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MLB TV Ratings Increase For Most Teams

Jason Barrett

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SportsBusiness Journal reviewed data from all 29 U.S.-based MLB teams. Overall, an impressive 16 of the clubs showed local ratings increases from last season, up from 12 teams with increases last year versus 2013. Twelve teams showed decreases and one was flat.

The Kansas City Royals were on the verge last week of posting MLB’s highest local TV rating for a season in 13 years. The American League Central Division champions’ games on FS Kansas City were averaging a whopping 12.33 rating as of last week, up 90 percent from last year. That mark, with one week to go in the season, was baseball’s highest since 2002, when the Seattle Mariners averaged a 13.2 rating the year after the team made back-to-back trips to the American League Championship Series.

Another notable ratings story this year occurred in New York, where the local ratings for the Big Apple’s two playoff-bound teams are as close as they have ever been. New York Yankees games were down 7 percent on YES Network this season, averaging a 2.78 rating (207,000 homes). At the same time, New York Mets games on SportsNet New York were up 56 percent, averaging a 2.64 rating (196,000 homes). Playing in the country’s largest media market, the Yankees and the Mets rank first and second among MLB clubs in terms of average audience size.

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, the country’s second-largest market, the numbers tell a different story. Angels games on FS West outdrew Dodgers games on SportsNet LA, 79,000 to 52,000 homes on average. The Dodgers’ also averaged the league’s second-lowest local TV rating despite winning the National League West for a third consecutive season. The low rating, however, is due largely to distribution problems that have seen most of the market’s cable and satellite companies refuse to carry SportsNet LA, meaning fewer viewers and lower ratings than a fully distributed channel.

Read the rest of this story, including seeing the percentage increases for each club by visiting Sports Business Journal where the story was originally published

Sports TV News

FanDuel TV Strikes Deal With ONE Championship Martial Arts

“We’ve long respected the content the ONE Championship team is producing and are looking forward to bringing their action to our audience through FanDuel TV and FanDuel+.”

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FanDuel TV and ONE Championship Martial Arts have struck a deal that will see the MMA, Muay Thai, kickboxing, and submission grappling series air weekly events on the newly launched channel.

“We’re eager to continue expanding the variety of content we’re offering at FanDuel TV to introduce our audience to emerging sports,” said FanDuel Chief Commercial Officer Mike Raffensperger. “We’ve long respected the content the ONE Championship team is producing and are looking forward to bringing their action to our audience through FanDuel TV and FanDuel+.”

ONE Championship is a top-five global sports property for digital viewership and engagement according to Nielsen measurements.

“We are thrilled to join the FanDuel TV lineup and give our passionate U.S. audience yet another way to engage with ONE Championship,” said ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong. “Having a quality partner in FanDuel will help raise the profile of our company in the region and provide their viewers with action-packed martial arts events like they have never seen before.”

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Sports TV News

Bob Costas Re-Lives First Announcing Assignment For NBC

“My biography usually says I began with them in 1980, but technically the first time I was on the air with them was in December 1979.”

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Legendary sports broadcaster Bob Costas appeared on KNBR’s Tolbert & Copes Thursday to discuss the death of Baseball Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry. But before the conversation turned to the recently departed pitcher, the show asked Costas about what he has announced that would surprise someone. He reminisced about his first time on the air for NBC.

“My very first assignment for NBC, my biography usually says I began with them in 1980, but technically the first time I was on the air with them was in December 1979,” Costas recounted. “There was a program on NBC then called Sports World. It was an anthology series that was their answer to the gold standard, ABC’s Wide World of Sports.

“So they traveled the globe, like Wide World of Sports did. So they sent me, wearing a red NBC jacket, to Tokyo to cover a sumo wrestling tournament with seven-time world power-lifting champion Larry Pacifico as my color man. Now, this is all the Japanese I learned as we came on the air: ‘Minasan kon’nichwa watashinoamaeha Bob Costas’, which means ‘Hello everyone, my name is Bob Costas’. If ever there was typecasting, when they sat and looked at their roster of announcers and went ‘Who should we send to the sumo wrestling? It’s gotta be Costas, who’s entire body weight would constitute one meal for the sumo wrestling champion.”

Costas departed NBC Sports in 2019 after 40 years with the network, announcing MLB, NBA, and the Olympics, in addition to his work with the network’s sumo wrestling coverage.

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Sports TV News

Matt Leinart, Alex Smith Make Wager Over Pac-12 Championship Game

“I gotta be honest with you: I’m not that nervous. I know that sounds kind of arrogant and confident.”

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FOX Sports analyst Matt Leinart and ESPN analyst Alex Smith have made a friendly wager over the upcoming Pac-12 Championship Game.

USC, Leinart’s alma mater, is slated to play Utah, where Smith attended, in the game Friday evening on FOX from Las Vegas.

The two agreed to don the other player’s jersey. “At least it will be 11,” Smith said, noting he and Leinart both wore the number during their playing days.

“I gotta be honest with you: I’m not that nervous,” Leinart said when presented with the offer. “I know that sounds kind of arrogant and confident.” Smith jokingly responded by calling USC “Free Agent University”. He added he would overnight Leinart a jersey to ensure he had one if the Utes were victorious.

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