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.”