In addition to an update on DailyNews.com/sports on how Kevin Burkhardt has managed to hold his own on the Fox Sports MLB post-season studio show, we have these notables heading into the weekend:
== Mopping up the NLCS ratings: The Cubs’ 5-0 Game 6 win at Wrigley Field over the Dodgers last Saturday was the most-watched and highest-rated telecast in FS1 history: 9.7 million viewers and a 6.3 overnight rating. It peaked at 12.2 million. The Chicago market had a 25.8 rating and a huge 46 share. L.A. added a mere 10.3/23.
That meant the entire NLCS averaged 6.9 million viewers for FS1, up 80 percent from the ALCS that FS1 had a years ago and 56 percent from the San Francisco-St. Louis NLCS in ’14.
L.A.’s average was a 9.9 rating and 19 share for the six games, topping out at a 11.7 rating for Game 3. Chicago’s average was 22.7/37.
== A few more Kevin Burkhardt thoughts:
= On the philosophy of what’s going on with the Pete Rose, Frank Thomas and Alex Rodriguez dynamic (and Tom Verducci thrown in for good measure in the postseason): “It’s the most fun I’ve ever had. There are so many layers to it. First, they had to trust me and I had to earn that, knowing I’d never put them in a bad spot, picking them up if they forgot something. They’re the stars of the show and I have to let them go as much as as I can. Sometimes, if the conversation goes stale, I have to move on or change it up or add fire to the ember. I’m also relatively opinionated and I feel OK to throw something out there and they can take it or tell me I’m an idiot.
“I liken it to having four people at a bar, and I’m at the end listening and throwing my two cents in when it’s there. It’s a fine line sometimes, but they make it easy. They really are selfless and self-depreciating. And the best times may be when we’re in the trailer watching the game — it’s non-stop laughing, talking out loud, and I’m making notes about things to ask them in the post-game show.”
= Burkhardt said one of the keys to getting aligned with Rose when he first came on board two years ago was a connection to Pete Rose Jr., whom Burkhardt covered for a season in the minor-leagues.
“When Fox was going to hire him, I reached out to Pete Jr., and so Pete came in right away busting my chops … ‘Petey told me you’re a good guy,’ so that didn’t hurt. Alex is someone I’ve become closer with personally and professionally. And Frank is just like a big teddy bear.”
= Another part of the charm for the Fox pre- and post-game shows is the graphics team putting up comments made on Twitter. Some of it is actually as negative as it is positive.
Such as the posts from Wednesday before Game 2 of the World Series (even though some were posted back during the NLCS):
Is A-Rod, Pete Rose, and Frank Thomas really the best broadcast team that FOX was able to assemble?
— Jeff Bickert (@jeffbickert) October 26, 2016
Pete Rose reminds me of Danny DeVito’s character on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
— Tyler Devine (@devine_tyler) October 23, 2016
I’ve never been a Pete Rose fan. Never a hater either. Watching him tonight, I like him. He makes me laugh like your crazy old uncle would!
— Becky Endresak (@BeckSE72) October 23, 2016
“That’s all cool,” said Burkhardt. “It’s all about having opinions.”
== In light of Burkhardt’s story about working in car sales as a way to make sure he really wanted to get into the sportcasting business while he was waiting for a break to happen, the latest Beto Duran “Living The Dream” podcast is with ProAngle Media’s Jeff Proctor, worth a listen to any aspiring sports broadcasters looking for direction in this industry.
== And the Tweet that is still making news:
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) October 21, 2016
== Centennial of Corona at Norco is the Fox Sports West game of the week (Friday, 7:30 p.m., Sam Farber, John Jackson, Chris Rix).
On the PrepZone and Fox Sports Go app are IMG Academy of Florida at Long Beach Poly (Paul Westphal, Chris Hale), Oaks Christian at St. Bonaventure (David Caldwell, Tony Moskal), Mater Dei vs. Servite at Angel Stadium (Fred Salas, Ralph Brown) and St. Francis at Cathedral (Isaac Lowenkron, Lorenzo Booker). All PrepZone games on www.foxsports.com/west/prepzone-stream are at 7 p.m.
== ESPN’s “High School Football Showcase” goes to Fremont for the California School of the Deaf home game against Woodland Christian (Thursday, ESPN2, 5 p.m.) Kevin Brown, Craig Haubert, Dan Hawkins and Quint Kessenich call it.
== The first official poll for the College Football Playoff committee comes out Tuesday at 4 p.m. on ESPN and will be updated each Tuesday for the five following weeks through Nov. 29. The first two shows, as well as Nov. 22, will be hour-long editions. The other two will be 30 minutes. The Final Four and bowl selection show will be on Sunday, Dec. 4 at 9 a.m.
== College football note of the week from ESPN:
ESPN, obviously, does more college football games than any network. How much more? Fans have watched 59,170,335,000 minutes of games on ESPN Networks (ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN Deportes, not including the SEC Network, ESPNEWS or the Longhorn Network, because Nielsen doesn’t rate them) through the first eight weeks. All other TV networks (CBS, NBC, Fox, FS1) combined have done 20,385,008,000 minutes (not counting CBSSN). Add in streaming, and the ESPN number jumps to more than 61.3 billion minutes.
== Former Kings and Ducks enforcer George Parros and ex-King Kevin Westgarth are are among those interviewed in the new documentary, “Ice Guardians,” which debuts in some theaters around the country this week before wider distribution.
The film’s official website is here.
It will be showing at select AMC theaters this week.
A review by The Hockey News talks to producer Adam Scorgie about how he approached former players to talk about their careers: “They didn’t really want to talk to people because they thought, ‘Oh, you’re another person who is going to make me out to seem like a big dummy that doesn’t belong in the game.’ Until we started asking what they said were the right questions and wanted to understand their role instead of coming at it with a preconceived notion of how we wanted to depict it.”
== Live events on the Pac-12 Networks this weekend worth considering:
= UCLA women’s soccer at Colorado, Thursday at 2 p.m. (Steve Schlanger, Jordan Angeli)
= UCLA women’s volleyball vs. Colorado, Friday at 6 p.m. (Anne Marie Anderson, Holly McPeak)
= Arizona State ice hockey vs. Harvard, Friday at 7 p.m. (Matt McConnell, Tyson Nash)
= USC women’s volleyball vs. Utah, Friday at 8 p.m. (Kevin Barnett, Kelli Tennant, Pac-12 L.A.)
= UCLA men’s water polo vs. Stanford, Saturday at 11 a.m. (Jim Watson, Adam Krikorian)
= USC men’s water polo vs. Cal, Saturday at 6:30 p.m., (Greg Mescall, Chris Dorst)
= UCLA women’s volleyball vs. Utah, Saturday at 8 p.m., (Kevin Barnett, Kelli Tennant)
= USC women’s soccer at Colorado, Sunday at 11 a.m. (Jim Watson, Jordan Angeli)
= UCLA women’s soccer at Utah, Sunday at 1 p.m., (Jason Knapp, Temryss Lane)
== TNT’s Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller and Davie Aldridge will call the Clippers’ season opener at Portland on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. TNT also reports that its NBA season opener on Tuesday – Cleveland raising its banner and then defeating the visiting N.Y. Knicks, leading into San Antonio knocking off Golden State – had a 1.9 rating and 3.2 million viewers, the highest-rated opener to the season since 2013 and about 89 percent more than what TNT would get for an average NBA regular-season game.
== The HBO “Real Sports” episode that debuted this week continues to gain traction over its disturbing headline piece by Andrea Kremer on hot yoga guru Bikram Choudhury. Like this followup by SFGate.com. Replays of the show, which will air the rest of the weekend, are also on HBO GO and HBO NOW.
== And finally, this:
— Dave Movius (@dmovius) October 26, 2016