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Fox finished with a 7.6 rating and 12.7 million viewers for the Giants’ sweep of the Tigers, marking the smallest audience for any World Series on record. The 7.6 rating is 10% below the previous low set during the ’10 Giants-Rangers matchup and ’08 Phillies-Rays matchup -- both of which went to five games. Only those three World Series have averaged a single-digit rating. The last two World Series sweeps were Red Sox-Rockies in ’07 (10.6 rating) and White Sox-Astros in ’05 (11.1 rating). This year’s Giants-Tigers series is also down 24% and 23%, respectively, from a 10.0 rating and 16.6 million viewers for the seven-game Cardinals-Rangers series last year. Sunday night’s series-clinching Game 4 earned an 8.9 rating and 15.5 million viewers, up from a 9.2 rating and 15.2 million viewers for Cardinals-Rangers game 4 last year (Austin Karp, THE DAILY). In L.A., Joe Flint wrote the Giants-Tigers matchup “had low ratings in part because only the last game (won in extra innings) was particularly compelling.” Even though the Tigers and Giants have “loyal followings, neither has the national presence” of the Yankees or the Red Sox (LATIMES.com, 10/29). USA TODAY’s Michael Hiestand writes under the header, "World Series Viewership Hits All-Time Low." He notes although Fox’ Sunday NFL national window, which featured Giants-Cowboys prior to Giants-Tigers Game 4, “created a huge lead-in for the World Series; the rating fell by more than 50% when baseball began” (USA TODAY, 10/30). NBCSPORTS.com's Craig Calcaterra writes, "As the recent large TV deals handed out by Fox, TBS and ESPN indicate, and as the local deals -- which are the game’s real financial and ratings lifeblood reside -- explode, the World Series ratings are not really of consequence in any one year" (NBCSPORTS.com, 10/30).
WORLD SERIES AUDIENCE TREND ON FOXYEARGMSRAT.VIEWERS (000)
MATCHUP'1247.612,700 Giants-Tigers'11710.016,600 Cardinals-Rangers'1058.414,268 Giants-Rangers'09611.719,400 Yankees-Phillies'08*58.413,635 Phillies-Rays'07410.617,123 Red Sox-Rockies'06510.115,812 Cardinals-Tigers'05411.117,162 White Sox-Astros'04415.825,390 Red Sox-Cardinals'03612.820,142 Marlins-Yankees'02711.919,261 Angels-Giants'01715.724,528 D'Backs-Yankees'00512.418,081 Yankees-Mets
WORLD SERIES VS. THE COMPETITION: Despite the record-low audience this year, the ’12 World Series gave Fox a primetime win among all nets during each night the net had a game. The net won Sunday night despite competition from NBC's Saints-Broncos "SNF" telecast. Fox' primetime figure Sunday was helped an overrun from the net's late afternoon NFL window featuring a Giants-Cowboys game that came down to the end. The World series also ranks as the ninth-best audience among all primetime shows this season to date. The four-telecast average also places the World Series No. 2 among males 18-49, No. 3 among males 25-54 and No. 4 among males 18-34. After beating the NBA Finals audience from ’99-'09, the World Series audience has now lost three years running. The World Series remains well above the Stanley Cup Final audience (Karp).
ESPN earned an 8.3 overnight Nielsen rating for the 49ers-Cardinals "MNF" telecast last night, despite the figure excluding local ratings from Baltimore, Boston, Cleveland-Akron, Hartford, N.Y., Philadelphia, Providence-New Bedford and DC due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy. Despite the loss of those markets, the "MNF" overnight is down only 5% from an 8.7 overnight for Chargers-Chiefs in Week 8 last year. In the S.F.-Oakland-San Jose market, "MNF" drew a 7.4 local rating on ESPN and a 10.6 rating on KPIX-CBS. In Phoenix, the game drew a 12.2 local rating on ESPN and an 8.1 rating on KTVD-Ind (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).
MUY CALIENDO: ADWEEK’s Anthony Crupi conducted a Q&A with new ESPN “Sunday NFL Countdown” contributor and comedian Frank Caliendo, who previously served in a similar role on "Fox NFL Sunday." Caliendo said of his role, “I’d like to keep some of the basic studio stuff I did when I was at Fox, doing skits and hopefully a little standup. But I’m also planning on doing more taped features, merging the sort of stuff I did before with bits where I go out with a camera and find a subject to really dig into.” Caliendo, who is known for impersonations, said, “Doing impressions of ESPN people was not an option before, so right there you have a whole bunch of huge personalities I haven’t had a chance to try on. So, I have Chris Berman down and I’ve been working on my (Ron) Jaworski, my Herm Edwards. One I’ve been having a lot of fun with is Jon Gruden.” He added, “I don’t think I would do John Madden again unless I had a chance to work with him in a skit. That’s the only way it would make sense” (ADWEEK.com, 10/29).
CABLE OPERATOR: In a Q&A with BROADCASTING & CABLE’s Jon Lafayette, NFL Exec VP/Media and NFL Network President & CEO Steve Bornstein said of finally finishing a distribution deal for NFL Net on Time Warner Cable, "We had two primary guys that we hadn't signed up, Time Warner and Cablevision. We were able to do a deal with Cablevision. They were really interested in a full season of games on the NFL Network as well as the success of (NFL) RedZone. Time Warner had a similar view that this was the right time and that the value proposition was one that made sense to them. … So I never doubted that we’d get a deal done." He added, "We had the patience and the discipline to do a market deal. And that was determined a few years ago, and we were able to make a deal that works for everybody." Bornstein also said of the league having "Sunday Ticket" exclusively on DirecTV, "Right now it seems to be working. We haven't gotten to figuring out what the best models are in the future for that. Obviously that is going to be a priority at the appropriate time" (BROADCASTING & CABLE, 10/29 issue).
AIR TIME: In Ft. Worth, Mac Engel noted in 34 years as the Cowboys radio voice, Brad Sham has “never crossed the line the way he did” on Sunday during the Giants-Cowboys game. When Cowboys WR Dez Bryant fumbled a punt during the first half, Sham said he would “put that guy on the bench.” Sham said of his comment, “I don't think it was incorrect but it's not my role as a play by play man to be saying [things] like that. I shouldn't have said it." Sham said that “no one in the organization has said anything to him in regards to the comment, nor does he expect it” (STAR-TELEGRAM.com, 10/29).
HOLDING BACK: In N.Y., Bob Raissman notes the Jets’ QB controversy “turned into an effective curtain" for coach Rex Ryan to “hide behind during” CBS’ Dolphins-Jets telecast. There was “ample opportunity” for analyst Dan Fouts and play-by-play announcer Ian Eagle to “elevate Ryan to No. 1 bullseye for anyone shooting arrows at the usual suspects.” Raissman: "Fortunately television is a visual medium and CBS cameras were on Rex. … Both voices know who to blame, but they didn't pull the trigger. This often happens when the head coach should wear the target. NFL analysts are reluctant to call the head man out directly during a game.” Eagle and Fouts “could have come out swinging from the get-go when [Jets CB] Antonio Cromartie lost his mind and head-butted [Dolphins RB] Reggie Bush.” Raissman: “Fouts commented on a lack of composure. But where does that attitude come from? The voices talked about all the trash talking, mostly instigated by the Jets, but never cast any aspersions on Ryan for allowing the yakking to careen out of control to the point where it worked to the Dolphins advantage” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/30).
The Univ. of Michigan athletic department has “formalized its social media practices,” following a "national trend of colleges tightening their grip on student athletes’ social media practices,” according to Kellie Woodhouse of ANNARBOR.com. The department “now distributes the same set of guidelines to all teams and asks each athlete to sign a social media use agreement.” Previously, social media usage was “less streamlined and formalized.” UM's policy “is straightforward, advising students not to post when they’re emotional, not to use offensive language or slurs, and not to tweet during class.” Athletes who violate the policy "can be reprimanded or, worse, face suspension.” UM Associate AD/Media & PR David Ablauf said that since the "rise of social media, U-M has suspended a ‘handful’ of student athletes because of inappropriate posts.” He added that no suspensions “occurred on the football, basketball or hockey teams.” However, UM WR Roy Roundtree and LB Kenny Demens in March “each earned the football team secondary NCAA violations for tweeting at Michigan recruit Mike McCray, who attends Roundtree’s former high school.” UM football coach Brady Hoke has said that he "will not ban his players from Twitter and other social media” because doing so “doesn’t engender responsibility.” Hoke: “There’s a maturity that goes along with it. You’ve got kids … growing up who aren’t getting coached on the use of Twitter. We try to educate our guys all the time" (ANNARBOR.com, 10/29).