Wednesday, October 15, 2008
If you asked me before the Playoffs started, who I'd like to see in the World Series, I honestly would have said the Tampa Bay Rays and the Philadelphia Phillies. Not because of any affiliation or anything, but I genuinely like it when the same teams don't get in year after year. I've actually enjoyed the past few World Series because of that fact.
Well the same cannot be said about FOX, who is of course in the business of making money. The odd thing about the potential matchups for the W.S. is just the sheer difference of the best and worst result for the network could be. A Dogders, with Torre and Manny, Red Sox Series would put ratings through the roof. A Phillies-Rays Series, however, could possibly top the Cardinals-Tigers in 2006 as the lowest rated MLB championship ever.
Here's what some quotes collected by SBD about the dreaded Phils-Rays Series....
ESPN's Tim Kurkjian on PTI: “It would be a ratings disaster. Even though the Rays are the best story to me as a team since the ’69 Mets, that one doesn’t translate nearly as well as the Red Sox against the Dodgers with Joe Torre and Manny Ramirez coming back to Fenway Park. That was a story made for everybody. The other one isn’t going to nearly get the ratings as Boston-L.A. would”While I wouldn't go that far, it actually might be time for say FOX to tell Joe Buck to stop going gah-gah over Manny, and actually give some background and storylines on the Phils. TBS has been trying to do that with the Rays all ALCS, and while it's occasionally been over-the-top, they've kept people interested in both teams. If you add in the fact that the Sox have a penchant for coming back from three games down, they're setting themselves up nicely.
ESPN's Mike Greenberg: “That sound you hear is the sound of executives at Fox crying right now over the possibility of a Rays-Phillies World Series."
SI's Tom Verducci: "But adding to the low profile problem of both teams is the playoff schedule with the extra off-days. We might be looking at as many as five straight days with no baseball by the time we get to World Series Game 1. By then, with any momentum killed, people will be out of the habit of tuning in to baseball and any of its storylines. In any case, what baseball really needs is an exciting seven-game series to develop a national narrative to draw in viewers."
LA Radio Host, Roger Lodge: “Television executives are about to jump off buildings in New York with that World Series”
I would personally be extremely interested, but the Rays magic just might not be enough to bring in the casual Baseball fan. Plus, FOX's ratings for the NLCS are already down 22.6% from the ALCS that they aired last year, isn't helping. We shall see though.
Ratings Disaster Waiting To Happen? (Sports Business Daily - $)