SBD/June 11, 2013/Media

MLB Media Notes: CSN Chicago Seeing Ratings Decline For Cubs, White Sox

Cubs ratings are down overall, but up 31% in the 25-54 demographic compared to '12
In Chicago, Danny Ecker noted TV ratings this season for Cubs games on Comcast SportsNet Chicago are down 15% "compared with the first 28 telecasts last season, to a local average of 1.7, or about 60,000 TV households tuning in." However, Cubs ratings in the 25-54 age demographic are up 31% through this point last year on the net, "which helps the network from an advertising perspective." Meanwhile, White Sox ratings are down 24% year-over-year "to 1.3 through the first 31 telecasts on CSN, or about 45,000 TV households per game." White Sox ratings late last season were "higher than the Cubs' thanks to their being in playoff contention in September." But the White Sox this year have "faced some steep Bulls and Blackhawks competition on CSN." The Sox "would be averaging a 1.5 this season" if their games that aired against Bulls or Blackhawks playoff games were removed from consideration (CHICAGOBUSINESS.com, 6/10).

BELTWAY BATTLE: In DC, Adam Kilgore wrote while Nationals' attendance is up, the team's "poor play seems to be generating more apathy than outrage." WJFK-FM morning show host Danny Rouhier said that "caller volume slows when the Nationals arise as a topic ... and ratings shrink." Rouhier: "We've had to move away from the amount of Nats conversation we'd like to have" (WASHINGTON POST, 6/8). ESPN Radio 980 DC Program Dir Chuck Sapienza wrote on the station's Facebook page, "Unlike our team's 'so-called' flagship station, you have ESPN980s word and commitment to extended and full Nats coverage. It should be unacceptable for a station to 'back away' from covering a team just because they are injured and struggling. ESPN980 is looking for ways to INCREASE Coverage ... not back away" (FACEBOOK.com, 6/8).

QUEENS ZOO?
 In N.Y., Bob Raissman writes, "With no end to the Mets’ ineptitude and misery in sight, their broadcasters are the only entertaining element left." They "won’t be able to stop the ratings from tanking, no set of voices can do that, but they can hold what is left of the shrinking audience by pounding away at the horror show reality the Mets will be dealing with indefinitely." This means "toning down the Mets’ 'future' shtick." P Matt Harvey is the "only thing Mets fans have to look forward to," but this can be "carried to an extreme." SportsNet N.Y.'s Gary Apple and Jim Duquette's postgame discussion of Harvey leaving Saturday's game against the Marlins "took their focus off the Mets’ pathetic offense." Raissman: "Either one of these mouths should’ve torched the Mets. Neither did" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 6/11).

APPLE OF THEIR EYES: Apple is holding their Worldwide Developers Conference in S.F. this week, and MLB Senior VP/Wireless Adam Ritter and MLB Senior VP/Mobile Product Development Chad Evans appeared on CNBC live via satellite yesterday morning from the conference. Ritter noted this is the fifth year MLB has attended the conference and it is "always exciting to hear what Apple is going to announce from products and services that we as developers then get to go back to New York and look to see how we can enhance our products and services to make the game of baseball accessible to fans across our range of applications." Evans said with Apple, "there's always something new and completely unexpected." Ritter noted the MLB.com At Bat App is the "top-grossing app really because fans vote with their wallets and with their downloads" ("Squawk on the Street," CNBC, 6/10).
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