SBD/October 14, 2013/Media

Dramatic Red Sox Game Win Brings Jump From Fox' ALCS Game 2 In '11

Ortiz' grand slam in the eighth inning tied Game 2
Fox earned a 5.9 overnight rating for last night’s Tigers-Red Sox ALCS Game 2. The rating is up 59.4% from TBS’ coverage of Yankees-Tigers ALCS Game 2 in ‘12, which was also played on a Sunday afternoon and drew a 3.7 in metered markets. Compared to Fox' Monday afternoon broadcast of Tigers-Rangers ALCS Game 2 in '11, the rating is up 28.3% from 4.6.

TBS SEES A BUMP: TBS’ coverage of the Dodgers-Cardinals NLCS Game 2 on Saturday afternoon drew a 2.2 final rating with 3.4 million viewers. When compared to the last NLCS Game 2 TBS broadcast, it is up from a 1.9 rating and 3.0 million viewers for Cardinals-Brewers in ’11. Saturday's game is down from a 3.6 Fox received for the Giants-Cardinals NLCS Game 2 last year, which was played on a Monday night. Dodgers-Cardinals Game 1 on Friday night drew a 3.5 rating and 5.5 million viewers. Compared to TBS’ broadcast of the Cardinals-Brewers NLCS Game 1 in ’11, it is up from a 2.1 rating of 3.4 million viewers. These are increases of 67% and 63%, respectively. Fox’ Giants-Cardinals NLCS Game 1 last year, which was played on a Sunday, drew a 4.1 nationally.  Locally, the series is averaging a 28.8 in St. Louis and a 10.5 in L.A. (Joe Perez, Assistant Editor).

MOVING UPWARD: TBS averaged a 2.5 final rating and 3.89 million viewers for its MLB Wild Card and LDS telecasts this year, up 4% and 6%, respectively, from a 2.4 rating and 3.67 million viewers through the same point last season. The postseason’s most-viewed telecast to date was Wednesday night’s Cardinals-Pirates NLDS Game 5 with 6.1 million viewers (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).

SO HAPPY TOGETHER: In N.Y., Bob Raissman wrote after Fox' Tim McCarver announced his retirement in March, TBS analyst Ron Darling's name was "prominently mentioned" as his successor. But that "never even got to the talking stages," and Darling signed an extension with TBS in June. Darling said, "Turner was aggressive in coming and saying, ‘Hey, let’s continue this relationship.’ They didn’t have to do that. That said a lot about my work with them and it says a lot about them as a company." Raissman noted Darling and his reps knew Fox was "not going to make any quick decisions when it came to replacing" McCarver. Darling when asked why he did not wait on Fox said, "My decision (to stay with Turner) wasn’t hard at all. Anyone would like to do World Series games and of course I would. You also have to be at a place where it makes sense for you. From top to bottom I’ve always been made to feel like king of the hill (at Turner). That’s something you just don’t feel everywhere" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/13).

SMOOTH SAILING AHEAD? In Tampa, Tom Jones writes it has been "a rough postseason for TBS, rougher than in previous years," but its broadcasts "should improve now that the first-team analyst duo of Cal Ripken Jr. and Ron Darling are doing all its remaining games." A lot of people have not liked TBS' studio show that has included Keith Olbermann, Pedro Martinez and Gary Sheffield, something Jones "thought was pretty good." Still, it is "clear Fox has a superior product." Watching a game on TBS is "like having a cheeseburger," while Fox is "like having a good steak" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 10/14). Jones wrote it was "stunning how many people wrote in to complain just how disappointed they were in TBS's coverage of the baseball playoffs, particularly the Rays-Red Sox series." The e-mails for the most part  were "intelligent, calm and very much matter-of-fact," and all of them "absolutely blistered TBS, involving everything from the announcers to the camera work to the graphics" (TAMPABAY.com, 10/11). But in Denver, Dusty Saunders writes Olbermann is "producing a needed edge as host of TBS studio shows during the network's postseason baseball coverage" (DENVER POST, 10/14).

BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITY: SI.com's Richard Deitsch wrote Fox Sports Dir Bill Webb and Producer Pete Macheska were "on the top of their game Saturday night with the production" of Tigers-Red Sox ALCS Game 1. Among the "terrific touches" was a "cut to the famed Fenway Park left field scoreboard to show the audience when the scoreboard operator placed the lone 'H' by the Red Sox" (SI.com, 10/13). In Detroit, JC Reindl wrote to help Detroit and the Tigers "make a bright impression with TV viewers, downtown businesses have been asked once again to leave their lights on" for the ALCS games in the city this week. The "extra illumination should be timed" for 7pm to 2am ET tomorrow and Wednesday. Downtown Detroit Partnership Program Manager/Marketing & Communications Heather Kazmierczak said that the "Lighting Up The City" program "came at the request of the Tigers organization, which hopes to showcase downtown on national TV" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 10/12).
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