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Volume 24 No. 116
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TBS Gets 3.9 Overnight For Tigers-A's ALDS Finale Up Against NFL Game Coverage

TBS earned a 3.9 overnight rating for Game 5 of the Tigers-A's ALDS. The overnight is up from the comparable Thursday LDS coverage last year, but that day included four games across two networks. Game 5 of the Tigers-A's series from '12 aired on TNT. TBS had three games that day, including Yankees-Orioles Game 4 in primetime, Giants-Reds Game 5 in the early afternoon window and Cardinals-Nationals Game 4 in the late afternoon/early evening window. The Vice Presidential debate and NFL Network's Steelers-Titans "Thursday Night Football" telecast also aired on the same night in '12. Sources said that last night's Giants-Bears game averaged a 5.3 overnight (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor). The Tigers with the win will play the Red Sox in the ALCS on Fox beginning Saturday, while the Dodgers and Cardinals start the NLCS Friday night. NBC's Bob Costas earlier in the week said there are "only a handful of teams that really move the needle" in terms of national TV ratings, so Fox "is praying for the Dodgers against the Red Sox" in the World Series. Costas: "That would make a much more dramatic difference than market differences would make in football" ("The B.S. Report,", 10/7).

NO CHEERING IN THE PRESS BOX: In L.A., Chris Erskine notes TBS' crew of Ernie Johnson, Cal Ripken Jr., Ron Darling and Craig Sager will call the Dodgers-Cardinals NLCS despite the fact a large amount of Dodgers fans "grumbled through the Braves series, citing perceived favoritism of the Braves." However, TBS insists that there was "no bias at all." Johnson said, "This is my 25th year with Turner and my 32nd year in sports, and if there's one thing I pride myself on it's being impartial." Meanwhile, Erskine writes the TBS booth is "surprisingly flat, given the talents involved," and it is "as if they're stuck together on jury duty." He asked, "Is this really the network you want staging your October floor shows?" (L.A. TIMES, 10/11). However, also in L.A., Tom Hoffarth wrote Ripken has "fielded his position cleanly and delivered some timely sound bites" with Darling and Johnson in the Dodgers-Braves NLDS (, 10/10).

CHANNEL SURF: In St. Louis, Dan Caesar writes MLB "continues to try to force fans to subscribe to its television outlet, MLB Network, by placing two divisional series games there." MLB Network drew an 8.9 local rating in St. Louis for Game 2 of the Cardinals-Pirates NLDS, "which is only a gnat’s eyelash better" than the Cardinals' regular-season average of 8.8 for its 147 games on FS Midwest. That is a "terrible St. Louis rating for a postseason game, and is even worse than the 11.7 number MLBN drew last year" for Game 3 of the Cardinals-Nationals NLDS. This "isn’t a knock at the quality of MLB Network, which is high," but it is a statement about MLB "putting its own promotional interests ahead of what is best for the general audience" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 10/11).

LOCAL PLANS: In Boston, Chad Finn reports Red Sox announcer Don Orsillo, who "again proved his bona fides as a national play-by-play announcer" during the Tigers-A's ALDS, will "contribute to NESN’s programming on game days" through the rest of the Red Sox' run. Analyst Dennis Eckersley, who was paired with Orsillo, "will be a studio analyst on NESN for Games 3, 4 and 5 of the ALCS" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/11)....Cardinals radio broadcasters Mike Shannon and John Rooney will handle the team's NLCS home games on KMOX-AM and the rest of Cardinals Radio Network. But Shannon "will not travel for the contests" in L.A. Cardinals Radio Network coordinator Anne Carroll said that FS Midwest analyst Rick Horton "will work with Rooney for those contests" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 10/11).