Puck the Media’s Tuesday Mailbag

So here we go for our first try at this.  Please, PLEASE, send us in questions for this every week so we can pick things up on what I hope will be a regular feature.  Contact me at SMLepore@comcast.net or DM me or hit me up on Twitter.

Here’s our first question.  It’s quite a doozy:

Hi Steve,

Some food for thought:

1. Why is that that nobody in the mainstream sports media is talking about the fact that a “now you see it, now you don’t” network like Versus is now pulling in ratings for its NHL broadcasts that are similar to the numbers cable giant TNT pulls in for its baseball telecasts?

Turner was the sole national network to see an increase. Its rating rose slightly, to a 0.6 U.S. household rating from a 0.5. Its viewer numbers jumped 27 percent, from 730,000 to 930,000. http://www.sportingnews.com/mlb/article/2009-10-12/lack-races-chases-baseball-tv-ratings-down

2. Is Northern California becoming hockey country now that the San Jose Sharks have more than doubled their average rating to 1.4 rating while the Oakland A’s average has slipped to 0.82?

On the other side of the coin, the A’s saw ratings drop 53 percent to a 0.82/20,000 homes during their first season on CSN California. In previous years, A’s games were on CSN Bay Area.

But CSN executives dismissed suggestions that the move hurt ratings, pointing to the NHL Sharks’ ratings through their first two games this year, which are more than double last year’s pace for the first two games (1.4/36,000 homes vs. 0.6/15,000 homes).

3. If the Angels (average 1.22 rating), Dodgers (average 2.15 rating) and A’s each are near the bottom in MLB TV ratings, is this an indicator that baseball can’t work in California and the teams should be contracted or moved?

Love the site.


West Palm Beach, Fla.


1. It is important to remember that TBS’ baseball broadcast air in a lousy, Sunday afternoon timeslot.  It’s always, at best, the 2nd most important telecast of the day (behind ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball).  Plus, TBS blacks out the game in the local markets, allowing the RSNs to televise it along side.  It’d be fair to argue that average would be closer to a 1.0 if this were true.

Still, it’s fair to point out that for sports fans, TBS is as “Now you see it, now you don’t” as VERSUS.  TBS airs no sporting events other than Major League Baseball.  Yes, it’s unfair that VERSUS doesn’t get noticed as much for ratings increases, but it’s still a slowly moving process.  Ratings accolades will come.

2. Well, it’s fair to point out that the Oakland A’s were horrible this season.  You’d have to assume a franchise with that history would do better if things were better on the field.  On the other hand, while the Sharks numbers are impressive, they should be better considering how well that club does at the gate and their success level.  If anything, you’d think regular season ratings would continue trending down after so many poor playoff performances.

3. I see what you did there!  Comparing how baseball does in LA to how it does in Oakland is unfair.  LA’s a much bigger market.  Baseball will always have it’s place in California.  Lotta baseball questions, sir.

Scott Moore is up next:

How can a new blogger go about trying to get media credentials?

-From the Point

This isn’t exactly our greatest area of expertise.  I would recommend contacting the media relations director for your local team and asking them if they have requirements.  The NHL’s Media website is a good jumping off point.

MC has our next question:

What are the tv ratings for MSG with the Rangers, Icelanders, and Devils ?


We’ve been attempting to get the NHL to release it’s local TV ratings for all 24 American teams, if not all 30.  They are considering doing so, but would have to get permission from the clubs.  Chances are, we’ll know more later in the year.  That said, we’ve already heard that the Devils are up triple digits.  I’d imagine that, aside from a brief spark from Tavares opening game, the Isles are flat.  If I had to guess, I’d say Rangers ratings are up a tiny bit.

We go to Twitter for the rest of the mailbag.  Ken Fang has some stuff on his mind

1. Will Jeremy Roenick eventually land a job with a US TV network either as a studio or game analyst?

2. Predict the Winter Classic rating for NBC.

1. Yes.  I think he’ll find his way to NBC at some point.  I don’t think VERSUS has the resources or guts to hire him.  I’d love to be surprised, but that’s just how I feel at this point.

2. I may back off this sort of talk when we get closer to the game, but I think we may be headed towards a 3.2 – 3.5, at least in the overnights.  The first two Winter Classics drew a 2.6 and a 2.9.  More moderate growth can be expected, as long as the local markets stay strong.

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