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ESPN Sees Hot Ratings for Start of World Baseball Classic PDF Print E-mail
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World Baseball Classic
Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 12 March 2009 18:13

WBC logoESPN’s multimedia coverage of the 2009 World Baseball Classic is off to a strong start, with first-round game coverage on ESPN (four telecasts) averaging a 1.3 rating (up 44 percent), 1,300,000 households (up 57 percent) and 1,745,000 viewers (up 88 percent).  At this point in 2006, ESPN’s World Baseball Classic games averaged a 0.9 rating, 829,000 households and 930,000 viewers (two telecasts).   

Team USA’s Sunday night (March 8) game against Venezuela posted 1,943,000 households and 2,645,000 viewers to become the most-viewed World Baseball Classic telecast ever.  The corresponding 2.0 rating matched ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball average rating for 2008.  The 2.0 rating was the second highest-rated World Baseball Classic game ever, trailing only a 2.1 rating for a second-round game between Team USA and Mexico in 2006.

The World Baseball Classic has also led to impressive audience growth for ESPN Deportes and ESPN360.com.

ESPN Deportes

  • Cuba vs. Australia on Tuesday, March 10, delivered a 3.3 rating to become the network’s highest-rated non-soccer event ever (previously, the Mexico/Venezuela Caribbean World Series game, Feb. 6, 2009, posted a 2.2 rating);
  • The six highest-rated non-soccer events on ESPN Deportes are all World Baseball Classic games;
  • Tuesday, March 10, was ESPN Deportes’ most-viewed day ever, delivering 71,000 Hispanic household impressions (the previous high was June 29, 2008, the day of the Euro 2008 final, with 63,000 Hispanic household impressions).
  • Live World Baseball Classic games are averaging a 1.5 rating, 65,000 households and 89,000 viewers.

ESPNdeportes.com

  • The World Baseball Classic helped drive ESPNdeportes.com to its biggest traffic day ever (Wednesday, March 11), with more than 9.6 million minutes spent and nearly 5.6 million page views.

ESPN360.com

  • USA vs. Canada (Saturday, March 7) was the most-viewed event of the day;
  • Fans have watched an average of 41 minutes per stream for World Baseball Classic games.

ESPN.com

  • There have been 1.9 million views of World Baseball Classic-related video.

Upcoming ESPN World Baseball Classic Coverage

ESPN’s second-round coverage will lead off with several intriguing matchups:

(From Miami)

  • The Cinderella Netherlands team, which upset the Dominican Republic twice in the first round, facing Venezuela Saturday, March 14, at 1 p.m. on ESPN Deportes;
  • Team USA – looking to avenge its unexpected second-round exit in 2006 –meeting Puerto Rico Saturday, March 14, at 8 p.m. on ESPN Deportes.

(From San Diego)

  • Japan – the defending champion – meeting the winner of the Mexico/Cuba first-round game Sunday, March 15, at 4 p.m.  (If Cuba defeats Mexico and plays Japan, it would be a rematch of the 2006 World Baseball Classic final);
  • The loser of the Mexico/Cuba game playing Korea Sunday, March 15, at 11 p.m. on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and ESPN360.com.

Gary Thorne (first two games) and Dan Shulman (remaining games) will provide play-by-play for ESPN’s coverage from San Diego, joined by analysts Orel Hershiser and Steve Phillips.  Dave O’Brien will call ESPN telecasts from Miami with analyst Rick Sutcliffe.

Ernesto Jerez will call ESPN Deportes telecasts from Miami, with analyst Candy Maldonado and reporter Guillermo Celis.  Fernando Alvarez will provide commentary for the ESPN Deportes telecasts from San Diego, with analyst Carlos Baerga and reporter Jaime Motta.  Additional content is available via ESPNdeportes.com, along with reports on ESPN.com from Enrique Rojas.

Select Read More to see the upcoming ESPN World Baseball Classic Broadcast schedule

Date

Time (ET)

Teams

Networks

Sat., March 14

1 p.m.

Netherlands vs. Venezuela from Miami

ESPN Deportes

 

8 p.m.

USA vs. Puerto Rico from Miami

ESPN Deportes

Sun., March 15

4 p.m.

Japan vs. Mexico/Cuba winner from San Diego

ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, ESPN360.com

 

7:30 p.m.

Netherlands/Venezuela loser vs. USA/Puerto Rico loser from Miami

ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, ESPN360.com, ESPN Mobile TV

 

11 p.m.

Mexico/Cuba loser vs. Korea from San Diego

ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, ESPN360.com

Mon., March 16

8 p.m.

Netherlands/Venezuela winner vs. USA/Puerto Rico winner from Miami

ESPN, ESPN Deportes, ESPN360.com, ESPN Mobile TV

 

11 p.m.

Game 1 loser (Japan vs. Mexico/Cuba winner) vs. Game 2 loser (Mexico/Cuba loser vs. Korea) from San Diego

ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, ESPN360.com, ESPN Mobile TV

 Source: ESPN

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Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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