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Volume 24 No. 156
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Red Sox-Tigers Game 5 Marks Fox' Best LCS Overnight Rating Since '10

Fox earned a 6.2 overnight rating for last night’s Red Sox-Tigers ALCS Game 5, up 22% from the net’s 5.1 overnight for Giants-Cardinals NLCS Game 5 last year, which aired on a Friday night. Red Sox-Tigers Game 5 is also up from a 4.2 overnight for Rangers-Tigers ALCS Game 5 in ’11, which was an afternoon game. The 6.2 rating marks Fox’ best LCS overnight since the series-clinching Giants-Phillies Game 6 in ’10, which aired on a Saturday night. The net is also expected to have its best Thursday primetime average since the “American Idol” finale in May (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).

PACE OF PLAY: Fox is averaging a 4.6 final rating and 7.2 million viewers through Game 4 of the ALCS, up from a 3.6 rating and 5.6 million viewers through the same point last year, when the net had the Giants-Cardinals NLCS. Fox was averaging a 4.5 rating and 7.2 million viewers through four games of the ’11 Rangers-Tigers ALCS. Meanwhile, TBS is averaging a 3.1 rating and 4.8 million viewers for the Cardinals-Dodgers NLCS after five games. The net’s four-game Tigers-Yankees ALCS last year averaged a 3.8 rating and 5.9 million viewers. However, TBS is up 11% and 12%, respectively, compared to the first five games of the Cardinals-Brewers NLCS in ’11 (Karp). In St. Louis, Dan Caesar notes viewers in the St. Louis market are tuning to Cardinals-Dodgers "at more than a 2½-1 bigger rate." TBS' telecasts have averaged a 27.7 local rating in St. Louis, while L.A. -- which is a larger and more diverse market than mid-sized St. Louis "where the Cardinals are the focal point" -- has averaged a 10.2 rating (ST.LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 10/18).

TIM'S TIME: In Boston, Chad Finn writes Fox' Tim McCarver is having "no second thoughts" as the season concludes about making this his last year on the net's national broadcasts. McCarver said, "It’s not bittersweet, it’s not anything along those lines. I made the right decision. I thought about it for a long time, a couple of years. I know I made the right decision. ... I’m not retiring. I’m cutting back on what I’ll be doing. I won’t be doing the World Series, playoffs, All-Star Game, but I’ll be doing something, stuff that will feed my passions. Plural." Finn notes McCarver "recognizes that his style ... has made him a contentious figure." McCarver said of social media critics, "It’s escalating. It’s getting worse. I don’t read the good or the bad, but we’re all in that boat. Everybody who is a broadcaster is in that boat. Some might be more vitriolic. But everybody who expresses an opinion, you’re going to get your share" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/18). In California, Michael Lev writes he does not "despise Tim McCarver," even though a "lot of people don’t like who McCarver is." Lev: "He’s folksy. He’s corny. He’s not going to break down baseball in a new-age, analytic way. But he is a first-guesser. He knows the game. He does his homework. He’s prepared." McCarver "isn't the best analyst in the sport anymore," but he's "not even close to the worst." Lev: "Don't be surprised if you miss him a little when he's gone" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 10/18).

MORE PUIG, PLEASE: In Phoenix, Jay Dieffenbach writes under the header, "MLB Needs More Yasiel Puig To Spice Up Postseason." MLB is "far better with him -- with everything he brings -- than without him," as he puts an "infusion of excitement" into the game. The feeling here is that "baseball could use more of Puiggy’s antics as baseball’s postseason TV numbers continue to be clubbed by NFL regular-season games." Dieffenbach: "The more 'must watch' baseball players, the better -- even if watching that player causes the more traditional fan to wince" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 10/18).