SBD/Issue 35/Sports Media

Fox Sees More Huge Ratings As Yankees Tie Up World Series

Fox Earns 13.6 Overnight Nielsen Rating, 
Up 47.8% From Last Year
Fox earned a 13.6 overnight Nielsen rating for Thursday night's Phillies-Yankees World Series Game Two, up 47.8% from a 9.2 for Phillies-Rays last year, and marking the best World Series Game Two overnight since Red Sox-Cardinals in '04 earned a 17.1 overnight. Fox won the night in primetime, marking the highest-rated Thursday night on any net since Fox' Florida-Oklahoma BCS National Championship game in January. Meanhwile, Fox earned an 11.9 fast-national Nielsen rating (19.5 million viewers) for Wednesday night's Phillies-Yankees World Series Game One, up 29.3% from a 9.2 rating (14.6 million viewers) for Phillies-Rays Game One last year. The game peaked at a 13.0 rating in the 10:30-11:00pm ET window, and despite the Phillies pulling away, the post-11:00pm portion of the telecast earned a 12.1 rating (THE DAILY). The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's James Hibberd notes Wednesday's World Series Game One was the "most-watched and highest-rated Game 1 in five years, easily winning the night for Fox." The "promising start should help solidify Fox's ranking as the top-rated network for the season, a position the broadcaster hopes to maintain until 'American Idol' returns in January" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 10/30).

OFF TO A GREAT START: Fox Sports Senior VP/Media Relations Lou D'Ermilio: "There's a definite buzz to this matchup, and based on the audience for Game 1, we're off to a terrific start. If we're lucky to get a long series with compelling games, this should be the most-watched World Series in several years" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/30). In N.Y., Michael Starr writes the World Series "has returned as a TV event after years of striking out with viewers." Horizon Media Senior VP and Corporate Research Dir Brad Adgate: "It's a little surprising the audience was that big for Game 1. Those numbers are extraordinary. ... I would say, yes, baseball is back regarding the World Series. If this year's series goes six games or longer, they could be getting 20-million-plus viewers a night" (N.Y. POST, 10/30). In Houston, David Barron writes, "All logical thought dictates that the network will show substantial improvement over last year's weather-beaten Phillies-Rays series" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 10/30). YAHOO SPORTS' Kevin Kaduk wrote, "It's funny. Everyone outside of New York and Boston pitches fits over how no one wants to watch the Yankees and Red Sox that much and yet the only recent World Series to post any great numbers have involved both those teams" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 10/29).

BROTHERLY LOVE FOR THE PHILLIES: Philadelphia topped all markets for Game Two with a 42.5 rating, while N.Y. earned a 29.8 (THE DAILY). In Philadelphia, Rich Hofmann notes WTXF-Fox earned a 44.5 local rating in the market for Game One, and "given that television ratings for the World Series tend to build as the drama of the series plays out," this year's event "has a chance to beat the television numbers put up" by the '93 Blue Jays-Phillies World Series, which averaged a 45.3 local rating in Philadelphia. By comparison, the Cardinals-Eagles NFC Championship game in January earned a 44.3 local rating in Philadelphia (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 10/30).

Fox Announcers Say Yankees Crowd Quiet
During Thursday's World Series Game Two
COVERAGE REVIEW: In N.Y., Bob Raissman notes Fox announcers Joe Buck and Tim McCarver during Thursday night's Game Two were "talking about Yankees fans who checked their mouths at the door ... basically saying the joint had all the audio ambiance of a morgue." Buck said he was "surprised" by the lack of fan response toward Phillies P Pedro Martinez. Buck: "It's a quiet place." Buck later noted chants of "Who's Your Daddy?" began when Martinez was warming up, and he said, "That chant started to get some traction with people inside the Stadium. Then about 30 seconds into it, when it began to pick up steam, the speakers started blaring Jay-Z music and drowned the chants out." Raissman notes the crowd noise "began coming through" in the top of the third inning, and Buck said, "And at 9:04 the crowd showed up." Meanwhile, McCarver "wondered where the noise was" when Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez was at-bat in the second inning. McCarver: "What a quiet crowd" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/30). Also in N.Y., Phil Mushnick notes McCarver called Game Two a "must-win situation for the Yankees," and Buck agreed with him. But the pair was "asking us to totally dismiss what they, far more than most, have learned from their many years covering baseball" (N.Y. POST, 10/30). Meanwhile, in California, John Maffei writes Fox' coverage of Game One was "outstanding," and the network's "use of its 20 cameras was first rate." Maffei: "I especially liked the slo-mo shots of catchers flashing signs and balls leaving the pitcher's hand." Fox also "had 80 microphones planted around Yankee Stadium, but they didn't make an impact on the telecast" (NORTH COUNTY TIMES, 10/30).

VETERAN TEAM: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Steve Kornacki writes there is "one thing you can count on when the World Series rolls around: Joe Buck and Tim McCarver will be chatting away during the TV broadcast." This year's World Series "marks the 12th World Series" for Buck and McCarver as a broadcast team. The following chart presents the announcer pairings that have called the most championship games since '70 (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/30).

EVENT
PAIR
# OF YEARS (GAMES)
NCAA Final Four
Jim Nantz/Billy Packer
18 (54)
World Series Joe Buck/Tim McCarver
12 (59)
Stanley Cup Finals Gary Thorne/Bill Clement
12 (57)
Super Bowl Pat Summerall/John Madden
8 (8)
NBA Finals Dick Stockton/Tom Heinsohn
4 (25)
BCS Title Game Thom Brennaman/Charles Davis
3 (3)

FRESH VOICE: In Ft. Worth, Ray Buck writes under the header, "Ozzie Guillen Adds Pizzazz To Fox's World Series Broadcast." White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen is serving as a guest studio analyst for the network's pre- and postgame shows, and "from a technical standpoint, Guillen could stand to slow down a bit with his rapid-fire commentary and maybe quiet his left hand." Buck: "But I like him on TV. So does the camera. And, trust me, he won't get out-talked." Guillen said, "I'm just trying to be myself and do what I do best. Hopefully, everything comes out all right" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 10/30).

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