In Boston, Chad Finn notes Red Sox games on NESN averaged an 8.56 local rating in Boston over the first 16 games since the All-Star break, with "eight of the 10 highest-rated games of the season (and 10 of the top 15) coming after the midsummer classic." Overall, ratings are up 36% in the second half. Over in 91 games "before the break, NESN averaged a 6.3 rating. NESN broadcaster Dave O'Brien said that if there ever was "any doubt about whether this team would capture the imagination of the fan base, it no longer exists." NESN received "rave reviews recently" for the way it has told the story of this Red Sox team, putting analysts Jerry Remy and Dennis Eckersley in a "three-man booth with O’Brien." Remy and Eckersley, teammates for six-plus seasons with the Red Sox, "have a rare chemistry" (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/10).
MISSED OPPORTUNITY: GOLF DIGEST's John Strege wrote it is "perpetually puzzling" that while Rickie Fowler was shooting a 65 in the first round of the PGA Championship, fans "weren’t allowed to watch full coverage of the leader, and a popular one at that, of one of the four most important tournaments in golf." TNT's broadcast "did not begin" until 2:00pm ET. By then, Fowler had "already concluded his round." The lack of broadcast "did not go unnoticed." Though Fowler was "not part of the two featured groups shown on PGA Championship Live on PGA.com, several of Fowler’s shots were shown and updates provided, as well as highlights on social-media outlets" (GOLFDIGEST.com, 8/9).
KEEPS GETTING BETTER: In Houston, David Barron writes for all its "faults in terms of expanding carriage and its absentee upper management style, AT&T SportsNet Southwest continues to improve production values for its Astros games." Recent additions include "spray charts for hitters and defensive ratings for outfielders" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 8/10).