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Kansas City Passes St. Louis In MLB TV Ratings

Jason Barrett

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Best baseball town in America?

Well, at least according to the television ratings, St. Louis isn’t even No. 1 in its own state.

According to figures compiled by Nielsen, which measures viewership, Kansas City is rocking St. Louis in ratings for postseason games. That’s when it comes to recent appearances by the home-town team in the league championship round and World Series.

Last year, the Royals were in the Series for the first time since they beat the Cardinals for the 1985 title. And the rating in Kansas City averaged a whopping 50.2 for their loss in seven games to San Francisco. (That means 50.2 percent of homes in the market with a TV tuned in.)

In 2013, the last time the Cards were in the Series, the St. Louis rating was 40.6. The Redbirds lost in six games to Boston that year, with the Red Sox building a big early lead in the final contest and cruising to victory which pulled the rating for that game down to 37.9.

That’s logical. But what is more telling is the time before that when they were in the Series — in 2011, capping their miracle run to the championship after being all but dead in late August. That series, the dramatic seven-game affair in which they had their miraculous comeback to win Game 6, drew a 47.2 rating locally.

And the St. Louis rating then for Game 7 — a winner — was 52.7. The Royals drew a 58.7 number in KC for their Game 7 — a loser — last year.

In the ongoing American League championship series, the rating in Kansas City is 30.5 — and that is with back-to-back weekday afternoon games. The ALCS rating there last year was 31.9. The Cardinals’ last two trips to the National League title series (2014 and 2013) drew ratings in St. Louis of 23.5 and 28.9.

All this comes on the heels of Kansas City leading all U.S. teams this season in ratings for the teams’ local telecasts, with a rating of 12.3. St. Louis was second, at 10.0.

But let’s take a deeper look.

The reason for all of this probably is the bandwagon effect. Postseason baseball is a novelty in KC but has been a way of life in St. Louis. Before last season, the Royals hadn’t been to the playoffs in 29 years, whereas the Cardinals’ appearance this year was their 14th in that span.

And the ratings trend doesn’t translate to the turnstiles. Attendance the last two seasons in St. Louis has been 3.5 million. In Kansas City, it was 1.9 million in 2014 and 2.7 million this year.

And Missouri’s biggest market did do better in the TV ratings than its No. 2 city in the recently completed first round of the playoffs. The St. Louis rating was 25.4, the number in KC was 23.1. But the Cards were playing their biggest rival, the Cubs, for the first time in the postseason. The Royals had a matchup with the Astros, who were completing just their third season in the American League.

A more apt comparison: Last year, for the Cards’ opening-round matchup with the Dodgers, the St. Louis rating was 19.5. The year before, against Pittsburgh, it was 16.4.

To read the rest of this article visit STL Today where it was originally published

Sports TV News

Rece Davis Believes Final Regular Season College GameDay Show Typically Most Hectic Due to Coaching Changes

“There were so many coaching changes and decisions, and we’re getting people on the phone. That was before everybody got comfortable with FaceTime.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Rece Davis

College GameDay was in Columbus this past weekend ahead of Ohio State’s annual rivalry game against Michigan, and host Rece Davis said a number of head coaching announcements throughout the show made for some pretty chaotic moments.

Luke Fickell being named the new head coach at Wisconsin and former Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule being hired at Nebraska were among the marquee hirings announced over the weekend.

On the College GameDay Podcast, Davis said trying to get information confirmed and incorporated into the show in real time was exhilarating.

“It was a bizarre, fun show that we’ve had over the years when we’ve gone to Ohio State/Michigan,” he said. “I remember the ’16 year that we extended the show to five hours. It was really fun, and then a really great game followed it. And there were so many coaching changes and decisions, and we’re getting people on the phone. That was before everybody got comfortable with FaceTime. But there were a lot of bizarre things going on.”

Podcast co-host and senior college football reporter Pete Thamel echoed Davis’ sentiments, saying he would do a hit on the show, then take out his earpiece and immediately get back on the phone to work on getting the most up to date information.

“It was whoa,” he said. “We did the first segment…and normally I would’ve stayed and watched to see what the guys had to say, but I just walked off the stage and went back and started making calls.”

In addition to the Wisconsin and Nebraska hirings, Thamel was also working on trying to figure out the situation at Auburn. He helped get Rhule on the show as well, and he said it was cool the show’s team was able to book guests so quickly from different locations in the country.

“We literally went coast to coast on GameDay with good interviews on Saturday,” he said.

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Sports TV News

Disney CEO Bob Iger: Company Will Chase Profitability Over Growing Subscriber Base

“We have to start chasing profitability. It will be demanded of us.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Change is abound at Disney, but it’s welcomed change. CEO Bob Iger, who was announced as the replacement for Bob Chapek last week, said his goal is to help get the company’s financial ship righted.

“We have to start chasing profitability,” Iger told employees and executives at a town hall. “It will be demanded of us.”

Iger announced one of his first moves in returning to the CEO role was to shake up its digital media and entertainment distribution division. That branch of the company oversees its streaming services like Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+. Disney+ boasts tens of millions of subscribers, and Chapek focused heavily on reaching as many people as possible.

But Disney stock price has shrunk sharply over the course of the last year, and there have been other areas of the company in which there has been discourse. There was some belief that Disney could be up for sale.

Iger hopes things at the company can be turned around in due course, but he made one thing for certain: Disney and its properties are not for sale.

“Nothing is forever, but I’m very comfortable with the set of assets that we have,” he said. “I think they can serve our company, don’t expect any headlines soon about deals.”

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Sports TV News

YES Network Considering Derek Jeter and Don Mattingly for Analyst Roles

“I have something else burning fairly hot right now,” Mattingly said. “Depends how that goes.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Could Yankees fans see and hear from two of the franchise’s most beloved former players on TV next season? It’s not out of the realm of possibility. The New York Post reported Monday the team’s YES Network appeared to have an interest in bringing in Derek Jeter and Don Mattingly.

But according to the network’s president of programming and production John Filippelli, it’s all speculative at this point.

“We haven’t had any in-depth discussion with either,” he told Andrew Marchand. “If they are A) available and B) interested, you probably at least have to have a conversation.”

Marchand reached out to Mattingly, who finished his run as manager of the Miami Marlins at the end of the 2022 season, and the former Dodgers manager seemed to indicate that there is another potential opportunity in the works.

“I have something else burning fairly hot right now,” Mattingly said. “Depends how that goes.”

Jeter will likely be a hard sell on getting into the booth. The understanding is the legendary former shortstop doesn’t have a big interest in getting into broadcasting like his former teammate Alex Rodriguez.

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