In Toledo, David Briggs reported the Big Ten "appears open to flipping on the lights in early November" and the Ohio State-Michigan State football game Nov. 8 "could be headed for primetime." ESPN/ABC execs would likely push for an 8:00pm ET start "if the Big Ten breaks from its longtime stand against night games in November." The league’s contract with its TV partners states that a "post-October game can kick off late only if the conference and both teams reach an agreement." OSU VP & AD Gene Smith said, "That would be Michigan State's call. They would call us and ask if we would be willing to do it, and I'd probably say yes" (TOLEDO BLADE, 3/3).
GARBAGE TIME: In N.Y., Bob Raissman noted MSG Network has "lost about a third of its Knicks audience" with the team on a seven-game losing streak and ranked 11th in the Eastern Conference. Knicks telecasts through 50 games on MSG averaged a 2.3 local rating, down 31% compared to the same number of games last season (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/2). Raissman noted with 5:11 left in the first quarter of Sunday's game against the Bulls and the Knicks trailing 21-4, ESPN's Jeff Van Gundy sarcastically asked, “When does garbage time start?” After Van Gundy "delivered the word, viewers likely (and wisely) bailed out in droves." Advertisers, and ESPN’s sales departments, were "probably lamenting the mass exodus of eyeballs following JVG’s rhetorical question" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/4).
THERE'S AN APP FOR THAT: RECODE.net's Kara Swisher cited sources as saying that Yahoo has a "plan to turn part of the homepage into a kind of app platform in a project called 'Touchdown.'” The plan is "apparently many months in the making," and Yahoo apps -- "as well as third-party ones -- would be published on the highly trafficked site, in an effort helmed" by Yahoo Senior VP/Homepage & Verticals Mike Kerns (RECODE.net, 2/28).