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Volume 24 No. 156


TBS earned a 4.9 overnight Nielsen rating for last night’s Yankees-Tigers ALCS Game 3 from 8:00-11:45pm ET. The game aired opposite the second Presidential debate from 9:00-10:30pm. From 8:00-9:00pm, the game was averaging a 4.6 rating. During the debate, that figure dropped to a 4.2 rating. Following the conclusion of the debate, TBS’s rating jumped to a 5.8 rating from 10:30-11:45pm. The game delivered a 29.8 local rating in Detroit and a 10.6 rating in N.Y. Through three ALCS telecasts, TBS is averaging a 4.6 overnight, up 84% from a 2.5 rating during the same period of the Cardinals-Brewers NLCS last year. For five LCS telecasts to date, Fox and TBS are averaging a 4.6 overnight rating, up 21% from the same point last year (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).

MARKET WATCH: The first two games of the Cardinals-Giants NLCS have been highest local market LCS ratings for St. Louis in the Wild Card era. The Cardinals have appeared in the LCS eight times over that period (Karp). In St. Louis, Dan Caesar notes Fox earned a 36.2 local rating for Cardinals-Giants Game 2 on Monday, “far superior” to the 22.9 rating for Cardinals-Brewers NLCS Game 2 last year (ST. LOUIS POST DISPATCH, 10/17). In DC, Dan Steinberg noted Cardinals-Nationals NLDS Game 5 last Friday earned a 16.7 local rating, marking the “most-watched Nats game locally since baseball returned to D.C. in 2005.” That figure was 84% higher than Game 4 the previous night and “means this single playoff game attracted about 28 times the average audience” of the Nationals’ regular season in ’09 (WASHINGTON POST, 10/16).

HITTING SLUMP: In N.Y., Bob Raissman notes with the Yankees’ poor postseason hitting performance, neither TBS’ John Smoltz, Ron Darling nor Ernie Johnson has mentioned Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long “by name.” Nor have TBS’ cameras “found him in the Yankees dugout.” It would be “interesting Wednesday during Game 4 if any one of these mouths gives his version of what Long’s role in this amazing drought is.” Raissman writes, “It would have served a purpose for either Darling or Smoltz to speculate on what Long might be trying to do to correct this epidemic of ineptitude. Or how about reporter Craig Sager getting an interview with Long, even if it’s off camera?” However, YES Network “is not ignoring Long.” During the RSN's Game 3 pregame show, analyst Jack Curry said that Long had “talked about how many ‘chases’ Yankee batters had outside the strike zone.” Raissman also wrote Smoltz had a "much-improved performance in Game 3." Raissman: "He decided to pull back and let the game breathe. This worked, especially with the crowd noise in Detroit. … Smoltz was understated but clever” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/17).

END OF THE LINE? Fox Sports co-President & co-COO Randy Freer said that MLB analyst Tim McCarver is only “under contract through next season -- the end of Fox's current deal.” USA TODAY’s Michael Hiestand asks, “Could next year's World Series be McCarver's last?” McCarver said, “That's a reasonable question. Do I feel like my voice is wearing out? That's hard for me to say. I approach my job with as much enthusiasm as ever.” Hiestand writes, “I think McCarver hasn't changed much over the years, and is better at staying focused. His voice signals you're probably watching a big game. But TV networks prefer players and coaches fresh from the game” (USA TODAY, 10/17).

ESPN has reached a multiyear, multiplatform agreement with FIBA. The deal will include the rights to more than 400 games across six tournaments from '13-15. Events include the '13 and '15 FIBA Americas Championship, the '13 and '15 EuroBasket tournament, the '14 FIBA Basketball World Cup (formerly the FIBA World Championship) and the '14 FIBA World Championship for Women. ESPN’s English- and Spanish-language TV rights extend throughout the U.S. and its territories, excluding Puerto Rico. ESPN previously aired the FIBA Americas Championship and EuroBasket tournament in '09 and '11, and the FIBA World Championship in '10 (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).

BIG TEN SQUABBLE: The COLUMBUS DISPATCH noted WBNS-FM personality Scott Torgerson "has been suspended indefinitely" by the radio station for a tweet directed at ESPN "College GameDay" host Desmond Howard. Torgerson tweeted over the weekend that he “wished Howard would ‘get fired or die’ so he could watch ‘GameDay’ again.” Torgerson's Twitter account “has been closed.” WBNS President & GM Dave Van Stone confirmed yesterday that Torgerson was “suspended indefinitely for the tweet.” WBNS is an ESPN Radio affiliate (, 10/17).

: WFED-AM announced that it is the “new flagship station" of the Wizards. noted the team will also be heard on WJFK-FM, provided that games “don’t conflict with its coverage of Capitals hockey and, come next spring, Nationals baseball.” Dave Johnson “returns for his 16th consecutive season as the radio play-by-play voice and will be joined once again by color analyst Glenn Consor” (, 10/16).

: In N.Y., Richard Sandomir noted the Nets’ exhibition game against the Wizards on Monday was the “new-look, new-city team’s highest rated preseason game ever on the YES Network.” The 1.02 local rating in N.Y. is "still small,” but compared to a 0.4 average rating for the '11-12 regular season, “it was a whopper" (, 10/16).