Redskins are winning on field, but lagging in local TV ratings

Media Watch

September 24, 1996|By Milton Kent

Though the Redskins are beating out Rams and Bears and Giants on their schedule, they're unable to top spiders and worms on the local TV schedule.

Sunday's Redskins-Rams game on Channel 45 was easily the least-watched of the three afternoon contests available for local viewers, according to Sharon Walz, Channel 11's chief numbers cruncher and this week's sole and official Media Watch ratings provider. The Redskins game, airing at 1 p.m., did a 3.2 rating, and 8 share of the audience for Channel 45.

Meanwhile, the 1 p.m. Broncos-Chiefs game on Channel 11, did an 8.5/20, while on Channel 54, a movie doubleheader of "Tarantulas" and "Slugs," starting at noon, did a 3.4/8 and 4.3/10, respectively. The Cowboys-Bills game, the only 4 p.m. contest, did a 9.8/20 on Channel 45. Saturday's big college clash, pitting Florida against Tennessee, landed flat, doing a 2.7/7 on Channel 13 and losing to the Notre Dame-Texas game on Channel 2 (3.3/10). The Red Sox-Yankees marathon on Channel 45 got a 2.3/7 rating.

Making the big time

On the assumption that Saturday's Orioles-Toronto game will be meaningful to the pennant race, Fox has selected it as one of four wild-card telecasts.

That means that instead of airing on Channel 54 at 4 p.m., as originally scheduled, the game will now appear at 1 p.m. on Channel 45, with Josh Lewin and Ken Singleton on the call.

National view on Baltimore

Charm City's teams took a couple of pretty good raps across the knuckles this weekend from the network pre-game show crews.

The Orioles took their lumps Saturday from the Fox studio gang over their performance in the Bronx. Analyst Dave Winfield said, "The Orioles know how to score a lot of runs, but they have not demonstrated how to win the big game yet."

Winfield's colleague, Steve Lyons had even harsher words for closer Randy Myers. "I go back to the game on Wednesday night and focus on Randy Myers, who has been very critical about his teammates, especially when Mike Mussina did not want to go to a four-man rotation," said Lyons. "Then he goes out, walks two straight hitters and ends up losing the game that put the Orioles in their tailspin. He has to shoulder some of the weight for what this team is doing right now."

On Sunday, it was the Ravens' turn as the NBC pre-game show dolloped out some serious scorn over the potential signing of running back Bam Morris.

Morris was given a four-game suspension, which was reduced to two, even after 6 pounds of marijuana were found in his car, and the propriety of his signing was kicked about.

Said analyst Mike Ditka: "The message is a bad one. It says do drugs and get rich. Now we have got to make the punishment fit the crime. This guy should not be playing football right now. The suspension should have never been lifted. No wonder the Ravens can't do any good. They're signing the wrong kind of people."

In a tasteless shot, Cris Collinsworth wondered aloud whether "the profits from selling all that dope count against the salary PTC cap." Then, after Greg Gumbel asked rhetorically what it took to get kicked out of the NFL, Collinsworth said, "The standard now in the league is that there are no standards. And this has become an embarrassing situation for the National Football League. He should have been gone for the year."

Getting your playoff kicks

Long after the glow from the season premiere of "Walker, Texas Ranger" has come and gone, there's a measurable sense of excitement in the air, and there's only one rational explanation for it:

It's Major League Soccer playoff time.

The first round of the inaugural MLS postseason kicks off tonight as D.C. United travels to the Meadowlands to challenge the New York/New Jersey MetroStars, the easy winner in "the longest team name in sports" contest, in an Eastern Conference semifinal at 7: 30 on ESPN. Game 2 of this series airs Friday night at 7: 30 from Washington, also on ESPN.

ESPN and ESPN2 will split anywhere from six to eight playoff matches before corporate parent ABC takes over for the championship game Oct. 20 from Foxboro, Mass.

Just a thought

We've seen Nike play fast and loose with the truth in the past, but this current ad campaign in which former Packers coach Vince Lombardi, as portrayed by actor Jerry Stiller, gives a stamp of endorsement to Deion Sanders' post-touchdown shenanigans.

Anybody who knew anything about Lombardi knows that the last thing he would countenance was Sanders' "look at me" nonsense, but then who ever accused anyone at Nike of knowing or caring about history and accuracy.

Pub Date: 9/24/96

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