Let’s face it: The Rangers-Toronto Blue Jays ALDS has been taxing on Rangers fans’ souls, not to mention their eyes and ears.
Now comes Wednesday’s decisive Game 5 with a 3 p.m. start on Fox Sports 1, a network that likely was nothing more than a rumor to most Dallas-Fort Worth viewers until the Rangers postseason.
For Rangers fans, that’s not exactly prime time on prime real estate. It’s not even within shouting distance.
Special thanks to Major League Baseball and Fox Sports 1, who decided the Houston Astros-Kansas City Royals is more worthy of prime time. That series-clinching meeting starts on FS1 at a more respectable 7 p.m.
Why that decision? Well, Houston and Kansas City are two U.S. markets metered for ratings. Toronto might as well be Siberia when it comes to American eyeballs.
What’s a prime-time start worth to Rangers fans? Well, more of them can watch from the comfort of their homes. Consider this: On Sunday, the Rangers-Blue Jays played their only prime-time game of the series. The game scored a 12.2 rating in Dallas-Fort Worth, which translates into about 323,000 homes. The three afternoon starts are averaging about a 6.0 rating, which is about 159,000 homes.
Monday’s Game 4 was supposed to start on FS1 at 3 p.m. But the Astros-Royals ran long, pushing the Rangers-Blue Jays to MLB Network for more than an hour. Why is that a kick in the pants?
Consider this law of diminishing returns: During the regular season the Rangers play on Fox Sports Southwest, which reaches about 2 million of the 2.64 million homes with televisions in Dallas-Fort Worth. Fox Sports 1 hits about 1.8 million. MLB Network reaches about 1.5 million.
That means 300,000 homes had to pick up the game in progress while 40 percent of the entire market was completely shut out. Remember the Cowboys’ playoff games last season? Remember how they were played on over-the-air, Fox-owned KDFW (Channel 4), which reaches 100 percent of homes?
The lowest-rated game of this series? Friday’s Game 2, exclusively on MLB Network, scored a 5.4 in D-FW. That’s lower than some regular-season games.
It’s not rocket science. It’s selling a sport. Baseball loses.
To read more visit the Dallas Morning News where this story was originally published
Jason Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Sports Media. Prior to launching BSM he served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He has also produced national shows for ESPN Radio including GameNight and the Dan Patrick Show. You can find him on Twitter @SportsRadioPD or reach him by email at JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.
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+.”
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.”
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
Garrett Searight is the Editor of Barrett Sports Media and Barrett News Media. He previously was the Program Director and Afternoon Co-Host on 93.1 The Fan in Lima, OH. He is also a play-by-play announcer for TV and Radio broadcasts in Western Ohio.