likely “points to the end” for The Mtn. While the net’s co-owners Comcast and CBS declined comment, The Mtn. “has struggled to meet expectations since launching in ’06." The net has "no deal with Dish, limited distribution on Comcast and couldn’t ink deals with ops including Time Warner Cable in key markets.” The net ended ’11 with 11.3 million subscribers (CABLEFAX DAILY, 2/21).
PEOPLE & PERSONALITIES: In N.Y., Bob Raissman noted John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman “have inked contracts to return to the Yankees WCBS-AM radio booth.” Both signed one-year deals. WCBS’ contract with the Yankees expired at the end of the ’11 season, and the station “could only get the Yankees to sign a one-year deal” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/19)....In New Jersey, John Rowe wrote ESPN’s Bob Knight “is one of the best college basketball analysts on television." Rowe: "He provides insight into the game, accompanied by a dry sense of humor” (Bergen RECORD, 2/18).