Some releases for you to read on this Monday.
First, Turner Sports is sad to have its baseball season end judging from the ratings for ALCS Game 7 on Sunday. According to TBS, Game 7 between the Red Sox and the Rays was the most watched baseball game in cable history and it didn’t even have the Steve Harvey Show as a lead-in!
13.4 Million Viewers Watch the Seventh and Deciding Game –
Making it the Most Watched Baseball Game in Cable History
Red Sox-Rays Also the Most-Watched Baseball Game Across
Broadcast and Cable during the 2008 Regular Season and Postseason
TBS wrapped up its 2008 MLB Postseason coverage with a classic. The seventh and deciding game of the American League Championship Series (ALCS) between the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays delivered a 7.9 US HH Rating, making it the most-watched MLB game on all of television for the 2008 regular season and postseason, according to preliminary data from Nielsen Media Research. The series-clinching game, which propelled the Rays into their first World Series, garnered 13,357,000 total viewers, making it the most-watched game in the history of cable. The game eclipsed the 1998 ESPN Chicago Cubs-St. Louis Cardinals game that featured Mark McGwire hitting his 61st homerun (which tied what was then an MLB single-season home run record).
“Record-breaking performances, extraordinary viewership and tremendous growth across all key demos added up to a winning formula for our coverage of the ALCS,” said David Levy, president of Turner Sports. “The Red Sox and Rays treated baseball fans to a classic ALCS and viewers made it a point to tune in to watch this tremendous series. The sports television landscape continues to evolve and what we witnessed during our ALCS coverage is that on any given night cable programming outdelivers programming on broadcast networks.”
For the seven-game series, TBS averaged a 4.6 US HH Rating and 7,443,000 Total Viewers. The 2008 ALCS earned 96% more persons 18-34 and 83% more persons 18-49 than the 2007 National League Championship Series (NLCS), which was also carried by TBS. Ratings averages for the 2008 ALCS Series were:
- US HH Rating: 4.6
- Persons 2+: 7,443,000
- Total Households: 5,316,000
- P18-34: 1,483,000
- P18-49: 3,353,000
- P 25-54: 3,543,000
DMA: the ALCS averaged a 26.1 rating in this market Boston
Tampa Bay– DMA: delivered 20.2 rating in this market St. Petersburg
Additional Game 7 Highlights:
- Game 7 was the top-rated telecast in the history of TBS.
- Ranks among the top 10 sports most-watched cable telecasts all-time.
- The game was the second most-watched telecast on cable this year.
- Game 7 was also the top-rated regular season and postseason MLB game on all of television this year (the MLB All-Star game was the top overall baseball telecast in 2008).
2008 ALCS versus the 2007 NLCS Series carried by TBS
- US HH Rating: +64%
- Persons 2+: +73%
- Total Households: +66%
- P18-34: +96%
- P18-49: +83%
- P25-54: +86%
Here are some notable quotes from the TBS studio and announcing crews for Game 7 of the ALCS:
Notes from the MLB Postseason on TBS – ALCS Game #7 – Sunday, Oct. 19, 2008
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TBS MLB on Deck
Announcers: Ernie Johnson, Harold Reynolds, Dennis Eckersley and Cal Ripken
Eckersley on the high emotions of Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Matt Garza: “I was an emotion-type pitcher, so I can relate to how (Matt) Garza is. He throws the ball so hard and you have to be able to corral that, and he has. He’s admitted that he was out of control at one point and that’s the first (step), admitting that you have a problem with your emotions.”
Reynolds on the Rays returning to basics: “The thing for Tampa is to get back to the fundamentals, play basic ballgames. What they did to win the American League East was that they pitched great and they caught the baseball. (Not doing those things) is why they’ve lost these last few games.”
Ripken: “It’s a matter of execution in the end. Whether it’s fielding, whether it’s hitting, whether it’s pitching, these two teams have to go out there and whoever executes the best in this particular game will go onto the World Series.”
Reynolds on the comeback of the Boston Red Sox: “I didn’t think (the Red Sox) were going to get here. I thought the changes that they made in their roster with the players, I didn’t think they were going to get back to Game #7. They’ve shown the resilience of this club and I think it has a lot to do with the veterans of the team.”
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Boston Red Sox (1) @ Tampa Bay Rays (3) – The Rays won the series 4-3.
Announcers: Chip Caray, Ron Darling and Buck Martinez; Craig Sager and Tom Verducci reporting
Martinez on Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester: “(Jon Lester) is a different pitcher this year and it really started in May when he started pitching to the outside part of the plate to right-handed hitters. He’s been a pitcher throughout his career that owns the inside part of the plate to right-handers, the outside to left-handers. He can throw a strike to that corner in his sleep.”
Martinez on Rays pitcher Matt Garza: “There are not too many American League pitchers that can pitch with their fastball, but (Matt) Garza’s one of them. He’s got two fastballs – a high, four seamer that rides well above the strike zone and a very good moving fastball, a two seam moving fastball that goes 94 miles an hour.”
Martinez on Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek: “One thing that (Jason) Varitek does so effectively is he separates his at-bat from his catching and that’s a hard thing to do. A lot of catchers will take their (strikeouts) back behind the plate and really cloud their decision-making ability by thinking about the bad swing in a previous at-bat. Varitek never allows that to creep into his mindset.”
Martinez on Red Sox catcher a team captain Jason Varitek who has a “C” embroidered on his jersey: “You don’t see many captains in baseball in this day and age, and very rarely do you see a “C” on the jersey of a ballplayer. Because of the transient nature of baseball nowadays so many guys moving around, you don’t have that kind of longevity to establish that kind of leadership position. (Jason) Varitek has earned it and he’s been the leader of (the Red Sox) since he got here.”
Martinez on Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia: “Just to give you an idea of how beautiful baseball is, Dustin Pedroia was not drafted out of high school. Thirty teams didn’t think he could play in major leagues at that point. And he might win an MVP award this year.”
Darling on Rays pitcher Matt Garza: “(Matt) Garza pitches on a lot of emotion. In his last start against (Jon) Lester, Lester got all of the attention and I think (Garza) is carrying a little chip on his shoulder tonight.”
Martinez: “He’s carrying more than a chip on his shoulder, his whole team is on his shoulders tonight.”
Martinez on Rays manager Joe Maddon coming out of the dugout to talk to pitcher Matt Garza at the top of the 7th inning: “Jogging managers are generally more of a strategy trip (to the mound), than a pitching change trip.”
Martinez on the strategy of the Rays in acquiring pitcher Matt Garza and shortstop Jason Barlett: “You build winning teams around pitching and defense, and that’s exactly what (the Rays) had on their mind when they picked up (Matt) Garza and Jason Bartlett. (The) shortstop (position) had been a big void for them and they needed somebody to pick up the ball. Then you get a starting pitcher the caliber of Matt Garza to fill out the rotation and that addressed two major concerns of this ball club in one trade.”
Martinez on Rays manager Joe Maddon’s leadership of the team: “One thing about this team is that everybody on this team feels that they’re a major part of it and that’s a credit to (manager) Joe Maddon, the skipper. He told them in March, ‘this is a special team, we can play with anybody, don’t sell yourself short.’ And now they have proven that the game on October 19th is just the same as March 15th.”
TBS’ Craig Sager interviewed Rays centerfielder B.J. Upton following the game.
Upton on the road to the World Series: “It’s unbelievable. We battled a lot of adversity this year, everybody stuck together as a team and everyone did their little part and here we are right now going to the World Series.”
Upton on manager Joe Maddon’s defensive advice: “Joe said at the beginning of the year that our defense has to be our best asset, and we built around that and we thrived off that all year. We took pride in it and it worked out for us.”
TBS’ Craig Sager interviewed Rays winning pitcher David Price following the game.
Price on getting the call to close out the game: “I wanted the ball, I think everyone down in that pen, including (Scott) Kazmir, wanted the ball tonight. This is the biggest night in Rays history, it’s just an unbelievable feeling that I’m a part of it.”
Price on the feeling of getting the final outs of the game: “Unbelievable. I’m mean, you’re so happy out here, I think everybody shed a couple of tears. I was on the bottom of the dog pile and I couldn’t breathe. I wouldn’t trade that moment right there for anything.”
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Johnson, Reynolds, Eckersley and Ripken with Verducci
TBS’ Tom Verducci interviewed Red Sox manager Terry Francona following the game.
Francona on the performance by Rays starting pitcher and ALCS MVP Matt Garza: “The velocity (Garza) got past them and got in on our left-handed hitters, breaking ball, sliders, curve ball. Besides (Dustin Pedroia) hitting that home run early, (Garza) gave us nothing out there.”
Francona on Rays rookie pitcher David Price closing the game: “It showed how much both bullpens were used, the kid (David Price) came in and he pitched great. They were in a bind, we had the guys up we wanted, we had men on, we had our chances and he threw the ball very well.”
Francona on his thoughts on the Red Sox following their Game #7 loss: “It’s hard to have a real good perspective, tonight. We are real disappointed. You leave everything out there and it’s hard, it hurts everybody, but when it’s all said and done this will diminish in no way how proud we are of that group in there. That was a fun group, that was an enjoyable group to be with and that will never go away.”
Ripken on why he predicted the Rays would win Game #7: “Certainly everybody was riding the coattails of the Red Sox (because) of their experience and all that stuff. But I think you spend so much energy just getting to the final game and I thought the Red Sox were going to run out, plus, I thought the magic would take over in (Tropicana Field).”
Eckersley on Rays starting pitcher Matt Garza pitching the game of his life in Game #7: “You never know when somebody is going to pitch the game of his life. I think (Matt) Garza pitched the game of his life (tonight). (The Rays) went with him as long as they could, I thought he would’ve gone nine (innings) if he had to.”
TBS’ Craig Sager interviewed Rays third baseman Evan Longoria following the game.
Longoria on the Rays winning the AL pennant: “You can’t put it into words. Everyone picked us to finish last and we kept plugging along and believing in ourselves. (We had) belief and trust in one another, and it’s the guys in the clubhouse that gets you this far.”
Longoria on what the Rays players thought when manager Joe Maddon introduced the ‘9 = 8’ concept to the team: “We thought (Joe Maddon) was crazy. (He told us about ‘9 = 8’ at) a spring training talk at 9 a.m. in the morning, and it didn’t really sink in what it meant until I went home and thought about it for a couple of days. Heck, now it’s gotten us this far and we’re jumping around in (the clubhouse) saying ‘9 = 8.’”
Ripken on Rays winning pitcher Matt Garza’s performance in Game #7: “(Matt Garza) was a pitcher tonight, he wasn’t a thrower. He came in tonight throwing the ball really hard, he controlled his stuff and had a great breaking ball.”
Eckersley on picking the Rays to win the World Series: “How can you not like Tampa Bay (to win the World Series)? They just got off in Boston by going bridge (home run) just to stay in shape every night with ten jacks there. Then you’ve seen what (Matt) Garza did in two starts, he’s the MVP (of the ALCS). The only question mark is the bullpen, and now we’ve seen (rookie relief pitcher David) Price. I’m not saying that their bullpen is better than (the Phillies) and I think Philadelphia has the advantage there, but I have to pick Tampa Bay. This is the best team in baseball. I’m sold on them.”
Eckersely on the high expectations for the Boston Red Sox: “Expectations are so high for the Boston Red Sox and if they don’t get to the World Series, it is a disappointment to Red Sox Nation. They made a nice run at this and going forward, they don’t have to do a lot. They’ve got to tweak a couple of things. They got a nice season out of (left fielder) Jason Bay who they got when they traded Manny Ramirez a couple of months ago. They mixed and matched a lot, (Mike) Lowell was injured at third base and they had a lot of problems. When you start off and the team has the big three (starting pitchers) in (Jon) Lester, Dice-K (Daisuke Matsuzaka) and (Josh) Beckett, you can go a long way.”
Reynolds on the importance of the Red Sox bringing back catcher Jason Varitek: “I think (potential free agent and Red Sox catcher Jason) Varitek is the key. What are (the Red Sox) going to do with ‘Tek (Varitek)? We talk about their pitching, but there is someone back there calling a lot of signs and who does a lot of work. (Varitek) puts in yeoman’s work behind the plate, I think they are going to miss that if they lose him behind the plate. We always focus on offense but he brings a lot.”
Since many of you don’t have NFL Network, here are some quotes from NFL Gameday Final that aired last night.
Week 7 (Oct. 19, 2008) – Quotable from NFL GameDay Final
on NFL Network
(Airs Sunday at 11:30 PM ET)
“They have to remain good teammates. They can’t point fingers and blame the other side of the ball. They have enough talent to win the rest of their games. It’s how they handle that locker room, players and coaches.”
– Steve Mariucci on
“This is the only consistent team in the NFL.”
– Steve Mariucci on 6-0
“Jerry Jones needs to address Jason Garrett and Brian Stewart. You have more than enough talent inside that locker room. It’s up to you to put a good game-plan together.”
– Deion Sanders on Dallas Cowboys offensive and defensive coordinators
“DeMarcus Ware is the only guy on the defense that you know is going to go out there and make a big play every week.”
– Deion Sanders on Dallas Cowboys defense
“Those teams are a lot like the rest of the league. They are up and down, up and down.”
– Steve Mariucci on Saints and Chargers
“This kid’s got it.”
– Steve Mariucci on Bills QB Trent Edwards, who completed 83 percent of his passes in Buffalo’s win on Sunday and ranks second in the AFC with a 98.8 passer rating
“Put him at receiver and throw the fade.”
– Deion Sanders on Houston Rockets C Yao Ming, who was on the field for a halftime ceremony at Sunday’s Houston Texans home game
“This is not the consistent team we thought
would be.” San Diego
– Steve Mariucci on 3-4 Chargers
“They can not stop the run with their undersized defensive line.”
– Deion Sanders on Indianapolis Colts, who rank 29th in run defense
“A mobile quarterback drives a defensive back crazy.”
– Deion Sanders on Bucs QB Jeff Garcia
“He can run the seam route with the best of them.”
– Deion Sanders on Bears TE Greg Olsen, who had a team-high six catches (for 74 yards and a touchdown) in
Chicago’s 48-41 win over Minnesota
Next, the Breeders’ Cup gets multi-network coverage as a two day event for the first time in its history.
First-Ever Two-Day Breeders’ Cup on ABC, ESPN & ESPN2Nine Hours of Live Coverage October 24-25Reduced Commercial Inventory Means Unprecedented Coverage
The 2008 Breeders’ Cup World Championships on October 24-25 from Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., will receive nine hours of live coverage including, for the first time, 2.5 hours on ABC. The 25th running of the Breeders’ Cup will feature 14 races over two days with record purses of $25.5 million on ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 beginning Friday, October 24, on ESPN2. The ABC and ESPN combination marks the first-ever network/cable telecast of the Championships.
Coverage of the Breeders’ Cup will begin with the Breeders’ Cup Preview Show on Wednesday, Oct. 22, at (time here) on ESPN2. ESPN2 will begin coverage of the racing action with Championship Friday, Oct. 24, from 3:30 – 6:30 p.m. ET with five Breeders’ Cup Championship races for fillies with purses totaling $8 million. It marks the first time a major thoroughbred event in North America will run an entire day of female thoroughbred racing, culminating with the Ladies’ Classic (formerly the Distaff).
On Saturday, Oct. 25, the racing action will continue with ABC airing the Championships from 1 – 3:30 p.m. and on ESPN from 3:30-7 p.m.
ESPN360.com will simulcast the ESPN and ESPN2 telecasts live and will air the ABC portion of the Breeders’ Cup at 2:30 p.m. ESPN Mobile will also simulcast the ESPN and ESPN2 coverage.
Also, for the first time, commercial inventory will be reduced by 45% from last year, enabling ESPN to have more time to cover all the stories from Santa Anita.
Joe Tessitore will host the telecasts with analysts Jerry Bailey and Randy Moss. Kenny Mayne will work with handicapper Hank Goldberg. Jeannine Edwards, Jay Privman, and Caton Bredar (on horseback) will serve as reporters. Jessica Pacecho is the odds analyst, while Nick Luck is the European horse analyst and Tom Rinaldi will interview key personalities in the sport. Bill Nack, author of Ruffian, will contribute essays and features, while Trevor Denman will call the races.
On ESPN.com, experts including Jeremy Plonk, Bill Finley and Jay Cronley, will give their analysis of all the action and news on and off the track.
ESPN’s coverage of the Breeders’ Cup will use the latest technology, including 34 cameras:
- All in high definition
- ESPN RailView- gyro-camera mounted on a truck in the infield, providing a close-up view of the leaders
- Steadicam, for post-parades
- Wireless mics on trainers and owners
- New graphics, which will display the odds the entire time
- Three RF cameras, bringing sights and sounds of Santa Anita
- Sportvision pointer system
- Virtual displays that will mark the distances to the finish line (300 yards, 200 yards and 100 yards)
- Fingerworks Telestrator
- Aerial coverage from airplane
- Two point-of-view (POV) cameras mounted in starting gate with audio
- Paddock rail camera mounted in the paddock stalls
FEATURESFeatures on The Breeders’ Cup telecast will include:· Jockey Kent Desormeaux and his son Jacob, who is deaf and losing his eyesight· A focus on women trainers and their impact on the sport· Horse-of-the-Year candidate Zenayatta (who will run in the Ladies Classic), the undefeated filly who has the unusual habit of getting out of the starting gate last.· Kenny Mayne on horse cheerleaders· Bill Nack looks back at some of the best moments in the 25 year history of the Breeders’ Cup.· Nack on Classic contender Curlin’s place in the sports history· The story behind the naming of Breeders’ Cup Classic contender Colonel John by owner Bill Casner
Wed,. October 22 — ESPN2, 5-5:30 p.m. ET: Breeders’ Cup Preview Show
Fri., October 24 — ESPN2, 3:30- 6:30 p.m.
- Sentient Breeders Cup Filly/Mare Sprint
- Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf
- Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies
- Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf
- Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic
Sat., October 25 — ABC, 1-3:30 p.m.
- Breeders’ Cup Marathon
- Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint
- TVG Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile
- Breeders’ Cup Mile
Sat. October 25- ESPN, 3:30-7 p.m.
- Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile
- Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf
- Sentient Breeders’ Cup Sprint
- Emirates Airlines Breeders’ Cup turf
- Breeders’ Cup Classic
- ESPN360.com: Simulcast of the ESPN and ESPN2 coverage on Friday and Saturday and a replay of the ABC coverage after 2:30 on Saturday.
- SportsCenter: News and information during Breeders’ Cup Week.
- ESPN.com: Countdown Clock started on September 25 through Friday, October 24. In-depth Breeders’ Cup coverage on main and horse racing pages.
- ESPN Radio: On Friday, Los Angeles’ 710 ESPN Radio will have Mason & Ireland (1-4 p.m. PT, M-F) will originate from Santa Anita. Listeners outside Los Angeles can hear 710 ESPN Radio programming on ESPNRadio.com.
- ESPN International: coverage in Pacific Rim (including Australia and New Zealand), Latin America, Caribbean, Atlantic (including Africa and the Middle East) networks and on TSN in Canada.
- ESPN Classic: Re-air of Breeders’ Cup Preview Show on Thurs., Oct. 23, at 6:30 p.m.
And the Big Ten Network has a new show airing with host Dave Revsine featuring two women with Big Ten Conference ties.
‘Conversations with Dave Revsine’ Features Two Hall of Fame Women with Big Ten Ties
Revsine visits with basketball legend McConnell-Serio and auto racing pioneer Guthrie
– Although they cemented their legendary status in dramatically different arenas, Suzie McConnell-Serio and Janet Guthrie both can claim Hall of Fame credentials in their sports and deep Big Ten ties. CHICAGO
At 7:30 PM ET on Wednesday, Oct. 22, the Big Ten Network presents Conversations with Dave Revsine. In this 30-minute program, Revsine sits down with McConnell-Serio, a 1988 Penn State graduate and basketball star, and Guthrie, a Michigan graduate who was a pioneer in the sport of auto racing.
“These are two remarkable women who made it possible for others to follow in their footsteps,” Revsine said. “They were trailblazers.”
In a word, Janet Guthrie is a pioneer. After graduating from the
in 1960 with a degree in physics, Guthrie originally worked as a flight instructor and an aerospace engineer before beginning her auto racing career in 1963. In 1977, Guthrie became the first woman to qualify and compete in both the Universityof Michigan 500 and the Daytona 500, finishing 29th and 12th, respectively. She raced at Indy twice more and finished as high as ninth in 1978. Indianapolis
Guthrie’s helmet and race suit are on display at the Smithsonian and she is a charter member of the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame. She was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2006.
McConnell-Serio graduated from
and became one of the most decorated players and coaches in women’s basketball history. As a player, she was a two-time Olympic medalist and a former WNBA Newcomer of the Year. In 1999, Sports Illustrated selected McConnell-Serio as one of the top 50 athletes in Penn State history. As a coach, she led Pennsylvania Oakland Catholic High Schoolin to five state championship games and three state titles. Success followed McConnell-Serio into the professional ranks, where she guided the Minnesota Lynx to the playoffs and also earned the WNBA Coach of the Year Award. Pittsburgh
McConnell-Serio has returned to her native
Pittsburgh, where she enters her second year as the head women’s basketball coach at . In June 2008, she was elected to the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. Duquesne University
Those are the releases for now.