SBD/October 1, 2013/Media

TBS' 2.4 Overnight For Rays-Rangers Even With Rockies-Padres Tiebreaker In '07

Rays-Rangers did not draw as many viewers as the Twins-Tigers in '09
TBS earned 2.4 overnight for the Rays’ 5-2 win over the Rangers in the AL Wild Card tiebreaker last night from 8:00-11:30pm ET. The telecast had strong competition ESPN’s “MNF,” NBC's "The Voice" and ABC's "Dancing With The Stars." The telecast peaked at a 2.9 rating from 10:45-11:00pm. Tampa-St. Petersburg earned a 12.8 local rating for the game, while Dallas-Ft. Worth earned an 11.3 rating. The last MLB tiebreaker was played in ’09, with TBS earning a 4.5 overnight for the Twins’ extra-innings defeat of the Tigers on a Tuesday from 5:00-10:00pm. A Twins-White Sox tiebreaker in ’08 on TBS earned a 3.3 overnight from 7:30-10:00pm. Rays-Rangers is even with the Rockies-Padres tiebreaker in ’07, which aired on a Monday from 7:30pm-12:17am (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).

STRONG START: Turner said that it has "sold nearly 80 percent of its available ad inventory for the MLB postseason, slightly ahead of last year at a comparable point, and encouraging enough to suggest a likely full sellout as in 2012." SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Fisher & Ourand note Budweiser is "again the presenting sponsor of the wild-card games." New MLB sponsor T-Mobile has "bought the presenting rights to the league division series round, and Capital One has those rights" for the NLCS. Turner is "primarily selling ad inventory across its postseason rights this year: the wild-card games, all LDS, and the NLCS." But the net is "holding back some avails from the NLCS." Turner Sports Exec VP/Ad Sales & Marketing Jon Diament said that as teams "move on, their seasonlong sponsors will be looking to buy spots" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/30 issue). Diament said that if there are audience shortfalls for the MLB postseason broadcasts, TBS "would try to position make-goods within the property, but could offer units in its NBA presentation if advertisers had fourth-quarter flighting needs." MULTICHANNEL NEWS' Mike Reynolds noted new advertisers for TBS' '13 MLB postseason include Joe's Crab Shack, Toyota, Volvo, Novartis and Midas. Diament said that the "telco/hardware arena has been quite active." Reynolds noted QSR has been "another big category." Many of TBS' postseason sponsors were "moved up" into the Rays-Rangers broadcast. However, Diament’s team yesterday was "exploring some last-minute opportunities with local companies around the participating clubs" (MULTICHANNEL.com, 9/30).

BELLS AND WHISTLES: BROADCASTING & CABLE's George Winslow reports Fox and Turner are preparing for postseason coverage "by developing a number of newer technologies to improve their look and provide announcers with additional features." One example is the "Phantom super-slow-motion camera from Vision Research that Fox used in last year’s postseason coverage and Turner will be fielding for the first time." Fox Sports VP/Field Operations Mike Davies said, "It shoots at anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 frames per second, so you can see things that you can’t with other cameras, like the bat bend and the spin on the ball coming out of the pitcher’s hand." Turner also has been "working on what it is calling a 'Truss Cam,' which will be mounted on a trolley moving 125 to 250 feet in either direction along the outfield wall at up to 25 miles per hour." Fox is "hoping to provide a new perspective on the game thanks to an HD 'Dirtcam.'" The net "tried the set-up at the All-Star Game but was unable to use the shots because of a lens flare from the lights, a problem it has since fixed." An Ultra HD slow-motion camera from Vision Research also will "get its postseason debut for use in replays" (BROADCASTING & CABLE, 9/30 issue).

ATTENTION GRAB: In N.Y., Bob Raissman wrote the "best way to maximize baseball’s postseason TV ratings is to keep the media’s focus on the field," but that "won’t be easy." Not only will MLB be "going up against" Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez "in a highly anticipated arbitration hearing, it will be competing against him for media attention, the kind of coverage needed to drive postseason TV ratings to the promised land." The hearing was held yesterday "at an undisclosed location" in N.Y. The Rodriguez story "could end up overshadowing a portion of the playoffs." TBS will not "ignore" it. TBS' Ron Darling said, "Cal (Ripken) and I will address it because that’s what we have to do" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/29).
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