Today: 19.08.2018
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18.08.2018

ESPN’s gamble on A-Rod isn’t working so far.

There was a time in Alex Rodriguez’s career when some of his major league contemporaries reportedly called him, “The Cooler.” The moniker was slapped on Rodriguez’s back because no matter how much personal glory he found, he had a tendency to be on teams that underperformed. ESPN is smitten with its new face of “Sunday...
Time: 12:26     Date: 17.05.2018
Last US Sport News: ESPN’s gamble on A-Rod isn’t working so far. NY Post 24 - US News

ESPN is smitten with its new face of “Sunday Night Baseball,” but, in a bottom-line business, the scoreboard is ratings. Sunday Night Baseball’s A-Rod-led reboot is down 18 percent from year to year at a little past the quarter mark of its 25-game schedule.

While ESPN executives remain confident they will rebound and offered reasonable explanations as to why, the early returns on if there would be more interest in watching SNB because of A-Rod are in, and the answer so far is clearly no.

While broadcasters can enhance the viewers’ experience, it is clear they don’t bring people to their TVs for games. A-Rod has been solid, but not spectacular, on SNB.

ESPN’s Sunday game is very produced, so much of what Rodriguez says sounds planned, allowing him to speak less off the cuff. He makes some good points, but he needs to trust himself a little more and try to be more natural.

SNB wants to stand out, but, of all ESPN’s major properties, it probably has the most difficult task because in the preceding days, the exact same games are offered in local markets — and many times on Fox nationally on Saturday — making it next to impossible.

Still, the numbers are the numbers. Through seven games, “Sunday Night Baseball” is down from averaging 1.91 million viewers at this time last year to 1.56M this season. ESPN has had some bad luck since A-Rod joined, as a Cubs-Cardinals game’s ratings were smothered by a rain delay, while games in Washington and Houston happened to go up against NBA playoff games in those markets.

Meanwhile, Rodriguez continues to turn his baseball transgressions into a commodity. After Rodriguez lied, cheated and sued throughout his career, ESPN is assisting in making that into something to capitalize on. His new show is called “Pivot with Alex Rodriguez.” The show’s concept is that A-Rod will talk to people who have messed up, just like he did. Rodriguez is an executive producer on the program, which will only have four shows.

If ESPN really wants to leverage A-Rod’s clout, it should have him entice his buddy Robinson Cano for an exclusive interview to talk about his PED masking-drug suspension. It might be a bit awkward, but it could be good TV.

Jimmy PitaroKaty Winn/Invision/AP

Quick Clicks: ESPN’s new president, Jimmy Pitaro, declined to give out any figures for the company’s new premium offering, ESPN+. It doesn’t necessarily mean anything good or bad, because the product was only launched a month ago. What ESPN appears to have gotten right is how the technology feels seamless in the app. The fluidity of the experience is very important. Now, on the content side, rival executives expect Pitaro to buy as many rights to as many different things as possible. He already did a deal for UFC, trying to appeal to its younger audience.

The best analysts tell you something insightful, but in a relatable way. During Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Jeff Van Gundy said the Cavaliers roll their eyes at each other like a couple having marital issues. It was a good way to say Cleveland was not on the same page.

It was pretty amazing that CBS won the overall TV ratings this past year, even though NBC had the Olympics and the Super Bowl.

Speaking of the Super Bowl, Tony Romo will finally make it. CBS has the game early next year, so Romo will be the analyst with Jim Nantz on Super Sunday.

CC Sabathia has left Derek Jeter for LeBron James. Sabathia and his podcast co-host, ESPN/YES’ Ryan Ruocco, have moved “R2C2” to James’ Uninterrupted network from Jeter’s Players’ Tribune. Sabathia had some video projects already with Uninterrupted, so the duo thought it would be a better fit for them, Ruocco said.

FYI: This account will be business as usual beginning on June 4. I feel like I have enough assurances from the right people to move forward. I was over it to be honest, but the public has demanded more prank calls and things that Mike never said. Thanks for the support.

Sport

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Opinion

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Of all the horrors in the Pennsylvania grand-jury report on decades of abuse by Catholic priests, the greatest may be this:...
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President Trump’s decision to revoke the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan is, according to conventional...
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After nearly two decades of strategically aimless military action in the Middle East, the Trump administration has apparently...

Living

US Living News: Popular baby foods have ‘worrisome levels’ of heavy metals: study. NY Post 24 - US News
Popular baby foods have ‘worrisome levels’ of heavy metals: study.
A new Consumer Reports study found many types of food commonly eaten by babies and toddlers — such as packaged entrees,...
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Colombian city’s tip to beat the heat: stop having sex.
This city is suggesting residents cool it with the sex. The health secretary of Santa Marta, Julio Salas, advised locals...
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How the Kardashians became more powerful than the royals.
On Aug. 9, the Kardashian clan descended upon Los Angeles hot spot Craig’s in all their color-coordinated finery for newly...
US Living News: Immigrants’ kids are ditching their Americanized names. NY Post 24 - US News
Immigrants’ kids are ditching their Americanized names.
David Brown has never felt a connection to his own name. “To me, Brown means nothing,” said the 49-year-old finance professional,...
US Living News: How I got inside the teenage mind and created a YA hit. NY Post 24 - US News
How I got inside the teenage mind and created a YA hit.
When writing about teens, it’s important to remember the first rule: E is for emotion. “It’s not hard to get into a...
US Living News: ‘Good moms’ are expected to give up all their freedoms. NY Post 24 - US News
‘Good moms’ are expected to give up all their freedoms.
Kim Brooks is a modern-day, middle-class mom, which is to say: She worries about getting it right. As her own mom described...
US Living News: We’ve given up road trips — and lost a whole lot more. NY Post 24 - US News
We’ve given up road trips — and lost a whole lot more.
The times were indeed a-changin’ as the ’70s gave way to the ’80s. The feeling was palpable. It wasn’t just the music....
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Quickie engagements aren’t as stupid as you think.
“When you know, you know.” That’s what they say. And they’re right. Perhaps that’s why there’s been a rash of...

Business

Last US Business News: Moviepass should be better to it’s customers, but bankruptcy won’t let it. NY Post 24 - US News
Moviepass should be better to it’s customers, but bankruptcy won’t let it.
Dear John. I am extremely disappointed with MoviePass’ business ethics. I paid the annual fee, although I do understand...
Last US Business News: In the Trump era, are blue states are facing a Rolex shortage?. NY Post 24 - US News
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Dear John: Here in Beverly Hills and throughout California, there is a major issue: There are no Rolex watches to be found!...
Last US Business News: 80 percent of millennials worried about Social Security: study. NY Post 24 - US News
80 percent of millennials worried about Social Security: study.
As Social Security turned 83 last week, many millennials are convinced they won’t collect a cent. Indeed, “80 percent...
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Elon Musk’s tweet on Tesla going private has drawn no shortage of opinions, and it will be up to federal regulators to...
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After nearly two decades of strategically aimless military action in the Middle East, the Trump administration has apparently...
Last US Business News: Backpage.com exec pleads guilty in prostitution case. NY Post 24 - US News
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PHOENIX — The sales and marketing director of Backpage.com pleaded guilty Friday to conspiring to facilitate prostitution,...
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Talk about a backfire. Louisiana has “prohibited” Citigroup and Bank of America from participating in an upcoming bond...
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Mom-and-pop ice cream maker wins suit over ‘icky’ ingredients.
A mom-and-pop shop outside of Boston won a $725,000 award Friday after a federal jury determined a supplier for its frozen...

Metro

Metro News: Man found dead in Long Island swimming pool. NY Post 24 - US News
Man found dead in Long Island swimming pool.
A man was found dead in his swimming pool in Suffolk County on Saturday, police said. Lewis Conte, 63, was found dead in...
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Scooter driver fatally struck by SUV: cops.
A man riding a motorized scooter was hit and killed by a driver in the Bronx on Saturday night, police said. The 42-year-old...
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Off-duty cops shoots armed man in wheelchair: cops.
An off-duty NYPD cop shot a wheelchair-bound man after the man started shooting outside of a house party in Brooklyn Sunday...
Metro News: Man stabbed amid argument on subway platform. NY Post 24 - US News
Man stabbed amid argument on subway platform.
A man was fighting for his life early Sunday after he was stabbed by an apparent stranger at a Brownsville subway station,...
Metro News: Thief electrocuted by subway rail while running from cops. NY Post 24 - US News
Thief electrocuted by subway rail while running from cops.
A would-be Park Slope purse-snatcher accidentally gave himself the death penalty Saturday night, when he ran onto subway...
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Upper West Side residents want sidewalk book vendor gone.
The bookish Upper West Side wants this chapter closed. The overflowing tables of sidewalk book vendor Kirk Davidson, 60,...
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Park Slope being shamed into radical school diversity plan.
The de Blasio administration is guilting parents in ultra-liberal Park Slope into swallowing a radical public school “diversity...
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Bronx street renamed for NYPD cop killed in Afghanistan.
A Bronx street corner was renamed Saturday for a fallen NYPD hero. Mayor de Blasio presided over the ceremony alongside the...

Sport

Last US Sport News: Fan tries to fight NASCAR star who caused huge wreck. NY Post 24 - US News
Fan tries to fight NASCAR star who caused huge wreck.
BRISTOL, Tenn. — Kyle Busch had cars strong enough to contend for his third sweep at Bristol Motor Speedway. Instead, he...
Last US Sport News: Yankees get what they need from their ace but not a lot more. NY Post 24 - US News
Yankees get what they need from their ace but not a lot more.
Starter Luis Severino did not give the Yankees great length again. But he gave them a victory. Guess what they wanted more?...
Last US Sport News: Greg Bird rediscovers his Yankees Stadium power stroke. NY Post 24 - US News
Greg Bird rediscovers his Yankees Stadium power stroke.
Greg Bird’s issues — both on offense and with his glove — didn’t seem to be going away until he went deep to lead...
Last US Sport News: Frazier and Conforto come full circle in return to Williamsport. NY Post 24 - US News
Frazier and Conforto come full circle in return to Williamsport.
PHILADELPHIA — As Todd Frazier remembers it, the call came “an hour” after the news broke last January that he was...
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Joe Torre can relate to what Aaron Boone is going through as the Yankees see the Red Sox pulling away in the AL East —...