WILL GLAVINE AND NEAGLE LEAVE FOX WITH THE BAGEL?
Fox's coverage of Game Two of the World Series Monday night
drew a preliminary overnight rating of 14.8/23 in 34 overnight
markets, according to Nielsen Sports Marketing. The game did a
47.8/64 in Atlanta with a 28.4/39 in New York (Nielsen Sports
Marketing). Fox reports a 15.1/23 rating. ABC reports "Monday
Night Football" Raiders-Chargers game drew a 14.4/22 overnight
rating of 33 markets (THE DAILY).
RATINGS: Game One overnights of a 17.0/26 were called
"favorable" (Steve Zipay, NEWSDAY, 10/22). USA TODAY's Rudy
Martzke called them "respectable." Jon Mandel, Grey Advertising:
"You can't fault Fox. ... Baseball's not as popular as it was,
and it will take a long time for it to come back." Mandel noted
NBC's NFL doubleheader on Sunday received a 17.4 overnight,
better than MLB (USA TODAY, 10/22). In Boston, Jack Craig called
the early ratings "promising" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/22). Game One in
New York earned a 30.8/42 while in Atlanta it got a 50.2/66
(Michael Starr, N.Y. POST, 10/22). Fox won Sunday night
"probably for the first time in its history," with a 15.4/24 in
34 overnight markets (John Carmody, WASHINGTON POST, 10/22).
REVIEWS: In Baltimore, Milton Kent writes Fox "pledged" to
take MLB "to new places, and, for the most part, the network is
doing well. The zippy graphics have been nice, but the hallmark
of Fox's presentation has been the sound of the game" (Baltimore
SUN, 10/22). In Boston, Jack Craig gives kudos to Fox's Game Two
coverage with the header, "Fox Armed With Insight." Fox's
coverage was "a three credit course [on pitching] crammed into
three hours," with Greg Maddux. Craig: "If Fox had not offered a
clinic on Maddux, it would have been a dull game" (BOSTON GLOBE,
DR. PETER BURNS, CALL YOUR OFFICE: In Atlanta, Prentis
Rogers notes that, although its normal for a network to promote
its own programming, Fox "seems to be taking it a step further by
getting in crowd shots of its network stars whenever possible"
(ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 10/22). During the game, Fox's Joe Buck
said, "Now I know why there is a ticket crunch. Fox got all the
tickets. All the sitcom stars are here" (Fox, 10/21). In New
York, Richard Sandomir notes "when all else failed" during
Sunday's blowout, Fox "found stars of its prime time shows." But
"invisible" were shots of Braves Owner Ted Turner, and wife, Jane
Fonda. Fox Sports Exec Producer Ed Goren: "Can you say cliche?
We didn't show Steinbrenner either" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/21). Fonda
criticized Fox, adding "The other networks are objective and Fox
isn't" (Bob Raissman, N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/21).
MAYBE GOD IS A SOX FAN? In New York, Steve Zipay notes many
Fox execs were rooting for the Yankees to win Game Two as the
"specter of a four-or-five game series loomed large." Fox Sports
President David Hill: "It was very heartwarming to see the entire
Fox staff -- of all denominations -- at St. Patrick's Cathedral
this morning" (NEWSDAY, 10/22).
CRYING FOWL: NBC's legal department is looking into the use
of promo spots by CBS and ABC telling viewers to watch their
network instead of NBC's MLB coverage, according to the HOLLYWOOD
REPORTER. NBC "charged that a promo" on October 15 urged viewers
to watch CBS because NBC would be airing MLB, even though the
ALCS was over. NBC "aired its regular Tuesday schedule and drew
ratings that were well below normal" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 10/22).