Four Big Tech Companies Bidding For NFL's "TNF" Goodell Follows Up On Changes To NFL Games Disney Chair & CEO Bob Iger Extends Contract Redskins Casting Wide Net In GM Search CBS/Turner Sweet 16 Overnights Up Skins Look For Ways To Avoid Color Rush Unis Raiders' Vegas Stadium Financing Remains Complicated AT&T, DOJ Settle SportsNet LA Collusion Lawsuit WBC Final Delivers Big For MLB Network Media Notes
RATINGS, PRODUCTION DO LITTLE TO SOOTHE TBN CRITICS
Published October 6, 1995
The Baseball Network's coverage of Game 2 of the MLB divisional playoffs drew a 10.7 national rating, up from Tuesday's 10.3 (THE DAILY). The two-night 10.5 average is off 15% from CBS' coverage of the first two nights of the '93 LCS and equals the dip in NFL ratings when they went to the wild-card in '78, according to Rudy Martzke. With the markets of the eight teams averaging a 24.2, NBC research figures that if only one game were played in the 8-11pm time slot, the average would have been only an 8.2. BBDO's Steve Grubbs: "If you televise all four games separately, you'll have a dilution of audience levels and advertising dollars. At an 8 rating, would baseball remain a special event for advertisers? Probably not" (USA TODAY, 10/6). HAPPY NETWORKS: In Washington, Leonard Shapiro writes regionalization "is achieving one of its primary objectives" -- a "healthy national rating" (WASHINGTON POST, 10/6). In Ft. Lauderdale, Rachel Alexander writes, "You may be suffering, but for the networks, things couldn't be better." ABC Sports spokesperson Mark Mandel: "This situation keeps the ratings high, keeps advertising coming in and we have an exclusive product" (Ft. Lauderdale SUN SENTINEL, 10/6). NOT-SO-HAPPY: Barry Frank, MLB's chief TV negotiator, on an NBC promo last night (probably from NBC's entertainment division) that took a shot at ABC: "It was a terribly low blow, a cheap shot and I told NBC so. You won't see it again" (Richard Sandomir, N.Y. TIMES, 10/6). MEDIA WRITERS KEEP SLASHING: "The only good thing about The Baseball Network is the fact MLB is pulling the plug" (Carlton Thompson, HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 10/6).... "Regionalization ... is an affront to the very people baseball needs to win back" (Prentis Rogers, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 10/6)...."The drama of the first two nights of baseball's postseason has been overshadowed by the outrage over the regionalized coverage" (Barry Jackson, MIAMI HERALD, 10/6). ...."We can look forward to next year, when The Baseball Network is history" (Randy Covitz, K.C. STAR, 10/6)...."Not only is regionalization an artisic failure, but a financial flop" (Jack Craig, BOSTON GLOBE, 10/6).... "Before we bury The Baseball Network, we should praise it ... for its productions" (Steve Nidetz, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/6)....Front page headline in Burlington, VT, where the Yankees-Mariners is coming over Plattsburgh's WPTZ: "Red Sox Fans Cursed by Coverage" (BURLINGTON FREE PRESS, 10/3). ON THE BRIGHT SIDE: "Then again, at least people are talkin' baseball, and when was the last time this many people cared?" (Leonard Shapiro, WASHINGTON POST, 10/6).