In DC, Dan Steinberg noted Nationals broadcasts on MASN, MASN2 and WDCW-CW through Sept. 6 have averaged a 2.52 local rating in the DC market. That is up 75% from last year. Ratings have "gone up every month this season." Meanwhile, the Orioles are averaging a 4.6 local rating in the Baltimore market for broadcasts on MASN, MASN2 and WJZ-CBS. That is up 44% over last year (WASHINGTON POST, 9/11).
NEWS FROM BRISTOL: THE BIG LEAD's Jason McIntyre cited sources as saying that Tennis Channel's Cari Champion "has been selected as the new host for ESPN's 'First Take.'" Champion was picked ahead of Jemele Hill and Heidi Watney (THEBIGLEAD.com, 9/10). Meanwhile, NBCSPORTS.com's Kurt Helin noted Sports By Brooks' Twitter feed reported ESPN's Chris Broussard and Jon Barry "won't return" to the net's "NBA Countdown" studio show. ESPN's Bill Simmons and former Magic coach Stan Van Gundy would join Mike Wilbon and Magic Johnson on a "retooled ESPN NBA studio show in LA this season" (NBCSPORTS.com, 9/11).
SOCIAL OUTREACH: ADWEEK's Christopher Heine wrote the NFL Giants' "tech and social savvy are far-reaching." The team’s one-year-old mobile phone app "boasts 350,000 users," and the team also has "amassed 2.4 million Facebook fans and 550,000 Google+ followers." The Giants have a contract with NFL partner Buddy Media "for Facebook management while leaning on Mass Relevance to curate tweets -- i.e., to weed out negative messages." After every Giants touchdown, "real-time tweets from fans are displayed on ticker-style digital ribbons in the stadium." After each game, "four massive digital pillars outside the stadium encourage fans to vote for the most valuable player of the day via a Twitter hashtag." Jerseys "sporting the winning player’s number are then featured at 20 percent off at the team’s online shop" (ADWEEK.com, 9/10).