ESPN earned a 1.9 overnight Nielsen rating for the UConn-Notre Dame women's Final Four game last night from 9:00-11:15pm ET, down 14% from a 2.2 overnight for the comparable Baylor-Stanford matchup last year. In the early window from 6:30-8:30pm, Louisville-Cal earned a 1.5 overnight, down 17% from Notre Dame-UConn last year (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).
LEFT BEHIND: In DC, Martin Weil reported DC-based WUSA-CBS “switched away from a dramatic Nationals game” against the Reds at 4:00pm ET on Saturday to begin NCAA Tournament coverage, “apparently to some dismay.” WUSA President & GM Mark Burdett wrote in a statement on the station’s website that the move “upset a great many viewers who wanted to see the extra-inning finish,” which concluded at 4:40pm. The channel said that it “ran crawls telling viewers how they could continue to watch” (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 4/7).
UNEQUAL TO THE TASK: In Baltimore, David Zurawik wrote MASN’s telecast on Friday of the Orioles’ home opener against the Twins was “nowhere near worthy of the play on the field.” For most of the game, the broadcast team of Gary Thorne, Jim Palmer and Mike Bordick “sounded flat, vague and self-congratulatory.” Thorne was “the worst -- at times, dead wrong in what he was telling viewers.” It was “particularly frustrating during the first four innings not to get more pitching insight with as unpredictable a pitcher on the mound as Orioles starter Jake Arrieta” (BALTIMORESUN.com, 4/5).
SKY FALLOUT: In Houston, David Barron noted NBC Sports Group on Wednesday “flew banners over AT&T and DirecTV offices in Southern California.” The first read, “Give Houston fans their Astros, Rockets and Dynamo” and the second gave the IWantCSNHouston.com website address. A “similar flyover” was scheduled to precede the Astros' game against the A’s on Friday (CHRON.com, 4/5).