Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Illustration for article titled Bristolmetrics: The Miami Heat Got More emSportsCenter/em Coverage Than The Spurs And Thunder Combined

This is a regular feature breaking down, minute by minute, the content that appears on ESPN's 11 p.m. edition of SportsCenter throughout the week. Graphic by Jim Cooke.


When last we met,the Miami Heat were the greatest and biggest team ever according to ESPN, we saw more Stephen A. Smith, and SportsCenter pretended the Champions League final never happened. What would this week bring?

Total time: 477 minutes
Time (minus commercials): 366.5

NBA: 162.25 minutes (44.2%) (last week: 50.9%)
MLB: 72 (19.7%) (last week: 21.4%)
SportsCenter staples (things like the "Top 10," "Encore," "What 2 Watch 4," etc.): 47.75 (13%) (last week: 15.2%)
IndyCar: 25.5 (6.9%) (last week: 0%)
NHL: 24 (6.6%) (last week: 4.9%)
Other sports: 10.75 (2.4%) (last week: 3.1%)
NFL: 9 (2.7%) (last week: 4%)
Golf: 9.75 (2.7%) (last week: 0.8%)
NASCAR: 8.75 (2.4%) (last week: 0.8%)
College football: 2.75 (.6%) (last week: 0.2%)
College basketball: 0 (0%) (last week: 0%)


Miami Heat (NBA): 88.5 minutes (24.1%)
New York Rangers (NHL): 22.5 (6.1%)
Tampa Bay Rays (MLB): 11.25 (3.1%)
New Orleans Saints (NFL): 1.25 (0.3%)

Rather than break down the amount of time a specific athlete or figure was covered, we counted how frequently names were mentioned in the transcripts from the week. The 15 most-mentioned sports people for May 25-31:

LeBron James: 101
Dwyane Wade: 86
Rajon Rondo: 73
Ray Allen: 40
Paul Pierce: 37
Kevin Garnett: 35
Russell Westbrook: 29
Tim Duncan: 29
Josh Hamilton: 27
Kevin Durant: 26
Dan Wheldon: 24
Dario Franchitti: 22
Manu Ginobili: 22
Martin Brodeur: 18
Todd Frazier: 16


Total time: 8442.5 minutes
Time (minus commercials): 6349.5

NBA: 1,882 minutes (26.7%)
NFL: 1,106.25 (15.7%)
SportsCenter staples: 1035.25 (14.7%)
College basketball: 1035 (14.7%)
MLB: 910 (12.9%)
Other: 555.75 (7.9%)
NHL: 386.5 (5.5%)
College football: 141 (2%)



The Heat and Celtics are the only two teams in the NBA: Sure, the Miami Heat have two of the most famous players in basketball, and the Celtics are the Celtics, but this is just ridiculous. The Heat's coverage on SportsCenter somehow went up from the 23 percent share they got the week before. Meanwhile, San Antonio was rolling off a 20-game winning streak and Oklahoma City was breaking that streak—which got the Spurs and Thunder 40.5 minutes of coverage apiece, less than half what the Heat and Celtics got. Did we mention that the Western Conference finals are on TNT this year, while the East is on ESPN?


Oh mercy, Stephen A. Smith is doing commercials now: For those wondering, yes, there was more than enough Smith to go around for everybody. Not only did he show up for 10 minutes this week on SportsCenter, we also saw Stephen A. debut footage from the upcoming movie Prometheus. Why is ESPN giving airtime to a scary face-fucking alien? And why is ESPN giving airtime to clips from Prometheus?

The Indy 500 got more coverage than the NHL: The biggest event of the IndyCar season (broadcast by ESPN's corporate sibling) got 25.25 minutes of coverage this week, compared with only 24 minutes for the NHL (not broadcast by ESPN's corporate sibling).

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