Ravens' preseason successes fail to bring big ratings' score

Media Watch

August 13, 1996|By MILTON KENT

For the second straight week, the Ravens got an exhibition-game win on the field, but a mixed result in the ratings.

Saturday afternoon's Ravens meeting with the New York Giants on Channel 11 garnered an 8.3 Nielsen rating and 26 share of the audience, according to Sharon Walz, Channel 11's ratings researcher and this week's sole and official "Media Watch" ratings supplier.

The game was easily the most-watched sports program of the weekend and the share -- or percentage of televisions that are on at a given time -- was larger than the preseason opener the week before against the Philadelphia Eagles on Channel 54.

Also, Saturday's Ravens game attracted more than twice the audience (3.4/7) that the San Francisco-San Diego clash, airing on Channel 45 that night, pulled in, as well as doubling the number for the Giants-Cleveland Browns game (4.2/9) a year earlier.

But with token counterprogramming and a new, successful Baltimore team playing -- albeit on a spectacular summer Saturday afternoon -- the game's 8.3 rating seems, well, disappointing.

By the way, last Saturday's game did a preliminary 7.4 rating in Cleveland, the old home of the Ravens. Just thought you'd want to know.

Doing double duty

Within minutes of finishing his Fox baseball assignment in Philadelphia on Saturday, Josh Lewin was winging his way to Chicago to take a turn behind the mike for the Orioles-White Sox broadcast on WBAL (1090 AM).

In theory, things looked perfect for Lewin to get to Comiskey Park in time to do the third, fourth and seventh innings of Saturday night's game, spelling Fred Manfra.

In reality, Lewin, the station's sports director and fill-in Orioles announcer, ran into three daunting factors. First, the Orioles game was starting at 6: 05 Central time, and his flight into Chicago didn't arrive until 6: 10, which Lewin hadn't quite bargained for.

Next, the usual 25- to 30-minute drive from O'Hare Airport to Comiskey was elongated to 90 minutes because of an overturned truck on the Dan Ryan Expressway. Finally, Lewin got hit with the most unlikely piece of happenstance -- a briskly paced baseball game.

Luckily, he was able to keep score of the game in the car, so when he arrived late in the contest, Lewin was able to go right to work and do the seventh and eighth innings.

"I was so psyched. I was going to have a two Mouton day, with [Houston's James] for Fox, and Lyle in the Orioles game," said Lewin. "If it hadn't been for the truck and the fact that I got the times mixed up, it would have been perfect. It worked out OK."

By the way, wouldn't you love to be Lewin's travel agent for this week, during which the Northwestern graduate will go from Baltimore after Wednesday's game to Oakland for a day, then head to Boston for this weekend's Fox assignment, before going back to Oakland late Saturday and finally returning to Baltimore after the game.

"The good thing is I get to keep the [frequent traveler] miles," said Lewin. "I'll earn half a trip to Hawaii in four days."

The inside edge

Because you just can't run a television football show these days without an "insider," CBS has tapped Danny Sheridan to be its guy on the inside when its college football coverage begins next month.

Sheridan has provided this kind of dirt for CNN for the past nine years and provides the daily odds for sporting events for USA Today, but a network spokesperson said Sheridan will not perform those duties for CBS.

Jokes should stop here

Is there anyone else out there who has had it with O. J. Simpson references?

ESPN's Chris Berman made what he thought was a clever play on Chad Ogea's name last week, saying the Cleveland pitcher's glove fit after he made a fine play. Later, Brett Haber got off a quip about a low-speed chase during a highlights package.

Complaints about the propriety of finding humor in double murder notwithstanding, it's about time that we all moved our lives into the post-O. J. era, jokes and everything.

Pub Date: 8/13/96

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