Early Risers: TBS Seeing Year-Over-Year Gains For MLB LDS Coverage
TBS averaged a 2.4 overnight rating for its MLB LDS doubleheader yesterday. On the comparable day last year, there were three LDS games across TBS and TNT, with the nets averaging a 2.1 overnight. Braves-Dodgers Game 3 last night from 8:00pm-12:15am ET earned a 2.5 overnight, while Cardinals-Pirates Game 3 from 4:30-7:45pm earned a 2.1 overnight (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).
TRACKING HIGHER: TBS is averaging a 2.1 final rating and 3.2 million viewers through Saturday’s LDS telecasts, up 11% and 7%, respectively, from the same point in ’12. TBS’ audience through the first three days of LDS games also puts it on pace for the net’s best LDS audience since ’10. The two ALDS telecasts on Saturday night led TBS to a primetime win among all cable nets (Karp).
A DIFFERENT CAN OF CORN: The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER’s Aaron Couch writes MLB Network “made a splash” with a “Field of Dreams”-inspired promo, which premiered Friday prior to Pirates-Cardinals Game 2. The promo included narration from actor Ray Liotta, who starred in "Field of Dreams," and showed some of MLB's “biggest stars playing on the Iowa baseball diamond” created for the film. A revised version of the promo will air today ahead of A's-Tigers ALDS Game 3, featuring "one star” from both teams. The promo was “shot over two days last month on location in Iowa, with digital effects helping transport 15 major leaguers to the Field of Dreams.” Local extras, “chosen for their resemblance to major leaguers, were also used.” MLB Net Coordinating Producer Chris Pfeiffer noted it took "about 240 hours to rotoscope the piece" (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 10/7).
QUICK ON THE TRIGGER: In Tampa, Marc Topkin notes Rays P David Price "made a public apology Sunday for a series of tweets he posted after" the team's ALDS Game 2 loss to the Red Sox. The "most interesting" of Price's postgame tweets "was the one in which he ripped TBS studio analysts Dirk Hayhurst, a former big-league pitcher, and Tom Verducci, a respected veteran journalist, by belittling their credentials to criticize him, ending with 'SAVE IT NERDS.'" Rays Manager Joe Maddon acknowledged that Price "erred in making the initial post, which garnered national attention Sunday as well as a rebuke from TBS studio host Keith Olbermann, who suggested on his Twitter account that Price 'save it for a day you didn't get lit up' and called his reply 'a non-apology apology'" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 10/7).
TURNER THOUGHTS: SI.com's Richard Deitsch wrote former MLBer Gary Sheffield was "terrific on TBS's MLB pregame show Saturday afternoon, providing sharp commentary and insight into the game" (SI.com, 10/6). Meanwhile, AWFUL ANNOUNCING's Steve Lepore wrote MLB's deal with TBS to broadcast most of its postseason "is a strange one." The network is "simply not associated with sports." The "truth is that MLB on TBS isn't working." The net is "getting good ratings, but what's the point?" MLB fans "aren't going to come back for 'Big Bang Theory' reruns" (AWFULANNOUNCING.com, 10/4). In L.A., Chris Erskine wrote under the header, "Is There Too Much Georgia On TBS Announcers' Minds?" As far as "a lot of fans are concerned, the Dodgers are getting sauced in TBS' coverage." TBS' crew of Ernie Johnson, Ron Darling and Cal Ripken "seems by many to have had a decidedly pro-Braves bent." TBS' visual storytelling overall "has been sufficient, sometimes extraordinary." TBS thankfully seems to "forsake the ultra-close-ups of ballplayers spitting or fiddling with their noses, which seems to be a Fox trademark." Otherwise, the telecasts "have been largely uninspired" (L.A. TIMES, 10/6).
DON'T SHORT CHANGE ME: In L.A., Tom Hoffarth wrote TBS' Craig Sager "leaves something to be desired when it comes to flashy fact checking." During Dodgers-Braves Game 2, Sager asked former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda "about his 53 years as part of the organization." Lasorda "growled" 63 at him "to correct the mistake." Sager after Game 3 asked Dodgers LF Carl Crawford about his "two-run homer in the second inning." Crawford "actually hit a three-run homer in the second" (DAILYNEWS.com, 10/6).
OUTSIDE LOOKING IN: In California, T.J. Simers notes Jaime Jarrin has been "broadcasting Dodgers games in Spanish for 55 years." Jarrin said of Angels Owner Arte Moreno and how the team treats its Spanish-language broadcaster Jose Tolentino, "It's a slap in my face. He has to do the games sitting outside the ballpark and watching the game on TV." Tolentino "sits in the KLAA studios, watches the games on TV and then broadcasts them in Spanish" on ESPN Deportes 1330 L.A. Jarrin said, "I'd like to see baseball value our market and our audiences; 46 percent of the paying customer in Dodger Stadium are Latino and you have one of the largest Mexican audiences just a few miles away from Angel Stadium in Santa Ana" (OCREGISTER.com, 10/4).