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SBD/Issue 24/Sports MediaPrint All
Phillies-Dodgers To Begin NLCS Tonight
With Game At Dodger Stadium
THE WAITING IS THE HARDEST PART: FanHouse.com's Kevin Blackistone said, "You talk about sucking the wind out of the postseason. If the three sweeps didn't do it then not having the games on television when you don't have to compete against anything else other than regular season NHL ... is sure to flatten whatever interest is in it." FanHouse.com's Jay Mariotti: "TBS could be more flexible. For some reason when baseball writes the contracts with TV, TV wants to lock everything in" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 10/14). ESPN's Bill Simmons writes on his Twitter feed, "Could the baseball playoffs have less momentum right now? That layoff lasted so long that Chip Caray's head injury healed" (TWITTER.com, 10/15).
WHERE ARE YOU? In Philadelphia, Bill Wolff writes the NFL "should by all rights be having the uncommon problem of losing its grip on American sports obsessives" to the MLB Playoffs, but it "hasn't happened." The No. 1 reason for this is TBS is "where the MLB has played out the first round of its best time of year." Wolff: "Nothing says 'You shouldn't be watching this' like incessant promos for the guy from 'Everybody Loves Raymond'" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 10/15).
STREAM A LITTLE STREAM: PAID CONTENT's Staci Kramer reports MLBAM averaged 350,000 live streams for each game of the Divisional Series round through its Postseason.TV subscription, with 314,000 streams "via PCs on MLB.com and 36,000 to iPhone/iTouch devices via the MLB At Bat app." The At Bat app also delivered "another 88,000 live audio-only streams." The numbers show that people "will pay for variations of coverage" and that they will "watch on a small screen." Kramer: "It may be designed as a complement but for some of us on the go, it proved to be a tolerable primary video source" (PAIDCONTENT.org, 10/15).
Fox averaged a 1.8 rating and 2.74 million viewers for its 26 MLB Saturday afternoon telecasts this season, down 10% and 6%, respectively, from last season, and down 22% and 17% from '07. This season marked the fifth straight year of ratings declines for the Saturday telecasts, as well as the lowest average for regular-season telecasts on Fox since the net acquired MLB rights prior to the '96 season. Fox drew less than a 2.0 rating for 18 of the 26 telecasts, with seven telecasts drawing less than a 1.5 rating. The most-viewed telecast was April 25, featuring Yankees-Red Sox in 78% of markets, which drew 4.086 million viewers. Fox' final regular-season telecast on October 3 -- which was going against a full schedule of college football -- was the least-viewed this season, drawing 1.741 million viewers and featuring Royals-Twins in 61% of markets (THE DAILY).MLB REGULAR-SEASON RATINGS ON FOXYEARNETTELECASTSRATINGVIEWERS (000)'09Fox261.82,740'08Fox262.02,900'07Fox262.33,312
ESPN: ESPN averaged a 1.3 cable rating and 1.607 million viewers for 66 regular-season telecasts, down 8% and 5%, respectively, from last season. The net's exclusive "Sunday Night Baseball" telecasts averaged a 1.9 cable rating and 2.458 million viewers for 23 games, down 5% and 6% from last season. "SNB" featured Yankees-Red Sox four times this season. Excluding the September 27 game, which started at 2:00pm ET due to Yom Kippur, the Yankees-Red Sox matchups averaged 4.625 million viewers, up 14% from the three Yankees-Red Sox telecasts last season.'09 MLB REGULAR-SEASON GAMES ON ESPNYEARGAMESCABLE RATINGVIEWERS (000)'09661.31,607'08631.41,693'07641.51,775"SUNDAY NIGHT BASEBALL" ON ESPNYEARGAMESCABLE RATINGVIEWERS (000)'09231.92,458'08242.02,617'07232.22,752
TBS: During its second year of regular-season telecasts, TBS averaged a 0.7 cable rating and 931,000 viewers for 28 telecasts, including the Twins-Tigers AL Central tiebreaker, in its second season as a national rights holder for regular-season games. The figures are up from a 0.6 rating and 731,000 viewers for 26 telecasts in '08, including the White Sox-Twins tiebreaker. Excluding the tiebreaker games, the net averaged 614,000 viewers for its non-exclusive telecasts, down from 624,000 viewers last season. The April 19 Indians-Yankees telecast was the only non-exclusive TBS game to earn over 1 million viewers since TBS began regular-season telecasts.
REGIONAL NETS: The Red Sox once again led all MLB RSNs with a 9.39 HH rating, which was down 7.2% from their mark last season. The Nationals saw the biggest percentage gain among MLB RSN ratings, but still only managed to average 14,000 HHs, compared to around 228,000 HHs for the Red Sox on NESN. The A's had the biggest year-over-year drop this season, and were among 10 teams to see a double-digit drop. There were 12 teams with double-digit percentage gains this season, including Pirates telecasts on FSN Pittsburgh (+17.8%) (THE DAILY). Yankees telecasts on YES Network this season earned the second-highest season rating ever on cable in N.Y., trailing only YES' 4.69 rating from the '07 season (YES). Mariners TV ratings on FSN Northwest this season were up "on the strength of a resurgent season on the field." FSN Northwest VP & Station Manager Mark Jorgensen said, "The Seattle market is always friendly to baseball, especially the Mariners. It really is the envy of major-league baseball in a lot of ways" (SEATTLE TIMES, 10/14). CSN Philadelphia had its highest-rated Phillies regular season in the net's 12-year history (CSN Philadelphia).'09 MLB RSN REGULAR-SEASON RATINGS
(ranked by percentage gain from '08)NETTEAM'09'08% +/-'072-YR % +/-MASN/MASN2Nationals0.660.3494.1%0.69-4.3%FS SouthwestRangers2.511.6056.9%1.4079.3%
FS South Braves3.412.3843.3%3.332.4% CSN Bay Area Giants3.252.3240.1%2.7717.3% SportSouth Braves3.412.4638.6%3.42-0.3% FSN Rocky Mountain Rockies4.193.2827.7%3.4720.7% FSN Northwest Mariners5.174.1624.3%8.22-37.1% CSN Philadelphia Phillies7.125.7523.8%5.5328.8% FSN Pittsburgh Pirates3.252.7617.8%3.240.3% FS North Twins6.287.47-15.9%6.84-8.2% MASN/MASN2 Orioles2.972.6412.5%3.00-1.0% FS Detroit Tigers6.956.2611.0%7.54-7.8% FS Prime Ticket Dodgers2.192.009.5%1.9015.3% YES Yankees4.624.229.5%4.69-1.5% FS Kansas City** Royals3.082.848.5%n/an/a CSN Chicago White Sox2.272.193.7%1.3173.3% FS Midwest Cardinals7.907.890.1%7.505.3% FS Southwest Astros2.863.08-7.1%3.94-27.4% NESN Red Sox9.3910.12-7.2%12.20-23.0% FS Florida Marlins3.323.63-8.5%3.145.7% Cox/SD4 Padres3.784.21-10.2%7.03-46.2% FS Florida Rays3.103.47-10.7%1.7478.2% Sun Sports Marlins3.213.68-12.8%3.035.9% FS West Angels1.211.40-13.6%1.60-24.4% CSN Chicago Cubs4.134.96-16.7%4.21-1.9% SNY Mets2.663.24-17.9%3.26-18.4% FS Wisconsin Brewers6.077.47-18.7%7.45-18.5% FS Arizona D'Backs3.294.06-19.0%4.79-31.3% FS Ohio Reds3.774.92-23.4%4.96-24.0% SportsTime Ohio Indians2.793.88-28.1%5.80-51.9% CSN California* A's0.801.73-53.8%1.77-54.8%
NOTES: Data is unavailable for Blue Jays telecasts. * = games aired on CSN Bay Area last year. ** = Royals games were aired locally on KC Metro Sports in '07.
Fox, Burger King Apologize For Cartoon Skit
Mocking Jessica Simpson's Supposed Weight Gain
Bosh Wins Control Of ChrisBosh.com, Some
800 Other Illegally Registered Domain Names
Favre's Return To Green Bay
Now Gets National Audience
UNDER FIRE: The GLOBE & MAIL's Bruce Dowbiggin reports Rogers Sportsnet "continued to draw heat" this week over its decision to "not show the MLB playoffs on all its four regional channels." Sportsnet Pacific Sunday dropped Yankees-Twins ALDS Game Three in the ninth inning for Stars-Canucks. Dowbiggin: "It's clear that Sportsnet must weigh the value of pushing clients into buying multiple regional channels against the pushback from baseball fans over missing postseason games" (GLOBESPORTS.com, 10/14).
ANOTHER SATELLITE FIGHT: In Dallas, Mike Heika reports Stars fans "have to deal with a problem between" Dish Network and FS Southwest, as FS Southwest "has taken on an additional 20 games this season and says that Dish does not want to pick those games up." Last night's Predators-Stars game was "blacked out for Dish's viewers" and Friday's Bruins-Stars game "also will be." Fox Sports officials said that negotiations are "ongoing, and they hope to resolve the problem" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 10/15).