ESPNâs Sunday Night Baseball will showcase some of Major League Baseballâs best rivalries including the defending World Champion San Francisco Giants facing the Los Angeles Dodgers April 3 (8 p.m. ET), a pair of telecasts featuring the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees (April 10 and May 15), the Philadelphia Phillies hosting the New York Mets May 1, and the St. Louis Cardinals hosting the Cincinnati Reds April 24.Â The Giants will make three early season appearances on Sunday Night Baseball, which will also include a rematch of the ALCS between the Texas Rangers and Yankees April 17 and an interleague matchup when the Chicago Cubs visit the Red Sox May 22.
Major League Baseballâs elite players will be on display, including league MVPs Josh Hamilton (A.L., Texas) and Joey Votto (N.L., Cincinnati), N.L. Rookie of the Year Buster Posey (San Francisco), St. Louisâ Albert Pujols, Philadelphiaâs Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, the Yankeesâ Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, Bostonâs Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, Atlantaâs Jason Heyward, Tampa Bayâs Evan Longoria and the New York Metsâ David Wright and Jose Reyes.
ESPN will introduce a new Sunday Night Baseball commentator team this season with Dan Shulman (play-by-play) joining analysts Orel Hershiser and Bobby Valentine (Hershiser was a starting pitcher with the New York Mets in 1999 when Valentine managed the team). The new broadcast team replaces Jon Miller and Joe Morgan who had been the networkâs broadcast team for 21-years. Â ESPN Sunday Night games are also available via ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3.com and ESPN Mobile TV. ESPN Radioâs new Sunday Night Baseball broadcast team will be play-by-play commentator Jon Sciambi and analyst Chris Singleton.
The April and May Sunday Night Baseball schedule follows (all telecasts begin at 8 p.m. ET).Â Game selections for the remainder of the season will be made three weeks (June, July 3 and July 24) or two weeks (August and September) in advance.
SELECT READ MORE TO SEE THE COMPLETE SUNDAY NIGHT BASEBALL SCHEDULE
Dan Shulman will be paired with analysts Orel Hershiser and Bobby Valentine to form ESPNâs new Sunday Night Baseball booth beginning with the 2011 Major League Baseball season, it was announced today by Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president, production. Â Dan Shulman, most recently the voice of ESPNâs Monday Night Baseball, will be the networkâs Sunday Night Baseball play-by-play commentator.Â Orel Hershiser will return as a Sunday Night Baseball analyst, and be joined by Bobby Valentine, a newcomer to the Sunday Night booth.
"Dan has broad knowledge of the game, an ability to articulate baseball's analytics and a conversational tone which will bring out the best in our analysts," said Williamson.Â âPairing him with Orel Hershiser, who made great contributions in the Sunday NightBaseball booth last season, and the unique opinions and fresh perspective of Bobby Valentine, will make for a dynamic Sunday Night team.â
Shulman has previously served as the voice of ESPNâs Monday Night Baseball (2008-10) and Wednesday Night Baseball (2002-07), along with ESPN Radioâs MLB postseason (1998-present) and regular-season (2002-07) coverage. Valentine, a former MLB manager, will also be new to the Sunday Night Baseball booth next season. He will continue as a Baseball Tonight analyst as well. Hershiser, a former Major League Baseball pitcher and Cy Young winner, joined Sunday Night Baseball last season.
Additionally, ESPN Radioâs new Sunday NightBaseball broadcast team will be play-by-play commentator Jon Sciambi, returning for his second season in the Sunday Night booth, and analyst Chris Singleton.Â This will be Singletonâs first year contributing to ESPN Radioâs Sunday Night Baseball coverage.Â He joined ESPN in 2008, providing analysis on Baseball Tonight, before adding Monday Night Baseball responsibilities last season. Singleton contributed to ESPN Radioâs MLB postseason coverage in 2008 and 2009, along with select regular-season games.
EDITOR'S NOTE: It appears Jon Miller will not be returning to ESPN as part of the radio broadcast team
Coverage of the victory parade and celebration for the 2010 World Series champion San Francisco Giants will air live on MLB Network tomorrow, November 3 beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET/11:00 a.m. PT. The parade route taken when the Giants were first welcomed to San Francisco in 1958 will be the same route used Wednesday. The parade will conclude on the steps of City Hall, where San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom will present the team with the key to the city. MLB Networkâs Harold Reynolds and Matt Vasgersian, who covered World Series Games One and Two in San Francisco on MLB Tonight, will host MLB Networkâs coverage of the event.
Hot Stove, MLB Networkâs live offseason studio show, will begin its new season on Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. ET with updates and analysis of the moves all 30 clubs are making and planning in preparation for the 2011 season.
The Giants clinched the 2010 World Series Championship on Monday with a 10.6/16 metered market televison rating
The San Francisco Giants World Series victory in Game 5 on Monday night registered a 10.6/16 metered market rating. The rating down was 17 percent from the 12.8 overnight for last season's Yankees-Phillies Game 5 and down 5 percent from the Phillies-Rays Game 5 in 2008.
Overall, the five-game 2010 World Series averaged a metered market rating of 9.9 marking a 3% increase over the 2008 World Series, which had teams of similar combined market size.
At the local market level, San Francisco registered a 37.9 rating for Game 5 which witnessed the Giants winning their first World Series in San Francisco and first title since 1954. The five games of the 2010 World Series averaged a 35.3, which topped the marketâs average of 35.0 for the full seven games of the 2002 World Series.
The Texas Rangers sit on the edge of elimination tonight as the pitching match-ups will be a repeat of Game 1. Cliff Lee will look to get turned around from an uncharacteristic poor start for the Texas Rangers while Tim Lincecum hopes to be the winning pitcher that brings the first World Series Championship since the 1954 when they became the San Francisco Giants after leaving New York.
Game 5 of the 2010 World Series sees first-pitch at 7:57 p.m. ET while the FOX pre-game show kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET.
For Game 5, Hall of Famer and 284-game winner Ferguson Jenkins will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Jenkins pitched for the Rangers from 1974-75 and 1978-81. In 1974, he set club records with 25 wins, 328.1 innings, and 29 complete games. He was elected to the Rangers Baseball Hall of Fame in 2004. Internationally renowned recording artist Charley Pride, a member of the Rangers current ownership group and a former Negro Leagues player, will perform the National Anthem before the 6:57 p.m. CDT start. Over the past 30 years, Pride has received 31 Gold and four Platinum albums.
God Bless America will be performed during the seventh inning stretch by Mollie Corbett, whose husband Charlie is a Technical Sergeant in the United States Air Force.
On Monday, the colors will be presented by the United States Marines Corps. A flyover of four F/A-18 Hornets from the Fort Worth based VMFA-112 Cowboys follows the National Anthem. Former Ranger Mark McLemore will accompany Melvion Williams of the Boys and Girls Club of Fort Worth to deliver the first game ball to the mound.
ADDITIONAL NOTES ON GAME 4 TV RATINGS
Despite being the lowest rated Game 4 in history, MLB reports that last nightâs viewership of 15.54 million viewers was the highest total so far for the Series and brought the average household rating to 8.3. The average viewership of 14.12 million for the Series through four games is an increase of +8% when compared to the 2008 World Series which had teams of similar combined market size.
In addition, the two cities that have never seen a World Series victory continue to watch in record fashion. San Francisco registered a 36.3 household rating which is nearly identical to Game 2 of the World Series which drew a 36.4, the highest rated baseball game in the market since Game 7 of the 2002 World Series. In Dallas, last nightâs game averaged a 31.5 household rating, which ranks as the second most watched Rangers game ever in the market behind Game 1.
Based on fast overnight numbers, Game 4 of the 2010 World Series will go down as the lowest rated Game 4 for a World Series since television numbers were first monitored by Nielsen. FOX Â drew a 10.4 overnight rating, having to go up against a Sunday Night Football match-up between the current Super Bowl Champion Saints and Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers, which drew an 11.8 overnight rating. To add to the mix, it was Halloween, meaning many simply didnât watch any television as they took their kids out Trick or Treating.
And while the numbers being down are a concern, think of it this way: Game 4 had the exact same rating as Game 1 with Cliff Lee going up against Tim Lincecum and no sports or Holiday competition. With a 30 min. spill over of NFL coverage on Sunday, FOX won the ratings battle pulling in an astonishing 23.13 million viewers and an 8.1 rating/26 share among adults 18-49 in the 7 p.m. half-hour
Game 4, which saw a 4-0 win by the San Francisco Giants over the Texas Rangers drew an estimated 13.33 million viewers.
Game 5 tonight sees a Game 1 rematch of Lincecum and Lee with the Giants having a chance to clinch their first World Series since moving to the West Coast in 1954. The downside is, the game goes up against Monday Night Football and Dancing With the Stars.
Saturdayâs Game 3 of the 2010 World Series that saw the Texas Rangers beat the San Francisco Giants 4-2 on FOX earned a 6.7 rating and 13 share, the 2 lowest rated World Series game in history behind the 6.1 rating for Game 3 of the 2008 Phillies-Rays series game.
According to The AP, the rating was down 26 percent from the 9.1 for Game 3 of last season's Yankees-Phillies World Series.
The game saw a 6:57pm ET first-pitch, the earliest start time since 1987 and was one hour earlier than the scheduled start time of the 2009 World Series game on Saturday.
FOX still won the ratings battle of the networks with the low ratings.
With Game 4 going up against the night cap for the NFL and Halloween, itâs possible that Sundayâs game that saw the Giants blank the Rangers 4-0 could be lower still.
Here is the fast overnight numbers for Game 3
World Series, Game 3 (FOX) 8:00 p.m. â Viewers: 8.89 million (#1), A18-49: 2.2/ 8 (#1t) 8:30 p.m. â Viewers: 9.39 million (#1), A18-49: 2.4/ 8 (#1) 9:00 p.m. â Viewers: 9.25 million (#1), A18-49: 2.3/ 8 (#1) 9:30 p.m. â Viewers: 9.39 million (#1), A18-49: 2.4/ 8 (#1)
The rating is the percentage watching a program among homes with TVs. The share is the percentage tuned into the broadcast among those households with TVs on at the time.
With the Texas Rangers pulling off a 4-2 win on Saturday, we know this much for certain: the World Series is going to go more than the minimum four games.
Tonight, the World Series gets ghoulish as Game 4 falls on Halloween. The game has a 8:20 p.m. ET first-pitch with the pre-game show on FOX kicking off at 8:00 p.m. ET.
Also, the ceremonial first pitch for Game 4 of the 2010 World Series on FOX will feature former Presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. George W. Bush was the Managing General Partner of the Rangers from 1989-94 and maintained partial ownership of the club until 1998.
The game will see a pitching match-up ofTommy Hunter of the Rangers going up against Giants rookie Madison Bumgarner.
It's over. Cablevision subs who had been blacked out of programming will now be able to see Game 3 of the 2010 World Series
UPDATE #2: Cablevision releases a statement on the agreement
UPDATE: FOX releases statement on the agreement
THIS IS BREAKING NEWSâŠ
The nasty battle of carriage rights that have had FOX television stations blacked out for 3 million Cablevision viewers, is over.
FOX released the following statement:
Fox Networks and Cablevision announced today that they have reached an agreement in principle for a new distribution agreement to provide more than 3 million households with programming from WNYW FOX5 and WWOR My9 in New York , WTXF FOX29 in Philadelphia , and the cable channels FOX Deportes, FOX Business Network, and Nat Geo WILD. The signals for all stations and cable channels were restored Saturday prior to the first pitch of World Series Game 3 on FOX.
Cablevision issued the following:
Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) today reached agreement with News Corp. to return Fox programming to Cablevision. The channels will return to Cablevision immediately and in time for tonightâs World Series game and tomorrowâs NFL match-up between the New York Jets and Green Bay Packers.
The company released the following statement:
âIn the absence of any meaningful action from the FCC, Cablevision has agreed to pay Fox an unfair price for multiple channels of its programming including many in which our customers have little or no interest. Cablevision conceded because it does not think its customers should any longer be denied the Fox programs they wish to see.
Cablevision thanks its customers for understanding the reasons for the dispute and for staying with us. We are also grateful to the 175 government leaders who raised their voices to urge government intervention and binding arbitration to prevent this blackout. It is clear the retransmission consent system is badly broken and needs to be fixed.
In the end, our customers will pay more than they should for Fox programming, but less than they would have if we had accepted the unprecedented rates News Corp. was demanding when they pulled their channels off Cablevision."
The channels returning to Cablevision are Fox 5 (WNYW), Fox 29 (WTXF), My9, Fox Business Network, National Geographic Wild and Fox Deportes.
The 6:57 ET/3:57 PT start time for Game Three will be the earliest start to a World Series game since Game Six of the 1987 World Series and is one hour earlier than the scheduled start time of the 2009 World Series game on Saturday.
âI am extremely pleased we are able to provide our fans the earliest World Series start time since 1987 with Saturdayâs Game Three,ââ said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig when the earlier times were announced in late Sept. âThe changes we made with FOX last year to start the World Series games earlier helped increase viewership including more young fans and we are optimistic that the earlier start time for Saturdayâs Game Three will keep us moving in the same direction.â
Key to the earlier scheduled start time for Game Three is an additional level of advertising support from Chevrolet.
âStarting the game earlier will allow more families to watch together,â said Chris Perry, vice president U.S. marketing, Chevrolet. âThis fits perfectly with our commitment to baseball which stretches from youth teams across the country to MLB.â
âWeâve said over the years that if advertisers were willing to support earlier starts at prime time levels, weâd be able to begin games earlier,â said FOX Sports president Eric Shanks. âWeâre excited to be working with MLB and Chevrolet, along with our FOX-owned stations and affiliates to make this happen.â