TBS' Yankees-Tigers Game Four Marks Best LDS Audience Since '07
TBS averaged a 4.6 U.S. rating and 7.012 million viewers for Yankees-Tigers Game Four on Tuesday night, marking the most-viewed LDS game since Indians-Yankees Game Four in '07, which drew 9.232 million viewers and still holds the mark as the most-viewed LDS game ever on cable. For four LDS telecasts on Tuesday, TBS/TNT averaged 4.001 million viewers, up 9% for the comparable fifth day of LDS coverage last year, when all telecasts aired on TBS. The Rangers' series clincher over the Rays in the afternoon slot on TBS earned a 1.7 rating and 2.228 million viewers, up from a 1.5 rating and 2.219 for Game Four of the same series last year, which aired on a Sunday afternoon. Phillies-Cardinals Game Three earned a 3.1 rating (4.617 million viewers) in the 5:00pm window. That rating is up from the comparable Giants-Braves Game Three last year, which earned a 2.6 rating (4.231 million viewers) on a Sunday afternoon. TNT's Brewers-D'Backs Game Three on Tuesday night earned a 1.2 rating (2.107 million viewers (Austin Karp, THE DAILY). In St. Louis, Joe Strauss reports Philadelphia outdrew St. Louis in TV ratings for Phillies-Cardinals Game Three Tuesday on TBS. The game drew a 21.6 local rating in Philadelphia and a 20.4 rating in St. Louis. Philadelphia has been "ahead for all three games" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 10/6).
NATIONAL PASTIME: TBS aired two NLDS Game Fours last night, with Phillies-Cardinals earning a 3.5 overnight rating from 6:00-9:00pm ET. The only comparable game from last year was Giants-Braves Game Four, which earned a 3.7 overnight on a Monday night, but had a 7:30pm start. TBS also earned a 2.8 overnight for Brewers-D'Backs Game Four last night from 9:30pm-1:15am. For the 8:00-11:00pm primetime window, TBS averaged a 3.5 overnight rating (Karp).
PINCH HITTER: Fox yesterday announced former Red Sox manager Terry Francona will serve as an analyst for the first two games of the ALCS. Regular analyst Tim McCarver is having a minor heart-related procedure late this week, but he is expected to return to the broadcast booth in time for Game Three next Tuesday (Fox). Francona said, "I've only broadcast one other game in my life, and that was in the Arizona Fall League about 13 years ago and it was on the radio and there were probably 12 people (listening) and I sucked. So this is going to be interesting" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/6). YAHOO SPORTS' Kevin Kaduk wrote Francona's "postseason stint on TV is interesting." Kaduk wrote if White Sox Owner Jerry Reinsdorf "doesn't want to open his wallet to land Francona or Francona doesn't want to work with Kenny Williams, TV will provide a nice layover spot until the next round of open jobs comes" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 10/5).
FROM THE BOOTH: SI.com's Richard Deitsch wrote TBS analyst John Smoltz during the ALDS "has been prescient much of this series and educated viewers nightly on pitching." Deitsch: "Announcers, like hitters, sometimes find themselves in a groove and that's where Smoltz is in at the moment. He's having a postseason to remember." Meanwhile, TBS play-by-play announcer Brian Anderson "has performed like a pro working with Smoltz and Ron Darling." Anderson, who calls Brewers games for FS Wisconsin during the regular season, said, "I know there will be a lot more people watching and talking about me, and criticizing or praising. But I'm not going to change my style or be anyone else" (SI.com, 10/5). In Milwaukee, Bob Wolfley wrote TBS' Joe Simpson "prefers understatement to overstatement." Wolfley: "He prefers marking his points quietly rather than loudly. He prefers arching his eyebrow to pointing his finger when a manager makes a move he questions" (JSONLINE.com, 10/1).
FOOTBALL FRENZY: USA TODAY's Christine Brennan notes the "Fox NFL Sunday" pregame show "received a bigger overnight rating than any of TBS' baseball playoff games through the weekend," and it "appears that we're not just a nation of football fans, but also a nation that has decided to make a day of it with the NFL." MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said, "Can I explain that to you? No. I'm not sure why that is. We've had four games a day, so we're asking a lot of the fans. Remember, we're on cable for this round. But I'll say this: If I take all the evidence today ... I'm very satisfied. Baseball is more popular than ever." But Brennan notes there is "a hide-and-seek aspect to finding these early MLB playoff games that simply doesn't exist when turning on the NFL" (USA TODAY, 10/6).
TO THE VIDEOTAPE: TBS during Tuesday’s Rangers-Rays Game Four showed a slo-mo replay of one of its own camera operators falling down as he followed Rangers 3B Adrian Beltre around third base following one of his three home runs. ESPN’s Dan Le Batard said, “I wish more people in sports could make fun of themselves. Too often we treat this place like a cathedral. Laugh, it feels good. The players mess up. The players make errors. So do we media-types” (“Dan Le Batard Is Highly Questionable,” ESPN2, 10/5). But ESPN’s Jim Rome said, “Way to pick your crew up. What, didn’t have time to drop the ‘Chariots of Fire’ theme over that face plant?” (“Jim Rome Is Burning,” ESPN2, 10/5).