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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Opinions offer historical perspective

In this week in history, S-R editorials discussed World War I, the Supreme Court’s role, agricultural subsidies and the coarsening of content on television.

All-Star Game TV ratings fall

The Major League Baseball All-Star Game Tuesday night averaged 6.6 percent of homes, an all-time low by that measure, and 10.91 million viewers, slightly ahead of the record low of 10.90 million set in 2012. The 6.6 rating is less than a quarter of the 28.5 the 1970 game in Cincinnati drew, but that was a different media world. Baseball’s All-Star Game remains the most highly rated among the four major North American team sports. Kansas City topped all markets with 31.7 percent of homes tuning in, on average, followed by the host city of Cincinnati at 22.8 and St. Louis at 17.9. Associated Press

U.S. Open television ratings down

With Tiger Woods missing the cut, the U.S. Open’s TV viewership for the final round was down 30 percent from the last time the tournament was on the West Coast. Sunday’s coverage on Fox averaged 6.7 million viewers. That was down from 9.6 million when the U.S. Open was last played on the West Coast in 2012, which allows for the final holes to be played in prime time in much of the country. Woods still had an outside chance to contend going into the fourth round that year, though he got off to a slow Sunday start and was never a factor on the last day. This was the first Open of Fox’s 12-year contract with the USGA. – AP

NCAA title game earns best preliminary TV rating in 18 years

Even without an undefeated team, the NCAA title game has earned its highest preliminary television rating in 18 years. Duke’s 68-63 comeback win over Wisconsin on Monday night on CBS drew a 17.1 overnight rating and 27 share. CBS and Turner Sports said Tuesday that was the best since an 18.0/28 in 1997 when Arizona upset defending champion Kentucky in overtime. It was up 33 percent from the 12.9/21 for Connecticut’s win over Kentucky last year. Ratings represent the percentage of U.S. homes with televisions tuned to a program, while shares represent the percentage of TVs in use at the time. – Associated Press

PGA TV ratings best in five years

CBS Sports says Rory McIlroy’s one-shot victory over Phil Mickelson in the PGA Championship produced the highest overnight ratings in five years. CBS says the household rating was 6.0 with a 13 share, up 36 percent from a year ago when Jason Dufner beat Jim Furyk at Oak Hill, meaning probably more than 6 million people watched on Sunday. It was the highest rating since a 7.5 and 17 share in 2009 when Y.E. Yang rallied from two shots behind to beat Tiger Woods at Hazeltine. Sunday at Valhalla featured four players with at least part of the lead on the back nine – McIlroy, Mickelson, Rickie Fowler and Henrik Stenson. – Associated Press

World Cup final sets U.S. viewership record

With an estimated 26.5 million viewers, Sunday’s World Cup final stands as the most-watched soccer game in U.S. history. The Nielsen company said Monday that 17.3 million people watched Germany beat Argentina 1-0 on ABC. An additional 9.2 million tuned in to the game on the Spanish-language Univision network. That tops the 24.7 million who watched the U.S.-Portugal match earlier in the tournament, and the same number of people who saw the 2010 World Cup final between the Netherlands and Spain. Both networks were up significantly throughout the tournament from four years ago. – Associated Press

World Cup quarterfinals average more than 10 million viewers in U.S.

The four World Cup quarterfinals averaged more than 10 million viewers in the United States combined on ABC, ESPN networks and Spanish-language Univision. Host Brazil’s 2-1 win over Colombia in a 1 p.m. PDT kickoff Friday on ESPN was the most-viewed of the games with 11.84 million: 6.35 million on ESPN and 5.49 million on Univision. The Netherlands’ penalty-kicks victory over Costa Rica following a 0-0 tie in the late game Saturday on ESPN was seen by 10.92 million: 5.79 million on ESPN and 5.13 million on Univision. The overall quarterfinal average was 10.29 million. Associated Press

NBA, NHL ratings up

Nearly 18 million viewers tuned in to watch the San Antonio Spurs clinch the NBA championship in Game 5 on Sunday night. That’s a 10 percent increase from Game 5 between the same teams last year. The 10.3 national rating on ABC was up from 9.5 last year. In the Stanley Cup playoffs, NBC’s combined coverage averaged 1.44 million viewers. The final series between Los Angeles and the New York Rangers was the second-most watched NHL postseason series since NBC and NBCSN began exclusive coverage in 2006. It was just the fifth final in 20 years to average more than 5.0 million viewers. Associated Press

NFL ratings slip

The NFL’s conference championship game television viewership is down from last season. Three of the four teams were the same as a year ago, but the 2012 title games stayed closer for longer. Last season’s AFC championship between New England and Baltimore came down to the final seconds of regulation, and the NFC championship between the Giants and 49ers went to overtime. The 2012 AFC game on CBS in the early slot drew 48.7 million viewers; Sunday’s game had 47.7 million in the late slot. Last year’s NFC title game on Fox was watched by 57.6 million in the late slot, while this season’s was seen by 42 million in the early slot. – AP

Few watch Series

The San Francisco Giants’ sweep of the Detroit Tigers set a record low for World Series television ratings. The four games on Fox averaged a 7.6 rating and 12 share, Nielsen Media Research said Monday. The previous low was an 8.4 for the 2008 Phillies-Rays and 2010 Giants-Rangers series, which each went five games. Last year’s Cardinals-Rangers World Series went the full seven games and built momentum to average a 10.0/16. The Giants’ 2-0 win in Game 3 on Saturday earned a 6.1/11, and their 4-3, 10-inning victory in the clincher Sunday drew an 8.9/14. Ratings represent the percentage of all homes with TVs tuned into a program. – Associated Press

NBA fans tuned in

The Miami Heat’s win over the Boston Celtics to reach the NBA finals drew the highest preliminary television rating for an NBA playoff game on cable since records started being kept in 2003. Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals Saturday night on ESPN produced a 9.1 overnight rating. The network said Sunday that the three highest overnight ratings for NBA games on cable have come during this series. In Boston, the game had a 21.7 rating, the highest on cable for an NBA playoff game in the market since records started being kept in 2003. Ratings represent the percentage of all homes with televisions tuned into a program. – AP

NBA All-Star game draws 2nd largest TV audience

On a night when the NBA All-Star game and Academy Awards went 1-on-1 on television, the basketball showcase produced its second-highest overnight rating since 2005. TNT said Monday the game in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday produced a 5.4 overnight. This is the highest metered-market overnight since the game seven years ago drew 5.9. Overnight ratings measure the largest TV markets in the country and are the percentage tuned in among television households. The network said the highest overnights were in Miami-Fort Lauderdale (10.5) and Oklahoma City (10.1). Associated Press

Campaign Trail

Perot's zen campaign DALLAS Ross Perot, who advocates a shorter campaign period, is cutting his own to the bone. With only one month left until Election Day, the Texan's calendar of public events is almost bare. He is still getting on television, though not as often as he would like. And as the race enters the home stretch, he has only one announced public appearance, before the World Affairs Council in Los Angeles on Oct. 22.