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Volume 24 No. 160

Media

Former MLBer Pedro Martinez "will join TBS’s studio broadcast team when the postseason begins next month," according to sources cited by Chad Finn of the BOSTON GLOBE. Martinez will join host Keith Olbermann in studio, while former MLB manager Bobby Valentine also is "expected to be part of the program." Valentine auditioned in N.Y. recently "around the same time Martinez did." It was initially believed that Baseball HOFer Dennis Eckersley "would be in the studio with Martinez," but he is expected to be paired with Don Orsillo "to call a Division Series that doesn't involve the Red Sox." It is "uncertain whether Eckersley would be moved back to the studio after the Division Series are over," but it would be "wise for TBS to do so." The net has made "wholesale changes on its studio programming since last postseason." Baseball HOFer Cal Ripken Jr. "has moved from the studio to the broadcast booth, while Olbermann replaces the more-than-capable Matt Winer." Meanwhile, Martinez "fills a spot vacated by David Wells, who never seemed particularly prepared and no longer is part of TBS’s plans." It is "uncertain whether TBS plans to feature a guest studio analyst this year." The network "isn’t expected to formally announce its studio team and broadcast pairings until the week before the postseason begins" (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/13).

In N.Y., Bob Raissman writes WFAN-AM dropping the Mets in favor of the Yankees beginning next season presents a "rare opportunity" for ESPN Radio 98.7 N.Y., as it is "not often when one of the local baseball teams' rights come on the open market." To let the Mets "slip away to another radio outlet, especially in this baseball town, would provide evidence that when it comes to the New York radio market, ESPN is not in it to win it." ESPN execs have "shown a willingness to make aggressive moves," and obtaining the Mets "must be their next." Allowing another station to land the rights "would be a major mistake" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/13). Also in N.Y., Phil Mushnick notes WABC-AM and WOR-AM "are options, but at no more than FAN’s expiring deal" of $6-7M annually. ESPN Radio N.Y., which is "loaded with date conflicts -- Knicks, Rangers, national MLB and NBA, et al. -- is a long shot, unless it makes a shared-station agreement" (N.Y. POST, 9/13).

RAISING ARIZONA: The Coyotes have signed a new agreement with Bonneville Phoenix Media & Marketing to broadcast all preseason, regular-season and playoff games on KTAR-AM, KTAR-FM and KMVP-AM. Play-by-play man Bob Heethuis and color analyst Tyson Nash will call all games (Coyotes).

SPANISH FLARE: ESPN Radio 760 West Palm Beach on Tuesday "began carrying 24 hours of ESPN Deportes Radio." The new station is called ESPN Deportes 760. Good Karma Broadcasting, which put ESPN Radio WPB on the air in '03, bought WVVB-FM in August '12. Since its "February launch, 106.3 had run the same content as 760" (PALM BEACH POST, 9/13).

ESPN finished with a 5.3 rating and 8.7 million viewers for last Saturday’s Notre Dame-Michigan game, marking the net’s best regular-season college football audience since Boise State-Virginia Tech in ’10 (6.3 rating, 9.9 million viewers). The game had a higher audience than ESPN’s telecasts of last season's Chick-fil-A and Outback Bowls. ESPN also had its most-viewed Saturday ever during the college football regular season, as the net also saw big audiences for Florida-Miami and South Carolina-Georgia. The net averaged 3.8 million total-day viewers, surpassing the previous high of 3.3 million set on Sept. 12, 2009 -- a day that included 10.6 million viewers for a USC-Ohio State matchup (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).

NOTES: Viewership for Blue Jays games on Rogers Sportsnet “are down only slightly from last season’s record highs despite the team’s poor play.” When “it became clear the Jays wouldn’t contend for a playoff spot” in August ‘12, average viewership dropped to 437,000 per game. With the team “again out of contention” by August this year, “ratings fell again,” but to 475,000 per game (THESTAR.com, 9/12)....Cardinals-Rams last Sunday earned a 24.1 local rating in St. Louis, “making it the second-best rated season opener in the last nine seasons” (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 9/13).

TELECAST
DATE
NET
TIME (ET)
RAT.
VIEWERS (000)
U.S. Open: Women's Final: Serena Williams d. Victoria Azarenka
9/8
CBS
4:28-7:51pm
4.0
n/a
"NFL on Fox": Packers-49ers (94%)
9/8
Fox
4:15-7:30pm
16.6
28,500
"Sunday Night Football": Giants-Cowboys
9/8
NBC
8:31-11:44pm
15.0
25,398
NFL Kickoff: Ravens-Broncos
9/5
NBC
9:08pm-12:25am
14.9
25,133
"NFL on CBS": (single)
9/8
CBS
1:00-4:28pm
9.5
n/a
"NFL on Fox": (regional)
9/8
Fox
1:00-4:15pm
9.0
14,700
"Football Night in America"
9/8
NBC
7:30-8:15pm
5.1
8,471
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Richmond
9/7
ABC
7:30-11:27pm
3.3
5,153
"Fox NFL Sunday"
9/8
Fox
12:00-1:00pm
3.4
5,100
College Football: (regional)
9/7
ABC
3:30-6:00pm
2.7
4,150
"The NFL Today"
9/8
CBS
12:00-1:00pm
2.5
n/a
FIFA World Cup Qualifier: Mexico-Honduras
9/6
UniMas
9:06-11:41pm
1.8
3,563
College Football: West Virginia-Oklahoma
9/7
Fox
7:05-10:49pm
2.0
3,428
U.S. Open: Women's Semifinal: Serena Williams d. Li Na
9/6
CBS
4:30-6:30pm
1.6
n/a
MLB: (regional)
9/7
Fox
1:00-4:00pm
1.5
2,057
U.S. Open: Men's Semifinals: Rafael Nadal d. Richard Gasquet
9/7
CBS
5:00-7:30pm
1.5
n/a
U.S. Open: Men's Semifinals:
Novak Djokovic d. Stanislas Wawrinka
9/7
CBS
12:00-5:00pm
1.4
n/a
U.S. Open: Doubles Finals
9/6
CBS
12:30-2:30pm
1.1
n/a
U.S. Open: Women's Semifinal:
Victoria Azarenka d. Flavia Pennetta
9/6
CBS
2:35-4:30pm
1.1
n/a
Liga MX: UNAM Pumas-Club America
9/2
UniMas
9:20-11:30pm
0.6
1,188
Liga MX: Club America-Monterrey
9/7
Univ.
5:50-8:00pm
0.6
1,138
Sailing: America's Cup Final
9/8
NBC
4:00-6:00pm
0.7
1,070
Sailing: America's Cup Final
9/7
NBC
4:00-6:00pm
0.7
1,040
Diamond League Track & Field
9/8
NBC
2:00-3:00pm
0.5
675
Red Bull: Joyride
9/7
NBC
2:00-4:00pm
0.4
496
Liga MX: Pachuca-UNAM Pumas
9/7
UniMas
7:50-10:00pm
0.2
326
Cycling: La Vuelta a Espana
9/8
NBC
3:00-4:00pm
0.3
324
TELECAST
DATE
NET
TIME (ET)
RAT.
VIEWERS (000)
College Football: Notre-Dame Michigan
9/7
ESPN
8:00-11:45pm
5.3
8,653
College Football: South Carolina-Georgia
9/7
ESPN
4:25-7:53pm
4.3
7,045
College Football: Florida-Miami
9/7
ESPN
12:00-3:31pm
3.1
4,596
College Football: Florida State-Pitt
9/2
ESPN
8:04-11:16pm
2.9
4,465
"Sunday NFL Countdown"
9/8
ESPN
10:00am-1:00pm
1.7
2,385
NASCAR Nationwide Series: Richmond
9/6
ESPN
7:30-10:00pm
1.1
1,834
"College GameDay"
9/7
ESPN
9:00am-12:00pm
1.3
1,832
College Football: Texas-BYU
9/7
ESPN2
8:45pm-12:19pm
0.8
1,290
MLB: Dodgers-Reds
9/8
ESPN
8:00-11:05pm
0.9
1,275
U.S. Open: Second Round
9/3
ESPN
7:00-11:45pm
0.8
1,158

Fox Sports has indicated Michael Waltrip will remain an analyst of its NASCAR Sprint Cup races despite the scandal surrounding his race team from last weekend's Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Int'l Raceway. The net in a statement said, "We were disappointed in the events that occurred in Richmond Saturday night, and we applaud NASCAR for acting to rectify the situation swiftly. Michael has expressed his regret over what occurred, and we believe him to be a man of integrity. As a NASCAR on Fox broadcaster, he's demonstrated an ability to separate his roles as a driver/owner and an opinionated analyst of the sport, and we expect him to continue as an analyst for us going forward" (CHARLOTTEOBSERVER.com, 9/12).

ON THE MONEY: CBS not only will showcase the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Canelo Alvarez PPV with promos during Saturday's Alabama-Texas A&M game, it also brought in Mayweather to do a scripted lead-in that will air to open the telecast. Mayweather drops his catch phrases -- hard work and commitment -- as he speaks about what it takes to be a champion as highlights from both teams run on the screen (Bill King, Senior Staff Writer).

FOOTBALL'S CRYSTAL BALL
: NFL.com has launched "NFL 2020," an eight-part video series focusing on what the NFL will look like in '20, both on and off the field. The series, hosted by Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, will examine the background of future players, changes to the fan experience, the evolution of football equipment, and the perception and persona of NFL culture (NFL).

PEOPLE & PERSONALITIES
: In N.Y., Joe Pompeo reported the N.Y. Post's Lenn Robbins is leaving the paper for a job with the Nets and Barclays Center, where he will "serve as an in-house content producer covering the Nets and other teams who play at the arena." Robbins has "been with the paper for 16 years." His "swan song at the Post will be this weekend's Alabama-Texas A&M faceoff." Robbins said that he will "start with the Nets/Barclays later this month" (CAPITALNEWYORK.com, 9/10)....Time Warner Cable SportsNet has hired former NFL Network reporter Jaime Maggio to cover the Lakers. She will contribute to on-air programming including the net's "#LakeShow," "Access SportsNet: Lakers," and pre- and postgame shows (TWC).