SBD/October 20, 2011/Media

World Series Game One Overnight Down From '10, But Delivers Fox A Primetime Win

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Audience for Rangers-Cardinals Game One rose steadily throughout the telecast
Fox earned a 9.6 overnight Nielsen rating for last night's Rangers-Cardinals World Series Game One, down 8% from a 10.4 overnight for Giants-Rangers Game One last year, which also aired on a Wednesday night. The rating also marks the second-lowest overnight for a World Series opener dating back to '87. Only Cardinals-Tigers in '06 (8.6 overnight) was lower. The game did lead Fox to a win in primetime among all networks, defeating CBS which aired original episodes of "Survivor: Nicaragua", "CSI" and "Criminal Minds." Fox also defeated ABC, whose programming included original episodes of "Modern Family" and "The Middle." Game One opened with a 7.2 rating at 8:00pm ET, growing steadily as the game remained close. The rating peaked in the 10:00pm half-hour window with a 10.9 rating, while the final 15 minutes of the telecast from 11:00-11:15pm earned a 10.8 rating. St. Louis led all markets with a 47.3 local rating, the best Game One local rating for a team's home market since Boston earned a 50.4 for Red Sox-Rockies in '07. Dallas-Ft. Worth ranked second with a 34.2 rating, up slightly from a 33.9 for Game One last year (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).

WORLD SERIES GAME ONE OVERNIGHT RATINGS TREND ON FOX
YEAR
MATCHUP
NIGHT
OVERNIGHT
'11
Rangers-Cardinals
Wed.
9.6
'10
Giants-Rangers
Wed.
10.4
'09
Yankees-Phillies
Wed.
13.8
'08
Phillies-Rays
Wed.
10.3
'07
Red Sox-Rockies
Wed.
11.8
'06
Cardinals-Tigers
Sat.
8.6
   

QUIT YOUR GRIPING: ESPN's Mike Greenberg said he is "getting tired of hearing" baseball fans complain about the World Series ratings. Greenberg asked, "What do you care if you’re a baseball fan how many other people are watching? You are in no threat of the World Series ceasing to be on major television anytime in your lifetime. So just watch it and enjoy it. ... Who cares if the rating for an NFL pregame show is better. What difference does it make? If you like baseball, watch the baseball game and stop worrying about!” He added, “What difference does it make to a baseball fan if their ratings are a little down? I just don’t understand why people think that fans should care about that kind of stuff. ... I don’t care what the rating is. I understand the networks care, Bud Selig cares -- that’s their problem. You got your job, you worry about your job, let them worry about their job” ("Mike & Mike in the Morning," ESPN Radio, 10/20). Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan said, “Everybody tells us that the ratings for the World Series will be terrible because the big markets aren’t there. Well you know what, I think if you’re really a sports fan and you like the sport to start with, you want to see the best teams. How could you not want to see these two teams after what we saw in the playoffs?” (“Around The Horn,” ESPN, 10/19).

WE OWN THE NIGHT: In DC, Jim Williams writes there “really are no such things as bad World Series ratings.” Fox prior to last night had won the night in primetime "58 of the 68 times it had aired a World Series game" since '96. Fox Sports Media Group Vice Chair Ed Goren said, “While they certainly are not what they used to be, the ratings aren’t bad when you compare baseball to itself and other programming in this increasingly fragmented media landscape as opposed to simply comparing it to the ratings behemoth that is the NFL.” Goren added that Fox “had no problems" finding sponsors. Goren: “Even in this soft economy, we sold this year’s World Series out well in advance, and the sponsors had no problems with the ad rates, so we are pleased” (WASHINGTON EXAMINER, 10/20).

CASTING A SPELL: Fox' Tim McCarver last night made a math error that made teachers across the country cringe. During the top of the seventh inning, Cardinals P Marc Rzepczynski struck out Rangers 2B Esteban German. Fox’ Joe Buck said, “The guy nicknamed ‘Scrabble’ because of all the letters in his last name, Marc Rzepczynski, comes in to strike out two.” McCarver replied, “It’s a five-letter word: S-T-R-I-K-E.” McCarver addressed his gaffe in the bottom of the seventh inning saying, “By the way, I said 'strike' had five letters. It has six. I was figuring that out between innings.” As Buck was chuckling in the background, McCarver said, “That’s why I was a bad Scrabble player. What can I tell you?” As Cardinals CF Jon Jay grounded out to start the bottom of the inning, Buck replied, “Four-letter word is O-U-T,” prompting a laugh from McCarver (“Rangers-Cardinals,” Fox, 10/19). McCarver today said the “minute we broke for commercial,” Buck told him “it has six letters.” McCarver: “I was one off. Big deal! … That’s part of the fun being human and I’m very human” (“The Dan Patrick Show,” 10/20). However, the Twitter world immediately jumped on McCarver's mistake. TSN’s Dave Hodge wrote, “After stumbling on the number of letters in S-T-R-I-K-E, Tim McCarver wisely chose to take a pass on R-Z-E-P-C-Z-Y-N-S-K-I.” FoxSports.com’s Jason Whitlock wrote, “McCarver is an eight-letter word for dumbass.” The National Post’s Bruce Arthur wrote, “That's GOP-running-for-President stuff.” Blue Jays SS Nick Green wrote, “McCarver ‘it's odd to see a reliever throw from the windup these days’ Feldman has only started 80 games in his career. Do a little homework.” KTCK-AM’s Rick Arnett wrote, “Next time LaRussa makes a change can he request Terry Francona replace McCarver?” Author Dave Kindred wrote, “McCarver knows everything except when to tell us a little instead of a lot...”

Beltre's ninth-inning out provided Fox a perfect
situation to show off "Hot Spot" camera
INJURY REPORT: In St. Louis, Dan Caesar writes there “were several notable moments” during Game One. Fox’ slow-motion replay of Cardinals P Chris Carpenter “skidding across first base, his face banging on the ground while he slid on his belly to retire Elvis Andrus in the first inning, shined.” The shot also included a “close-up of Carpenter grimacing, and Andrus avoiding stepping on him.” Fox later “followed up with shot of the scrape on Carpenter's arm.” The net also “unveiled a gizmo that highlights where a player might have been injured, using an infrared camera to show a ‘hot spot’ where the body gives off extra heat caused by an injury.” The result is an “eerie look to TV viewers, with the screen dark and players appearing like they would in an X-ray” (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 10/20). YAHOO SPORTS’ David Brown writes for the first eight innings of the World Series, “the newfangled infrared ‘Hot Spot’ camera Fox debuted Wednesday night proved itself useless.” Even McCarver “found the device to be ‘weird.’” However, during the ninth inning, Rangers 3B Adrian Beltre "hit a chopper to third that he claimed had bounced off his left foot -- which would make it a foul ball.” None of the umpires “saw it that way, even after Beltre and manager Ron Washington argued, so he was out.” But the "Hot Spot" camera “left no doubt” as you could see the “heat signature of a foul ball on the toe of Beltre's cleats” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 10/20).

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