SBD/October 21, 2013/Media

Fox Finishes Red Sox-Tigers Series With Best LCS Audience Since '10 Giants-Phillies

Fox finished with a 4.9 rating and 7.7 million viewers for the six-game Red Sox-Tigers ALCS, marking the net’s best LCS average since the six-game Giants-Phillies NLCS in '10 averaged a 5.5 rating and 9.1 million viewers. Red Sox-Tigers also is up from a 4.0 rating and 6.5 million viewers for the seven-game Giants-Cardinals NLCS last year. Fox saw a 33% gain among males 18-34 during the ALCS, while also seeing gains among males 18-49. The net’s series-clinching Game 6 on Saturday night drew a 5.5 final rating and 9.0 million viewers, up from the comparable Giants-Cardinals Game 6 last season, which drew a 4.6 rating and 7.6 million viewers on a Sunday night. Meanwhile, TBS' coverage of the six-game Cardinals-Dodgers NLCS averaged a 3.2 rating and 5.0 million viewers. Compared to the net's coverage of the Tigers-Yankees ALCS in '12, which went four games and drew a 3.8 rating and 5.9 million viewers, TBS saw declines of 15.8% and 15.3%, respectively. However, compared to the six-game '11 Cardinals-Brewers NLCS, ratings and viewership are both up by 10% and 9%, respectively (THE DAILY).

NOT THEIR BEST SHOWING: In St. Louis, Dan Caesar notes the Cardinals-Dodgers NLCS was the "worst-rated in St. Louis of any of the nine" LCS the Cards have played in since '96. Nielsen data showed that 28.9% of homes in the market "were tuned in, on average, to the six telecasts that were carried by TBS." That "falls behind the previous low, a 29.6 figure" in '02 on Fox. The other time TBS had a Cardinals NLCS in '11, the team ousted the Brewers in six games, and the 31.4 rating "was 8 percent better than this year." Still, St. Louis "far out-rated Los Angeles for this year's NLCS, beating it by a 65 percent figure" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 10/21).

LOCAL RATING IN ST. LOUIS FOR CARDINALS' RECENT NLCS APPEARANCES
YEAR
OPPONENT
GAMES
NET
AVG. RATING
'13
Dodgers
6
TBS
28.9
'12
Giants
7
Fox
36.5
'11
Brewers
6
TBS
31.4
'06
Mets
7
Fox
36.5
'05
Astros
6
Fox
36.9
'04
Astros
7
Fox
37.3
'02
Giants
5
Fox
29.6
'00
Mets
5
Fox
34.2
'96
Braves
7
Fox
37.4

INSIDE THE NETWORK'S STUDIO: SI.com's Richard Deitsch noted Rangers C A.J. Pierzynski will join Fox' postseason coverage "for a third straight year, teaming with Matt Vasgersian, Harold Reynolds and Jimmy Rollins for every World Series pregame and postgame show" on the net. Pierzynski, Rollins and Ryan Field following each postgame show on Fox will be "live from the ballpark for analysis" on FS1's "Fox Sports Live." Meanwhile, the TBS postseason show -- with Keith Olbermann, Pedro Martinez, Tom Verducci and guests such as Gary Sheffield -- "proved to be an interesting grouping and strong sports television." The network would "be wise to bring them back next year if they are available" (SI.com, 10/20). In L.A., Tom Hoffarth wrote TBS' graphics were "right on top of providing subtext to events as they unfolded in Game 6, maybe consistent with the job their stat crew has done all series, but perhaps more visible in a game of this importance" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 10/19).

LOSING ITS LUSTER? In Philadelphia, Frank Fitzpatrick wrote under the header, "World Series Has Lost Its Fastball." There is "little that makes the World Series unique." With the "right MLB package, you could watch all 2,430 regular-season games." Suddenly those "seven additional games in October, none of which ever seem to end before midnight in the East, seem pretty mundane." There are a "million reasons the World Series has been supplanted as our favorite sporting event: Baseball's overexposure. Longer Games. Shorter attention spans" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 10/20). In Boston, Dan Shaughnessy wrote of the Red Sox-Tigers ALCS, "As great as these games were, the pace (3:52 Saturday night) was not baseball's friend." The length of these games "is a serious threat to the erstwhile National Pastime" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/20). In Atlanta, I.J. Rosenberg noted he has covered almost 1,200 MLB games in a six-year period and writes baseball and its "diamond series come October, has taken a tremendous beating." It is "far from our national pastime anymore." The NFL has "blown well past it, as well as college football here in the South, and baseball has only itself to blame" (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 10/19).

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