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WHAT ABOUT BOB? IS BRENLY EMERGING AS STAR IN FOX BOOTH?
Published October 23, 1996
Fox reports its coverage of Game Three of the World Series Tuesday night drew a preliminary overnight rating of 18.7/29 in 34 overnight markets. The game was the highest rated night in Fox network history (THE DAILY). RATINGS: Final numbers of the first two Series games from Nielsen Media Research. Game One earned a 15.7/25, down 4% from '95's opener. Game Two received a 14.0/23, down 28% from Game Two last year. ABC's "Monday Night Football" rating of a 12.2 was the lowest for a Monday night game in ten years when the Giants-Redskins went against the Red Sox-Mets in '86 (Prodigy Online, 10/23). The two game average of a 14.8 is "hardly surprising" but it is 11% off the two-game all-time low of 16.7 for the '93 Series on CBS (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY, 10/23). Unless the Series extends to six or seven games, Fox "faces the possible distinction of televising the lowest-rated World Series ever" (L.A. TIMES, 10/23). But Fox Sports' Vince Wladika notes Fox won Monday night overall, adding, "Our competition may be gleeful about this rating, but we operate under a different business plan and have different goals than they do. What doesn't work for others works for us" (Richard Sandomir, N.Y. TIMES, 10/23). For the week of October 14-20, Fox earned a 9.6/16 rating, good for third place, and "its best-ever ratings as a full-time network" (Josef Adalian, N.Y. POST, 10/23). Noting the 7:15pm ET start on Monday and the subsequent rating, Acting Commissioner Bud Selig said, "We always get rapped for starting games late. The networks always said, 'Don't start at 7 or you'll get ripped,' and they were right" (Steve Zipay, NEWSDAY, 10/23). ARE THEY WORKING? Fox is using the Series to "extend the luster of the still-nascent Fox Sports and provide plenty of promotion for its primetime series," according to Gary Levin of VARIETY. But the fact that MLB's audience "is among the oldest" in pro sports is a "problem." Dan Rank, Media Dir at DDB Needham Worldwide: "You can promote 'The Simpsons' all day long, but if you're promoting to a 60-year-old male, he's not gonna watch." Still, VARIETY's Levin notes "as a badly needed form of event programming, the World Series ... can't hurt" (VARIETY, 10/21). WHAT ABOUT BOB? In Atlanta, Prentis Rogers credits Fox analyst Bob Brenly for alerting viewers on the batting strategy of the Yankees in trying to throw off Braves pitcher Tom Glavine to start Tuesday's game (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 10/23). In Toronto, Bob Elliott calls Brenly "Rookie-of-the-Year in the TV booth." Elliott notes one NL GM called Brenly the "star of the post-season," adding "He knows the game, is humorous, [and] adds more insight than the average ex-player" (TORONTO STAR, 10/23). In Dallas, Barry Horn calls Brenly "promising" while adding Fox "offered a solid" World Series broadcast (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 10/22). In Boston, Jim Baker says the "top" Series story is Fox's "unusual audio" (BOSTON HERALD, 10/22). ONLINE: UltraPLEX Information Systems, the Bellevue, WA - based Internet design company, is handling World Wide Web coverage for the Yankees and Braves team sites. The Yankees are at www.yankees.com, while the Braves are at www.atlanta braves.com (UltraPLEX). CNN's Jim Moret examined World Series web sites www.sportsillustrated.com and www.sportsline.com ("Showbiz Today," CNN, 10/22).