SBD/October 29, 2013/Media

"MNF" Overnight Rating Drops As It Went Head-To-Head With World Series Game 5

Last night's "SportsCenter" led with "MNF" highlights rather than World Series Game 5

ESPN earned a 7.6 overnight for the Seahawks-Rams “MNF” telecast last night, down 8.4% from an 8.3 overnight for 49ers-Cardinals in Week 8 last year. Last night's game had competition from Red Sox-Cardinals World Series Game 5 on Fox. 49ers-Cardinals in '12 did not have World Series competition, but lacked ratings for eight major markets stemming from the effects of Hurricane Sandy. The last “MNF” game to have World Series competition was Ravens-Jaguars in Week 7 of ’11. That game drew a 7.0 overnight up against Cardinals-Rangers Game 5. Last night's Seahawks-Rams game drew a 6.2 local rating in the St. Louis market on ESPN and a 4.7 rating on KPLR-CW (10.9 total market rating). That compares to a 43.8 local rating for Red Sox-Cardinals Game 5 in St. Louis. In Seattle-Tacoma, “MNF” drew a 17.0 local rating on ESPN and a 19.4 rating on KONG-IND (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).

FIRST THINGS FIRST: ESPN's "SportsCenter" came on at 11:45pm ET following Seahawks-Rams and led with 15 minutes of highlights and analysis of the "MNF" game. Game 5 of the World Series was the second report with 10 minutes of highlights, interviews and analysis from the net's "Baseball Tonight" crew (THE DAILY). The Buffalo News' Mike Harrington wrote, "You're kidding, right? SportsCenter led with Rams-Seahawks over the World Series? That's an embarrassment. That's a sham." Sports On Earth's Tommy Tomlinson wrote, "So SportsCenter leads with Seahawks-Rams over the World Series? Really?" SB Nation's Rob Neyer: "I suppose it's manifest that SportsCenter would have led with World Series if ESPN had postseason baseball. Instead, NFL." But Awful Announcing wrote, "First block of Monday SportsCenter is always MNF postgame. Nobody should be surprised it leads over baseball." NFL.com's Albert Breer: "Saw the whole World Series/MNF debate last night. Forgotten was this: Viewership does not dictate news value. Sad that people think that."

TOUGH DECISION
: In St. Louis, Dan Caesar notes with Red Sox-Cardinals Game 5 and Seahawks-Rams taking place just miles away from each other, he went "back and forth" watching both games. ESPN's Mike Tirico said of attendance at the Edward Jones Dome, "I'd say about 65 percent, maybe 70 percent full here. With so many St. Louis residents watching their Cardinals, (it's) still a good turnout to watch the Rams here tonight" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 10/29). ESPN's Steve Levy before showing highlights of Game 5 said, "One person who sells tickets, let's say on the secondary market, said you could have gotten a Rams ticket for $9 tonight. Meanwhile, eight blocks away a Cardinals ticket would cost you some $400" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 10/28).

THE LAND OF OZ
: In L.A., Michael Hiltzik noted talk show host Dr. Mehmet Oz appears in a 30-second, "Together We Make Football" ad, which is a "story about how his son's first schoolboy tackle filled his heart with pride." But Dr. Oz "seems to be overlooking ... that the sport in general and the NFL specifically have come under fire over the health implications of playing football, especially the results of repeated concussions." There is "no mention from this eminent medical man that there may be a few downsides to contact football" (LATIMES.com, 10/28).
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