Root Sports Pittsburgh Senior VP & GM Shawn McClintock said that compared to the same time a year ago, "viewership for Pirates games is up 18 percent." In Pittsburgh, Michael Sanserino noted those numbers "were up 50 percent compared to the same time period in 2010." The audience "has grown each month this season, and of the 12 most-watched games since 1995, when the network started keeping track, four have been from this season." McClintock said that a lot of the growth "has been in the 18-49 demographic, which includes a lot of fans who are not old enough to remember some of the Pirates' best seasons, and for some, a winning season" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 7/7).
BASKETBALL JONES: In Memphis, Kyle Veazey noted the city's TV market "fared among the top markets in the country across about every measure of basketball that was broadcast -- including finishing No. 1 in one category." Memphis "finished atop Nielsen's 56 largest markets in viewership of NBA regular season games on ESPN" with a 2.7 local rating. The market was TNT's "fourth-highest rated market for regular season games, with a 3.1." For regular season games broadcast on ABC, "Memphis was fifth with a 5.7 rating." Memphis also was the "11th-highest rated market in ESPN's coverage of college basketball with a 1.6 rating." Louisville was "the No.1 market in the nation" (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 7/8).
EARNING KUDOS: In Tampa, Tom Jones writes, "Nice work by former golf star Annika Sorenstam as an analyst for NBC's U.S. Women's Open coverage." She sounded "extremely comfortable for someone with so little broadcasting experience." NBC's coverage of the event was "an outstanding weekend." It also was "no surprise that Dottie Pepper, among the best analysts, golf or otherwise, made the smooth transition from on-course walker to lead analyst" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 7/9).
SAYING GOODBYE: Two veritable sportswriters are saying goodbye to their current jobs. The S.F. CHRONICLE's Gwen Knapp noted her last column for the newspaper came on "nearly the same date 17 years after” she first started working for the paper. Knapp noted she is “going to work for a website called Sports on Earth, due to launch in seven weeks” (S.F. CHRONICLE, 7/8). Meanwhile, the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER's Don McKee today writes his last column for the paper after 38 years (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 7/9).