SBD/October 14, 2011/Media

TBS' NLCS Audience Down From Recent Years In Part Due To Smaller Markets

Cardinals-Brewers 4.2 overnight down 45% from Yankees-Rangers '10 ALCS Game Four

TBS earned a 4.2 overnight rating for Brewers-Cardinals NLCS Game Four last night from 8:00-11:45pm ET, down 45% from Rangers-Yankees ALCS Game Four last year, which aired on a Tuesday night, and down 5% from Phillies-Dodgers Game Four in ’09, which aired on a Monday night. Last night’s game earned a 31.1 local rating in St. Louis and a 28.8 rating in Milwaukee. Earlier in the day, Fox earned a 4.2 overnight for Rangers-Tigers ALCS Game Five. Last year's Giants-Phillies NLCS Game Five aired in primetime, earning a 7.9 overnight. Detroit earned a 23.8 local rating and 17.9 rating in Dallas-Ft. Worth (Austin Karp, THE DAILY). In Albany, Pete Dougherty writes TBS "can't seem to catch a break." Its Division Series ratings "were down despite three of four matchups going the distance," and the net's primetime audience for NLCS Game Three Wednesday "was slashed by a rain-delayed, extra inning" ALCS Game Five on Fox (Albany TIMES UNION, 10/14). USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand notes with the "much smaller ratings for MLB's postseason, team market size can be a big factor and is this year." That is especially true for TBS' coverage of the NLCS. With the "smallest average team market size for any LCS" since the '90 Reds-Pirates matchup, the Cardinals and Brewers together "don't even constitute a big TV market." If both cities were combined, their total HHs "wouldn't be big enough to constitute a top-10 TV market" (USA TODAY, 10/14). The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Tim Goodman wrote, "This isn't pleasing to Fox and TBS. ... Maybe the baseball gods didn't like all the network and media bitching last year when the San Francisco Giants played the Texas Rangers in the World Series. After all, it was the fifth- vs. sixth-largest U.S. market" (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 10/13).

WEATHER ADVISORY
: Fox’ Rangers-Tigers ALCS has averaged a 4.5 final Nielsen rating and 7.2 million viewers over four telecasts, three of which were impacted by adverse weather. Those figures are down 4% in both metrics from last year’s Giants-Phillies NLCS, which featured no rain delays. The net did benefit from a rain delay in Game Four of the series, averaging a 5.2 rating and 8.4 million viewers as the a rain delay pushed the game from the a scheduled afternoon window to one that bled into primetime (6:26-10:30pm).  The telecast was down 9% from a 5.7 rating (9.3 million viewers) for Giants-Phillies Game Four last year, which aired completely in a primetime window (Fox).

PINCH HITTERS: USA TODAY's Hiestand notes MLB's postseason has given "air time to fresh faces who've shown lots of potential for TV work, led by" White Sox C A.J. Pierzynski on Fox' pregame shows, former Red Sox manager Terry Francona on Games One and Two of the ALCS, and Padres 2B Orlando Hudson and former MLBer Mike Lowell as MLB Network guest analysts (USA TODAY, 10/14). Lowell said of his new broadcasting gig, "I would always think it would be a hard thing for me to just stop playing and be totally disconnected from a sport that I started when I was 6 years old, and I still feel like I have the same passion for. The scheduling is great. This is something I don't have to do 9 to 5. I can come in and out and kind of stay involved and stay in the loop of the game" (MLB.com, 10/13).

YELLING & STREAMING: The HUFFINGTON POST's Amanda Terkel reported Americans United for Change is "launching a campaign against Major League Baseball, pressuring the group to cut its ties to right-wing pundit Glenn Beck due to his history of controversial statements." Beck recently launched his own online network, GBTV, and MLBAM this spring "teamed up with Beck and agreed to provide him with a streaming video platform." Americans United for Change Thursday launched the website Strike Out Beck, where people can "go and sign a petition pressuring the MLB to drop the right-wing host." It will be "accompanied by a Facebook ad campaign in big baseball towns" -- St. Louis, Detroit, Dallas, S.F., L.A., Oakland, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, DC, Baltimore and Milwaukee -- that "will encourage people to check out the site and join in" (HUFFINGTONPOST.com, 10/12).

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