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Volume 26 No. 225
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Fox' Mulvihill Expects Ratings Gain For MLB Opening Weekend

Fox Sports is expecting to see around a 40% increase in its normal MLB opening weekend viewership, translating to a million more viewers, said Mike Mulvihill, the net's Exec VP/Research, League Operations & Strategy. Speaking on a Fox Sports-produced video hosted by announcer Kevin Burkhardt, Mulvihill pointed to ratings increases from when other sports returned -- including the NFL Draft that was up 40%, NASCAR’s first race that was up 40% and the PGA Tour’s first tournament on CBS that was up about 50%. “Everything’s falling in about that 40-50% range, at least among major sports properties,” Mulvihill said. “That gives us a reasonable range of expectation for opening weekend.”

During the 10-minute interview, Mulvihill highlighted the Aug. 13 Field of Dreams game featuring White Sox-Cardinals, which he said will function as this year’s Mid-Summer Classic. “This has the opportunity to be our most-watched regular-season game in several seasons,” he said. Mulvihill also hyped rivalry games, pointing out that the Yankees, for example, play a quarter of their schedule against the Red Sox and Mets. “That’s a high concentration of rivalry games and I think that’s going to drive a lot of interest throughout the season,” Mulvihill said.