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Yesterday's three MLB Divisional Series (LDS) games on TBS averaged a 3.8 metered-market rating, up 11.8% from a 3.4 rating for the three games last year. The Rockies-Phillies game earned a 15.5 local rating in the Philadelphia market and a 5.9 rating in Denver. Twins-Yankees delivered a 13.4 rating in N.Y and a 21.6 rating in Minneapolis-St. Paul. The day's final matchup, Cardinals-Dodgers, delivered a 20.0 rating in St. Louis and a 9.6 rating in L.A. The chart below lists metered-market (overnight) ratings for yesterday's slate of LDS games on TBS, with comparisons to the games in similar time slots on the first day of LDS games last year (THE DAILY).OVERNIGHT RATINGS FOR OPENING
DAY OF MLB DIVISIONAL SERIES ON TBS'09 GAMETIMEMM
Brewers-Phillies2.20.0%Twins-Yankees6:00-9:51pm5.0 Dodgers-Cubs4.219.0% Cardinals-Dodgers9:51pm-1:39am3.8 Red Sox-Angels3.80.0%
OPENING DAY JITTERS: In L.A., Diane Pucin writes of TBS' coverage of Cardinals-Dodgers, "What was up with some jumpy glitches?" Pucin added, "Wasn't so crazy about PitchTrax, the graphic in the lower right corner that showed pitch location. To even see what the graphic was called, had to squat in front of a 37-inch high-definition TV and squint." But Pucin "loved the camera work" and analyst Bob Brenly's comments during the game. Meanwhile, Brenly in the top of the fourth inning "spoke glowingly about how this was the first time he'd seen" Dodger Stadium full at the first pitch despite cameras showing "grand spans of empty bleacher seats and then at least 14 empties behind home plate" (L.A. TIMES, 10/8).
STARING AT THE SUN: Turner Broadcasting Senior VP/PR Sal Petruzzi said that the "position of the sun caused brief disruptions in the satellite signal" during Rockies-Phillies, "leading to a blacked-out screen or a pixelated image for some viewers." Petruzzi said that solar interference "happens for a few days every fall and spring, potentially interrupting television broadcasts." The situation could occur again today, with the "period of potential disruption" lasting from about 4:10-5:10pm ET. Petruzzi said that "any difficulties are expected to last only 2 to 5 minutes" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 10/8).
ROCKY RADIO COVERAGE: In Albany, Pete Dougherty wrote ESPN's Chris Berman, who called Rockies-Phillies on ESPN Radio, seemed intent on engaging analyst Rick Sutcliffe "in conversation, which works on TV but not radio." Berman's "descriptions of pitches were lacking, and he was slow to reveal where a batted ball was heading." Berman's style "works fine in the NFL studio, and he has a Grade A radio voice, but in the postseason especially we should be hearing experienced baseball broadcasters." Dougherty: "Berman is not, and it shows" (TIMESUNION.com, 10/7).
TBS' 6.5 Million Viewers For Twins-Tigers
Marks Best For MLB Tiebreaker Since '98
MISGUIDED DECISION: The NATIONAL POST's Jeremy Sandler notes "tens of thousands of viewers"on Rogers Sportsnet were unable to watch Tigers-Twins, as Sportsnet only offered the game "on its East and West regional feeds, but not on Sportsnet Ontario or Pacific" (NATIONAL POST, 10/8). In Toronto, Chris Zelkovich writes under the header, "Leaving Ball Fans In Dark Bad Move By Sportsnet." Rogers Sportsnet Ontario Tuesday "chose to a show a combination of Bob McCown's radio-show-on-TV offering, taped boxing and other archived filler" instead of Tigers-Twins, resulting in "irate baseball fans across" Canada. Sportsnet VP/Content David Akande: "We've got four national channels that we're trying to move in the marketplace. I've got to do two things: I've got to confirm for the people who have multi-channels that it's of value. And for the 3 to 4 million (Sportsnet subscribers) who don't have multi-channels, I have to provide incentive for them to get it." Zelkovich writes, "It doesn't get much plainer than that: Subscribe to our extra channels and you get to watch all kinds of stuff. Don't subscribe and you get stuck with filler" (TORONTO STAR, 10/8).
Series Will Examine Vick's
Comeback And Past
FOCUSING ON FOOTBALL RIGHT NOW: In Philadelphia, Les Bowen reports Vick yesterday clarified that the documentary is "not currently filming." Vick: "It's on the back burner. ... I've got to play football right now." Vick added, "We haven't been shooting lately, but it's something we've been doing since I was in prison, through the bankruptcy -- it was all out then, that I was doing it. As the season goes on, I won't have time for it, but hopefully, sometime in 2010, we'll be able to pick up where we left off" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 10/8). ESPN.com's Jackie MacMullan said, "I wonder how Roger Goodell feels about this. I don't think this is what he meant by community service. I think he was supposed to be going out there and keeping a low profile and improving his image" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 10/7).
REAX: Miami Herald columnist Dan Le Batard said, "This is exactly what he needs to do." Le Batard: "Show people another side." But ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said the program is an "ill-advised move." Kornheiser: "It would be terrible if Michael Vick had some behavioral lapse on television that made it seem like he shouldn't even be in the league. I think you hold back on this for a year or so" ("PTI," ESPN, 10/7). Meanwhile, MSNBC.com's Courtney Hazlett predicted the series will be a "fantastic success at least from a viewership standpoint." Hazlett: "There are a number of Vick fans out there who will watch for the simple reason that in the privacy of your own living room, you’re not judged for supporting a football player who preferred dogs engaged in bloodsport over dogs engaged in games of fetch" (MSNBC.com, 10/7).
OSR Inks Marketing Partnerships
With Learfield Sports, ISP Sports
In London, Giles Smith writes, "I attended an NBA game in America once and it was a complete and utter blast from start to finish, largely because the spectacle was founded on the principle that you, as a paying customer, have an inalienable right not to go un-entertained for even a split second." But TV broadcasts of NBA games "high-mindedly turns its face away from all this stuff, regarding it as peripheral to the main action, thereby depriving the viewer at home of a potentially rich amusement stream." Smith: "Yes, please, to the hoops. But yes, please, also, to the hoopla" (LONDON TIMES, 10/8).
WEB WATCHING: The London TELEGRAPH reports England's European Under-21 Championships qualifier against Macedonia tomorrow "will be broadcast live on the Football Association website and Chelsea TV, the club's satellite channel" after England drew "no interest from rival broadcasters." The FA "will stream live coverage for free on its website, explaining that its 'landmark decision' to air the game online was reached after broadcasters confirmed they were unable to schedule the match during Friday's peak-time slots." Fans "will only be able to subscribe" to Chelsea TV's telecast of the game if they are "signed up with Sky or Tiscali." Chelsea TV currently costs US$9 a month for subscribers (TELEGRAPH.co.uk, 10/8).
NOTES: Big Ten Network has "agreed to stream certain live football games to Verizon wireless subs who receive V CAST Video, a service offering full length eps from more than 140 cable and broadcast shows" (CABLEFAX DAILY, 10/8)....Hallmark Channel "plans to air eight ice-skating specials on the network over the next six months." The series of acquisitions from Disson Skating will begin on October 30 with "Halloween on Ice" (DAILY VARIETY, 10/6).