SBD/24/Sports Media

WILL NBC OFFER MAKE-GOODS IF SERIES DOESN'T DELIVER?

          Thursday's Game Five of the World Series earned a
     preliminary overnight rating of 18.5/30 (THE DAILY).
          AFTER FOUR: In N.Y., Michael Starr reports that Game
     Four earned a final national rating of 15.5/26, making the
     four game average a 14.3/24, the "lowest" in Series history.
     But Starr notes that "despite its low World Series numbers,"
     NBC won Wednesday's primetime slot (N.Y. POST, 10/24).  
          FREE SPACE: An NBC source told Starr that there's
     "[w]orse news for NBC," as the network "will be forced" to
     provide World Series advertisers with make-goods if the
     Series "fails to meet" NBC guaranteed rating to advertisers,
     which was a 16 for the Series.  BJK&E Media ad buyer Steve
     Sternberg: "The fact that (this year's) series numbers are
     down means that advertisers are going to start to look at
     (the World Series) differently.  It doesn't bode well" (N.Y.
     POST, 10/24).  Jon Mandel of Grey Advertising, noting that
     Game One (11.3 rating) finished as the 20th most watched
     program last week: "As an advertiser, the World Series has
     just become another program" (USA TODAY, 10/24). In L.A.,
     Larry Stewart writes that low ratings "aren't the only thing
     plaguing the World Series," as a source told him that 32% of
     the commercial spots for Games Five, Six and Seven "remained
     unsold Thursday morning" (L.A. TIMES, 10/24). 
          OH, CANADA! In Toronto, Rob Longley writes that TSN's
     coverage of the World Series has been stronger than
     expected.  TSN "had a viewership" of 490,000 for Game One,
     with 100,000 additional viewers for Game Two.  TSN Program
     Dir Phil King: "It's been all doom and gloom in the U.S.,
     but not here" (Rob Longley, TORONTO SUN, 10/24).

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