SBD/July 17, 2013/Media

MLB All-Star Game Overnight Rating Flat, But Delivers Fox Win In Primetime

Fox earned an 8.1 overnight rating for the AL’s 3-0 win over the NL in last night’s MLB All-Star Game, flat compared to last year’s telecast, but up from a 7.9 overnight in ’11. The telecast gave Fox a win in primetime and marked the net’s highest-rated program since the “American Idol” finale in May. Detroit led all markets with a 20.3 local rating for the game, which is the best for that market since ’05. St. Louis (16.4), K.C. (13.9), Cincinnati (12.8) and Baltimore (12.6) rounded out the top five markets (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor). SB Nation's Steve Lepore wrote, "Fox still can draw a decent rating for the All-Star Game. It isn't what it used to be, but in TV, nothing really is."

ONE MO TIME: In N.Y., Bob Raissman writes when Yankees P Mariano Rivera entered during the eighth inning of Fox' broadcast, the "musical segue from Neil Diamond singing 'Sweet Caroline' to the opening notes of 'Enter Sandman' might have been surreal, but it produced goose bumps." With Fox Sports Dir Bill Webb and Producer Pete Macheska "deciding to let viewers follow behind Rivera, first walking, then running, in from the Citi Field bullpen, the drama was heightened." Fox announcers Joe Buck and Tim McCarver "let the pictures do the talking," including All-Stars "from both dugouts standing and cheering" and Rivera "taking off his cap and waving it to the crowd." It seemed like Fox was "presenting the final scene of a movie." The net's Ken Rosenthal "interviewed Rivera in the dugout," and Rivera was "clearly overwhelmed by what had to be the highlight of his farewell tour." The "clarity and quality of Fox’s pictures, the way it chose to cover his final All-Star appearance, will allow him to relive that eighth inning for the rest of his life" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 7/17). Meanwhile, McCarver was slightly mocked on Twitter for reading some of the lyrics to "Enter Sandman," Rivera's entrance music. CBSSports.com's Will Brinson wrote, "Tim McCarver reading Metallica lyrics. I think we're done here." SI's Steve Rushin wrote, "Just woke from a dream in which Tim McCarver was reciting Metallica lyrics." CBSSports.com's Gary Parrish wrote, "I hope Tim McCarver quotes Master of Puppets in the 9th inning."

PROMOTIONAL CONSIDERATIONS: Fox promoted next month’s launch of Fox Sports 1 early and often during last night’s game. Fox’ Joe Buck during the first segment of the pregame show promoted the channel and the 90-second FS1 ad that ran following the 5th inning. The net received both a verbal and on-screen reference for the upcoming program “Being: Mariano Rivera” following a pregame profile of the Yankees closer. A three-second promo aired directly after the 2nd, 6th and 9th innings, while a digital sign appeared behind home plate during the 4th and 6th innings. Another on-screen mention came during the top of the 6th inning near the score box in the top-left corner. At the start of the 8th inning, Buck read an on-air promo, noting FS1 will “be your home for great live sports, all the news and highlights you want and shows and specials that only Fox can bring you.” The final on-screen mention came in the form of a 20 second commercial in the final block of ads during the broadcast (THE DAILY). The L.A. Times' Bill Plaschke wrote, "Interesting how Fox chooses to feature USC, Marqise Lee and Lane Kiffin as its college football symbols in Fox1 preview commercial."

THE LONG GOODBYE: McCarver called his 22nd and final All-Star Game last night and a video with McCarver reflecting on his favorite All-Star moments concluded the broadcast. Buck, who has called 15 of those games with McCarver, said prior to the video airing, “I know you hate this, but we’re live on national TV so just deal with it.” Buck: “You’re the best doing at what you do, and it’s been a pleasure sitting here all these All-Star games.” Buck had McCarver sign his scorecard from last night’s game and told him that it will be put on display in the Baseball HOF, causing McCarver to choke up a bit (“MLB All-Star Game,” Fox, 7/16). SI’s Richard Deitsch wrote, “I know Tim McCarver has his many critics but his choking up at signing his scorecard for the HOF at the broadcast's end was pretty touching.”

SOCIAL STUDIES: Data from Twitter showed that Fox’ telecast generated 851,192 total comments among 477,795 unique users, the best figure yet for an MLB All-Star Game and up 5% from last year. Conversation on Twitter around the game peaked at 14,000 tweets per minute as Rivera entered the game. His one inning of work generated more than 190,000 total comments. The hashtag #ASG was included in more than 17% of all social media comments during the game. MLB’s second-ever social media concierge room saw 15 players pay a visit. Twins C Joe Mauer even tweeted for the first time, via the @MLB account. Marlins P Jose Fernandez increased his Twitter followers by 77%, while Tigers P Max Scherzer saw a 38% gain and Mets P Matt Harvey saw a 12% bump. Meanwhile, data from Facebook showed that Rivera’s appearance was the most-social moment during the game, followed by Neil Diamond singing "Sweet Caroline" during the middle of the eighth inning. Males 25-34 were the top demo for discussion of the game on Facebook, followed by makes 18-24 and females 18-24. New York led all states in generating buzz (14%), followed by California (11% and Texas (10%) (Karp).
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