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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

Pedro Martinez: ‘Never Imagined’ TV Career

“And the reason I’m here, it’s not because of the camera, it’s actually because it gives me an opportunity to remain linked to the game, remain linked to what’s going on, the different changes the game is offering right now, adjusting to different things.”

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As the Major League Baseball season comes to a close and preparations for the playoffs begin, MLB Network and TNT analyst Pedro Martinez joined The Press Box podcast to discuss his time as a television analyst.

When asked what he liked about working in television, Martinez didn’t hesitate with his answer.

“I think it’s a platform and the opportunity I have to bring to the audience what I know, what I think, what I understand and broadcasting gives me the opportunity to continue to have that communication with the people, the young athletes and fans. At the same time, I’m able to continue to learn and transmit some of the things that I would love to show everybody by playing but my body doesn’t allow me, but my mind does.

“This is a great way to bring the right information to the people, but I take advantage of the platform to communicate with my fanbase, the player’s fanbase, and the voice behind the players and the situations that come up, I can actually teach the audience some of the things that I understand from my point of view.”

A media career was never in the cards for Martinez. At least that’s what he thought during his playing career.

“I swear to god, it’s the only thing I never imagined. I never thought I would like being in front of a camera,” Martinez said. “And the reason I’m here, it’s not because of the camera, it’s actually because it gives me an opportunity to remain linked to the game, remain linked to what’s going on, the different changes the game is offering right now, adjusting to different things.

“You learn so much just by having access to information, having access to so many other different things. A lot of people would be surprised how much you can dig into and I think for everybody else, if they knew the kind of information we have access to, they’d be intrigued to come do what we do.”

He then said one of the things he would have never picked up on was how many pitchers tip their pitches, but due to all of the information, video, and relationships broadcasters have make that information readily available. He added his work in television has enabled more relationships with baseball players from his home country, the Dominican Republic.

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Stephen A. Smith and Malika Andrews Get Heated Over Ime Udoka Coverage

“Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me, I listened to you,” Smith interjected, “you’re the one telling me to stop on my show. It ain’t happening.”

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Stephen A. Smith, Malika Andrews

On Friday’s First Take, Stephen A. Smith continued his stance regarding the public leaking of information surrounding Celtics’ Head Coach Ime Udoka relationship with a team staffer. He also went further by sharing his dismay that Udoka was seemingly the only person punished for the violation of company policy.

“Only he is in violation of the company policy?” Smith asked. “The woman who elected to have a consensual relationship with him is not in violation?” 

Before the end of the show, ESPN NBA Today host Malika Andrews called in the program and wanted to address Smith’s comments.

“Stephen A., with all do respect, this is not about pointing the finger. Stop,” Andrews said. “The fact that we are sitting here debating whether somebody else should have been suspended or not, we are not here, Stephen A., to further blame women.”

Smith would replay saying that his intention was not blame anyone outside of the Celtics coach.

“First of all, let me be very clear, I don’t appreciate where you’re going with that, I’m not blaming anybody but Ime Udoka,” Smith stated. “The fact of the matter is, he deserves to be fired if they were going to fire him. If you’re not going to fire him, then don’t fire him. My issue is all of this being publicized.”

Andrews tried to jump back in for further commentary but Smith stopped that and noted he didn’t appreciate being interrupted on “my show”.

“Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me, I listened to you,” Smith interjected, “you’re the one telling me to stop on my show. It ain’t happening.”

Andrews did thank Smith for clarifying his stance at the end of the segment. ESPN has removed access to the video from its YouTube channel by making it private.

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Rich Eisen on Tom Brady Joining FOX: ‘I Gotta See It to Believe It’

“I think what Peyton Manning has done with his post-playing career is more of a blueprint that I would think Brady would follow.”

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Is 2023 the year we see Tom Brady in the broadcast booth for FOX? Rich Eisen isn’t so sure.

“I still gotta see it to believe it, I’ll be honest with you, man. I know it’s a great chunk of change and it’s a lot of money. I don’t know,” the NFL Network icon said on the most recent edition of the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast.

Tom Brady has taken his foot off the gas in 2022 in a more public way than fans are used to. He voluntarily missed eleven days of training camp and has announced that he will not be available to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesdays during the season.

Eisen says if Brady is looking for a less demanding career, broadcasting isn’t the best option.

“It is a lot of work. And I’m not saying Brady’s not up for it, but if he’s been grinding for 23, 24 years, it’s still a grind in its own way.”

FOX signed Brady to a ten-year deal reportedly worth $375 million to start after he retires. He will be in the network’s top broadcast booth and also serve as an ambassador for the network’s coverage of the NFL.

Eisen says there is a much better model for Brady’s media career in his old rival Peyton Manning.

“I think what Peyton Manning has done with his post-playing career is more of a blueprint that I would think Brady would follow,” Eisen said. “Peyton Manning could be making that much money in the booth himself, right? Instead, he’s got his own production company and he’s doing the games, but not all of them, only 10 of them. And he’s doing them from his basement and he’s got the rights to the games!”

He added that Tom Brady “write his own ticket like that” if he chose to do something similar to what Manning has done with Omaha Productions.

Brady has not had much to say about his deal with FOX since the news became public. In June, he told Dan Patrick that he knows his first season in the booth will come with a lot of growing pains.

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