A big market and a big name school having what proved to be a thrilling championship game were not enough to help the ratings for the Final Four this year. Ironically, this was the lowest championship audience since 2009, when North Carolina took on Michigan State.
Last year, with the game televised on CBS, where people knew to find it, the Duke vs. Wisconsin rating was the highest since the 90's.
While having a pair of blowouts for the Saturday (4/2) Final Four games didn't make things any better, the audience total was a 37% drop from 2015.
No matter how much they deny it, the casual fan had no clue where to find these games. They didn't lose much of their audience when the games on Saturday became blowouts because the audience wasn't there. TBS does not televise any regular season games, meaning that the college hoops fans have no opportunity to get familiar with Turner Sports until the tourney starts, and even then CBS carries games as well.
Yahoo Sports continues to expand its sports presence, now adding the MLB Free Game of the Day as of this week via a free stream. Their agreement with the NHL had them streaming up to four NHL games each week since earlier this season.
Even though most of the games, according to the Yahoo stream schedule for April, are either the AtBat application free Game of the Day and/or shown on MLB Network, this is a wonderful service for fans who are able to stream the games.
Their scheduled telecasts from Saturday 4/9 through Thursday 4/14 will all be either early or late afternoon telecasts. Fans who also can watch MLB Network will have access to a national doubleheader on Wednesday (4/13) with MLB Network showing Miami vs. the Mets at 1 PM ET and Yahoo Sports streaming the Angels at Oakland at 3:30 PM ET.
Streaming will also be a part of Thursday Night Football this coming season with Twitter having won the rights to stream 10 of the games being shown via CBS and NBC (and NFL Network).
Word is that the service is planning a divided screen approach to enable viewers to see the telecast and comment screens simultaneously.
DENVER: KKSE 950, the flagship station for the Nuggets and Avalanche, officially becomes "Altitude Radio" this Friday (4/8) with a healthy supply of local programming as well.
The morning show will feature Josh Dover, Tom Helmer, Lauren Gardner, and (former Nugget) Scott Hastings, while Nate Kreckman and Tom Nalen (former Bronco) will handle the 4 to 7 PM slot.
Having the winter sports play-by-play could help eventually, although KKFN The Fan comes off a strong February ratings book with a 4.2 overall audience share.
SAN FRANCISCO/OAKLAND: Since the Raiders are, most likely, staying in Oakland for the time being, flagship station KGMZ 95.7 plans to expand their coverage for the coming season. In addition to a new 2-hour Raiders show on Monday nights, the game broadcasts will also be simulcast on sister stations KBLX 102.9 and KFOX 98.5, which provides much better Bay Area radio coverage for the games.
The reality is that The Game is doing this more for the station than the team, hoping that the additional exposure of its broadcasts on the other station will help it in its steep uphill battle against dominant KNBR 680 for the sports audience.
CHICAGO: WGN-TV has added Lauren Magiera as a sports anchor and reporter. She will be phased as a replacement for Rich King, who retires later this quarter after 25 years with the station and more than 45 years of sports reporting in Chicago. Magiera most recently worked for the Green Bay Packers web site as a reporter and content producer, as well as for WAOW-TV Wausau WI.
Over at WGN radio, the station has added former Cubs pitchers Kerry Wood and Ryan Dempster as baseball analysts for its (general talk) morning and afternoon drive shows once per week each. Kevin Powell shifts from a morning show producer to afternoon sports anchor as well.
WLS-TV, which carries 25 Cubs telecasts over the air each season, scored its highest ratings thus far on Monday (4/4) night's opening game from Anaheim despite a 9:00 PM local time start. This is the second season for WLS-TV to air games.
GRAND RAPIDS: Sports WBBL 107.3 has made a change in its local morning show, bringing in local personality Eric Zane. The show, which will not be all sports, will be co-hosted by Kyle Paffhausen, with whom Zane worked before on a syndicated morning show based in Grand Rapids.