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World Series loses to hockey, football here; Congi exiting Ch.4

 By Alan Pergament

 This is what I'm thinking:

 The World Series took quite a local hit Monday playing opposite two big sports events that Western New Yorkers were more interested in watching.

The return of former Buffalo Sabres Coach Lindy Ruff to the First Niagara Center with the victorious Dallas Stars was the top-rated sports event locally. The Stars' 4-3 win had a 7.3 rating on cable MSG.

Seattle's 14-9 victory over St. Louis -- which was decided on the final defensive play -- on Monday Night Football had a 6.8 rating on ESPN.

Boston's 3-1 victory over St. Louis in what is often viewed as a pivotal Game Five of the World Series had a 6.4 rating on WUTV, the local Fox affiliate.

In other words, a NFL regular season game involving NFC opponents out-rated a pivotal World Series game here being played by two major league teams that are popular in WNY.

Nationally, the World Series beat the NFL but the NFL had stronger demographics among males age 18-49.

WUTV should have it easier tonight for Game Six since the Sabres aren't playing, there is no NFL game and a Boston win would end the series.

During the Sabres loss, I got into a Twitter debate with a hockey fan I respect over whether MSG should have carried the video tribute for Ruff live rather that airing the nice gesture on a brief delay after a scheduled commercial break.  

I thought MSG should have captured the moment live, while others suggested it wasn't allowed to do so because of National Hockey League rules.

Joe Guarnieri, who produced Sabres games a decade ago and now manages the Mobile Unit Operations in ESPN's Remote Operations Unit in Bristol, Conn., explained via Twitter that "the rule only pertains to how many times and when the game is stopped for commercials." He added "whether you go or not rests with the producer and production management."

So I asked him if he would have stayed with the tribute if he still produced Sabres games.

"I think I would," he wrote. "It is not easy, but you could steal a couple of 30 second spots to make up for what would have been missed."

Say goodbye to Channel 4 reporter Anthony Congi, who told his Twitter followers that this is his last week at the station after three years here. "My wife and I are heading back West to be closer to our families,”  he tweeted. According to his station biography, Congi is a graduate of the University of San Francisco who grew up in a small town in Northern California. In another tweet, Congi also praised the community, writing "WNY has been great. I will miss it." Congi was a solid, improving reporter who wasn't expected to stay here long.

You know the November sweeps are here when Channel 2 runs a promo for a story reported by Michael Wooten about "revenge porn." It airs at 11 p.m. Thursday, the first night of sweeps. I think it is almost required that the word "porn" is used in the promo of at least one story during every sweeps period. I'm pretty sure Wooten's report will end up being a cautionary story. 

It was interesting Tuesday to see that Channel 2 is using Cheryl Meyers-Buth as a defense expert on the Anthony "Rob" Taglianetti murder trial. She made quite a name for herself more than a year ago on the defense team of Dr. James Corasanti.

As expected, AMC has renewed "The Walking Dead" for another season. The zombie series is the No.1 television show in the age 18-49 demographic nationally and also does very well in Western New York.

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