SBD/Issue 38/Sports Media

Giants-Rangers World Series Tied For Lowest-Rated All-Time

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 FOX
YEAR
GAMES
RATING
VIEWERS (000)
MATCHUP
'10
5
8.4
14,300
Giants-Rangers
'09
6
11.7
19,400
Yankees-Phillies
'08*
5
8.4
13,635
Phillies-Rays
'07
4
10.6
17,123
Red Sox-Rockies
ALL-TIME LOWEST-RATED WORLD SERIES
YEAR
NET
MATCHUP
TELECASTS
RAT.
VIEWERS (000)
'08
Fox
Phillies-Rays
6*
8.4
13,635
'10
Fox
Giants-Rangers
5
8.4
14,300
'06
Fox
Cardinals-Tigers
5
10.1
15,812
'07
Fox
Red Sox-Rockies
4
10.6
17,123
'05
Fox
White Sox-Astros
4
11.1
17,162
'02
Fox
Angels-Giants
7
11.9
19,261
           

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).

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