By Richard Deitsch
May 04, 2014
Will Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel be the No. 1 pick? The networks hope you tune in to find out.
Greg Nelson/SI

The Noise Report

SI.com examines some of the more notable sports media stories of the past week:

1. TNT averaged 4,009,000 total viewers for the first round of the NBA playoffs (26 live game telecasts), up 19 percent from 2013 (3,374,000 total viewers).

1a. The Clippers' Game 7 win over the Warriors averaged 6.0 million total viewers, TNT's most-viewed NBA postseason first round telecast since Game 7 between the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets in 2012 (6.5 million total viewers).

1b. Inside The NBA's initial discussion of Donald Sterling last Tuesday produced heavy viewership. The pre-game coverage on TNT (8-8:09 p.m. ET) averaged 2,301,000 total viewers, up 45 percent over the network's pre-game coverage to that date during the 2014 playoffs. The post-game show that night (1:30-2:30 a.m. ET) averaged 1,889,000 total viewers, up 17 percent compared with the NBA playoff average viewership for the show this year. Inside the NBA studio show averaged 1.8 million total viewers through the first round of the playoffs, which tripled the audience for the playoff games airing on CNBC and NBCSN (617,000 total viewers).

1c. Game 6 of the Pacers-Hawks series was the most-viewed NBA TV telecast ever with an average of 1,071,000 total viewers.

1d. Game 7 between the Grizzlies and Thunder on TNT drew 5.8 million total viewers while the Pacers-Hawks (which aired late afternoon) drew 3.5 million viewers.

1e. Writer Douglas Pucci provided great insight into where we watch major sports news conferences. Here was the viewership for the Adam Silver press conference.

1f. Well done by this fan who had an amazing Vine of Damian Lillard's game-winning shot to win the Trail Blazers-Rockets series.

1g. ESPN's Mike Tirico and Hubie Brown were a pleasure to listen to during the NBA's opening round -- a team at the top of its game.

2. Los Angeles County prosecutors declined to file charges against ESPN analyst Keyshawn Johnson in connection with a domestic incident at Johnson's home last month. Authorities said the victim was uncooperative and the injury appeared to be minor and accidental.

On Saturday ESPN told SI.com Johnson does not have a specific assignment at this time, though that is common with his schedule at this point in the NFL offseason. Said an ESPN spokesperson on all matters: "We have looked into the situation and discussed it with Keyshawn."

2a. I interviewed Mayock and McShay for The MMQB about how they prepare year-round for the draft.

2b. Twitter Sports put together a list of all the players attending the draft at Radio City.

2c. SiriusXM NFL Radio (Channel 88) will once again carry every selection of the NFL Draft. The broadcast team includes Gil Brandt, the former vice president of Player Personnel for the Dallas Cowboys; Pat Kirwan, a former NFL scout, coach and front-office executive; veteran NFL QB Jim Miller; former college coach and NFL general manager Phil Savage; and lead host Jason Horowitz.

3. Sports pieces of note:

• SI current and former editors and writers, including Rick Reilly, as well as some sports media admirers (ESPN's Wright Thompson and Yahoo!'s Dan Wetzel) pick their favorite Gary Smith story.

• Alan Siegel also offered a terrific tribute to Smith on Deadspin.

• Kate Scott, the morning anchor at KNBR 680 in San Francisco, the television sideline reporter for the Earthquakes, and co-host of the Giants, writes with humor and honesty on her coming out.

Rolling Stone profiled ESPN's Bill Simmons.

• Loved the work of SI's Tim Layden and New York Times writer Joe Drape from the Kentucky Derby.

•ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne had a terrific tick-tock of what went down with Donald Sterling and the Clippers.

Non-sports pieces of note

•If you want insight into big-time media, ego, ambition & sex appeal, read this profile of 60 Minutes and Lara Logan:

•The White House Beat Uncovered: Loved this infographic on White House beat reporters.

NPR's David Fokenflick on what privacy does a bigot deserve:

A fantastic obit about a 106-year-old former FBI agent who took down some of the Ma Barker gang.

Why people DON'T donate their kidneys.

4. I asked a panel of sports journalists of color a few weeks ago why more people of color, especially women, are not hosting sports-talk radio shows. Here was the answer from ESPN's Jemele Hill:

"In general, for people of color, it seems that the only way we can host or be a content driver is if we are a former athlete," Hill said. "Where's the black Colin Cowherd? Where's the black duo equivalent of Scott Van Pelt and Ryen Russillo? It's not a talent pool issue, it's a trust and believability issue. I'm extremely happy for [ESPN colleague] Bomani Jones, but truth be told, he should have had the platform he has now years ago. Decision makers in our business don't give their audience enough credit. They fear that the audience will reject someone like Bomani or me. Those who are in power are more comfortable with what has worked previously. So, if it hasn't been successful, they are less likely to try it."

Now read this and make your own judgment on Hill's take.

5. Mariano Rivera's autobiography (written with Daily News sports writer Wayne Coffey) comes out on May 6. The title is The Closer.

5a. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will work as a regular contributing columnist to Time Magazine and Time.com, and appear in a regular video series. His debut column (on Donald Sterling) is here.

You May Like