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ESPN apologizes for Brent Musburger's intense focus on Katherine Webb

From Staff and Wire Reports Modified: January 8, 2013 at 5:44 pm •  Published: January 8, 2013

By Matt Porter, Palm Beach Post

BCS FINAL SCORES BIG RATINGS

Despite being a rout that Musburger said would have been stopped in the second quarter had it been a prize fight, ESPN’s coverage of the BCS national championship game attracted the second largest audience in cable television history. Alabama’s 42-14 victory over Notre Dame averaged 17.2 million households and a 15.1 fast national rating.

The only larger audience and U.S. rating in cable television history was the 2011 BCS final, Auburn’s 22-19 victory over Oregon, which averaged 17.7 million homes and a 15.3 rating.

Birmingham, Ala., averaged a 55.1 rating, best of all metered markets. Oklahoma City got a 21.2 rating, down 27 percent from last year’s game.

ESPN’s coverage of the five BCS bowl games averaged 15.1 million viewers, up 7 percent from last year. The games averaged an 8.8 rating up 3 percent from last year.

SHORT TAKES

— The Thunder will make another ESPN appearance at 9:30 p.m. Friday when it plays at the L.A. Lakers. ESPN’s top broadcast team of Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy and reporter Lisa Salters will call the game. The doubleheader opens with the Bulls at the Knicks at 7 p.m. (Mike Tirico, Hubie Brown and Chris Broussard).

— TNT’s first Thursday doubleheader of 2013 has the Knicks at Indiana (Marv Albert, Reggie Miller and reporter Craig Sager) at 7 p.m. and Miami at Portland (Kevin Harlan, Steve Kerr and reporter David Aldridge) at 9:30 p.m.

— ESPN2 will broadcast the first Bedlam men’s basketball game of the season at 2 p.m. Saturday from Norman. Jon Sciambi and Fran Fraschilla will call the game.

By Mel Bracht