ESPN Loves Tim Tebow More Than Alex Smith, 49ers Combined

Deadspin takes a look at what exactly ESPN spends its time on.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images
    Alex Smith #11 of the San Francisco 49ers walks off the field at the end of the NFC Championship Game against the New York Giants at Candlestick Park. ESPN wishes it was Tebow walking off the field.

    Does ESPN have an East Coast bias?

    Not really if you believe Deadspin. The San Francisco 49ers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh made headlines -- on the West Coast only presumably -- early in the NFL season when he complained that the NFL Network and ESPN did not cover his team despite its early success.

    Deadspin tracked what teams, athletes and sports ESPN mentioned the most in its 11 PM Eastern show during the weeks of Jan 7. to Jan. 18 to see if the network really had an East Coast bias.

    The semi-regular feature was aptly named "Bristolmetrics" and the results were not too surprising.

    The San Francisco 49ers were not mentioned very often, while the NFL dominated ESPN's coverage. One 49er did get a lot of coverage and that was Alex Smith, but his name was not mentioned nearly as often as some other quarterbacks. But he was mentioned more than Eli Manning.

    The results are below:

    TIME DEVOTED TO INDIVIDUAL SPORTS

    NFL: 225.5 minutes (40.2%)
    NBA: 106.5 (19%)
    College basketball: 76 (13.6%)
    College football: 55 (9.8%)
    MLB: 16.75 (2.9%)
    NHL: 13.5 (2.4%)
    Other sports: 18 (3.2%)

    MOST-MENTIONED ATHLETES

    Tim Tebow: 154 mentions
    Aaron Rodgers: 54
    LeBron James: 52
    Tom Brady: 45
    Kobe Bryant: 38
    Dwyane Wade: 38
    Drew Brees: 30
    Alex Smith: 25
    Demaryius Thomas: 23
    Eli Manning: 22

    MOST-COVERED TEAMS BY SPORT

    New York Giants (NFL): 53 minutes (6.9%)
    Miami Heat (NBA): 20.5 (2.6%)
    Alabama Crimson Tide (college football): 31 (4%)
    Baylor Bears (college basketball): 17.5 (2.3%)
    Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL): 5 (0.6%)
    Texas Rangers (MLB): 2 (0.26%)