SBD/Issue 16/Sports Media

Fox Ties Ratings Record For Saturday’s Regional MLB Coverage

Fox Ties Ratings Record With Saturday’s
Yankees-Red Sox Game
Fox earned a 5.4/13 overnight Nielsen rating for regional MLB coverage on Saturday, which included Yankees-Red Sox and White Sox-Indians, tying two games from the ’98 Mark McGwire-Sammy Sosa home run chase as the net’s best regular-season overnight rating ever. The 5.4/13 marks a 50.0% increase from a 3.6/19 for the comparable weekend in ’04. Yankees-Red Sox earned a 22.6/54 in Boston and an 11.4/28 in N.Y. (Fox). In Hartford, Scott Powers wrote Fox at times used a split screen with “too many borders and wasted space” that reduced Yankees-Red Sox to 7x6 inches on a 27-inch TV, or 4x3 inches on a 13-inch TV. Even Fox announcer Joe Buck “sounded annoyed.” Buck at one point during a replay said, “What you missed while we were away, in that teeny, tiny box, was this” (HARTFORD COURANT, 10/2).

POSTSEASON SHUFFLE: USA TODAY’s Michael Hiestand notes Fox has added former D’Rays manager Lou Piniella and WGN/CSN Chicago analyst Bob Brenly for its ALCS and NLCS coverage, respectively. Piniella will work with Joe Buck and Tim McCarver. Brenly will team with Thom Brennaman and Steve Lyons. Buck and McCarver will work tomorrow’s Yankees-Angels opener, and Buck following this Sunday’s Eagles-Cowboys game will not return to NFL games until as late as November 6. Meanwhile, ESPN has added Mets C Mike Piazza for the postseason, beginning with tomorrow’s Red Sox-White Sox opener. ESPN “didn’t want to crowd its top team, Jon Miller and Joe Morgan, with a third voice” for Game One of Padres-Cardinals tomorrow (USA TODAY, 10/3). In Houston, David Barron notes Fox is airing Thursday’s Astros-Braves Game Two, “which has generally been an ESPN staple as Fox has opted for games from larger markets” (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 10/3).

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