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Game 4 of World Series Seen by 22.8 Million Viewers PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 02 November 2009 16:01

World Series on FOXGame Four of the 2009 World Series on FOX last night, which was won by Yankees 7-4 to take a 3-1 series lead, was seen by 22.8 million viewers, a +47% increase over last year’s Game Four and the most-watched World Series game since the series-clinching Game Four of the 2004 World Series (28.8 million viewers), and the most-viewed non-clinching Game 4 since 2001, based on fast national data from Nielsen Media Research.

Through four games, the 2009 World Series is averaging 19.1 million viewers, also a +47% increase over the first four games of the 2008 World Series and the highest four-game World Series average since 2004.

Based on preliminary primetime averages, last night’s game propelled FOX to its best primetime performance on a Sunday in nearly two years (Super Bowl XLII in February 2008), and its best primetime performance on any night since the “American Idol” finale on May 20.

New Yorkers are eagerly tuning in, with Game Four posting a 31.2 local rating, exceeding that for all six games of the 2003 World Series as well as every game of the 2001 World Series aside from Game Seven.  In Philadelphia , Game Four averaged a 42.0 local rating, +8% better than the 39.0 recorded for Game 4 of last year’s Fall Classic.

Source: Major League Baseball by way of Nielsen Media Research


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World Series Viewership Remains Strong, Up 57% From '08 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Sunday, 01 November 2009 15:15

World Series on FOXViewership for the World Series remains strong following Yankees' 8-5 victory over the Phillies in Game 3 on Saturday night.

The game, which saw a 1 hour and 20 min rain delay, was going up against the USC, Oregon game on ABC, and didn't see first pitch until 9:17 p.m. ET still managed to be the second highest watched game of this year's Word Series, and more importantly, pulled in strong numbers: 15.4 million viewers, up 57 percent from last year's Game 3 World Series between the Rays and Phillies.

The 57 percent increase year-to-year marks the largest ever in compariable World Series games in primetime (it should be noted that the 2008 World Series was the lowest rated World Series on record since Nielsen began tracking the data).

Likewise, through three games, the World Series has averaged 17.9 million viewers, an increase of 46 percent from last year's World Series.

Why the increase? Several factors are at work:

  • The match-up between the Phillies and Yankees is seen as exceptionally good.
  • The Tampa Bay Rays did not resonate nationally in 2008.
  • The return of the New York Yankees to the World Series; MLB's strongest brand and a team that garners big ratings numbers nationally.


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Cast Members from "Glee" to Sing World Series Game 3 National Anthem PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 30 October 2009 21:59

GleeThis certainly goes well with FOX’s sense of self-promoting its programming...

Cast members from the FOX show “Glee” will perform the National Anthem prior to Game 3 of the World Series from Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia on Saturday. The pregame performance is scheduled to take place at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Glee cast members Lea Michele (who plays Rachel Berry), Amber Riley (Mercedes Jones), Cory Monteith (Finn Hudson), Chris Colfer (Kurt Hummel), Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina Cohen-Chang), Mark Salling (Noah “Puck” Puckerman), Dianna Agron (Quinn Fabray) and (no, not the former Boston Celtic) Kevin McHale (Artie Abrams) will perform.

Cast members will wear ”Stand Up to Cancer” shirts in support of the organization as part of MLB’s efforts to support community service, and ties into the special “Stand Up to Cancer” ad that will air during Game 3, as well.

As with any promotional tie to a show (and who can’t forget that Whitney Houston’s singing of the National Anthem was taped), fans will look to see if this is lip-synced or the real deal. Could Game 4 have a Broadway musical scene from the casts of House and 24? Tune-in for the remainder of the World Series to find out.


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Viewership for Game 2 of World Series Up 48% From 2008 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 30 October 2009 14:38

World Series on FOXThe 2009 WORLD SERIES is dominating prime time and posting significant gains over last year. Game 2 between the Phillies and Yankees averaged 11.7/19 household rating/share and 18.9 million viewers last night on FOX according to “fast national” ratings issued by Nielsen Media Research. The 11.7 rating represents a huge +44% gain over last year’s 8.1/13 for Game 2 of Phillies-Rays, while the 18.9 million viewers is a +48% increase over Game 2 ’08. Both percentage increases are the biggest year-to-year gains for any World Series game in 19 years (Game 4 of the 1990 Reds-A’s World Series -- +46% rating, +52% audience -- over Game 4 ‘89).

Last night’s contest is the highest-rated and most-watched Game 2 since 2004 (15.9/24, 25.5 mill.).

The Primetime portion of the game also averaged an 11.7/19 (19.0 mill.) from 8:00-11:00 PM ET, making last night the highest-rated and most-watched Thursday night on any network since the BCS Championship Game in January. The game earned a 5.7 in prime time among Adults 18-49, FOX’s best Thursday night in over seven months. Game 2 easily controlled a night of tough competition. The prime-time 5.7 (the entire game drew a 5.8 adults 18-49) beat second-place ABC by +50% for the night (3.8).

PHILADELPHIA again topped all markets with a 42.5/57, a +38% gain over last year's 30.7/44 for Game 2 of the Phillies-Rays WS. NEW YORK tallied a 29.8/44, the second-best Yankee Game Two of the last ten years, beating 2003, 2001, and 1999 (the 2000 Subway Series was of course stronger, 42.1/56). A solid outing from former Red Sox superstar Pedro Martinez juiced ratings in Boston (15.7/26) and Providence (15.6/25), and those markets were up +15% and +24% respectively over their Game 1 ratings.

Game 1 of the 2009 World Series that aired at 8:07 p.m. ET on Weds. drew 19.5 million viewers and 13.8 overnight rating.

2009 World Series Summary

The first two games of the 2009 World Series earned 11.8/19 household rating/share, and has averaged 19.2 million viewers, a +37% gain over last year in rating (vs. 8.6/14) and a +40% increase in viewership (vs. 13.8 mill.). By both measures this is the best start to a World Series since 2004, when the Red Sox were looking to snap an 86-year World Championship drought. Among Adults 18-49, the Series is up +39% (6.1 vs. 4.4) and is also pacing at a five-year high. If we compare the World Series to top-rated season-to-date prime-time shows, the Fall Classic would rank No. 2 in households (behind NCIS) and No. 4 in A18-49.

Source: FOX Sports, Nielsen Media Research


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Special "Stand-Up to Cancer" Ad to Run During Game 3 of World Series PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 30 October 2009 10:36

Just Stand Up to CancerMajor League Baseball , MasterCard Worldwide and Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) have joined together for an historic live event to occur during Game Three of the 2009 World Series on Saturday, October 31, incorporating the live crowd inside Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia into a “Priceless” public awareness spot produced by Stand Up To Cancer Founding Member Laura Ziskin.  The spot will air between the start of the second and end of the third innings and will be broadcast live on FOX as well as inside the stadium.  Near the conclusion of the 30-second spot – which celebrates the powerful emotions baseball creates – the action will turn live to the ballpark, where actors Terrence Howard and Minka Kelly will encourage the rest of the crowd and the viewing audience to “stand up” to cancer.

Major League Baseball earlier this week announced that Game Three will highlight Stand Up To Cancer as part of its overall dedication of the 2009 World Series to community service, with each of the first four games devoted to a specific charitable initiative.  In support of this effort, MasterCard expanded its charitable relationship with SU2C, a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation that raises funds for innovative research conducted primarily by teams of scientists, aimed at accelerating the development of new cancer treatments in order to save lives now.  In addition to integrating the Stand Up To Cancer message into the “Priceless” spot and donating the time for it to air during the broadcast of Game Three on FOX, MasterCard will contribute $1 million to SU2C the first time a home run hits one of the two “Hit It Here” signs in the outfield during the game.  MasterCard is also donating $1,000 for every home run hit throughout the entire 2009 Postseason.  Through Game Two of the World Series, 50 home runs have been hit, resulting in a $50,000 donation thus far.

“ Major League Baseball has been a proud supporter of Stand Up To Cancer from its very beginning, driving home its key message with our fans: that each and every person can play a role in helping the scientists who are working so hard to end this disease,” said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. “We’re thankful to MasterCard for joining us in ‘going beyond’ to support this worthy cause, and encourage everyone to stand up with us and help eradicate cancer.”

"The 2009 MLB postseason has proven to be an extraordinary stage for MasterCard to stand up and support a cause that connects our employees, customers, cardholders and baseball fans across America ", said Larry Flanagan, Chief Marketing Officer for MasterCard Worldwide. "We're honored to share the power of "Priceless" with the passionate and innovative approach that SU2C brings to fighting this disease. And, we're expecting the Yankees and Phillies sluggers to compete for being the first one to land a home run on MasterCard's "Hit It Here" sign for the $1 million donation to SU2C."

Created by award-winning motion picture and television producer Laura Ziskin, the spot will mark the first-ever installment of the famed MasterCard “Priceless” platform to be dedicated to a non-profit.  Ziskin’s film credits include the Spider-Man trilogy, As Good As It Gets and Pretty Woman, and she produced the 74th and 79th Academy Awards. A member of the Stand Up To Cancer leadership team, Ziskin also executive produced its 2008 televised fundraising special. One of every three American women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetimes and in 2004, Ziskin learned that she, herself, had breast cancer.

“Collaboration is central to Stand Up To Cancer,” Ziskin noted, “...whether its within the teams of scientists whose work we fund, in the extraordinary partnerships we have among the people and companies that make up the entertainment community, or in our remarkable relationships with MLB and other generous donors. We’re utilizing all these resources to build a movement of people excited about helping researchers who are on the cusp of major breakthroughs, but need additional funding.”

“The World Series is a major cultural touchstone,” Ziskin continued. “To be able to heighten awareness about the importance of supporting cutting-edge cancer research during it through one of the world’s largest, most recognizable, and award-winning advertising campaigns is, in a word, priceless. We are enormously grateful to both MLB and MasterCard.”

In less than one year from its May 2008 launch, Stand Up To Cancer raised more than $100 million --   including a lead $10 million donation from Major League Baseball – due in part to an historic hour-long program simultaneously broadcast on three major television networks on September 5, 2008.  On its one-year anniversary in May 2009, SU2C announced $73.6 million in three-year grants to its first five Dream Team collaborations, comprised of more than 200 researchers from over 20 leading institutions.

Source: Major League Baseball


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Game 1 of World Series Second Most Viewed Since '99 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 29 October 2009 16:48

World Series

Game 1 of the World Series was already a ratings hit, and now it can be reported that it was viewed by a large number of fans in the US.

The 6-1 victory by the Phillies at the new Yankee Stadium was viewed by 19.5 million viewers, a 33 percent increase from Game 1 last year between the Phillies and Rays.

The game was the second highest viewed Game 1 since the 1999 WS between the Yankees and Braves, coming behind only the start of the 2004 World Series between the Red Sox and Cardinals,

The 33 percent increase in viewership also marks the second highest year-to-year increase in Game 1 viewership since data first began being collected in 1968, with only the 1976-77 (56 percent increase) being higher.


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Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Game 1 of World Series Sees Massive Ratings Jump of 34% PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 29 October 2009 13:06

World Series

Proving the Yankees continue to resonate nationally, last night’s Game 1 of the World Series in which the Phillies beat the Yankees 6-1 was a ratings win for FOX posting a 13.8 overnight rating, up 33.9 percent from last year’s Game 1 between the Phillies and Rays which drew a 10.3. The rating figure is the second highest in the last decade ranking behind only Game 1 of the 2004 World Series between the Red Sox and Cardinals. According to the SportsBusiness Daily, “The game earned a 44.5 in Philadelphia and a 29.7 in N.Y. Game One also gave Fox the highest-rated Wednesday night on any net since the ‘American Idol’ finale in May.”

According to MediaWeek, the game drew 9.31 million viewers and 57 percent among adults 18-49.

It should be noted that last year's World Series had the lowest ratings in history.

The game also drew 50,207 in attendance at the new Yankee Stadium, a highwater mark for the new ballpark this postseason.

The following is breakdown of attendance at new Yankee Stadium for the 2009 postseason.

Date

Day

Game #

Series

Attendance

7-Oct

Weds

Game 1

ALDS

49,464

9-Oct

Fri

Game 2

ALDS

50,006

16-Oct

Fri

Game 1

ALCS

49,688

17-Oct

Sat

Game 2

ALCS

49,922

25-Oct

Sun

Game 6

ALCS

50,173

28-Oct

Weds

Game 1

World Series

50,207

 


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MLB Releases 2009 World Series Broadcast Schedule PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 26 October 2009 19:00

2009 World Series on FOX

The following is the national broadcast schedule for the 105th World Series. FOX Sports will provide national coverage of the 2009 World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Yankees.

ESPN Radio will provide complete coverage of the World Series, and additional coverage will be provided by XM Radio, MLB International and MLB.com.

Date
World Series Game
Network
Air Time
(ET)
First Pitch
(ET)

Wed., Oct. 28th Game 1, PHI @ NYY
FOX Sports
7:30 p.m.
7:57 p.m.
Thurs., Oct. 29th Game 2, PHI @ NYY
FOX Sports 7:30 p.m. 7:57 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 31st
Game 3, NYY @ PHI
FOX Sports 7:30 p.m. 7:57 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 1st Game 4, NYY @ PHI FOX Sports 8:00 p.m.
8:20 p.m.
Mon., Nov. 2nd Game 5 *, NYY @ PHI FOX Sports 7:30 p.m. 7:57 p.m.
Wed., Nov. 4th Game 6 *, PHI @ NYY
FOX Sports 7:30 p.m. 7:57 p.m.
Thurs., Nov. 5th
Game 7 *, PHI @ NYY FOX Sports 7:30 p.m. 7:57 p.m.

* indicates if necessary.

Please note that the schedule above is tentative and subject to change based on postponed and/or suspended games.

Source: Major League Baseball


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Entering World Series, MLB Sees Ratings Up 15% Compared to Last Year PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 26 October 2009 18:20

2009 Postseason

With the Yankees advancing to the World Series last night for the first time since 2003 with their 5-2 win over the Angels in Game 6 of the ALCS, the 2009 MLB postseason continues to see strong ratings, compared to last year.

Last night’s game from Yankee Stadium and aired on FOX drew a 9.3 household rating with 15.5, both high water marks for the 2009 season.

Including the AL Central tiebreaker game between the Tigers and Twins, the LDS, and LCS, ratings for the 2009 MLB postseason are up 15 percent compared to last year.

Last night’s game had the largest LCS audience for a non-Game 7 since Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS between the Yankees and the Red Sox. That game was  infamous “bloody sock” game in which Curt Schilling pitched brilliantly.

Last night’s ALCS also marked a 39 percent increase from the most recent LCS Game 6 on FOX (2007, Red Sox-Indians).

As to whether ratings will continue to be higher than last year, it is a near given. Last year was the lowest rated World Series since 2006 when the Cardinals and Tigers played.


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MLB ANALYST STEVE PHILLIPS FIRED BY ESPN PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Sunday, 25 October 2009 19:50

Steve PhillipsTHIS IS BREAKING NEWS...


UPDATE 1: Sources to The Biz of Baseball indicate that Phillips' agent Steve Lefkowitz has said that Phillips is voluntarily admitting himself to an inpatient treatment facility to address his personal issues.


ESPN baseball analyst Steve Phillips, who was recently suspended for one-week after being embroiled in an affair with 22 year-old Brooke Hundley, a production assistant at ESPN, has been fired by the Worldwide Leader. The news of Phillips’ firing came by way of ESPN PR rep Mike Soltys via Twitter.

“Steve Phillips is no longer working for ESPN. His ability to be an effective rep of ESPN has been significantly & irreparably damaged,” said Soltys.

More news as it becomes available


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Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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