SBD/Issue 21/Sports Media

Fox Earns 6.1/10 Overnight For Phillies-Dodgers NLCS Game Four

Fox Earns 6.1/10 Overnight For 
Phillies-Dodgers Game Four
Fox earned a 6.1/10 overnight Nielsen rating for last night's coverage of Phillies-Dodgers NLCS Game Four. Overnight comparisons to Red Sox-Indians ALCS Game Four in '07 were unavailable at presstime. The 6.1/10 is down 4.7% from a 6.4/10 for Mets-Cardinals NLCS Game Four in '06, which aired on a Sunday night. Philadelphia led all markets with a 25.3/37. L.A. earned a series-best 13.9/23, including a 17.9/27 for the game's final 90 minutes. The game and pregame combined to average a 5.6/9 overnight in primetime, making it the net's best Monday night in four months. Meanwhile, through the first two games of the Rays-Red Sox ALCS, TBS was averaging a 4.6 cable rating with 6.3 million viewers, up 39.4% and 52.4%, respectively, from a 3.3 cable rating and 4.2 million viewers for the first two games of the Rockies-D’Backs NLCS last year. The Boston DMA was averaging a 25.7 rating, while the Tampa-St. Petersburg DMA was averaging a 17.1 (THE DAILY). USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand notes the "big-market Dodgers and Phillies so far" are drawing ratings "down only 1% from Fox's ALCS last year with mediagenic Red Sox" (USA TODAY, 10/14).

THE SHOW MUST GO ON? SLATE.com's Ben Mathis-Lilley reviewed all the "dumb baseball commentary on television," and wrote TBS' MLB playoffs coverage is "cacophonously uninformative." The production features former MLBers Dennis Eckersley, Harold Reynolds and Cal Ripken Jr. "yelling excitedly at one another for a half hour, like a better-natured but equally unintelligible version of 'Crossfire.'" Fox MLB analyst Kevin Kennedy following the Dodgers' loss in NLCS Game Two noted that the team "'went away from good pitches,' urging them to include more good pitches in their Game 3 plan." Meanwhile, Mathis-Lilley wrote ESPN's "Baseball Tonight" features "savvy baseball analysts" like Peter Gammons and Buster Olney, but "moments of researched insight are the exception on ESPN's baseball broadcasts." Mathis-Lilley: "I'm convinced that there's room in the market for a smarter show about the national pastime. My imaginary show would ignore the axiom that the highlight is king. ... My show would take a cue from baseball sites like Prospectus and Hardball Times and put crucial decisions in context" (SLATE.com, 10/13). In N.Y., Bob Raissman writes Ripken during ALCS Game Two "may have been the only other resident of the planet who saw nothing wrong with leaving [P] Josh Beckett in to get pounded." During the net's postgame show, Eckersley and Reynolds "responded by pounding" Ripken (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/14).

LATE NIGHTS: SI.com's Peter King noted "three of the six Red Sox playoff games have lasted until" at least 1:25am ET. King: "These games, even the ones that don't go into extras, are just too long. Captivatingly long, but too long. The umps need to tell the pitchers, particularly with bases empty, to adhere to the quicker pace they've been told to keep" (SI.com, 10/13).

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