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Oct 28, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Posted Monday, Oct. 28

Game 7 boosts dismal World Series

Although Fox’s all-California World Series appears to be one of the lowest-rated fall classics ever, it finished on a high note with a stronger-than-expected Game 7 closing Sunday night.

After avoiding defeat on Saturday night with a late-inning rally, The Walt Disney Co.-owned Anaheim Angels clinched the Series title with a 4-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants.

Preliminary ratings from Nielsen Media Research’s fast national data measured Fox’s telecast averaging a 14.8 rating/23 share in households and 24.6 million total viewers for the 8 p.m.-to-11 p.m. portion of Game 7-although the early measure does not include roughly the last 45 minutes of the game or the post-game show. Nielsen’s final national ratings, which generally provide a more accurate measure of in-pattern viewing of sports, could be expected to be somewhat higher than the preliminary score.

With Saturday night’s Game 6 turning in a preliminary fast national score of 9.8/17 in households and 15.8 million total viewers, Fox’s final two telecasts over the weekend averaged a preliminary 12.3/20 in households and 20.2 million total viewers.

For the first five games of the 2002 World Series, the Angels-Giants championship series had averaged a record-low 10.8/18 in households and 17.1 million total viewers-off 11 percent in households from what Fox’s previous record-low 2000 all-New York World series between the Yankees and Mets averaged for its entire five-game span (12.4/21, 18.0 million). Fox agreed to pay more than $1 billion for the Major League Baseball rights and exclusive broadcast rights for the League Championship Series and World Series.

Mixing in Saturday’s and Sunday’s ratings, the 2002 World Series avoid the distinction of being the lowest-rated World Series ever. Already, the 2002 World Series’ preliminary head count (18.7 million) is 700,000 more viewers (or 4 percent higher) than the 2000 Subway Series’ average (18.0 million).

Last year’s seven-game World Series tilt between the Arizona Diamondbacks and New York Yankees registered a 15.7/26 in households and 24.5 million viewers, tracking roughly 35 percent ahead of this year’s World Series in both categories

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CBS orders more ‘CSI: Miami,’ three other frosh shows: CBS has issued full-season extension orders for freshman hits “CSI: Miami,” “Still Standing,” “Without A Trace” and “Hack” — four of the seven new shows on its 2002-03 season prime-time schedule meriting back nine-episode pickups to date.

Most notably, the 10 p.m.-to-11 p.m. (ET) Monday run of spinoff drama “CSI: Miami” has been the top-ranked freshman series on the broadcast networks this season, averaging a 7.3 rating/18 share in adults 18 to 49 and 19.54 million total viewers over its first five weeks on the air. “CSI: Miami,” a co-production of Jerry Bruckheimer Television, Atlantis Alliance Communications and CBS Productions, has posted 103 percent growth over what “Family Law” averaged in adults 18 to 49 (3.6/9) during the comparable year-ago span.

At 9:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday nights, the sitcom “Still Standing” has been averaging a 6.0/14 in adults 18 to 49 and 16.32 million total viewers, typically coming in either first or second in the frame opposite ABC’s “Monday Night Football” for the first four weeks of this season. “Still Standing,”a co-production of 20th Century Fox and CBS productions, has been a tenth ahead of what “Becker” averaged among adults 18 to 49 (5.9/14) in the comparable year-ago frame.

Meanwhile, the Bruckheimer-conceived “Without A Trace,” airing at 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. Thursdays, has been CBS’s second-highest-rated freshman drama in adults 18 to 49 (5.4/14) and total viewers (15.45 million) over five airings — posting 86 percent demo growth over what “The Agency” averaged (2.9/9) in the year-ago time slot.

“Hack,” produced by Pariah Productions and created by noted film scribe David Koepp, has been averaging a 2.9/9 in adults 18 to 49 and 11.03 million total viewers in the 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday slot. The cop drama, starring David Morse, has scored 32 percent demo improvement over what the female-driven “That’s Life” averaged in adults 18 to 49 (2.2/7) in the year-ago time period.

‘Robot Wars’ is dismantled: “Robot Wars,” TNN’s entry in the “Battlebots” genre, has stopped production.

The series, in which homemade, radio-controlled robots fight each other, will remain on the Viacom cable network’s schedule through the end of the year.

“Robot Wars” joined the TNN roster in August 2001 with a seven-episode order. Subsequently, TNN aired 23 episodes of the British edition of the show. Then, in January 2002, TNN picked up 13 more one-hour originals that went on the schedule this past April.

Gov. Davis links up with Adlink: In the final days of the election campaign in California, Democratic Gov. Gray Davis’ forces have begun using the audience segmenting and targeting capabilities of Adlink, the Los Angeles-area cable interconnect, to send tailored messages to specific audiences based on their past voting behavior and demographic makeup.

The spots being aired for this buy are “You and Your Family,” “Agree,” “Honor” and “Progress,” all produced by Doak, Carrier, O’Donnell and Associates.

Adlink segments its sprawling market using demographic, lifestyle and voter data. For the Davis political buy, Adlink designated counties as either Republican or Democratic. The Republican areas will see “Agree” and “You and Your Family,” which focus on “tough on crime” and “family value” messages. Democratic areas will see the spots “Honor,” which promotes senior citizen and war veteran issues, and “Progress,” which promotes the state administration’s past successes.

Adlink’s Adcopy and Adtag software allow a marketwide ad buy with simultaneous targeted ads, each with different creative elements, running in different parts of the market. Adcopy and Adtag have also been licensed by the New York interconnect. The Davis campaign buy is the first known use of this type of Adlink targeting by a political campaign.

Gray TV family acquires 15 more stations: Fifteen more network-affiliated stations have joined the family of Atlanta-based Gray Television with the completion of the acquisition of Station Holdings Co.,which is being renamed Gray MidAmerica Television.

The deal, which included a purchase price of $502.5 million and the assumption of some $4.5 million in liabilities, gives Gray 28 stations serving 25 markets.

By year’s end, with the completion of the acquisition of ABC affiliate KOLO-TV in Reno, Nev., for $41.5 million, the Gray family will include 29 stations serving 25 markets (representing 5.3 percent of the U.S. TV universe). Fifteen of the stations are CBS affiliates, seven are NBC affiliates, seven are ABC affiliates, 23 are ranked No. 1 in local news in their markets, and 22 are ranked No. 1 overall in their markets, according to Gray.

NBC and Fox affiliate board meetings planned for NATPE: At least two affiliate board meetings are on the calendar when NATPE meets in January in New Orleans. The boards of the NBC and Fox affiliates associations are planning sessions, and the boards of the ABC, CBS and UPN affiliate groups are considering meetings.

Charter rolls out on-demand service: Charter Communications plans to roll out its video-on-demand service in nine additional markets by the end of this year, a move that will give the company a total of 21 VOD markets.

The nine new markets are Allendale, Mich.; Fond du Lac, Wis.; Jackson, Tenn.; Janesville, Wis.; Kennewick, Wash.; Kingsport, Tenn.; Madison, Wis.; Manchester, Tenn.; and St. Peters, Mo.

HBO benches ‘Arli$$’: HBO has made it official, formally announcing the cancellation of “Arli$$,” the sports comedy created by and starring Robert Wuhl.

The series, which launched in 1996, ends after accumulating 80 episodes.