FOX'S OPENER: GENERALLY POSITIVE REVIEWS FOR DIAMOND DEBUT
Published June 3, 1996
Fox Sports received a 3.8 overnight rating for Fox Baseball's first broadcast Saturday. CBS averaged a 3.6 for its Saturday games in '93 -- the last season that a "Game of the Week" was aired (THE DAILY). REVIEWS: NEWSDAY's Steve Zipay writes the pre-game show was a "marshmallow" for avoiding mention of the latest Albert Belle incident. Fox said clips of Belle's forearm were seen in the early broadcast aired in most of the U.S. Zipay added, "For the concerned traditionalists, it looked like regular baseball" (NEWSDAY, 6/3). Noting black-and-white newsreel footage, the piece on scientific study of the baseball and early mentions of the Belle incident, Phil Mushnick writes, "That's journalism, whether Fox likes it or not" (N.Y. POST, 6/3). Also in New York, Richard Sandomir writes, "Fundamentally, Fox baseball looked remarkably like baseball" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/3). In Atlanta, Prentis Rogers writes, "For the most part, Fox did not look like a rookie covering baseball" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 6/3). In Chicago, Michael Hirsley notes, "Aside from the clever 'diamond' graphic, using dots to show how many and where runners were on base, Fox's initial live game telecast was competent but uninspired" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 6/3). USA TODAY's Rudy Martzke writes that the broadcasts did not match the "hype," with game coverage at "the norm" (USA TODAY, 6/3).