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Volume 24 No. 137
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Fox Earns Best MLB Primetime Overnight For '12, Flat With Third Iteration Last Year

Fox earned a 2.8 overnight Nielsen rating for its third MLB primetime regional telecast of the season on Saturday night, which featured coverage of Yankees-Tigers in 63% of markets. While that figure is the best overnight among the net’s MLB primetime telecasts in ‘12, it is flat with the third iteration of MLB primetime coverage last year. Fox' three game primetime average also lags behind figures from last season. Fox’ third MLB primetime telecast last season featured Cardinals-Rockies. The first two primetime telecasts this season earned a 2.4 and 2.3 overnight, respectively. Last season, the first two MLB primetime telecasts earned a 3.0 (Yankees-Red Sox) and 3.1 overnight (Yankees-Mets), respectively (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).

UP ALL NIGHT: In Tampa, Tom Jones writes Fox' MLB Saturday regional telecast was supposed to be "during the afternoon." That is "the way it has always been" and it is "the way it always should be." Jones: "It might be true that kids don't have early bedtimes on Saturday, but let's look at Saturday's Fox game between the Yankees and Tigers. It was a heck of a game, so good that announcers Joe Buck and Tim McCarver correctly suggested that it wasn't quite like a post-season game but it did feel more important than just another regular-season game in June." Jones writes, "Know what time it ended? Close to midnight. How many 6-year-olds, 8-year-olds, even 10-year-olds are up at that time?" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 6/4).

BACK IN BRISTOL: ESPN MLB analyst Curt Schilling returned to "Baseball Tonight" on Sunday for the first time since news broke about the financial situation facing his 38 Studios video game company. ESPN said that Schilling asked to miss four scheduled appearances over the past couple of weeks as he dealt with fallout from his company's struggles. Schilling did not address the 38 Studios situation on the broadcast. ESPN's Karl Ravech, at the beginning of the telecast, said, "Happy to have Curt Schilling back with us talking baseball for a full hour" (THE DAILY).

TALKING IT OUT: In Chicago, Dave van Dyck noted White Sox broadcaster Hawk Harrelson "left an apologetic telephone message for umpire Mark Wegner, whom he criticized harshly on the air Wednesday." Harrelson hopes that "will provide closure to the situation." Sources said that Harrelson "did it on his own, without prodding from the commissioner's office or the Sox front office" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 6/3). In Tampa, Jones also noted that Harrelson "had spoken with MLB Commissioner Bud Selig" regarding his outburst. Harrelson said, "We had a talk. Actually, Bud talked and I listened. If it was a prize fight, they would have stopped it in the first round. I also talked with (White Sox owner) Jerry (Reinsdorf), and I listened to him as well. That's all I really have to say" (, 6/1).