9:25 PM EDT, October 30, 2012
In previewing the World Series in recent years, the Fox people expressed just one wish — for a long series.
They said it didn't matter who was playing. Sure, they'd love Yankees vs. Dodgers, but it didn't matter if it was Royals vs. Pirates as long it went to six, or preferably, seven games.
The more competitive a series, the more compelling it becomes.
That's why the Rangers and Cardinals, neither from marquee markets, did so well in the 2011 Fall Classic.
But with the San Francisco Giants seemingly in command of this year's World Series from the moment Pablo Sandoval took Justin Verlander deep in the bottom of the first inning of Game 1, the series never gained traction with most of the country.
Sunday Night Football, featuring Peyton Manning's revival in Denver was the No. 1 show on television Sunday night and No. 2 for the entire week with 16.2 million viewers. World Series Game 4 drew 15.5 million.
Overall, the World Series set a record low for television ratings.
One could only imagine how low the ratings would have gone had there been a Game 5 on Monday night when about one-fifth of the nation's population was dealing with Hurricane Sandy.
The four games averaged a 7.6 rating and 12 share, according Nielsen Media Research. The previous low was an 8.4 for the 2008 Phillies-Rays and 2010 Giants-Rangers series.
The Rangers-Cardinals World Series went the full seven games and averaged a 10.0 rating and 16 share.
San Francisco's 2-0 win in Game 3 on Saturday night actually tied Game 3 of the 2008 Phillies-Tampa World Series for the lowest-rated Series game ever.
However, remember, that Game 3 came with an asterisk. Bud Selig and Co. foolishly waited out a rain delay that lasted over two hours at Citizens Bank Park. The game didn't start until after 10 p.m. and didn't end until 1:47 a.m.
That one game made the 2008 World Series the lowest-rated Series of all-time until the 2010 Series came along to tie it and now the record belongs to the 2012 Series.
What is the highest-rated Series ever?
The 1978 rematch between the Yankees and Dodgers, which was televised by NBC. It averaged a 32.8 rating, a 56 share and 44.3 million viewers.
Two years later, the Phillies-Royals World Series, also on NBC, also had a 32,8 rating, a 56 share and 42.3 million viewers.
The Associated Press defines a "rating" as the percentage of TV households in the United States watching a broadcast. Right now each rating point equates to about 1.147 million households.
A "share" is the percentage watching a program among those households with televisions on at the time.
The Philadelphia Eagles generate a lot of interest nationally for several reasons.
The Eagles are one of the country's most popular teams and feature one of the most compelling figures in the sport in Michael Vick, and there's a special vested interest in the Eagles this year because they garner three more prime-time spots on the national TV schedule over the remainder of the season.
The Eagles have two Monday Night appearances — against the Saints this coming Monday and against Carolina on Nov. 26.
They are also slated for Sunday Night Football against the Cowboys on Dec. 2.
So, ESPN and NBC are hoping for the Eagles to stay relevant in the playoff chase as the season continues, or, at least, interesting, as Andy Reid and Vick cling to their respective jobs.
ESPN radio's signature "Mike and Mike" show was all over the situation on Monday morning.
Sal Paolantonio, who got under Reid's skin during Sunday's postgame press conference by asking him whether he had lost the locker room, was a guest and said of Vick: "I had never seen a quarterback preemptively bench himself the way he did after the game. He accepted demotion. He sounded deflated and defeated. Everybody in the room said: 'Did Michael Vick just bench himself?' I had never seen anything like it."
As for Reid, Paolantonio said he is loathe to bench Vick because that would mean he'd be admitting to making a second "catastrophic mistake" in as many weeks after the Juan Castillo debacle.
Paolantonio also noted that what was most alarming to the franchise on Sunday was the 8,000 to 10,000 no-shows at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday.
To Frank Caliendo for his spot-on impersonation of Jon Gruden during ESPN's "Sunday Countdown." Caliendo may have needed new scenery after so many years on Fox and so many "Terry Bradshaw is dumb" bits. He has found a new home and new fodder.
NEW YANKEES VOICE
No, neither John Sterling or Suzyn Waldman are leaving the New York Yankees' radio booth, but the Triple-A rivals of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, will have a change behind the microphone.
According to the Citizens Voice of Wilkes-Barre, the team has named John Sadak as the team's new director of media relations and broadcasting and radio play-by-play voice.
Sadak, who had been the voice of the Wilmington Blue Rocks, does college football for ESPN. In fact, Sadak worked the Penn State-Nebraska game for ESPN last year — the first game after the Jerry Sandusky scandal broke and Joe Paterno was fired.
Sadak replaces Mike Vander Woude in Moosic.
KEITH'S CAN'T MISS … Now that the Series is over, baseball fans can't wait for the Hot Stove season to begin. The MLB Network will have baseball's first and only morning show called "Hot Stove" weekdays at 9 a.m. starting on Nov. 12. Harold Reynolds and Matt Vasgersian host.
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