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MLB TV Ratings Increase For Most Teams

Jason Barrett

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SportsBusiness Journal reviewed data from all 29 U.S.-based MLB teams. Overall, an impressive 16 of the clubs showed local ratings increases from last season, up from 12 teams with increases last year versus 2013. Twelve teams showed decreases and one was flat.

The Kansas City Royals were on the verge last week of posting MLB’s highest local TV rating for a season in 13 years. The American League Central Division champions’ games on FS Kansas City were averaging a whopping 12.33 rating as of last week, up 90 percent from last year. That mark, with one week to go in the season, was baseball’s highest since 2002, when the Seattle Mariners averaged a 13.2 rating the year after the team made back-to-back trips to the American League Championship Series.

Another notable ratings story this year occurred in New York, where the local ratings for the Big Apple’s two playoff-bound teams are as close as they have ever been. New York Yankees games were down 7 percent on YES Network this season, averaging a 2.78 rating (207,000 homes). At the same time, New York Mets games on SportsNet New York were up 56 percent, averaging a 2.64 rating (196,000 homes). Playing in the country’s largest media market, the Yankees and the Mets rank first and second among MLB clubs in terms of average audience size.

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, the country’s second-largest market, the numbers tell a different story. Angels games on FS West outdrew Dodgers games on SportsNet LA, 79,000 to 52,000 homes on average. The Dodgers’ also averaged the league’s second-lowest local TV rating despite winning the National League West for a third consecutive season. The low rating, however, is due largely to distribution problems that have seen most of the market’s cable and satellite companies refuse to carry SportsNet LA, meaning fewer viewers and lower ratings than a fully distributed channel.

Read the rest of this story, including seeing the percentage increases for each club by visiting Sports Business Journal where the story was originally published

Sports TV News

Kathryn Tappen Joining NBC’s Big Ten Coverage

“Tappen was in line to replace Michele Tafoya as the sideline reporter for Sunday Night Football but was passed over by the network in favor of Melissa Stark.”

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NBC has tabbed Kathryn Tappen as its sideline reporter for the network’s upcoming coverage of Big Ten football, according to a report from Andrew Marchand of The New York Post.

According to Marchand, Tappen was in line to replace Michele Tafoya as the sideline reporter for Sunday Night Football but was passed over by the network in favor of Melissa Stark.

Tappen has hosted Notre Dame football’s studio coverage and Peacock Sunday Night Football Final. She also worked as NBC’s lead interviewer for its coverage of the PGA Tour, but left that broadcast team at the end of 2022 as part of the network’s larger shakeup of its golf coverage.

The appointment of Kathryn Tappen conceivably concludes the Big Ten on NBC broadcast crew. Noah Eagle and Todd Blackledge are expected to pair as the network’s play-by-play announcer and color analyst, respectively. NBC has yet to officially unveil its coverage plans for the 2023 college football season.

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Sports TV News

Peter King: Sean McVay Wants to be a Star, ‘Not Just Some Guy on TV’

“I do think he had some regret over not taking a two- or three-year hiatus last year and taking one of the big TV jobs. Amazon? Maybe FOX? But if he really wanted to jump after winning the Super Bowl, he would have.”

Jordan Bondurant

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L.A. Rams head coach Sean McVay will remain at his post for the 2023-24 season. The team tweeted that news Friday afternoon, seeming to, at least for now, put the rumors of McVay leaving coaching for a TV job to rest.

ProFootballTalk’s Peter King wrote in Football Morning in America on Monday that McVay understands the kind of position on television he’s looking for may not necessarily be there for him.

“I don’t think that was the only thing about TV that appealed to him, but I don’t think McVay was interested in being Just a Guy on TV,” King wrote. “I do think he had some regret over not taking a two- or three-year hiatus last year and taking one of the big TV jobs. Amazon? Maybe FOX? But if he really wanted to jump after winning the Super Bowl, he would have.”

King noted that McVay has been told to “Do what makes you happy” by folks with the Rams. He also said he believes coaching is what Makes McVay happy. Especially with a chance to shake up his coaching staff and being involved in trying to bring the team back from a 5-12 season in their follow-up campaign to winning the Super Bowl.

“He wants to be challenged, and this staff wasn’t doing it,” King said. “Offensive coordinator Liam Coen may not have been what McVay wanted in an OC—a coach who would challenge him and bring new ideas to him—and that could be why he’s going back to the University of Kentucky as a coordinator.”

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Sports TV News

Lisa Salters Makes Monday Night Football History Completing 11th Season on Sideline

“Salters has been with ESPN for almost 23 years. She started as a general assignment reporter before moving to sideline reporting in 2006.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Monday night’s Cowboys/Bucs wild card playoff game set a new milestone for ESPN sideline reporter Lisa Salters.

The network tweeted that Salters completed her 11th season in that role. That makes her the longest tenured reporter in Monday Night Football history.

Salters has been with ESPN for almost 23 years. She started as a general assignment reporter before moving to sideline reporting in 2006.

“When I first got the call to do Monday Night Football, I would have never thought that 10 years later I would still be doing it,” Salters said last year in a video reminiscing on ten years on Monday Night Football. “I was at home and I got a phone call from my boss Vince Doria and he said, ‘Hey, I was wondering if you would be interested in being a sideline reporter for Monday Night Football‘, and I couldn’t believe what he just asked me.”

Salters is also featured on network coverage of the NBA, something she’s been doing since 2005.

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