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Despite a duo of smaller market teams, TBS had two hits on its hands for the first two games of the ALCS that featured a pair of Royals victories. Saturday’s Game 2 scored an average of 4.3 million viewers, up 26% from the comparable LCS telecast a year ago. The contest also drew a 2.6 household Nielsen ratings, up 18%. That follows Game 1 numbers of 5.92 million total viewers (up 9%) and a corresponding 3.6 U.S. household rating (up 3%). Overall, TBS’ coverage of the series is averaging 5,119,000 total viewers through two games, up 9% over an average of 4,715,000 total viewers for the network’s comparable LCS game telecasts last year.

Around the dial on FOX, Game 1 of the NLCS between the Giants and Cardinals on Saturday handed the channel with a 3.5/6 metered market household rating/share, which includes the alternative NLCS on FOX Sports 1. The NLCS on FOX Sports 1 powered by JABO simulcast contributed a .14 to the game’s 3.5 HH rating. 

6 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @


I think that's a convenient excuse that the media rallies around, but makes no sense. So last week, Washington was tired, but the Giants weren't?  Shouldn't both teams be equally tired, and therefore play a close game?  

6 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @


Actually, Nessler and Mayock will still be on.  This CBS package is only for the first 8 weeks. The rest of the season goes to NFL Network.

9 months ago on Conversation @


The HR Derby is awful, and MLB doesn't understand why. 

1. It's too long.  The Derby lasts longer than an average MLB game. It gets tedious watching homer after homer.

2. The quality doesn't depend on the participants - it depends on the park. I knew last night's Derby was going to be a yawner, because it's at a cookie-cutter park.  What is there to aim for?  Next year's should be better, because at least guys will be hitting balls into the water.

3. The HR Derby isn't a sanctimonious event that Bob Costas waxes poetic about. So why not have some fun with it?  Take a page from the old MTV "Rock N' Jock" days, and put targets up.  Off the facade is 2 points. Opposite field 3 etc. etc. Make it FUN, instead of "he pulled another homer to right field."

4. Why not turn it into a hitting contest, instead of just a HR Derby?  You might be able to entice more All Stars to participate, because it's closer to a regular BP session for them.  It'll also freshen up the competition.

5. Get rid of Berman.  Another example of ESPN TELLING you what you'll like, instead of listening to the hundreds of complaints they get whenever he's on.

9 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @


@RSJem "Soccer isn't going away this time." That's the constant phrase that irritates people. It has NEVER gone away, but it also ISN'T GROWING.  The ratings for every other soccer league will go back down to its usual numbers, behind the other major sports.

I'm not trying to be Debbie Downer here, just stating the facts.  As a huge hockey fan, I heard the same thing with "These Olympics are putting hockey on the map!"  No they're not.  It's a niche sport, adored mostly by cities who have teams.  No one in L.A. is watching Blues/Lightning on a Tuesday night in November.

9 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @


People seem to be ignoring the elephant in the room. The reason the All Star ratings continue to decline is because of interleague play.   When I was growing up, it was intriguing to see the unique matchups that you wouldn't see at any other time of year until the World Series.

Now I can turn on my TV at any point during the season and see an interleague matchup.  It's lost its luster. Selig made his own grave when he turned interleague play from a novelty to the norm. 

9 months, 4 weeks ago on Conversation @


Someone needs to tell him to stop moving his hands. It's all I'm paying attention to.

1 year ago on Conversation @


I don't know how you can complain about college hoops, and give the NBA a free pass.  There is NO flow in an NBA game.  Each team has too many timeouts, and it's so predictable when they'll be taken.   If a team goes on a 6-0 run in the second quarter, you shouldn't need to take a timeout. But every team does.

1 year, 1 month ago on TV timeouts are ruining college basketball


Good point.  Why not just put the regular "MLB Tonight" show on each day, during the same time slot?

I used to like Russo, and thought he was knowledgeable. But the more and more I listened to his show on Sirius, I realized he knows nothing.  He only knows the headlines featuring the front-running teams.  If you're looking for a unique perspective, go elsewhere.

1 year, 1 month ago on Chris Russo has an MLB Network show debuting on Opening Day


That's certainly a positive spin.  So NASCAR's self-proclaimed "Super Bowl" beat a garbage NBA regular season game (in which Lebron was out), by a couple million people.  If they sustain that over the next few weeks, THEN it'll be a story.

1 year, 1 month ago on Daytona 500 rain delay outdraws NBA

This shouldn't be a surprise. Audiences don't flock to networks for one show.  I was there when she was hired, and the first thing I said about the Crossover was "This show is going to be a failure, and the first thing they'll do is blame Briggs, and either kick him off or find a replacement."  I never understood what the big deal was with Beadle.  Look at the Erin Andrews situation.  Much bigger name, higher profile, and I don't know one person that watches FOX(?) football because of her.

1 year, 4 months ago on Is Michelle Beadle finished at NBC Sports?



How is MLB different than the NHL or NBA? In every league, every local game is on, and you have the ability to watch every game on a pay tier.  I always hear that the NHL is a "regional sport," yet more kids are watching it now.

1 year, 5 months ago on Kids aren't watching baseball, but why?


Great column, Ben.  I think it really will all hinge on the programming.  TV media and industry folk think that a network's presentation differentiates their programming.  It doesn't. Fans will watch the sports they love anywhere, whether it's ESPN, Fox, NBCSN etc.

It's comical to me how a guy like Fred Gaudeli gets all of these accolades.  You could put those Sunday night matchups on ANY network, and they would draw equally high ratings.  Joe Fan is not sitting at home saying to himself "You know, Packers/Giants is a great game, but I'm not watching because I don't like the way it's produced."

When NBCSN took over Versus, it was Versus that led the way.  NBC tried to strong arm them into the way they promoted the NHL, but if you look at their promotion side by side, VS promos were more down and dirty, and geared towards the hockey fan.  NBC smartly stepped back, and took VS old direction (although you'll still see some of those awful cookie-cutter NBC promos from time to time).

Here's hoping that FS1 finds their own voice, and is not attached to the robots and other garbage sports fans hate about Fox Network. 

1 year, 9 months ago on Fox Sports 1 faces the unenviable pressure of high expectations


The main point was only skimmed over.  The reason less people are watching the All Star game is because of interleague play.

Selig can sit up on his throne and say how much fans love it, but the fact is it's killing the All Star game.  It used to be a novelty to see how a top AL pitcher would do against NL hitters, or vice-versa.  That's all been completely diluted, because now we see that every night.  And frankly, interleague play is no longer a novelty, either.

There used to be pride playing or rooting for the All Stars.  Now, players bounce around from team to team, so there's no mystery in the matchups.  It's the same reason why World Series ratings are consistently declining.

1 year, 9 months ago on Why are fewer fans watching the MLB All-Star Game?


@Nick Arden @Buffalo_Brave 

Like I said, it was a phenomenal accomplishment.  But to use an analogy, that would be like next year the Heat winning game 7 by 30 points, and the announcer saying "The Heat have done it!  A Three-peat!"  The result is historic, but the actual competition was not.

1 year, 9 months ago on Greatest Call Tournament - Round 1 Day 2


Not even sure why the Secretariat call is on here.  Greatest horse ever, but it was boring from the backstretch to the wire.  No real drama there.

1 year, 9 months ago on Greatest Call Tournament - Round 1 Day 2



Sums up my thoughts perfectly.  If you have the MLB/NHL/NBA/NFL Network, there's no reason to watch Sportscenter.  None.  Those other niche nets cover their sports better than ESPN ever could, without the filler. 

1 year, 9 months ago on Shaking my head at SportsCenter


Some good points here, but the fact is that none of the big market teams in LA, NY or Chicago are dominant.  I'd be interested to see what ESPN's Sunday Night ratings are, too.  They've had a lot of clunkers with the same teams FOX shows. 

Until FOX can go to a "flex schedule," they're going to keep ramming the same matchups down our throats, regardless of where they are in the standings.

1 year, 9 months ago on Why are MLB on Fox ratings tanking?