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Media notes: Heat surpassing Dolphins with record ratings; local radio; Marlins-related apology

FRIDAY MEDIA COLUMN

South Florida is being treated to the greatest and most captivating basketball of any market in the country, between the Heat’s long winning streak and UM’s magical season. And TV audiences are climbing to levels once considered unfathomable for February and March basketball in this market. Consider:

### The notion of a regular-season Heat game outdrawing a Dolphins game would have been absurd a few years ago. No longer.

During the Heat’s 24-game winning streak, the two ABC Sunday afternoon games produced larger Dade/Broward ratings than the 13.5 for the Dolphins’ opener against the Texans last September. Heat-Lakers Feb. 10 drew a 13.9 and Heat-Knicks a 14.3, meaning 14.3 percent of all Dade/Broward homes with TV sets were tuned in.

Even more impressive: Monday night’s Heat-Celtics game on Sun and ESPN produced a combined 17.5, smashing not only the Dolphins opener (by nearly 65,000 homes), but also topping the 16.3 average Dolphins rating locally last season. It also eclipsed the Heat-Thunder Christmas game on ABC (15.6) to become the most-watched Heat game this season.

Wednesday’s Cavaliers game drew an 11.7, peaking at an 18.5 in the game’s closing minutes.

### Twice during this streak, the Heat set a record for most watched Heat game ever on Sun Sports, playoffs included: Monday against Boston and March 10 against Indiana.

### Overall, Heat games are averaging a superb 8.8 rating on Sun during the streak, compared with a 5.4 before the streak. Heat games on Sun often are now the most-watched programs on local TV at night, though seven percent of Dade/Broward homes don’t have cable or satellite TV, according to WPLG-10.

### When Sun Sports and ESPN carry the same Heat game, Sun is drawing more than twice as many local viewers (7.3 rating to ESPN's 3.6).

### UM hoops audience are building, with the ACC title game drawing a solid 5.6 local rating between ESPN and MY-33 (91,000 homes), even though it was competing with a Heat-Raptors game that was viewed in 133,000 Dade/Broward homes.

### On WQAM-560, UM basketball games are producing anywhere from a 1.7 to 4.5 share, depending on the opponent. Last year’s games averaged a 1 share.

AROUND THE DIAL

### CBS and Turner are discussing possibly shifting next year’s Final Four to Turner – two years earlier than planned. Under terms of their joint agreement, Turner and CBS are to alternate Final Four coverage beginning in 2016, with Turner getting the semifinals and title game one year and CBS the next, through 2024. The four regional finals will be split among CBS and Turner beginning in 2016, possibly sooner.

### Charles Barkley is too critical of the Heat, but he has become an advocate for UM, asserting that Miami “deserved a No. 1 seed” and alleging a double standard exists against Miami. “Don’t you think,” Barkley said, “that if Duke or North Carolina won both the ACC regular season and conference tournament that they would have gotten a No. 1 seed?”

### Turner/CBS assigned Tim Brando and Mike Gminski to UM’s regional. Gminski needs to correct his mistake on the ACC Network last weekend, when he said Frank Haith was fired by UM. He wasn’t; it was his decision to leave for Missouri.

### The ACC says it likely will take the Big East’s 7 p.m. slot on ESPN’s Big Monday next season. The new Big East – including seven Big East defectors, Xavier, Creighton and Butler – is shifting to the new Fox Sports 1, a 24-hour-network that debuts in August, replacing Speed.

### ESPN president John Skipper, whose networks smartly air late-afternoon and late-night NCAA Tournament studio shows even though they don’t have Tournament rights, said: “We love college basketball [and] it’s very important to us,” but the sport must address issues.

He hopes the NBA adopts a rule, like the NFL, requiring players to “stay in school for three years. If Kyrie Irving were still at Duke, ratings would be up. If Anthony Davis were at Kentucky this year, it would be a big deal.

“You have too many games. You could lose 8, 10, 12 games and still make the Tournament. You don’t have continuity. You have new guys you have to learn every year. There’s no chemistry on the teams. The teams aren’t as good because they’re not playing together three, four years.”

### Good to hear former Heat radio voice David Halberstam – one of the most descriptive and creative play-by-play men to ever work in the market – calling Nova Southeastern basketball on WMEN 640.

### Yankees announcer Lou Piniella apologized after saying this week: “I don’t want to use the word ‘raped’ but [Toronto] basically took a lot of talent from the Miami Marlins.

### John Renshaw and two out-of-market hosts are among candidates to replace fired Dan Sileo on WQAM’s 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. slot.

 

Comments

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rbleigh

Barry, some of the Canes best players have been transfers: McClinton, Grant, Kadji, and Larkin. Any chance Larranaga can cherry pick a player or 2 from Kentucky because of the supposed great influx of talent they're about to receive? Of course that would mean a "one and done" would turn into a 3yr guy. Bye the way, are you watching Harvard here?!

barry jackson

Rbeligh: UM is exploring transfers, as well as Europe, juniors colleges and high schools. They need to add 4-5 players in the next few months.

Juan

There arent enough sports talk hosts good enough for so many stations. There needs to be one station.

andy

do it soon jorge k rogers is boring with mr. know it all guzio bad radio bring the freak on hes entertaining and not the captain either

daniel constatine

Those numbers are impressive for Miami.

In virtually any other market in the United States they would be a combination of mystifying and/or totally embarrassing.

Why can't we just be honest about thing like this? The days of Miami being a great (underrated) sports market left along with the great exodus of those people in the 1980s.

Spivey

Yes...give us the freak so we haver something besides the Lebatard-StuGotz silliness.

green

http://www.cbssports.com/video/player/play?channel=most_popular&pid=6ipaUPNJcHiu

I love watching U play and I hate playing against U.
That's about the best compliment I can give.
- Roy Williams

SOUTHERN GENTLEMAN

green

http://www.cbssports.com/video/player/play/cbssportsnetwork/xIaTPCMVH0Pq

Go inside the Larranaga household as he watches film in the latest, epic March Madness Confidential
-- @hurricanesports

HOME INTRUDER

green

http://www.iqmediacorp.com/ClipPlayer/default.aspx?ClipID=b372b663-11bd-4bbe-ad36-8a304cd7be23&TE=m4nhiP/ZReJ9cmSFB9qzKsr62BXk1Cp7&PN=bt9sZFac%2BKA%3D

@UM_Sebastian and Hurricanes cheerleaders gave a #TDRGoodMorning shout out to @chucktodd this morning on @MSNBC
-- @hurricanesports

GOODTIME CHARLIE

green

http://instagram.com/p/XKuqZDmvWw/

I hate that we constantly get Miami, Fla.

I'd be fine with UMiami (we have a logo) and miamiU
-- chris yandle

SHORT & SWEET

green

https://twitter.com/kaufsports/status/315150497134809089/photo/1

#UM beats Pacific in brightness of shoes category.
-- michelle kaufman

DAYGLO

green

Frank Haith may not lose his job due to NCAA investigation, but he is going to need to win an NCAA game soon to keep it.
-- @GoodmanCBS

FRANK THE TANK

green

http://www.ncaa.com/march-madness-live/?gameId=232

Find the game on TNT or watch online

The wait is over.... here we go.
-- @hurricanesports

LINKEDIN

green

Need your headline suggestions... We'll RT the best.
-- @hurricanesports

NO SWEAT

TK SWAN!!

BARRY I LOVE THE EXCITEMENT OF THE BASKETBALL BEING PLAYED IN S BEACH BUT AS A FOOTBALL MAN HOW IS THE HURRICANES DOING IN SPRING PRACTICE? SO FAR ARE THEIR ANY MAJOR IMPROVEMENT AMONG SOME OF THE YOUNG PLAYERS FROM LAST YEAR? HOW DO YOU RATE WHAT THE DOLPHINS HAVE DONE SO FAR IN FA? GO CANES

Barry Jackson

Tk: I had a couple Dolphins columns in the past week and will have a lot more Dolphins this week, plus a bunch of UM spring football notes. Check back Saturday and Sunday.

Lukas

GREAT ratings info. South Florida has spoken, and they clearly love Sun Sports.

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