ABC Earns Highest Overnight Rating For Little League World Series Title Game Since '09
ABC earned a 3.5 overnight rating for the South Korea-Illinois Little League World Series World Championship yesterday, the highest for the net since '09. The figure is up 35% compared to last year’s championship game, when Japan defeated California. Saturday’s Illinois-Nevada U.S. championship game garnered a 3.6 overnight, the highest for a LLWS game on ABC since '09. That figure is a 71% increase over last year’s California-Connecticut matchup. Finally, ABC earned a 1.7 overnight for Saturday’s South Korea-Japan Int’l Championship, up 6% from a 1.6 overnight last year for Japan-Mexico (Josh Carpenter, Staff Writer).
HITTING PAY DIRT: In Chicago, Ed Sherman writes the "big winner" of the LLWS was ESPN, which was provided with the "best bargain in TV sports this year." ESPN "hit the jackpot with incredible storylines that captivated the country." The net last year signed an eight-year, $60M extension to televise the LLWS through '22, and this year's event brought "quite a return" on investment (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 8/25). But in N.Y., Phil Mushnick writes, "If I were a rich man: I’d buy the TV rights to all the Little League World Series games, then prevent all of them, except the championship game, from being televised. For the final, I’d have it shown on tape after its heavily edited to ensure that no child -- no 12- or 13-year-old who plays baseball -- suffers any greater humiliation, sorrow and blame than any child who plays baseball or does anything else ever should" (N.Y. POST, 8/25).
MR. PRESIDENT, LINE TWO! In Chicago, Paul Sullivan reports the Jackie Robinson West team "was getting ready to go live on ESPN after Sunday's loss to South Korea in the Little League World Series championship game when manager Darold Butler's phone rang." It was President Obama's reps, "calling to get Butler on the line so Obama could congratulate him and the team on their great run." Butler: "I said 'Can you call me back in 5-10 minutes?' So they called back, and that's when I talked to him." Butler, when asked if he actually told the president to hold, laughingly said, "Don't say it like that. We were walking on stage (to go) live at that time" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 8/25).