Another Example of Why…

hemple from twitterYou never know what will happen when you go to the ballpark – or tune into a game on television.

The D-backs and Yankees wrapped up their series last night (April 18) and the D-backs exciting 12-inning 6-2 win wasn’t the only storyline. There was also Didi Gregorius homering in his first at-bat in a D-backs uniform — on the first pitch he saw, Patrick Corbin dealing in front of family and friends against the team he grew up cheering for, two catcher interference calls and then THIS…

One guy in the stands catching TWO home runs. Yes, that’s right. The same guy caught not one, but two home runs in the same game – and he was wearing D-backs gear at Yankee Stadium! Here’s the story that FOX Sports Arizona shared with its television audience (one that peaked at a 5.8 rating – 104,550 Phoenix households at 8:00 pm) as well as on social media and

Gregorious led off the third inning with the homer to right field that was caught by a man wearing a D-backs hat and shirt. At first, everyone just thought it was a lone D-backs fan who wouldn’t give into Yankees fans demands to throw it back. Then later, it was discovered this “fan” who caught the ball was New Yorker Zack Hample, the notorious baseball collector and author who has now caught over 6500 baseballs at MLB games.

Hemple waving finger

The story then takes a even crazier turn in the bottom of the 9th inning when Hample catches his SECOND home run of the night — New York’s Francisco Cervelli homer to left field that tied the game and forced extra innings.

Hemple 2nd HR

FOX Sports Arizona stayed on the story during the game and Jody Jackson found Hample after the first home run catch for an interview.  In it, Hample claimed he would have caught a third from D-back Martin Parado  if not for preparing for the interview with Jackson!

@FOXSPORTSAZ was also on top of it to continue conversation on social media — showcasing the first home run catch (when it was believed he was a D-backs fan), the second home run and Hample’s tweet about the first catch and the second one as well. The first catch was highlighted on FOX Sports Arizona’s Facebook page and became its most-liked and shared photo ever.
Then finally, wrapped it up with a story and photo of Hample meeting Gregorius after the game.

Phoenix Coyotes Ratings Continue to Howl

IMG_9278Throughout this hockey season, FOX Sports Arizona has been enjoying increased ratings for its Phoenix Coyotes telecasts. The ratings average is the best since the 2000-01 season and today, the Phoenix Business Journal took note with this piece.

A Premiere Event Hosted by FOX Sports Arizona

show on TVsTo roll out the latest episode in its Emmy Award winning “In My Own Words” series, FOX Sports Arizona took a different approach to market and publicize it – and it proved to be a huge success.

For “In My Own Words – Shane Doan” that profiles the lifelong Phoenix Coyotes star and captain, the network hosted a first-of-its-kind public premiere – billing it as a “see it in person before it airs on television” type of event. And if that was not enough to create some buzz, interest in the premiere was elevated even further when Doan agreed to appear and watch the show along with fans!

Doan talking

That party took place last Saturday at 18 Degrees Neighborhood Grill which is inside the Scottsdale IceDen – a rink the Coyotes use for their practice facility. The show was played on each of the establishment’s HD televisions as FOX Sports Arizona took over the restaurant for the event! Although  it started at 5:00 pm, the restaurant started to fill up at 3:30 and by the time the premiere began, nearly 400 Coyotes fans packed the place to watch.

lots of fans

FOX Sports Arizona’s Todd Walsh conducted the interview for the show and emceed the premiere as well. The FOX Sports Arizona Girls were on hand to meet fans and assist in the raffle giveaway of Doan-autographed DVD copies of the show. In addition, was there to cover it, the Coyotes mascot Howler was on hand, as were members of the Coyotes Paw Patrol and Doan’s teammate Paul Bissonnette (aka @BizNasty2point0 – and a guy with 407,000+ Twitter followers) made a surprise appearance as well.

The event generated a good amount of talk on Twitter from fans who attended it. Since the show debuted two days after the public premiere, it provided  opportunities for pre publicity it wouldn’t have gained without the event (Coyotes PR director Tweet).

A New Face & Voice For Our D-backs Coverage in 2013

Cindy BrunsonMajor League Baseball’s opening day is right around the corner and we’re excited to announce the addition of a well-respected broadcaster to our unmatched menu of Arizona Diamondbacks television coverage!

Starting this year, our Sunday pre-game and post-game shows will feature a new lineup as the popular Jody Jackson will be joined on the “Diamondbacks Live” set by Cindy Brunson.  The former ESPN SportsCenter anchor joins Jody this year to offer her experience and broadcasting excellence every Sunday when the D-backs play at home for what is believed to be the only all-female hosting duo of a baseball pre-game and post-game show. Prior to coming to the desert, Brunson spent the past 13 years working for ESPN.

Arizona Republic columnist Paola Boivin wrote about Brunson joining FOX Sports Arizona last Sunday and if you missed it, here it is.

In addition to watching Brunson on Sunday’s this year, you can also follow her on Twitter via @CindyBrunsonAZ.

FOX Sports Arizona’s D-backs coverage starts on opening day – April 1 – when they host the St. Louis Cardinals. A special one-hour “Diamondbacks Live” pregame show begins the night’s festivities at 6:00 pm.

6 Arizona High School Basketball Championship Games on Saturday

JB5K2609The AIA Division I, II & III Boys & Girls State Basketball Championship games are this Saturday (Feb. 23) at Arena and all six games will be televised on either FOX Sports Arizona Plus or FOX Sports Arizona.

Four games will air live on FOX Sports Arizona Plus and two will be delayed on FOX Sports Arizona. Wondering who will play when and on what channel? Here you go:

D-II Girls: Saguaro/Liberty winner vs. Flowing Wells/Seton Catholic Prep winner (10:00 am/FSAZ+)

D-I Boys: Desert Mountain/Corona del Sol winner vs. Pinnacle/Cesar Chavez winner (4:00 pm/FSAZ+)

D-III Boys: Valley Christian/Snowflake winner vs. Scottsdale Christian/Gilbert Christian winner (6:00 pm/FSAZ+)

D-III Girls: Holbrook/Winslow winner vs. Window Rock/Valley (Sanders) winner (8:00 pm FSAZ+)

D-II Boys: Paradise Valley/Sunnyslope winner vs. Agua Fria/Salpointe Catholic winner (10:00 pm/FSAZ/taped)

D-I Girls: Hamilton/St. Mary’s winner vs. Pinnacle/Highland winner (12:00 am/FSAZ/taped)

All six games will also replay later on FOX Sports Arizona and the schedule is as follows:

2/25/2013 – 7:00 pm – Division II Girls

2/25/2013 – 9:00 PM – Division II Boys

2/25/2013 – 11:00 PM – Division I Girls

2/26/2013 – 4:00 PM – Division I Boys

2/28/2013 – 4:00 PM – Division III Boys

2/28/2013 – 11:00 PM – Division III Girls

3/23/2013 – 4:00 PM – Division II Girls

3/23/2013 – 6:00 PM – Division II Boys

3/23/2013 – 8:00 PM – Division I Girls

3/26/2013 – 5:00 PM – Division I Boys

3/26/2013 – 7:00 PM – Division III Boys

3/26/2013 – 9:00 PM -  Division III Girls

Use this link to find FOX Sports Arizona Plus channel listings:

Other notes on the games:

Due to bandwidth capacity, DISH will not carry the 6 and 8 pm high school basketball championships in HD

Due to bandwidth constraints, DirecTV will not offer the basketball championships in SD. These games will only air in HD.


Coyotes TV Ratings Off to a Great Start – Best in 12 Years

The Phoenix Coyotes ratings on FOX Sports Arizona are off to a fast start this season, with the team averaging a 1.0 rating in Phoenix through their first 10 games on FOX Sports Arizona. Their average rating for 2012-13 is up 150% over last year’s average (1.0 vs 0.4).

Detroit Red Wings v Phoenix Coyotes - Game TwoThis marks the team’s best start since the 2000-01 season. The game versus Minnesota on February 4 delivered a 1.5 rating on FOX Sports Arizona, which is the Coyotes’ highest rated game on FOX Sports Arizona in nine years.

Footnote: ratings are not available for five other Coyotes telecasts that have aired on FOX Sports Arizona Plus this season.

The Coyotes return to action on Saturday afternoon when they are in Edmonton to take on the Oilers. FOX Sports Arizona’s coverage starts at 1:15 pm.

D-backs Cactus League Weekly Makes its Debut

Dbacks Cactus League weeklyFOX Sports Arizona’s first-ever weekly show devoted to D-backs Spring Training coverage debuts tonight at 7:00 pm. “D-backs Cactus League Weekly, Presented by Chas Roberts Air Conditioning & Plumbing” will air every Tuesday during Spring Training and will offer unmatched television coverage of the Snakes during their stay at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale.

The show is hosted by the D-backs new play-by-play announcer Steve Berthiaume and will have contributions from Todd Walsh, Jody Jackson, Bob Brenly, Jack Magruder, Joe Borowski and Lisa Blanco. Here’s a rundown of what you will see in the 5-show series and part of an interview Todd did with Steve at a Spring training institution – Don & Charlie’s.

* Bob Brenly contributes a video scouting report / breakdown of key D-backs players

*  Longtime Arizona resident Todd Wash takes new Arizona resident Steve Berthiaume to various Cactus League haunts in the “Man About Town” segment

*’s Jack Magruder’s News & Notes from around the team

* Jody Jackson files weekly interview profile pieces

* Joe Borowski sits down with J.J. Putz, David Hernandez and new D-back Heath Bell as part of the Bullpen Roundtable

* Kevin Towers provides a “Prospect Watch” on young D-backs who could pay in the Majors as soon as this year

* Game of the Week highlights from Cactus League action