ESPN ThisWeek — April 30, 2012



NBA Playoffs Continue on ESPN & ABC
The NBA Playoffs will continue on ESPN and ABC with seven games in three days from May 4-6, culminating Sunday, May 6, with the Miami Heat – led by LeBron James and Dwyane Wade – visiting the New York Knicks and Carmelo Anthony in Game 4 of their opening round series.

DateTime (ET)GameNetwork
Fri, May 47:30 p.m.Atlanta Hawks at Boston Celtics Game 3ESPN, ESPN3, ESPN Mobile TV, WatchESPN
 8 p.m.Chicago Bulls at Philadelphia 76ers Game 3ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPN Mobile TV, WatchESPN
 10:30 p.m.Los Angeles Lakers at Denver Nuggets Game 3ESPN, ESPN3, ESPN Mobile TV, WatchESPN
Sat, May 52 p.m.Indiana Pacers at Orlando Magic Game 4ESPN, ESPN3, ESPN Mobile TV, WatchESPN
 4:30 p.m.Memphis Grizzlies at Los Angeles Clippers
Game 3
Sun, May 612:30 p.m.Kia NBA CountdownABC
 1 p.m.Chicago Bulls at Philadelphia 76ers Game 4ABC, ESPN Radio
 3:30 p.m.Miami Heat at New York Knicks
Game 4

Strong Ratings, Viewership for ESPN’s 2012 NFL Draft
ESPN’s three-day live telecast of the 2012 NFL Draft (April 26-28), averaged 2,924,000 viewers with a 2.0 US rating based on fast nationals, according to the Nielsen Company. The rating represents a slight increase from the same three days in 2011 (1.9 US rating), while viewership edged last year’s 2,918,000 average. Friday night’s four hours in prime time (rounds 2 and 3) averaged 2,679,000 viewers on ESPN with a 2.1 household coverage rating (1.9 US rating) based on fast nationals. The rating was up 19 percent while viewership gained 12 percent versus the same night last year (1.6 US rating with 2,386,000 viewers). Saturday’s day-long presentation (rounds 4-7) on ESPN/ESPN2 averaged 1,437,000 viewers with a 1.1 US rating based on fast nationals. ESPN’s prime time coverage of Round 1 on Thursday night was the network’s second most-viewed and second highest-rated draft. ESPN’s Round 1 ratings release.

The top 10 metered markets for the combined three days of ESPN coverage included: Cleveland (5.0 rating), Dayton, Ohio (4.3), Birmingham, Ala., (3.9), Milwaukee (3.6), Kansas City (3.6), New Orleans (3.4), Jacksonville, Fla., (3.3), Columbus, Ohio (3.3), Charlotte, N.C., (3.2) and Cincinnati (3.2).

During the three days of the draft, NFL content on ESPN’s digital platforms (, Mobile Web, ScoreCenter, and WatchESPN) generated an average minute audience of 78,000, a 10 percent increase from last year.  The NFL section on specifically had an average minute audience of 25,000, a two percent gain from last year.  Meanwhile, the NFL section on the mobile web had an average minute audience of 20,000, a 32 percent increase.

NASCAR Nationwide Series at Talladega on ABC
The NASCAR Nationwide Series races this weekend at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, NASCAR’s biggest track, live on ABC on Saturday, May 5. NASCAR Countdown airs at 3 p.m. with the green flag at 3:34 p.m. Also from Talladega, ESPN2 airs NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying Friday, May 4, at noon. Allen Bestwick and analysts Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree will call the race.

Wednesday Night Baseball: New York Yankees to Host Baltimore Orioles
This week on ESPN’s Wednesday Night Baseball, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter and the New York Yankees will host Nick Markakis, Matt Weiters and the first-place Baltimore Orioles. The action begins at 7 p.m. ET with Dave O’Brien and analyst Nomar Garciaparra calling the game with reporter Pedro Gomez. Wednesday Night Baseball is also available on ESPN3, ESPN Mobile TV and via the WatchESPN app.

College Baseball: Three Games between Ranked Opponents & No. 1 Florida State
This week’s regular-season college baseball lineup will include three games pitting ranked teams against each other, highlighted by No. 5 Florida at No. 6 Kentucky as part of the Thursday Night SEC Baseball Game of the Week on May 3, at 7:30 p.m. on ESPNU.

In addition, ESPNU and ESPN2 will combine to televise two games from the No. 3 South Carolina at No. 13 Arkansas series Friday, May 4 (8 p.m. on ESPNU), and Saturday, May 5 (1 p.m. on ESPN2 and ESPN3). The ACC Monday game of the week will pit No. 1 Florida State against Maryland on Monday, May 7, at 7 p.m. on ESPNU.

DateTime (ET)GameNetwork
Thu, May 37:30 p.m.No. 5 Florida at No. 6 KentuckyESPNU
Fri, May 46 p.m.Boston College at No. 10 North CarolinaESPN3
 8 p.m.No. 3 South Carolina at No. 13 ArkansasESPNU
Sat, May 51 p.m.No. 3 South Carolina at No. 13 ArkansasESPN2 / ESPN3
Sun, May 6NoonBoston College at No. 10 North CarolinaESPN3
 5 p.m.UC Santa Barbara at UC IrvineESPNU
Mon, May 77 p.m.Maryland at No. 1 Florida StateESPNU

Men’s College Lacrosse: Championship Winds Down the Regular Season
The regular season for men’s college lacrosse winds down this weekend as the BIG EAST, Ivy League and America East hold their conference championships. Action begins on ESPNU with the semifinals of the first-ever BIG EAST Men’s Lacrosse Championship on Thursday, May 3, with No. 2 Notre Dame facing St. John’s at 4:30 p.m. and No. 19 Villanova hosting No. 18 Syracuse at 7 p.m. The BIG EAST Championship finals will air Sunday, May 5, at noon, on ESPNU.

The Ivy League Championship semifinals on ESPN3 will take place Friday, May 4, showcasing No. 13 Cornell vs. No. 15 Yale at 5 p.m. and Brown vs. No. 10 Princeton at 8 p.m. The title game moves over to ESPNU on Sunday, May 6, at noon. The final two America East teams will meet in the championship game, also Sunday, at 3 p.m. ESPN3. Army No. 8 visits Johns Hopkins at 2 p.m. in Sunday’s other match on ESPNU.

ESPNU will unveil the 16-team bracket during the hour-long 2012 NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Championship Selection Show Presented by Enterprise Rent-A-Car Sunday, May 6, at 9 p.m. ET. Additional details will follow this week.

DateTime (ET)Games/CommentatorsNetwork
Thu, May 34:30 p.m.BIG EAST Championship Semifinals (Villanova, Pa.):
No. 2 Notre Dame vs. St. John’s
Eamon McAnaney, Quint Kessenich & Paul Carcaterra
 7 p.m.BIG EAST Championship Semifinals (Villanova, Pa.):
No. 19 Villanova vs. No. 18 Syracuse
Eamon McAnaney, Quint Kessenich & Paul Carcaterra
Fri, May 45 p.m.Ivy League Championship Semifinals (Princeton, N.J.):
No. 13 Cornell vs. No. 15 Yale
Joe Beninati & Matt Ward
 6 p.m.ECAC Championship Final (Denver, Colo.)ESPNU / ESPN3
 8 p.m.Ivy League Championship Semifinals (Princeton, N.J.):
Brown vs. No. 10 Princeton
Joe Beninati & Matt Ward
Sat, May 5NoonBIG EAST Championship Final (Villanova, Pa.)
Eamon McAnaney, Quint Kessenich & Paul Carcaterra
 2 p.m.Army at No. 8 Johns Hopkins
Mike Corey & Matt Ward
 3 p.m.America East Championship Final (campus of highest remaining seed)Booker Corrigan & Mark DixonESPN3
Sun, May 6NoonIvy League Championship Final (Princeton, N.J.)
Joe Beninati & Ryan Boyle

NHRA Atlanta Action on ESPN2, ESPN3
The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series competes in the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway this weekend on ESPN2 and ESPN3. Paul Page will anchor with analyst Mike Dunn.

DateTime (ET)EventNetwork
Fri, May 46 p.m.Qualifying (live)ESPN3, WatchESPN
Sat, May 57 p.m.QualifyingESPN2, WatchESPN
Sun, May 611 a.m.Eliminations (live)ESPN3, WatchESPN
 7 p.m.EliminationsESPN2, WatchESPN

This Week on – Title IX, Danica Patrick, Baseball and More
This week on, extensive coverage of Title IX continues, highlighted by in-depth profiles of the Top 40 Female Athletes of Past 40 Years, as each athlete is announced on the 10 a.m. SportsCenter. Additional articles include:

  • Stephanie Wilka, the Houston Astros’ coordinator of amateur scouting, gives her first interview since taking the job in January to Amanda Rykoff. Wilka, who previously worked for the Red Sox and Dodgers, is one of a small number of women who works in the baseball operations-side of the business.
  • University of Florida pitcher Michelle Moultrie burst on the scene during last season’s Women’s College World Series. Yet she had to pitch herself to Gainesville, sending video to the team to convince them to invite her to a tryout camp.  Graham Hays examines Moultrie’s decision, as an African-American, to pursue a sport with relatively low minority participation.
  • Danica Patrick and Sam Hornish Jr. grew up karting against each other. As young drivers, he was a three-time IndyCar champion in her shadow. Now, they’re racing against each other in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and Hornish Jr. shares his perspective on Patrick with Brant James.

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