Weekend Tube Review: Tourney Ratings Still Down

By Brian Powell

Disappointing Games = Disappointing Ratings
One of the best potential sports weekends since football ended is behind us, and I'm slightly disappointed. Gus Johnson put his mark back on the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight, but only one of the games was even relatively exciting and this seemed to really hurt CBS' ratings. This Tournament is in danger of becoming the lowest rated ever, and compared to last year it's not even close.

Ratings through Saturday's game (Sunday's ratings not yet available) were down 11% from last year, and if you consider the amount of money that CBS pays to air the games, they're going to need a huge Final Four. Jim Nantz and Billy Packer are going to be the pair that takes you through the three games next Saturday and Monday and they're not going to help anything. Announcers can't make people turn games on, but they sure can make people turn them off. If either Final Four game becomes a blowout, the lackluster announcing duo might not be able to keep them tuned in.

Also, the "I Am Legend" promos before the Sweet Sixteen were enough. Did you really have to continue them through the Elite Eight, CBS?

Baseball Is Back
If you stayed up to watch the Braves-Nationals game then you deserve a round of applause. The game plodded through about seven offense-free innings, but after a blown save by the Nats, Washington fans were treated to the first walk-off homer in the new park courtesy of third baseman Ryan Zimmerman. The broadcasting "highlight" of the game came when President George W. Bush decided to spend about 30 minutes in the booth with Jon Miller and Joe Morgan.

Miller and Morgan seemed really unprepared as they tried to engage the President in baseball talk and there was a good bit of dead air. At one point Jon Miller asked the Commander in Chief if he'd be interested in broadcasting to which he replied, "They say I got a lot of hot air you know, so maybe I'm well suited for it." Bush was also lucky enough to call the first homerun at Nationals Park:

Quotes of the Weekend:
"The great thing about baseball is that you don't have to be a giant to play it ... as you know." - George W. Bush to Joe Morgan

"Such an exciting game with that pastoral music." - Len Elmore after a Masters promo

"Davidson and Kansas have yet to score a point according to the scoreboard. It's been a slow pace, but not that slow." - Gus Johnson on the scoreboard problems in Detroit

"As Anderson Hunt, Anderson Anderson, Antonio Anderson banks in a three." - Clark Kellogg mixing up his names

"They ran into hot Curry and they got burned." - Len Elmore

Video of the Weekend:
Thank you for a great Tournament Stephen Curry. This shot was just one of many that blew us all away:


This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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