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WILL GLAVINE AND NEAGLE LEAVE FOX WITH THE BAGEL?
Published October 22, 1996
Fox's coverage of Game Two of the World Series Monday night drew a preliminary overnight rating of 14.8/23 in 34 overnight markets, according to Nielsen Sports Marketing. The game did a 47.8/64 in Atlanta with a 28.4/39 in New York (Nielsen Sports Marketing). Fox reports a 15.1/23 rating. ABC reports "Monday Night Football" Raiders-Chargers game drew a 14.4/22 overnight rating of 33 markets (THE DAILY). RATINGS: Game One overnights of a 17.0/26 were called "favorable" (Steve Zipay, NEWSDAY, 10/22). USA TODAY's Rudy Martzke called them "respectable." Jon Mandel, Grey Advertising: "You can't fault Fox. ... Baseball's not as popular as it was, and it will take a long time for it to come back." Mandel noted NBC's NFL doubleheader on Sunday received a 17.4 overnight, better than MLB (USA TODAY, 10/22). In Boston, Jack Craig called the early ratings "promising" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/22). Game One in New York earned a 30.8/42 while in Atlanta it got a 50.2/66 (Michael Starr, N.Y. POST, 10/22). Fox won Sunday night "probably for the first time in its history," with a 15.4/24 in 34 overnight markets (John Carmody, WASHINGTON POST, 10/22). REVIEWS: In Baltimore, Milton Kent writes Fox "pledged" to take MLB "to new places, and, for the most part, the network is doing well. The zippy graphics have been nice, but the hallmark of Fox's presentation has been the sound of the game" (Baltimore SUN, 10/22). In Boston, Jack Craig gives kudos to Fox's Game Two coverage with the header, "Fox Armed With Insight." Fox's coverage was "a three credit course [on pitching] crammed into three hours," with Greg Maddux. Craig: "If Fox had not offered a clinic on Maddux, it would have been a dull game" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/22). DR. PETER BURNS, CALL YOUR OFFICE: In Atlanta, Prentis Rogers notes that, although its normal for a network to promote its own programming, Fox "seems to be taking it a step further by getting in crowd shots of its network stars whenever possible" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 10/22). During the game, Fox's Joe Buck said, "Now I know why there is a ticket crunch. Fox got all the tickets. All the sitcom stars are here" (Fox, 10/21). In New York, Richard Sandomir notes "when all else failed" during Sunday's blowout, Fox "found stars of its prime time shows." But "invisible" were shots of Braves Owner Ted Turner, and wife, Jane Fonda. Fox Sports Exec Producer Ed Goren: "Can you say cliche? We didn't show Steinbrenner either" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/21). Fonda criticized Fox, adding "The other networks are objective and Fox isn't" (Bob Raissman, N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/21). MAYBE GOD IS A SOX FAN? In New York, Steve Zipay notes many Fox execs were rooting for the Yankees to win Game Two as the "specter of a four-or-five game series loomed large." Fox Sports President David Hill: "It was very heartwarming to see the entire Fox staff -- of all denominations -- at St. Patrick's Cathedral this morning" (NEWSDAY, 10/22). CRYING FOWL: NBC's legal department is looking into the use of promo spots by CBS and ABC telling viewers to watch their network instead of NBC's MLB coverage, according to the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. NBC "charged that a promo" on October 15 urged viewers to watch CBS because NBC would be airing MLB, even though the ALCS was over. NBC "aired its regular Tuesday schedule and drew ratings that were well below normal" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 10/22).