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Volume 24 No. 156
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          Fox earned a 9.4/14 national rating for its coverage of
     Game Five of the ALCS, marking a 34% improvement on Fox's
     Game Five coverage of the '96 NLCS during a similar time
     slot of a Monday night.  The rating also beat Fox's Monday
     night season-to-date 7.1 primetime average by 32%.  Through
     four primetime telecasts, Fox's ALCS coverage has averaged
     9.1, up 7% over its coverage of the '96 NLCS which earned an
     8.5 average (Fox Sports).  The AP's David Bauder reports
     that "[h]elped by the [MLB] playoffs, Fox continued to be
     the only major television network to see an increase in
     viewers" during the fall season.  Last week, Fox's four top-
     rated shows were baseball playoff games (AP, 10/15).
          SKINNING THE O'S: In the Washington area, the Redskins
     won the "local battle of the airwaves" on Monday, with ABC's
     Cowboys-Redskins "Monday Night Football" game receiving a
     31.6/49 local rating, while Fox's ALCS Game Five received an
     18.4/28 (WASHINGTON POST, 10/15)....In Northeast Ohio, Game
     Five of the ALCS on WJW-TV earned a 50.0/68, which was
     "slightly lower" than Game Four, 51.1, but higher than the
     first three games.  Through five games, the series is
     averaging a 42.5 (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 10/15).