SBD/October 29, 2012/Media

Fox' Four-Game World Series Coverage Averages 8.9 Overnight Rating

World Series Game 4, combined with NFL overrun, led Fox to primetime win

Fox averaged an 8.9 overnight Nielsen rating over the four games of the ’12 World Series, putting this year’s Fall Classic on pace to be the lowest-rated of all time. Through four games last year, Fox was averaging a 9.3 overnight. Last night’s series-clinching Giants-Tigers Game 4 earned a 10.6 overnight, leading Fox a win in primetime when combined with the net’s NFL national window overrun. The Game 4 telecast peaked at a 13.0 rating in the 11:45pm-12:00am ET window when the game was in extra innings. The game marked Fox' best primetime program since the “American Idol” finale in May and marked the net's best night of primetime since the NFC Championship last January. Game 4 earned a 38.7 local rating in the S.F.-Oakland-San Jos market, which is the market’s best figure for any MLB telecast since a 41.5 rating for Game 7 of the Angels-Giants World Series in ’02. In Detroit, the game earned a 37.9 local rating, which is the best for any MLB game since Cardinals-Tigers World Series Game 2 in ’06 (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).

IS THERE ANYBODY OUT THERE? USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand writes the World Series “looks on track to be the lowest-rated ever,” and there "aren’t any obvious explanations." That “has to be troubling for Fox," which earlier this month signed an eight-year extension for MLB TV rights that includes the World Series. The '12 World Series “didn't have an obvious TV star" such as the Yankees, Red Sox or Cubs. However, the series “seemed pretty mediagenic,” as S.F. is the nation's sixth-largest TV market, and the Tigers boast Triple Crown winner 3B Miguel Cabrera and came in "as a giant-killer after sweeping the Yankees” (USA TODAY, 10/29). The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Tim Goodman writes the World Series may end up mattering "only to those people in a beautiful, picture-postcard little city tucked between an ocean and a bay." Fox is probably "happy this World Series is over." Goodman: "Unless it's the Yankees vs. Dodgers, there's not much hope in the ratings. We are no longer a baseball country" (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 10/29). FORBES.com's Wayne McDonnell Jr. wrote MLB "must come to terms with the fact that viewership for World Series games will no longer approach a 30.0 rating and must readjust their expectations to reflect modesty and the current consumption patterns of consumers" (FORBES.com, 10/27).

NO GIMMICKS NEEDED: In N.Y., Bob Raissman wrote under the header, “Hey, Fox: Lay Off The Regular-Season Gimmicks And Give Us The World Series.” Fox “decides to distract from baseball’s biggest event, the World Series, with elongated, in-game, dugout interviews.” Raissman: “This is the World Series, not a Saturday afternoon game in July when crap like this is expected” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/28). Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of P Sergio Romo doing an interview during Game 2, “Am I OK with it? Not really. It’s where the game has changed” (CBSSPORTS.com, 10/27). In S.F., David Wiegand wrote under the header, “Fox Sports Needs To Stick To Ballgame.” Wiegand: “If someone asked me Friday if I'd seen the game the previous night, I would have given them an earful: Yeah, I saw the game -- some of it anyway, when Fox Sports wasn't apparently bored with other things and actually covered it.” Fox “strayed too far in its coverage of the second game of the series” (S.F. CHRONICLE, 10/27). In N.Y., Phil Mushnick writes of Fox’ coverage, “Everything’s a con, an ugly sell.” Fox promos on Saturday “couldn’t have made it any clearer to an unsuspecting national audience that Game 3 began at 7:30 ET.” But the game “began, as scheduled, at 8:07.” The net “told a 37-minute lie” (N.Y. POST, 10/29). In Tampa, Tom Jones writes, “Watching the World Series on Fox has been a dud.” The series “just hasn't been that interesting.” Jones: “But how cool is that X-Mo ultra slow-motion stuff?” (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 10/29).

INSIDE INFORMATION
: USA TODAY's Hiestand writes White Sox C A.J. Pierzynski in his second postseason as a Fox pregame analyst “seems perfectly rational and shows plenty of on-air potential for a TV career.” Pierzynski was "insightful on how to pitch the Tigers" (USA TODAY, 10/29).
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