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Volume 24 No. 135
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TBS Earns 4.9 Overnight For ALCS Game 3 Up Against Second Presidential Debate

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).