Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 24 No. 114
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.

ESPN Earns Second-Best Overnight Rating For LLWS Despite Mo'ne Not Being On The Mound

ESPN earned a 2.6 overnight rating for Illinois' 6-5 win over Pennsylvania in the Little League World Series on Thursday, the net's second-best rating on record from Williamsport. Last night's figure only trails Wednesday night's 3.4 rating for Nevada-Pennsylvania. Mo'ne Davis was the starting pitcher for the Pennsylvania team Wednesday, but Little League rules prevented her from pitching Thursday. Illinois-Pennsylvania earned an 8.9 rating in Philadelphia, second only to Wednesday's 14.9 figure. Meanwhile, ESPN drew a 7.6 rating in Chicago, the highest ever for a Little League telecast on the net in that market (Josh Carpenter, Staff Writer).

Has media coverage of Mo'Ne Davis been too much? 
MUST BE THE MO'NE: In Boston, Chad Finn writes there are "moments where an observer can’t help but wonder" if the coverage around Davis is "a little too much." ESPN "recognized Davis’s appeal before ratings confirmed it," and the net was "not been bashful about emphasizing it." But ESPN is "hardly alone in seizing on her compelling success," as she appeared on the cover of SI. Davis also has been "featured on the usual morning shows and evening news programs." Davis' "Sunday Conversation" on ESPN with Karl Ravech "was fun and as expertly executed as one would expect, but it was accompanied by a nagging feeling: Does giving these kids big league coverage also burden them with big league pressures?" There is "little doubt that ESPN’s enhancement of Williamsport’s importance contributes to a culture in which a fledgling athlete’s achievements and disappointments can define them rather than inspire them" (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/22). In L.A., Tom Hoffarth writes Davis' "media trajectory has taken us to points where anthropologists, sociologists and pop culture specialists are joining the conversation with opinions about what kind of impact she has made" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 8/22). In S.F., Bruce Jenkins writes it is "rarely a comfortable experience to watch ESPN interview these middle-school kids," but Davis "disarmed everyone with her natural humility and maturity" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 8/22).

POPULARITY CONTEST: Phillies 1B Ryan Howard visited Williamsport on Thursday, and after meeting with the Pennsylvania players said that he "doesn't think they have any idea how popular they are right now." Howard: "I don't think they understand the magnitude of what it is they've been able to accomplish -- for themselves and for the entire city of Philadelphia. When they get back, people should show them that praise" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 8/22). A N.Y. POST editorial states of Davis' popularity and the Spurs' hiring of Becky Hammon, "Together, they are reflection of one of America’s greatest practices: rewarding merit -- regardless of sex or race" (N.Y. POST, 8/22).