SBD/Issue 38/Sports MediaPrint All
Giants-Rangers Won The Ratings Battle For Fox
On Four Of Five Nights Games Were Played
Fox averaged an 8.4 fast-national Nielsen rating and 14.3 million viewers for five telecasts of the Giants-Rangers World Series this year, figures which are tied with the '08 Phillies-Rays matchup as the lowest-rated World Series ever. This year's figures are down 28% and 26%, respectively, from an 11.7 rating and 19.4 million viewers for the Yankees-Phillies World Series last year. While the 8.4 average rating is flat compared to Phillies-Rays in '08, this year's viewership was up 5% from two years ago. The '10 and '08 World Series are now the only years where the event averaged a rating in single digits. The World Series did give Fox a win among adults 18-49 for the week ending Oct. 31 (four games). S.F.-Oakland-San Jose topped all markets for this year's World Series, averaging a 35.3 local rating over the five games, and higher than the 35.1 average rating in the market for the Angels-Giants World Series in '02, which lasted seven games. Dallas-Ft. Worth averaged a 30.9 local rating for the five games. Monday's deciding Game Five delivered an 8.8 fast-national rating and 14.950 million viewers, winning the night for Fox, but marking the lowest-rated World Series Game Five ever. Fox also drew a better rating and more viewers than ESPN's Texans-Colts "MNF" matchup (7.4 U.S. rating, 11.911 million viewers). Game Five on Monday also gave Fox its most-viewed Monday night since last year's World Series (THE DAILY)WORLD SERIES TREND ON FOXYEARGAMESRATINGVIEWERS (000)MATCHUP'1058.414,300Giants-Rangers'09611.719,400
Yankees-Phillies'08*58.413,635 Phillies-Rays'07410.617,123 Red Sox-RockiesALL-TIME LOWEST-RATED WORLD SERIESYEARNETMATCHUPTELECASTSRAT.VIEWERS (000)'08FoxPhillies-Rays6*8.413,635'10FoxGiants-Rangers58.414,300'06FoxCardinals-Tigers510.115,812'07FoxRed Sox-Rockies410.617,123'05FoxWhite Sox-Astros411.117,162'02FoxAngels-Giants711.919,261
NOTE: * = Game Five was suspended after 5 1/2 innings in '08. Play was concluded two nights later. The combined rating for both nights of Game Five was a 9.6 (15.8 million viewers).
INCREASED COMPETITION: ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars” on Monday night drew a 12.5 fast-national ratings and 19.934 million viewers, compared to the World Series’ 8.4 mark (THE DAILY). Fox Sports Media Group Vice Chair Ed Goren indicated that the World Series "helped power Fox to prime-time wins on four of the five nights it aired," which is "not bad considering it goes up against not only the NFL, college football and the beginning of the NBA and NHL seasons, but the new dramas, sitcoms and reality shows rolled out by networks each fall." Goren: "You have to understand the World Series and postseason baseball go up against the toughest TV environment with original programming, with the NFL, with a ton of college football. This is the most competitive time of the year. You're not talking about a postseason in May or June when you're going up against reruns and no other major events." USA TODAY's Michael McCarthy notes the World Series did finish "on a high note" by beating "MNF" in the ratings (USATODAY.com, 11/3).
LOCAL NUMBERS: In Dallas, Barry Horn reports the series averaged 801,700 HHs in Dallas-Ft. Worth. Last Wednesday's Game One averaged 879,536 HHs in the market, but "falling behind three games to one apparently dampened enthusiasm of local viewers," as Monday's Game Five earned 812,079 HHs. Meanwhile, S.F.-Oakland-San Jose, which is "about the same size TV market" as Dallas-Ft. Worth, averaged 890,800 HHs for the series, and averaged a Series-high 956,400 HHs for Monday's Game Five (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 11/3).
DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY: In DC, Lisa de Moraes includes the World Series among her TV "Losers" for the week ending October 31. Viewers "once again elected football its National Past time on Sunday" when Giants-Rangers Game Four, which drew 15.5 million viewers, "got pounded by" NBC's Steelers-Saints "SNF," which had 18 million viewers. ABC's "Dancing With The Stars" on Oct. 25, which earned 20.4 million viewers, "trounced them both." De Moraes: "What an upset!" (WASHINGTON POST, 11/3).
NUMBERS CAN BE MISLEADING: ESPN N.Y.'s Rob Parker said, "Everything can't be based on TV ratings about the popularity of a sport. The last 10 years you've had nine different champions" ("ESPN First Take," ESPN2, 11/2). FANHOUSE.com's Ed Price asked, "Was it a bad World Series for baseball? For drama, for ratings, for fans outside of two cities, perhaps. For the game as a whole, not as bad as it might seem" (FANHOUSE.com, 11/2). SI's Tom Verducci writes the "lack of a dominant team has engendered baseball joy and hope in more regional corners than ever" (SI, 11/8 issue).
Texans-Colts "MNF" Aired Up
Against World Series Clincher
ESPN earned a 7.4 U.S. rating and 11.911 million viewers for the Texans-Colts "MNF" matchup, down 3.9% and 3.7%, respectively, from the comparable Falcons-Saints game in Week Eight last year. The Texans-Colts "MNF" telecast finished below the 8.8 rating and 14.95 million viewers for the clinching Giants-Rangers World Series Game Five. However, "MNF" led all programs (broadcast or cable) in young male and adult demos (18-34 and 18-49), helping ESPN to win for the night in those demos. Through eight weeks, "MNF" on ESPN is averaging a 9.2 U.S. rating and 14.626 million viewers, up 2.2% and 1.4%, respectively, from a 9.0 rating and 14.421 million viewers through the same point last season (THE DAILY).
OFFICIAL JUDGMENT: In N.Y., Richard Sandomir writes former NFL VP/Officiating Mike Pereira is "proving the wisdom of his hiring" as a rules analyst for Fox. Pereira this season "has assessed 28 challenges and been vindicated each time by the referees' on-field verdicts." Pereira: "Everybody at Fox is waiting for me to miss one and see how I react." Fox Sports President Eric Shanks said the "worst thing would be to overuse" Pereira. Shanks: "We don't bring him in on every challenge. We force our announcers to know the rules" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/3).
MOSS CREEK: Boston's WFXT-Fox earned a 36.1 local rating for Sunday's Vikings-Patriots game, marking the most-watched program of the week in the market and highest-rated program of the football season locally. The game also ranked as the highest-rated Patriots game since '07. The Patriots are averaging a 32.1 local rating this season, a record-setting pace (Patriots).
FSN Trying To Expand
Rangers' Texas Footprint
In Houston, David Barron notes Fox Sports “may have lost the rights to the Astros’ and Rockets’ games beginning in 2012-13, but it isn’t going down quietly.” Fox has “purchased full-page advertisements” in several Texas newspapers congratulating the Rangers on making it to the World Series and referring to the team as “Texas’ Baseball Team.” Fox also has “purchased space for similar advertisements on six billboards across Houston” that will remain in place for a month. Barron writes the ads and billboards are the “opening salvo in what is expected to be an ongoing effort by Fox to boost the Rangers’ presence and, ultimately, their TV ratings, across the southern half of Texas” (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 11/3).
NO REMORSE HERE: In Indianapolis, Curt Cavin notes Deadspin Editor A.J. Daulerio “has no regrets about paying an informant for nude photos” said to be of Vikings QB Brett Favre and then “keeping the man’s identity secret.” Daulerio, speaking at a sports media ethics discussion at IUPUI, said he has “not one bit” of regret, adding, “That’s just how I operate.” Daulerio “admitted to publishing the story without clear permission” from former Jets employee Jenn Sterger, who allegedly received the voicemails and photos from Favre (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 11/3).
ACROSS THE DIAL: In Pittsburgh, Adrian McCoy reports WBGG-AM will air select ESPN Radio programs beginning Jan. 1. ESPN's syndicated programming currently is heard on WEAE-AM, which “dropped its local sports talk programming in September.” WBGG’s new lineup will feature ESPN’s “Mike & Mike in the Morning” and “The Scott Van Pelt Show” in the afternoon (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 11/3).
I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW: In Charlotte, Rick Bonnell noted Time Warner Cable in Charlotte, Greensboro and Winston-Salem is “adding a channel for SportSouth HD on its digital tier in early November,” allowing Bobcats fans to “watch games in high-definition” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 10/30).