SBD/Issue 31/Sports Media

TBS, Fox Combine To Average Best MLB LCS Audience Since '07

Fox and TBS averaged 8.6 million viewers for 12 telecasts of the MLB League Championship Series. This marks the most-viewed LCS since '07, which featured a seven-game Red Sox-Indians ALCS on Fox and a Rockies sweep of the D’Backs on TBS. The LCS this year also is up 2% from last year’s 8.43 million average viewers for Phillies-Dodgers on TBS and Yankees-Angels on Fox. TBS averaged a 5.1 U.S. rating and 8.22 million average viewers for the six-game Rangers-Yankees series, marking the net’s most-viewed LCS series since it began airing postseason games in '07. TBS also saw increases of 34% and 36%, respectively, from the net's Phillies-Dodgers NLCS last year, which averaged a 3.8 rating and 6.06 million viewers. Friday night’s ALCS Game Six earned 11.86 million viewers, making it the second-most-viewed MLB telecast ever on cable TV, behind only TBS’ Rays-Red Sox ALCS Game Seven in '08, which earned 13.36 million viewers. The game also marked the most-watched MLB game of the season on broadcast or cable. Fox also scored its most-viewed NLCS since '06, with this year’s six-game Giants-Phillies series averaging a 5.5 rating and 9.05 million viewers. However, the net was down 15%, and 12%, respectively, from a 6.5 rating and 10.3 million viewers for the Yankees-Angels ALCS in ’09. NLCS Game Six on Saturday earned a 6.7 final rating (11.6 million viewers), compared to a 9.3 rating (15.5 million viewers) for last year's Yankees-Angels Game Six. The game did give Fox a win for the night in primetime among all nets, and also helped Fox to their highest-rated and most-viewed Saturday primetime in nearly a year (THE DAILY). In Dallas, Barry Horn noted TBS Friday "won the night," as "no network, cable or over-the-air, scored higher in the prime time Friday ratings" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 10/24). USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand writes the solid LCS ratings were “partly because longer series help ratings and each got a six-game series" (USA TODAY, 10/25).

FOX' MLB LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES RATINGS
'10 NLCS:
Giants-Phillies
DATE
RAT.
'09 ALCS:
Yankees-Angels
RAT.
% +/-
1
Saturday, Oct. 16
4.2
Friday, Oct. 16
5.2
-19.2%
2
Sunday, Oct. 17
5.3
Saturday, Oct. 17
5.8
-8.6%
3
Tuesday, Oct. 19
3.3
Monday, Oct. 19
4.8
-31.3%
4
Wednesday, Oct. 20
5.7
Tuesday, Oct. 20
6.7
-14.9%
5
Thursday, Oct. 21
6.9
Thursday, Oct. 22
7.6
-9.2%
6
Saturday, Oct. 23
6.7
Saturday, Oct. 24
9.3
-28.0%
FOX LCS AVERAGE
5.5
 
6.5
-15.4%
TBS' MLB LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES RATINGS
'10 ALCS:
Rangers-Yankees
DATE
RAT.
'09 NLCS:
Phillies-Dodgers
RAT.
% +/-
1
Friday, Oct. 15
5.0
Thursday, Oct. 15
4.3
16.3%
2
Saturday, Oct. 16
3.6
Friday, Oct. 16
2.9
24.1%
3
Monday, Oct. 18
5.2
Sunday, Oct. 18
3.0
73.3%
4
Tuesday, Oct. 19
6.3
Monday, Oct. 19
3.4
85.3%
5
Wednesday, Oct. 20
4.1
Wednesday, Oct. 21
5.0
-18.0%
6
Friday, Oct. 22
7.2
N/A
N/A
N/A
TBS LCS AVERAGE
5.1
 
3.8
 

TOUGH SELL FOR VIEWERS? In N.Y., Michael Shain asks, "Who's going to watch a World Series between the Texas Rangers and the San Francisco Giants?" It "goes without saying that a Series that goes seven games generates the most excitement," and Fox Sports VP/Programming & Research Michael Mulvihill said Fox is "due for a seven-game series." But Shain notes "one more problem looms" as the Giants have home field advantage, meaning "as many as four games will start" at 8:00pm ET. Shain: "At that hour, almost no one on the West Coast will be home from work in time to watch the first pitch" (N.Y. POST, 10/25). The GLOBE & MAIL's Bruce Dowbiggin notes the S.F.-Oakland-San Jose market is the "sixth-largest media market," while Dallas-Ft.Worth is fifth. So "we're not talking Fargo versus Natchitoches here." The Rangers-Giants series "should go six or seven," and there will be "ratings in the double digits if it gets that far" (GLOBE & MAIL, 10/25). But in Denver, Dusty Saunders writes, "That huge collective groan you might have heard on Fox on Saturday night, after the Giants' pennant-clinching win over the Phillies, came from network executives and their advertisers." The national appeal of Rangers-Giants is "limited," and the teams will have to put on a "dazzling show to attract big audience numbers" (DENVER POST, 10/25). N.Y. Daily News columnist Mike Lupica said, "I don't know what the television ratings are going to do. This to me is a wonderful World Series and well worth watching" ("The Sports Reporters," ESPN, 10/24).

Guillen To Appear As World Series
Studio Analyst For Second Year

GUESS WHO'S BACK? Fox has hired White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen as a World Series studio analyst for the second straight year. He will appear on pre- and postgame shows along with Chris Rose and Eric Karros. Guillen will serve as a game analyst on Fox' Spanish-language broadcast booth for the first five innings of each game. He then will be available on Fox' main feed for in-game analysis during late-inning strategy discussions (THE DAILY).

UNDER REVIEW: In N.Y., Phil Mushnick wrote TBS' John Smoltz "grew on us ... in just two weeks" during the postseason, as he is "modest but eager to inform." And with TBS' Ron Darling "more inclined toward objectivity than when in the Mets' booth," Darling and Smoltz "mostly were strong -- not smothering the telecasts, hints without lectures, good humor without forced laughter" (N.Y. POST, 10/24). Also in N.Y., Bob Raissman honored ESPN Radio announcers Dan Shulman and Dave Campbell with his "Dude of the Week" designation "for their outstanding calls of the NLCS." It is "not often we're inclined to hit the mute button on Buck/McCarver, but we have gone to the finger roll to hear Shulman/Campbell." Shulman is "always on the play and his descriptions are beyond vivid," and they are "precise and concise." Campbell's material is "always fresh," and his ability to "size up a situation quickly (not an inning later after watching five replays) puts listeners ahead of the game" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/24).

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