SBD/January 3, 2014/Media

Rams' Local TV Rating Is Fourth-Lowest Since Moving To St. Louis In '95

Rams ratings declined 16% from last season and 34% from three seasons ago
The Rams in '13 had "their fourth-worst TV ratings performance of their 19 seasons in St. Louis," according to Dan Caesar of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. Rams games averaged a 17.7 local rating in St. Louis this season, down 16% from '12 and down 34% from three seasons ago. KTVI-Fox GM Spencer Koch said that even in a "down year," the Rams "do better in the ratings than any other regular program -- sports or otherwise." The Rams’ local rating for '13 was "more than double" the 8.8 rating for the MLB Cardinals on FS Midwest in '13. However, this is "largely an apples-to-oranges comparison," as there were 147 baseball telecasts (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 1/3). Meanwhile, Patriots games finished as the most-watched local event of the week in Boston for 19 of 20 weeks, including all four preseason games and 15 of 16 regular-season contests. The only week that a Patriots broadcast did not finish first in the local ratings was in Week 9, when a win over the Steelers -- which drew a season-high 40.3 local rating -- was topped by Game 6 of the Red Sox-Cardinals World Series (Patriots).

TICKET TO RIDE? In L.A., Joe Flint cited a source as saying that an "exclusive deal" between DirecTV and the NFL over rights to the Sunday Ticket package would "probably get done in the coming months, but it might be the last one." Sources cited one reason as being that as the NFL seeks to "exploit new opportunities and create additional revenue streams, the value of an exclusive package with one distributor could diminish both for the league and the provider." Bedrocket Media Ventures Founder & CEO Brian Bedol said, "With all the new platforms coming, by the time the next Sunday Ticket deal comes up, it will be obsolete" (LATIMES.com, 1/1).

PAINT IT BLACK
: In N.Y., Richard Sandomir wrote programming for the NFL's Black Monday on NFL Network and ESPN2 is "an occasion when the studios should be draped in black curtains and the anchors should speak in hushed tones." NFL Network "recognized a few years ago that sticking with firings (and potential hires) on Black Monday benefited viewers most, even if it grew repetitive when the firings stopped." ESPN2 was "less single-minded about the firings than the NFL Network, mixing coverage of the dismissals with speculation about possible replacements (as the NFL Network did), analysis of this weekend’s wild-card playoff games and other news" (N.Y. TIMES, 12/31).
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