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NCAA Tournament Ratings Still Going Strong

Through Saturday night, CBS Sports’ and Turner Sports’ exclusive coverage of the 2011 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship has earned a 5.9 rating/14 share in metered markets, up 18 percent from a 5.0 rating/12 share from 2010.

Last night’s combined coverage delivered an overnight household rating of 6.7 rating/15 share, up 12 percent from a 6.0 rating/14 share for CBS Sports’ 2010 coverage.

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Butler Wins The Academic Performance Tournament

The winner of the 2011 NCAA Tournament is … the Butler Bulldogs?

That’s who would win the Academic Performance Tournament, Inside Higher Ed‘s take on what the Big Dance would look like if teams advanced based on their outcomes in the classroom.

Teams advanced in the bracket based on their NCAA’s multi-year Academic Progress Rate, which gives points to teams whose players that stay in good academic standing and remained enrolled in school from semester to semester. If two schools were tied, the NCAA’s Graduation Success Rate was the tiebreaker.

Previous champions include Bucknell, Holy Cross, Davidson, North Carolina and Kansas.

What Would a Lockout Mean for the NBA? (And NBA on TV?)

In addition to “The Decision,” a possible NBA lockout following the 2010-2011 season was a topic of discussion at Turner Sports’ NBA on TNT lunch earlier today.

TNT NBA analyst Charles Barkley got the discussion started, after a reporter noted that New York Knicks fans that want to buy tickets when the Miami Heat come to town have to also buy tickets for a number of lesser games… as well as Rangers tickets.

“Fans have been getting screwed a long time, its nothing new,” Barkley said. “This is going to be a big year in sports. I think we have the best commissioner in sports [the NBA's David Stern], and he has to find a way to not have a lockout. Because to me, whether you are the NFL or NBA, I think it would be catastrophic to have a lockout in the middle of a recession.

“The average NBA star makes $5 million, we can’t say to people that guys making $10 or $15 million dollars are going to lock out or go on strike, the same thing with the NFL. That would be the tipping point, I truly believe that.”

Read more

TBS Postseason Coverage Up Nearly 10 Percent

Game 6 of the American League Championship Series delivered a 7.2 U.S. household rating and 11.9 million viewers, making it the most watched Major League Baseball game of the 2010 season.

Rangers-Yankees was also the second most watched program in the 34-year history of TBS, finishing behind Game 7 of the 2008 ALCS between Boston and Tampa Bay (7.9/13.4).

The 2010 ALCS was the most watched LCS in the network’s history, averaging a 5.1 U.S. rating and more than 8.2 million total viewers.

TBS showed strong growth during their 2010 Major League Baseball Playoff coverage compared to 2009: Read more

Major League Baseball Taps Hill Holiday as Agency of Record

Major League Baseball has tapped Hill Holiday to be its agency of record, beginning with the 2011 season, the league says.

Hill Holiday will oversee all creative and media duties, and will be tasked with marketing the game “in dynamic and progressive ways leveraging their portfolio of media assets,” according to MLB.

“Hill Holliday’s vision for our brand and game was modern, innovative and inspiring,” said Tim Brosnan, Major League Baseball executive VP of business in a statement. “The agency’s creative approach for reaching fans in the complex and fragmented media environment is unique and extraordinarily promising.”

MLB says the agency won the account “by demonstrating how a fully integrated, non-traditional campaign could engage fans and viewers across multiple platforms.”

What will the campaign be? I guess we will have to wait ’til 2011 to find out.