SBD/Issue 25/Sports Media

Fox, ESPN Post Ratings Declines For ALDS, NLDS Games

The following chart lists final Nielsen ratings for ALDS and NLDS games on Fox and ESPN (THE DAILY).

LDS TOTALS
06 FINAL
05 FINAL
% CHANGE
ESPN (8 telecasts)      
2.9
3.8
-23.7%
ESPN2 (1 telecast)      
1.8
3.1
-41.9%
Fox (5 telecasts)      
4.8
6.6
-27.3%
LDS GAME
DAY
DATE
NET
06 FINAL
05 FINAL
% CHANGE
ALDS: A's-Twins Game 1
Tues.
10/3
ESPN
1.7
1.9
-10.5%
ALDS: A's-Twins Game 2
Wed.
10/4
ESPN
1.9
NA
NA
ALDS: Twins-A's Game 3
Fri.
10/6
ESPN^
2.7
4.1
-34.1%
ALDS: Tigers-Yankees Game 1
Tues.
10/3
Fox
5.6
6.0
-6.7%
ALDS: Tigers-Yankees Game 2
Thurs.
10/5
ESPN
2.7
NA
NA
ALDS: Yankees-Tigers Game 3
Fri.
10/6
ESPN
5.3
6.0
-11.7%
ALDS: Yankees-Tigers Game 4
Sat.
10/7
Fox
4.5
NA
NA
NLDS: Dodgers-Mets Game 1
Wed.
10/4
ESPN
3.0
2.9
3.4%
NLDS: Dodgers-Mets Game 2
Thurs.
10/5
Fox
4.5
5.3
-15.1%
NLDS: Mets-Dodgers Game 3
Sat.
10/7
Fox
4.5
4.3
4.7%
NLDS: Cardinals-Padres Game 1
Tues.
10/3
ESPN
2.4
3.4
-29.4%
NLDS: Cardinals-Padres Game 2
Thurs.
10/5
ESPN^
3.1
2.1
47.6%
NLDS: Padres-Cardinals Game 3
Sat.
10/7
ESPN2
1.8
NA
NA
NLDS: Padres-Cardinals Game 4
Sun.
10/8
Fox
4.8
8.1
-40.7%

NOTES: Ratings are compared to games in the similar time slots last year, not necessarily games from the same league. ^ = game was on ESPN2 last year. NA = no comparable game last year (THE DAILY).

RATINGS GAME: MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said, “Under the circumstances, we’re pleased with the overall ratings. And now we’ve got a chance of having a seven-game series with the Mets and Cardinals. It takes time to build to a climax, and so far we’ve had a lot of short series.” In L.A., Larry Stewart notes two of the four LDS ended in three-game sweeps, and the other two lasted four games. The Tigers later swept the A’s in the ALCS (L.A. TIMES, 10/17). ESPN.com’s Rob Neyer wrote, “Let’s assume for a moment that declining ratings result in lower revenues, and thus less money for the billionaires who own the game and the millionaires who play it. Probably we can cope. But of course the revenues are not lower. [MLB] just got a new national TV deal that constitutes a 19[%] increase over its last deal” (ESPN.com, 10/16).

White Sox Top Cubs In
Local TV Ratings For Season

TIGERS: TVWEEK’s Steven Douglas Losey reports FSN Detroit earned a 7.1 average HH rating for 112 regular-season Tigers games, a 92% increase over last year’s 3.7 (TVWEEK, 10/16 issue).

CUBS: CRAIN’S CHICAGO BUSINESS’ Gregory Meyer reports the White Sox “beat the Cubs in local TV ratings for the first time in at least two decades.” The White Sox had higher ratings on WGN-CW, WCIU-Ind and on Comcast SportsNet, while the Cubs “lost viewers.” A source said that before the season began, WGN “was asking some advertisers to pay $10,000 for a 30-second commercial during Cubs games vs. $9,000 during Sox games.” Meyer notes WGN and the Cubs are owned by Tribune Co. On both WGN and WCIU, the White Sox’ ratings for the season increased 21% over last year to a 5.1, while the Cubs’ fell 22% to a 4.5. One ratings point equals 34,550 area HHs. The White Sox averaged a 3.1 rating on Comcast SportsNet, up 19% from ’05, while the Cubs fell 25% to a 2.9 (CRAIN’S CHICAGO BUSINESS, 10/16 issue).

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