Crain's Cleveland: Tribe is crushing the local competition in prime time


Tribe is big TV draw

The Indians continue to be a huge hit for SportsTime Ohio.

Since the start of the 2014 season, SportsTime Ohio, which Fox Sports purchased from the Indians in December 2012, is crushing the local competition in prime time.

Prior to Tuesday’s loss to the Reds, Indians games that were televised in prime time had averaged a 6.73 rating. According to SportsTime Ohio, the next-best prime-time ratings in that span were compiled by WOIO (4.21) and WJW (4.01).

The Tribe’s prime-time games, with a ratings norm of 6.73, are drawing more than 100,000 households. The Indians’ average rating of 6.3 for all games ranks fifth in Major League Baseball, and the numbers for July were among the best ever.

Last month, the average SportsTime Ohio rating for a Tribe game was 6.9, the third-best norm for a month since the channel was launched in March 2006, and the best since August 2011. Indians games were watched by an average of 102,000 households in July.

The season average rating of 6.3 heading into Tuesday was 17% better than the year-over-year norm from 2013. Also impressive: Monday’s win over the Reds drew a massive 9.39 rating and was watched by more than 138,000 households, making it the second highest-rated non-simulcast game of the season.

Click HERE for more.

Tribe ratings, Browns preseason & more

From Bob Finnan's sports media notes:

STO’s prosperity

Since the start of the 2014 season, Indians telecasts on SportsTime Ohio are the highest-rated and most-viewed programming on television in Northeast Ohio.
Indians telecasts are averaging a 6.73 household rating and 100,000 households in prime time (7 p.m. to 11 p.m.), 60 percent higher than the No. 2-ranked CBS (4.21) during the same period.
The Indians also have the fifth-highest local TV ratings in Major League Baseball.
July was the third-best month ever and best since August 2011 for the Tribe on SportsTime Ohio with a 6.9-household average (more than 102,000 households).
The Indians are averaging a 6.3 household rating, which is 17 percent ahead of last year’s pace.
“Fans are passionate and excited about the Indians, and we’re proud to bring them the most in-depth and high quality coverage each game,” said Francois McGillicuddy, senior vice president and general manager of SportsTime Ohio and Fox Sports Ohio, in a prepared statement. “Indians baseball on STO is the best part of summer.”

Quick shots

- Fox Sports Ohio will replay the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival Grand Parade on Aug. 10 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. It will also be replayed on Aug. 11 at 8 p.m.
-  SportsTime Ohio will replay the Browns-Lions preseason game on Aug. 10 at 5 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
-  SportsTime Ohio’s “All Bets Are Off” with Bruce Drennan will head to Cincinnati to air live from outside Great American Ball Park on Aug. 7 from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30.p.m.

Late night, big ratings

Monday's Cincinnati Reds - Arizona Diamondbacks game went 15 innings, ending in a disappointing 2-1 loss for the Reds. Although the game lasted almost five hours, Cincinnati fans stayed tuned into FOX Sports Ohio and made the game the 2nd most watched game of the season (excluding the simulcasted Opening Day).

The game averaged 9.2 HH rating (83,500 households) in the Cincinnati market and from 10p to 11p, the average rating was 11.33 HH, 103,000 households!

Mission Accomplished!

On Monday, July 28th, SportsTime Ohio participated in the first ever MISSION SWISHER scavenger hunt at Progressive Field. 

Over 20 Cleveland Indians players joined 15 teams as they searched the ballpark for clues to find the ultimate prize, Terry Francona. 

Catcher Yan Gomes and pitcher Zach McAllister joined SportsTime Ohio’s team of eight, which finished in 3rd place overall and gathered BURST videos throughout the race.

The entire SportsTime Ohio team, including Indians players Gomes and McAllister as well as Gerard, the Indians guide.

FOX Sports Ohio Girls Sara and Bridget were part of the hunt, as one of the challenges was to find the Girls and take a video with them singing “What does the Fox say?”.  

Cleveland Indian Nick Swisher and his wife JoAnna hosted this first-ever charity event to raise funds for the Swisher Family Foundation, a non-profit organization designed to help all children in need with vital medical care, education and recreational activities.


The SportsTime Ohio team with Nick Swisher and wife JoAnna

The SportsTime Ohio team with Sara and Bridget.

The Columbus Blue Jackets MISSION SWISHER team,
which came in 2nd place, with Sara and Bridget

Teaming up with the Tribe to give back

On Friday, July 25th, SportsTime Ohio joined the Cleveland Indians in Business Volunteers Unlimited’s 8th Annual Summer of Service project to revitalize Forest Hill Park in East Cleveland.

The SportsTime Ohio Indians Fan Express drove Cleveland Indians staff and SportsTime Ohio volunteers, including FOX Sports Ohio Girl Bridget, to join over 300 young professionals from Cleveland businesses and the East Cleveland community to renovate the baseball fields and beautify Forest Hill Park. This park was once on the National Register of Historic Places and was home of John D. Rockefeller Sr.

The park is used by thousands in the East Cleveland community (dog walking, running, cycling) as well as various community athletic clubs and the Shaw HS baseball team. Each year over 6,000 Shaw graduates return for a reunion at the Park during Labor Day weekend.

More HERE on Indians Tribe Vibe blog or CLICK for more photos at the BVU Facebook page.

Living Fit

On Friday, July 25th, FOX Sports Ohio volunteered at the 2014 After-School All-Stars Live Fit Challenge where over 1,000 at-risk Ohio youth enjoyed a full day of fitness at The Ohio State University campus. 

FOX Sports Ohio Girl Sara emceed the event and kicked things off by singing the national anthem. FOX Sports Ohio Girl Kristine and staff led a yoga clinic. 

Reds Live pregame show also highlighted the event with a feature. Click for more information on and a photo gallery.

Training Camp Daily begins on SportsTime Ohio

Browns Training Camp begins Saturday, July 26th and SportsTime Ohio and will be at the practice field sideline all preseason long to introduce new players, interview players and coaches, provide updates on roster decisions, injuries, position battles and more.

Training Camp Daily, a half hour show on SportsTime Ohio, will air daily at 10:30pm or following Indians Live post-game show. The show is hosted by Jim Donovan and will feature other local Browns experts.

video will have a Training Camp Live page featuring BURST videos and Twitter feeds from Zac Jackson and Fred Greetham as well as topical updates and photos from the team producing Training Camp Daily.

Covedale Trip to Louisville

As part of our sponsorship of the Covedale Athletics this summer, the youth baseball team rode the Reds Fan Express to the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory for a tour and pizza party. 

"First, it was the chance to ride in the Reds Opening Day Parade.
Second, was a week of Reds' baseball camp ending with the chance to meet Reds' catcher Devin Mesoraco.
Finally, the end to Covedale Athletics summer with FOX Sports Ohio?
A trip to learn about 'The Heart of the Game', the crack of the bat.
On Wednesday, the youngsters from Covedale Athletics loaded up on the Reds Fan Express and headed down to Louisville, Kentucky to visit the Louisville Slugger Museum.
The day started out with an in-depth tour of the Louisville Slugger Bat Factory where the boys and girls got to see how baseball bats for both the major leaguers and for aspiring pros like themselves are made.
"We learned how the bats were made. How much work it actually takes. And how fast they can build the bats and how different kinds of bats are made differently. The Major League bats are made with a different machine than a high school or college players bat," said Covedale's Teeyon Grote.
The Major Leaguer's bat being made when Covedale went on their tour?
Why Reds' right fielder Jay Bruce's of course!
Not only did they get to see one of their favorite player's bat being made, but also the boys and girls got to hold a model of the first bat Louisville Slugger ever made."

Here’s the full story with more photos.

Joe Haden Celebrity Softball

Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden hosted a celebrity softball game on Thursday, July 17th at Classic Park, the home of the Lake County Captains. About 2,500 fans showed up to watch players including Brian HoyerMiles Austin, Travis Benjamin, Craig Robertson, Buster Skrine, Jordan Poyer, and of course, Joe Haden, compete.

FOX Sports Ohio Girl Bridget and writer Zac Jackson also took part in the action. Zac shares his experience in this story, which includes videos via BURST

All Bets Are Off did live look-ins during the game and photos were also posted on 

Kristine's trip to the #ASG