USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand writes after Tiger Woods withdrew yesterday from the WGC-Cadillac Championship "without explanation, viewers saw an anomaly: a blimp proving to be a handy reporting tool in TV golf." The MetLife blimp "focused on Woods driving away from the course," and NBC's Jimmy Roberts spoke to a PGA Tour official who said that he had "spoken with Woods, who had explained he was having problems with his left leg" (USA TODAY, 3/12).
LEAGUE MATTERS: In Tampa, Tom Jones writes he "loved NBC Sports Network's coverage Sunday of the MLS game" between the Red Bulls and FC Dallas. It looked "great and sounded even better with Kyle Martino between the benches, just like you might see on NBC's hockey coverage" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 3/12). Meanwhile, Commissioner Don Garber said before the start of the season that the league "needs to boost its television audience to move further into the North American sports mainstream." Garber: "By 2022 if we are going to achieve our vision and be one of the top leagues in the world we are going to have to have higher television ratings. But the growth of our TV audience, we believe, is a function of the growth of the overall popularity of the league, our players and our clubs. And that is a process that is going to take some time" (REUTERS, 3/10).
EARLY RETURN: In St. Louis, Dan Caesar noted Dan McLaughlin, who "recently was reinstated by [FS Midwest] after being suspended in late September after his second drunken-driving arrest in 13 months." McLaughlin hosted FS Midwest's coverage of the Blues' game yesterday. McLaughlin, is also the net's lead Cardinals play-by-play announcer and "went on one of the 'Cardinals Caravan' promotional tours this winter and has appeared in some commercials for the team and originally was scheduled to make his return" next Saturday for a Spring Training game against the Tigers (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 3/11).