SBD/Issue 198/Sports Media

Rays Set Another Record TV Rating; Fox, TBS May Add Rays Games

Rays Set Franchise-Record TV
Rating Twice During Red Sox Series
FSN Florida for its coverage of the Rays' 3-1 victory over the Red Sox Tuesday averaged a 9.1 HH rating (161,000 HHs) and peaked at a 13.0 HH rating from 9:45-10:00pm ET, marking the second time this week the Rays have set a franchise record TV rating. The game also ranked as the top-rated program in the Tampa-St. Pete market for the night. Tuesday's game marked a 102% increase over FSN Florida's previous record TV rating for a Rays game, a 4.5 for the June 19 Cubs-Rays game (FSN). WXPX-ION set the previous Rays franchise record TV rating, peaking at a 12.8 HH rating for Monday's Red Sox-Rays game (THE DAILY). Rays radio broadcaster Andy Freed said, "Our radio ratings have been through the roof, the TV ratings have been good. Anecdotally, around the area, it’s just been something that’s been on people’s minds and for the first time in my four years it’s really been at the forefront” (“Pregame Report,” NESN, 7/2). ESPN's Erin Andrews: "They’re on the front of every newspaper here in Tampa Bay and in St. Petersburg. They’re in block A of every newscast” (“SportsCenter,” ESPN, 7/2).

MOVIN' ON UP: BLOOMBERG's Danielle Sessa reported ESPN's coverage of Red Sox-Rays Wednesday marked the "fourth time this season [the Rays have] appeared on the network," double the appearance the Rays made last year. Meanwhile, Fox is "working on adding two Rays games to its Saturday afternoon schedule, which included none at the start of the season." Fox Sports Senior VP/Media Relations Lou D'Ermilio said that the net is "working with [MLB] to add" Rays-White Sox on August 23. The Rays' game against the Twins on September 20 and the Tigers on September 27 "are also possibilities." Sessa noted TBS "doesn't have the Rays in its lineup of Sunday afternoon games through July 20." Turner Sports Senior Dir of PR Jeff Pomeroy: "They definitely merit consideration now. But there needs to be a team that is a national draw on the other side of the equation to help bring in the audience" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 7/2).

RAYS CONTINUE TO DRAW WELL: Attendance at Tropicana Field for this week's Red Sox-Rays three-game series was 101,305, the third largest for a weekday series in Rays history (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 7/3). ESPN’s Dave O’Brien said the Rays "continue to draw very, very well here lately. Another sellout here, this is their fourth of the season, and the fans have finally begun to catch on that they have a product they may be watching into October here in 2008.” ESPN's Andrews, a Tampa native, said, “We used to come to the games five minutes beforehand, be able to park right at the Trop, and get right inside. Last night, we came as a family and drove around for 45 minutes, couldn’t find a parking space anywhere" ("Red Sox-Rays," ESPN, 7/2).

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