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Scott D. Pierce: 'SportsBeat' KOs competition

Published: Friday, March 7 2008 12:18 a.m. MST

If this was a sports story about the ratings for local weekend sports shows, it would be filled with words like "trounced" and "routed."
On both Saturday and Sunday, KSL-Ch. 5's "SportsBeat" franchise easily outdistances its foes.
During the recently completed February sweeps, the average household rating for "SportsBeat Saturday" was more than the ratings for the Saturday-night editions of Ch. 2's "Talkin' Sports," Ch. 14's "Talkin' Sports" and Ch. 4's "Sports Zone."
And on Sundays, "SportsBeat Sunday" was seen in 45 percent more homes than Ch. 2's "Talkin' Sports"; 64 percent more homes than Ch. 13's "SportsPage"; and 78 percent more than both Ch. 14's "Talkin' Sports" and Ch. 4's "Red Zone."
A "rout" indeed.
And Ch. 5's "Beat Goes On" is No. 3 on Sunday nights among the local shows. That's a big accomplishment because it airs at 11:05 p.m., when there are fewer viewers available because there are fewer homes where anyone is still up watching TV.
Here are the approximate number of homes local sports shows averaged on Saturday nights during the February sweeps:
1. "SportsBeat Saturday" (Ch. 5): 67,000
2. "Talkin' Sports" (Ch. 2): 31,000
3. "Talkin Sports" (Ch. 14): 29,000
4. "SportsZone" (Ch. 4): 14,000
And here are the approximate number of homes local sports shows averaged on Sunday nights during the February sweeps:
1. "SportsBeat Sunday" (Ch. 5): 65,000
2. "Talkin' Sports" (Ch. 2): 36,000
3. "Beat Goes On" (Ch. 5): 29,000
4. "SportsPage" (Ch. 13): 24,000
5. "RedZone" (Ch. 4): 14,000
6. "Talkin' Sports" (Ch. 14): 14,000

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Popularity should never be confused with quality. There are some very popular TV shows that are terrible; there are some very unpopular TV shows that are fantastic.
When it comes to the quality of the local weekend sports shows, there are both similarities and differences between ratings and quality. As with all such things, there's a big element of personal taste when you're deciding what show to watch, but there's more to it than just that.
KSL's "SportsBeat" franchise and KUTV's "Talkin' Sports" (both on Ch. 2 and on Ch. 14) stand out from the rest. Ranking them in terms of quality, those two would be 1(a) and 1(b) — with room to argue which is (a) and which is (b).
After that, it would be Ch. 13's "SportsPage" third and Ch. 4's "SportsZone/RedZone" fourth.

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Just a week ago, I wrote, "There's almost a WWE quality to (Utah basketball coach Jim) Boylen. ... He's the kind of guy opponents will end up coming to see just hoping they have a chance to razz him."
And that was before he started demanding apologies from Wyoming.
Boylen's presence certainly won't hurt attendance the next time the Utes go to Laramie.


E-mail: pierce@desnews.com

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