USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand writes whether QB Peyton Manning "thrives with the Denver Broncos or Tim Tebow proves himself with the N.Y. Jets, CBS has to be happy." Any potential Jets QB controversy "can only help TV ratings in the USA's top TV market," while Manning's early games in Denver "will likely be of national interest -- at least for a while." However, the "TV-savvy" NFL "often moves teams affected by big off-season buzz ... off CBS and Fox Sunday afternoon regionalized coverage and into primetime TV slots on NBC or ESPN." Hiestand adds, "Don't be surprised if the Broncos and Jets end up there early on" (USA TODAY, 3/21).
BOUNTYGATE MONITOR: Last night’s national news broadcasts all aired reports on the punishment meted out by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on the Saints for their bounty program. CBS’ “Evening News” led the broadcast with a three-minute, forty-six second (3:46) report on the Saints from Armen Keteyian, followed by live commentary from James Brown. ABC’s “World News” and NBC’s “Nightly News” also aired reports in the last 10 minutes of their broadcasts. NBC aired a 1:44 report, with taped commentary from SI’s Ben Reiter. ABC aired a short 0:32 report. Last night’s 6:00pm ET edition of ESPN’s “SportsCenter” led with the details of the Broncos-Jets trade that sent QB Tim Tebow to N.Y., followed by Saints coverage for about the first 15 minutes of the broadcast and then back to the Tebow trade. The first non-Tebow or Saints related coverage was an NCAA men’s basketball tournament report approximately 50 minutes into the broadcast. ESPN’s “Around The Horn” and “PTI” both led with the Saints, while “NFL Live” led with the possible Tebow trade followed by the Saints. This morning’s edition of ABC’s “GMA” first reported on the Saints at approximately 10 minutes into the broadcast with a 0:32 news brief. “CBS This Morning” aired a 9:24 report on the Saints approximately 30 minutes into the broadcast, with Keteyian and Brown live in-studio, along with CBS Sports’ Shannon Sharpe live via satellite. NBC’s “Today” first reported on the Saints approximately five minutes into the broadcast with a 0:21 news brief (THE DAILY).
HEARING CRICKETS: England & Wales Cricket Board Chair Giles Clarke said that the organization "could be boosted by a multi-million pound TV rights deal in Asia." A current TV rights deal with Sky "runs until 2017 -- with an option to extend beyond that -- and Clarke is hopeful a 'nine figure' deal of similar length can be struck on the subcontinent" (London DAILY MAIL, 3/21).