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SBD/October 19, 2011/Media
Fox Hopes To Buck Trend Of Low-Rated World Series With Prolonged Rangers-Cards Matchup
Published October 19, 2011
LET THE CHATTER BEGIN: USA TODAY’s Michael Hiestand reports given that the “two lowest-rated Series came in the past three years and this year’s league championship series ratings were way down,” Fox Sports Media Group Chair David Hill “expects the annual what’s-wrong-with-baseball questions.” Still, Hill “seems relaxed when asked what could be changed, like not having Series games Sunday and Monday nights to avoid the NFL, to improve baseball’s appeal.” Hiestand notes to “help Series hype, Fox will have its first-ever ‘roadblock’ tonight at 7:59 ET, when all 10 Fox channels will air a one-minute reminder that Series coverage is about to start.” In addition, the Fox Hot Spot will use “technology that has been seen on TV cricket overseas.” The idea is “for heat-seeking sensors to pinpoint heat made by a ball making contact ... and mark the spot for viewers by making it glow.” Hill said that Hot Spot “might not appear” on tonight’s coverage of Rangers-Cardinals Game One and “initially will aim only at the batter’s box but might be used to cover more of the field” (USA TODAY, 10/19).
FAIR AND BALANCED: In Dallas, Barry Horn writes for fans who think Fox’ Joe Buck and Tim McCarver “can’t deliver a fair and balanced World Series broadcast” are “wrong.” Buck is a former Cardinals broadcaster and McCarver played for the team, but Horn writes, “Please don’t get out your faux-enthusiasm meter and declare them Cardinals fanatics. It won’t be so. If anything, they will be rooting for both teams to produce an exciting Series that goes seven games. That would deliver what Buck and McCarver root for most -- better ratings” (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 10/19).
TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING: ESPN.com's Gene Wojciechowski wrote under the header, "The World Series: It's Broken. Fix It!" Wojciechowski noted the 8.4 rating for the Giants-Rangers World Series last year was "tied for the lowest World Series TV numbers in its long, storied history." Wojciechowski: "Why? Because regular-season baseball lasts longer than a Ken Burns documentary. So shorten it. A 154- or even a 148-game regular season would work just fine. The integrity of the season wouldn't be compromised, and it would allow the postseason to start before we gas up the snow blowers. ... While we're at it, let's shrink the league championship series and World Series from best-of-seven series to best-of-five" (ESPN.com, 10/18).