Welcome to the another copy of Ad Age Sports Media Brief, a weekly roundup of story from every zone of the plays media scatter planned, including the latest on broadcast/ cable/ streaming, sponsorships, affirmations, gambling and tech.
Rock for Light
The World Series tonight returns to the nation’s capital for the first time since 1933, and while pretty much everyone in the District is all fired up about their Nationals, the rest of the country is not exactly being buffeted by the winds of enthusiasm.
According to the Nielsen data, Fox’s coverage of the Astros-Nats series is on track to put up the lowest ratings in history–or at least as far back as they’ve been be tracked of this sort of thing. Through the first two games of the Fall Classic, Fox is averaging 12.1 million linear TV viewers and a 7.2 household rating, down 11 percentage and 12 percent, respectively, compared to the opening frames of last year’s Red Sox-Dodgers showdown( 13.6 million, 8.2 rating ).
If things are looking fairly unpleasant for the 107 -win Astros–not only are they in a 2-0 depression heading into tonight’s game in Washington, but both of their losses came at home and with hotshots Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander on the hill–they’re not much cheerier for Fox’s ad sales squad. If the imperatives of history are anything to go by, a extent is somewhat unlikely( of the 114 World Series on the books, merely 21, or 18 percentage, were settled in four recreations ); at the same time, the phenomenon is not at all unfamiliar to Fox Sports ex-servicemen. Six of the network’s 21 previous World Series compelled the minimum number of competitions, and in one dour four-year stretch , no fewer than three serials were clean sweeps.
Sidestepping the brooms can be the difference between a strong TV turnout and a swift kick in the throbs. It’s no coincidence that San Francisco’s 4-0 whitewash of the Tigers in 2012 stands as the least-watched, lowest-rated World Series–Detroit’s speedy outlet averaged 12.7 million viewers and a modest 7.6 household rating–and in losing out on three sports of inventory, Fox left an estimated $ 115.8 million and oodles of potential gross ratings details on the table.
However the Astros-Nats series shakes out, it’s worth noting that even a radically truncated successions will out-rate all else on primetime Tv not affiliated with the NFL. For example, Fox over the first two plays averaged 3.88 million adults 18 -4 9, which works out to a 3.0 rating in the dollar demo. Setting aside NFL programs , not a single structure platform this season has accorded Fox’s World Series accomplishment. The two-hour premiere of Fox’s “The Masked Singer” on Sept. 25 currently stands as the highest-rated entertainment broadcast of 2019 -2 0, having scared up 3.25 million adults 18 -4 9, good for a 2.5 rating.
In light of the anemic ratings generated by the Big Four networks’ non-sports programming, Fox’s baseball transmissions remain instead enviable. Season-to-date, Fox is at the top of the Nielsen heap with an average primetime entertainment draw of a 1.1 in the demo, followed by NBC( 1.0 ), CBS( 0.8) and ABC( 0.8 ). When juxtaposed with broadcast’s 0.9 median, it’s hard to find fault with the 3.0 Fox is serving up with the World Series.( As it happens, the commercial ratings data isn’t helping the networks make up much ground on the presentation side. The vanilla live-same-day average inches up to a 1.0 in the C7 currency, about which we’ll have more to report next week .)
Of course, one could argue that this particular October matchup could never live up to the expectations of simply weeks ago, when it looked for all the world as if the Yankees and Dodgers might square up for the first time since 1981. Not exclusively would such a pairing revitalize one of baseball’s most storied strifes( a habit dating back to 1941, when the Dodgers were the Gentlemen of Flatbush ), but it would feature the representatives of the country’s two largest media markets. New York and Los Angeles together boast some 12 million Tv households, or 11 percent of the national audience base. By comparison, the top-tier D.C. and Houston markets dish some 4.7 million Tv residences, or 4 percent of the overall footprint.
While so much depends on a series running the length, Fox is still doing quite well for itself with the inventorying it’s already locked in.( Which is about what you’d expect, given the dearth of accessible GRPs .) Pricing for the first two broadcasts was hoisted, with numerous standalone 30 -second divisions selling for around $450,000 a pop. Even a short named will generate a nice fat wad of ad money; according to Kantar Media estimates, Fox smoothed in $305 million in revenue over the course of last year’s five-game series.
Per iSpot.tv data, among the most visible advertisers in the 2019 World Series are usual accuseds and official MLB patrons T-Mobile, YouTube TV, Chevrolet, Bank of America, Budweiser, Geico and Taco Bell, the latter of which is running its annual “Steal a Base, Steal a Taco” campaign. Now in its seventh year, the taco giveaway kicked off in the top of the first inning of Game 1, as Nats shortstop Trea Turner swiped second base, thereby conceding a free Doritos Locos taco on Oct. 30 to all persons who maintenances to indulge. Turner’s thievery resulted in the fastest taco turnaround in the history of the promotion, which began in 2007.
This is the third time YouTube TV has provided as the presenting sponsor of the World Series. The Google brand has crafted two brand-new distinguishes for the Nats-Astros title fight, one of which aspects Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin stalking the lunar surface to retrieve Pete Reiser’s moonshot homer in Game 4 of the ’4 1 series.
Game 3 is set to begin at 8 p. m. EDT on Fox, as the Astros’ Zack Greinke faces off against Washington’s Anibal Sanchez. Vegas journals have Houston down as the favorite on the money line( -1 38 ), while the National are listed at -2 80 to triumph the whole shebang.
Houston, “youve got a problem”
The Astros’ run at a second World Series claim in three years has been overshadowed by an incident in the team’s clubhouse in which a elderly director taunted three women reporters during a postgame gala. As first reported by Sports Illustrated’s Stephanie Apstein, Assistant General Manager Brandon Taubman roared, “Thank God we got Osuna! I’m so fucking glad we got Osuna! ” a half-dozen era, an outburst reach questionable by the fact that the pitcher had been suspended by MLB for a stretch of 75 sports after flouting the league’s domestic-violence policy. One of the women who Taubman targeted with his tirade was “wearing a purple domestic-violence awareness bracelet” at the time, Apstein reported.
After Apstein wrote her fib on Oct. 21, Houston did everything in its supremacy to build materials worse. The fraternity issued an unsigned evidence distinguishing review reports as “misleading and completely irresponsible” before going on to decry “Sports Illustrated’s attempt to fabricate a legend where one does not exist.”
In other paroles, the Astros brass, under cover of obscurity, called Stephanie Apstein a liar. The team’s attempts to smear the reporter began to fall apart in short order, as a number of shops came forward to corroborate Apstein’s version of occasions. For my own part, Sports Illustrated exhausted a statement saying it “unequivocally stands behind Apstein, her reporting and the tale, ” adding that the implication of journalistic malfeasance was “completely inexcusable.”
After a period of circling the wagons, Houston reversed trend absolutely, firing Taubman and asserting that “his behavior was inappropriate and not representative of who the Astros are and our culture and what we stand for.” In the same statement issued to herald Taubman’s termination, the dealership apologized to Apstein, Sports Illustrated and “all individuals who watched this incident or were offended by the inappropriate conduct.”
Luhnow said that the Astros decided to fire Taubman without having been directed to do so by MLB higher-ups. The organization may look to exact further sanctions, pursuant to its own investigation into the matter.
In the end, the Astros’ mea culpa may be reduced to three names in Thursday’s statement: “We were wrong.” For some, it was a step in the right direction; for others, the regret resound hollow.
During the press conference in which Astros GM Jeff Luhnow discussed Taubman’s firing, the exec claimed that he’d been unable to apologize immediately to the three women who’d acquired themselves at the centres of the fracas. Apstein was already in the office at the time.
Sports Business Daily has a two-for on some significant college sponsorship shakeups, as Michael Smith reports that Intel will not replaced its NCAA corporate partnership bargain, while official importation automobile Nissan plans to swap out its Infiniti marque in order to “focus on another simulate within the family.” Intel’s defection leaves the NCAA with 16 corporate spouses, a roster that includes champion-level benefactors AT& T, Capital One and Coca-Cola and 13 other brands with a less stringent investment. The corporation originally struck a deal with the NCAA in 2017, a move be taken in order to drive eyeballs to its virtual reality gizmo, Intel True VR.
Overwatch? More like overblown
Dallas Mavericks owner and “Shark Tank” mainstay Mark Cuban this week told FS1’s Kristine Leahy that owning an esports unit is a handy way to redden a ton of money down the bathroom. In an interview that aired Wednesday on Leahy’s afternoon show “Fair Game, ” the billionaire financier said he believes that “a lot of people who bought into crews “d no idea” how bad a business it was.” Cuban went on to clarify his assessment, saying, “In aggregate, it’s a good business. Is it developing? Yes. But domestically, here in the United Nation, it’s an dreadful business. Owning a unit is an sickening business.” As Cuban memo, one of the inherent problems with esports metrics is that the gargantuan viewership crowds generated in Asia and other parts of the world don’t accurately translate to same furnish in the U.S.
I check dead beings
The New York Aircraft aren’t likely to be mic’ed up any time soon after a comment by clanged quarterback Sam Darnold spawned it to the “Monday Night Football” airwaves. Spooked by the Patriots’ relentless defense, the young signal caller said he was “seeing ghosts” out on the football field. If the 33 -0 loss weren’t embarrassing enough, Darnold’s Scooby-Doo act was caught by some 10.8 million viewers. While the NFL and its program partners take pains to ensure that anything truly mortifying or otherwise unflattering is kept off the breath, an NFL Films rep had OK’d the use of the soundbite in Monday night’s telecast.
While the spectral interlude would appear to be in violation of Article 51 of the collective bargaining agreement, which states that players have the right to “embargo” any chime that they deem as “extremely sensitive or inappropriate, ” that clause wasn’t designed with live TV in thinker.( It’s more to do with programme post-production .) At any charge, the Jet were less than pleased with the result, specially since Darnold was in a particularly vulnerable state, having recently returned from a tedious layoff brought on by a bout of mononucleosis. For his part, Darnold now says that the whole g-g-ghost business was a “bummer” and that it “would have been nice if it hadn’t attained the air.”
Perhaps if this football business doesn’t pan out, Darnold may want to think about hosting his own supernatural cable line. Given that there are now more shows about ghost hunters than there are actual dead beings, it would appear that our capacity for protoplasmic material is as boundless as Sam’s imagination.
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