SBD/April 5, 2012/MLB Season Preview

Marlins Park Debut Gets ESPN 1.8 Overnight, Flat With '11 MLB Opening Night

Cardinals-Marlins on ESPN earned 5.4 local rating in Miami-Ft. Lauderdale
ESPN earned a 1.8 overnight for the Cardinals' 4-1 win over the Marlins last night in the regular-season debut of Marlins Park, flat compared to the net's Dodgers-Giants opener last year. The game earned a 5.4 local rating in Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, which is the net's highest regular-season MLB telecast ever in the market. St. Louis led all U.S. markets with a 15.9 local rating, marking the best Opening Night rating in any market on ESPN or ESPN2 in the last five years. Meanwhile, ESPN2 earned a 2.1 overnight for the Thunder-Heat game last night, which was moved to accommodate Cardinals-Marlins. The telecast earned a 3.6 local rating in Miami-Ft. Lauderdale. The game also marked ESPN2's best rating ever for an NBA game on the net (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).

MIC CHECK: Former MLB manager Terry Francona made his regular-season debut as part of ESPN's primary MLB announcer team last night, but it was partially spoiled by some sound issues. ESPN in a statement said, "We had some technical issues with the sound from Terry's microphone. We made adjustments to address it" (THE DAILY). The Globe & Mail's Bruce Dowbiggin wrote on his Twitter account, "Is Terry Francona using the gargle microphone? Sounds like they placed it right next to his glottis." Baseball America's Ben Badler wrote, "What's up with Francona's microphone? Sounds like he's about to tell us we're headed for mild turbulence." SportsBusiness Journal's Don Muret wrote, "Terry Francona sounds like he's in a tunnel. Or else he's chewing tobacco again." Baseball Prospectus' Jason Parks wrote, "When is Terry Francona going to break out some 'Yellow Submarine' sound effect vocals? Perfect opportunity."
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