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Volume 26 No. 207

Media

ESPN and ESPN2 combined to draw a 5.1 overnight rating for the Rockies' 2-1 win in 13 innings over the Cubs last night in the NL Wild Card game. That figure is down from a 5.2 overnight last year on ESPN alone for the Yankees-Twins AL Wild Card, which had heavy competition from cable news networks around the Las Vegas shooting. Two years ago, ESPN drew a Wild Card-record 5.8 overnight for Giants-Mets, and three years ago, drew a 5.7 for Astros-Yankees. Last year's NL Wild Card aired on TBS, with the net drawing a 3.2 overnight for D-backs-Rockies. That 3.2 remains the lowest overnight yet for any MLB Wild Card. ESPN last night drew a 4.6 rating for its telecast, while ESPN2, airing a special "StatCast" telecast of the same game, drew a 0.5 overnight, which is one of the net's best figures yet for an alternative viewing experience across all sports. Denver led all markets with an 18.6 local rating, while Chicago drew an 18.1. ESPN also is expected to win primetime among cable networks last night (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).

DIFFERENT SPIN: AWFUL ANNOUNCING's Andrew Bucholtz wrote the ESPN2 "StatCast" telecast with Jason Benetti, Mike Petriello and Eduardo Perez "drew plenty of praise, especially compared to the criticism for the main ESPN booth of Matt Vasgersian, Alex Rodriguez and Jessica Mendoza." The "StatCast" booth "delivered an outstanding broadcast, and one that didn't feel gimmicky." They would "bring up advanced statistics like weighted runs created plus when it made sense, but explained them and didn't shoehorn them in." They also "smartly used on-screen graphics in a way that wasn't overly distracting." But another element that "boosted" the broadcast was "addition by subtraction." There were a "lot less cliches than you hear on many baseball broadcasts, and there was a whole lot less of crusty complaining about particular behavior from players" (AWFULANNOUNCING.com, 10/3). Red Sox Senior Advisor for Baseball Operations Bill James tweeted, "TREMENDOUSLY enjoyed the Statcast broadcast. Just absolutely loved it. Forgot it was a 'special' thing; just seemed natural. Very natural flow of information, not forced into the game at all. Very professional. Loved it."

MAKINGS OF A CLASSIC: ESPN.com's Bradford Doolittle wrote Rockies-Cubs "reminded us once again why baseball is still great." The Rockies' 2-1 win in a 13-inning, 4-hour, 55-minute thriller was a "wild-card classic" (ESPN.com, 10/3). Rockies manager Bud Black said last night's game "will go down as a major-league baseball classic" (DENVER POST, 10/3). SI.com's Joan Niesen notes Cubs manager Joe Maddon "called the game 'an instant classic' -- and if it wasn’t quite that, it was close." The NL "hasn't had a more charged September" since '11, and one game into the postseason, it "already feels like it's provided a week's worth of thrills, between two Game 163s and all this bonus baseball in Chicago" (SI.com, 10/3).

ONE FOR THE FANS: ESPN's Trey Wingo said if fans were "looking for a way to start" the MLB Playoffs, it would be "hard to do better" than Rockies-Cubs last night. ESPN's Mike Golic said in an "era of high scoring sports," he is a "fan of the pitching duels and you had a good one last night." Golic: "Last night every at-bat, every pitch, every swing could have meant something so big to the game." But ESPN's Mike Golic Jr. said he "could have slept and gotten the news" about last night's game. Golic Jr.: "At least if I'm getting some dingers along the way, there's some action to it that I can look back and say that made it worth me crushing my bedtime into oblivion. That being said, it was still a great game" ("Golic & Wingo," ESPN Radio, 10/3).

 

Redskins players will appear on WPGC-FM in the afternoons under the new partnership
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Redskins players will appear on WPGC-FM in the afternoons under the new partnership
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Redskins players will appear on WPGC-FM in the afternoons under the new partnership
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Entercom and the Redskins have agreed to a new broadcast partnership that will "enhance coverage of the team on Entercom’s five DC radio stations," while bringing Spanish broadcasts of "every Redskins game to the company’s El Zol Deportes station," according to Scott Allen of the WASHINGTON POST. WJFK-FM will "rebrand its Friday programming lineup as 'Redskins Football Fridays,' which will include additional Redskins analysis and guests." WPGC-FM will "feature Redskins players on its weekday afternoon show." In addition, WJFK and WPGC will "become 'official tailgate partners' of the Redskins." Such a partnership would have "seemed impossible" before Redskins Owner Dan Snyder "got out of the radio business" by selling his flagship property, WTEM-AM, to media conglomerate Urban One in May. WTEM remains the "flagship home for Redskins games, as well as pregame and postgame shows." Telemundo’s Moises Linares and El Zol Deportes’s Juan Romero will "provide play-by-play and analysis for every remaining Redskins game this season" on WJFK-AM (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 10/2).

NBC on Sunday afternoon drew 3.22 million viewers for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race from Charlotte, which featured the track using a “roval” for the first time. That audience was up 13% from last year in the same time slot and is the best for the fall Charlotte race since ’14. When streaming is factored in, NBC had a total audience delivery of 3.24 million viewers for the race.

NOTES: ESPN’s two MLB tiebreakers on Monday -- Brewers-Cubs followed by Dodgers-Rockies -- marked the two most-viewed MLB regular-season afternoon games in 20 years. Dodgers-Rockies at 4:16pm ET averaged 2.69 million viewers, while Brewers-Cubs at 1:00pm averaged 2.53 million....Ohio State-Penn State on Saturday night drew 9.14 million viewers on ABC, marking the most-viewed college football game this season to date. With streaming, the game drew 9.28 million viewers....NBC averaged 2.47 million viewers for the final day of the Ryder Cup on Sunday, which saw Team Europe dominate the U.S. in France. Four years in Scotland, NBC averaged 2.2 million viewers for the final day.

The chart below lists final audience figures from select recent sports telecasts.

TELECAST
DATE
NET
TIME (ET)
RATING
VIEWERS
(000)
NFL: Saints-Giants (74%)
9/30
CBS
4:25-7:30pm
12.1
20,687
NFL: (singleheader)
9/30
Fox
1:00-4:05pm
10.3
18,008
"SNF": Ravens-Steelers
9/30
NBC
8:23-11:20pm
10.4
17,918
NFL: (regional)
9/30
CBS
1:00-4:15pm
9.3
15,386
"TNF": Vikings-Rams
9/27
Fox/NFL Net
8:23-11:29pm
8.9
14,507
"MNF": Steelers-Buccaneers
9/24
ESPN
8:13-11:38pm
7.2
12,011
College football: Ohio State-Penn State
9/29
ABC
7:37-11:41pm
5.3
9,141
"Football Night in America"
9/30
NBC
7:30-8:13pm
3.6
5,801
College football: Syracuse-Clemson
9/29
ABC
12:00-3:30pm
3.0
4,475
"Fox NFL Sunday"
9/30
Fox
12:00-1:00pm
2.8
4,442
College football: Tennessee-Georgia
9/29
CBS
3:30-6:45pm
2.3
3,640
College football: Michigan-Northwestern
9/29
Fox
4:45-8:15pm
2.3
3,618
College football: Stanford-Notre Dame
9/29
NBC
7:30-11:00pm
2.1
3,443
"The NFL Today"
9/30
CBS
12:00-1:00pm
2.2
3,301
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series:
Bank of America Roval 400 (Charlotte)
9/30
NBC
2:15-5:45pm
2.0
3,218
College football: Baylor-Oklahoma
9/29
ABC
3:30-7:30pm
1.9
2,767
Ryder Cup: Day 3
9/30
NBC
6:00am-12:30pm
1.7
2,467
Ryder Cup: Day 2
9/29
NBC
6:00am-12:30pm
1.5
2,116
MLB: (regional)
9/29
Fox
1:00-4:15pm
1.4
2,042
College football: Ole Miss-LSU
9/29
ESPN
9:13pm-12:46am
1.1
2,023
College football: Florida-Mississippi State
9/29
ESPN
5:57-10:03pm
1.1
1,903
Liga MX: Club America-Chivas
9/30
Univision
6:55-9:07pm
0.9
1,677
College football: Arkansas-Texas A&M
9/29
ESPN
12:00-3:22pm
1.0
1,596
"College GameDay"
9/29
ESPN
9:00am-12:00pm
n/a
1,577
"Fox NFL Kickoff"
9/30
Fox
11:00am-12:00pm
0.9
1,364
"Monday Night Countdown"
9/24
ESPN
6:00-8:00pm
n/a
1,310
College football: BYU-Washington
9/29
Fox
8:36-11:27pm
0.8
1,286
"Sunday NFL Countdown"
9/30
ESPN
10:00am-1:00pm
n/a
1,202
NBA preseason: Nuggets-Lakers
9/30
ESPN
9:30pm-12:08am
0.7
1,171
College football: West Virginia-Texas Tech
9/29
ESPN2
12:00-3:51pm
0.7
1,147
College football: Florida State-Louisville
9/29
ESPN2
3:51-7:02pm
0.7
1,057
Liga MX: Pachuca-Cruz Azul
9/29
Univision
7:55-10:00pm
0.3
539
Stihl Timbersports (taped)
9/30
ABC
3:00-4:00pm
0.4
521
Beach Volleyball: p1440: San Jose Open
9/30
ABC
4:00-6:00pm
0.4
496
Lucas Oil Off Road Racing (taped)
9/29
CBS
2:00-3:00pm
0.3
442
"World of X Games"
9/30
ABC
2:00-3:00pm
0.3
404
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Audience Analysis