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The three MLB Divisional Series (LDS) games on TBS yesterday averaged a 3.5 metered-market rating, up 9.4% from a 3.2 rating for the three games on the comparative fifth day of the postseason in '08. The Angels' 7-6 series-clinching win over the Red Sox in Game Three of their ALDS matchup drew a 5.9 local rating in the L.A. market and a 14.8 rating in the Boston market. The Yankees' 4-1 win over the Twins in Game Three of that series, which also was the series finale, drew a 16.1 local rating in the N.Y. market and a 22.9 rating in Minneapolis/St. Paul. The Phillies' 6-5 Game Three win over the Rockies drew a 16.9 local rating in Philadelphia and a 19.6 rating in Denver (THE DAILY).OVERNIGHT RATINGS FOR DAY FIVE OF MLB DIVISIONAL SERIES ON TBS'09 GAMETIMEMM
Angles-Red Sox 12:00-4:07pm2.4 Phillies-Brewers1.9 26.32% Yankees-Twins 7:00-10:40pm5.0 Rays-White Sox2.8 78.58% Phillies-Rockies 10:40pm-2:22am3.1 Angels-Red Sox4.8 -35.42%METERED-MARKET AVERAGE3.53.2 9.38% MLB Receives Criticism For Scheduling
Phillies-Rockies Games So Late
STILL MISSING THE MARK: In N.Y., Bob Raissman wrote TBS announcer Chip Caray is "erratic," and that is "being kind." The fact Turner Sports officials "placed Caray in such a high profile gig, and continue to stick with him, is a mystery for the ages." Caray Friday during the network's coverage of Yankees-Twins Game Two "totally blew a promo for the new George Lopez show." Caray said, "It's 'Lopez Tonight' weekends." After silence, Caray continued, "I think I meant to say weeknights." Raissman wrote, "Why, through all the errors and scathing critiques, do they stick with him? Maybe it's a contractual thing? Or maybe it's out of loyalty" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/11). Also in N.Y., Phil Mushnick writes Caray "doesn’t just talk fancy nonsense, he has no grasp of baseball beyond a clichéd, elementary level." Meanwhile, TBS "often keeps that PitchTrax gizmo thing on the screen … adding to the clutter" (N.Y. POST, 10/12).
ON THE BRIGHT SIDE: In Denver, Dusty Saunders writes TBS is producing "more hits than errors during the postseason this year, even though Chip Caray's glitches have caught national attention." TBS' Brian Anderson and Joe Simpson "kept the first two Rockies-Phillies NLDS games in clear focus." Anderson and Simpson are "broadcasting with the assumption that most national viewers are avid, or at least knowledgeable, baseball fans," thus the "yakety-yak about each pitch and swing has been minimal" (DENVER POST, 10/12). The N.Y. POST's Mushnick wrote Anderson and Simpson "have helped make Phillies-Rockies a good watch and an even better listen," as they "don't choose to analyze every pitch and swing nor are they inclined to decorate their thoughts with extra fancy." They have been "alert, yet relaxed, pleasant and amusing without being silly or shticky," and when something happens, they "sound excited, not hysterical." Anderson and Simpson "let the telecasts breathe, allow games to sometimes speak for themselves" (N.Y. POST, 10/11).
Orsillo Praised For Not Having
Red Sox Bias During ALDS
DODGE BALL: The TIMES' Pucin wrote in the third inning of Dodgers-Cardinals Game Three, Dodgers 1B James Loney was "safe at first" on a play, while Dodgers LF Manny Ramirez moved to third base. But TBS announcer Dick Stockton said, "Manny safe at first." Pucin added she "hoped there would be more discussion in the later innings" of the game when the outcome "seemed pretty clear, about whether the effect of the Colorado-Philadelphia snow-out would be positive, negative or neutral, on the Dodgers" (L.A. TIMES, 10/11).
CBS' NFL national window telecast yesterday earned a 14.3 overnight Nielsen rating with Patriots-Broncos, up 2.1% from Week Five last year, when CBS featured Bengals-Cowboys in the national window. NBC earned a 10.8 overnight rating for its "SNF" broadcast of Colts-Titans, up 5.9% from the comparable Steelers-Jaguars game from '08. Fox' lone window for the day averaged a 10.6 overnight, up 7.1% from Week Five last year (THE DAILY).NFL WEEK FIVE OVERNIGHT NIELSEN RATINGS
NET '09 GAMEOVERNIGHT '08 GAME% +/- Fox (single)10.6 (single)7.1% CBS (regional)8.6 (regional)-3.4% CBS Patriots-Broncos14.3 Bengals-Cowboys2.1% NBC Colts-Titans10.8 Steelers-Jaguars5.9%
BOOTH REVIEW: In Denver, Dusty Saunders writes CBS' announcers and production crew yesterday "provided a huge nationwide audience with first-rate coverage" of Patriots-Broncos. CBS' Phil Simms and Jim Nantz "constantly reminded viewers about the teacher-pupil relationship between" Patriots coach Bill Belichick and Broncos coach Josh McDaniels. The net's cameras also "captured McDaniels on the Broncos' sideline at key times when the Denver coach was uttering phrases that probably made lip readers blush" (DENVER POST, 10/12). Meanwhile, in St. Petersburg, Tom Jones writes Fox' broadcast team of Sam Rosen and Tim Ryan "might be even better" than Fox' No. 1 broadcast team of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. Jones ranks Rosen and Ryan third among NFL broadcast teams, behind NBC's Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth and ESPN's "MNF" crew of Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 10/12).
TOUGH POSITION TO BE IN: In Dallas, Barry Horn wrote if Collinsworth, Gruden or Simms makes a negative comment about Cowboys QB Tony Romo's play, it "usually disappears into thin air." But if Aikman, who played for the Cowboys from '89-'00, "says something that could be construed as negative, it becomes news and often takes on a news-cycle life of its own." Aikman said that he also "hears it from fans and media critics up and down the East Coast if he compliments Romo during a broadcast or compares him favorably to other quarterbacks." Aikman: "I always say I am not a Tony Romo apologist. I know he has special talents, but when I say that, some critics scoff at that" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 10/10).
JUST CAN'T GET ENOUGH: DAILY VARIETY's Stuart Levine noted not only are ratings "up for every football carrier this fall," but audiences also are "tuning in to the seemingly endless pregame and postgame shows." Production values for the shows have "risen dramatically over the past few years and salaries for both ex-jocks and longtime anchors and analysts have remained high." Yet in "drawing fans to their big games" with pregame shows, networks are "fully cognizant that expensive rights fees paid to the NFL need to be offset by advertiser-friendly high ratings." Fox Sports Chair & CEO David Hill said that a "well-executed pregame show is an essential ingredient to maximize ratings." Hill: "I've always seen the pregame show as a bunch of guys at a bar that you want to eavesdrop on." NFL Net Exec Producer Eric Weinberger: "We're pretty sure there's never enough football at this point. There's so much interest" (DAILY VARIETY, 10/10).
NBC agreed to broadcast the Int'l Skating Union Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series, marking the first time in six years the series will be on broadcast TV. Through a partnership with U.S. Figure Skating, NBC will carry 12 hours of live and taped coverage from five Grand Prix events and the Grand Prix Final. As part of the deal, Universal Sports will carry more than 50 hours of coverage, including rebroadcasts of NBC's telecasts. U.S. Figure Skating picked up the Grand Prix Series rights this summer from the ISU.
In N.Y., Stephanie Clifford reports while print advertising is "in miserable straits right now," special issues "seem to be the one thing attracting ad dollars." Publishers Information Bureau data indicated that ad pages for ESPN The Magazine "were down about 24[%] in the first six months of this year from the same period a year earlier," but the magazine's Body Issue is the "biggest October issue" revenue-wise ever. Meanwhile, SI ad pages are down 21.6% overall. But the magazine will produce "six special issues this year, including a college football preview in August and a [NFL] preview in September." The NFL preview issue "had about 86 pages of ads this year, up more than 50[%] from the same issue last year." The college football issue was up 15% (N.Y. TIMES, 10/12).
Citizen Sports Counting On Facebook
Community To Help Elevate Its Game
MIXED REVIEW: In N.Y., Phil Mushnick noted Golf Channel's coverage of the Presidents Cup "reunited the ex-ABC pair ... Nick Faldo and Paul Azinger." Mushnick: "What a treat!" But the network "still can aggravate." On Thursday and Friday, "after repeatedly showing a crawl giving the day-end leaders of the European Tour's Madrid Masters, to keep leaving live coverage of the Presidents Cup ... for a studio report on the Madrid event just seemed like a foolish way for Golf Channel to prove what it has and what it can do" (N.Y. POST, 10/11).
NOT FINISHED YET: HOF baseball writer Hal McCoy has agreed to work for the Dayton Daily News "in a freelance capacity." McCoy will "continue to write his popular Ask Hal column on Sundays," and he also "will continue to interact with fans through his blog" on DaytonDailyNews.com. McCoy is retiring as the Reds' beat reporter for the newspaper after 37 years (DAYTON DAILY NEWS, 10/11).