Monday, March 20, 2006

Madness a runaway ratings success!

Madness a runaway ratings success! (Monday column)

The first weekend of the NCAA College Basketball Tournament provided CBS with great numbers on all levels.

Ratings for the games are up over 6% over last season and are on pace to be one of the best rated tournaments in many years. Locally CBS 9’s rating are expected to be huge with George Mason, George Washington and Georgetown making it to the weekend.

Meanwhile online CBS SportsLine, the March Madness on Demand, the online video player that provides streaming live video of the first 56 games of the 2006 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship set an Internet record for a scheduled live entertainment or sports event with over 268,000 simultaneous streams. In total, NCAA March Madness on Demand has already surpassed over 2.5 million video streams served.

NCAA March Madness on Demand (MMOD) is available at and is free.

Madness reached the newsrooms of NBC 4, FOX 5, ABC 7, CBS 9, and Comcast SportsNite.

Best coverage was provided by CBS 9 Sports Director Brett Haber and his team as they were live in the opening block of all the newscasts from both Dayton and Greensboro following all the action of the big three local teams.

Comcast SportsNite as you might expect were all over the tournament coverage and because of their time abilities they had some great interviews and complete coverage.

The new team does well…

DCA 20 aired the first MASN spring training game of the season and if the first show is any indication then we will have an entertaining season. Bob Carpenter and Tom Paciorek made their debut and they were in mid season form. Carpenter as always was smooth and Paciorek mixed good insights with a sense of humor making for a very good start!

Orioles fans in Washington details are not set yet but it looks like along with the 90 games on CSN there will be about 40 games on WB50. An announcement is expected soon but the O’s will be returning to WB50 in DC. Also it looks like the number of telecasts to be about the same number as the Nationals who will have 35 games on DCA 20.

1 comment:

da bear blogger said...

Wow, Jim, do you watch any other stations besides 7, 9 and Comcast?

Do you think just because 9 was live in the opening block of all newscasts that they have provided the best coverage (of course they were live in the first segments...the games are on their air)? Or that having the most people in one location (your comments about 9 having the most people in Seattle for Redskins) gives you the best coverage?

This mindset also belies your belief that Comcast SportsNet does a "great" job of covering things because they have the most time. Here's what I see filling that time:
word-association with Nationals players from spring training, "know your team mate" style quiz show stories from O's camp. Anchors taking 5 minutes to "break down" a Wizards game 24hrs old and in the middle of the season--who cares?

THAT is "great" coverage? Or is that "filling time?"

You also would have seen that "the best coverage...provided by CBS 9" did NOT include Karl Hobbs' exit from the court after a win, enthusiastically yelling to cameras that he "loved his players...". At least Comcast, 4 and 5 had that. WJLA also scored a coup with a one-on-one interview with Hobbs the day of the game---unheard of in most circles. 4 had a one-on-one with Mensabonsu the night before.

Don't get me wrong, SportsNet does some nice stories, but most of the time it's stuffed somewhere inside an hour-long borefest.

If you wanted to seriously give out "best coverage" awards, tape every sportscast (4pm, 5pm, 6pm, 11pm, 1am, etc) for one day and compare. Be careful publishing your results---Comcast might not like what you find and take back their free cable.