SBD/October 25, 2011/Media

Fox Earns Record-Low World Series Game Five Overnight, Places Second In Primetime

Rangers' Game Five Win over Cardinals Earns 10.0 overnight rating on Fox

Fox earned a 10.0 overnight Nielsen rating for last night’s Cardinals-Rangers World Series Game Five, down 5.7% from a 10.6 overnight last year for Giants-Rangers Game Five and marking the lowest Game Five overnight in World Series history. Game Five also marked the first time during this World Series that Fox did not win the night, placing second in the overnights to ABC, which aired a new episode of “Dancing With The Stars.” However, the World Series did deliver Fox its best Monday night primetime rating since Game Five last year. Comparisons to ESPN’s “MNF” telecast last night were unavailable at presstime due to an internal Nielsen Media coding issue for the cable network. World Series Game Five began last night with a 6.4 rating and peaked at the finish of the game with a 12.8 rating. Dallas-Ft. Worth earned a 40.0 rating for the game, setting a local ratings record for a Rangers game and topping all of the Mavericks’ local ratings from the ’11 NBA Finals. St. Louis earned a 46.9 local rating (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).

OVER THE WEEKEND: After seeing a decline in the overnight ratings, Fox finished with a 9.2 rating and 15.16 million viewers for Sunday night’s Cardinals-Rangers Game Four, up 2.2% from a 9.0 rating for Giants-Rangers Game Four last year. Viewership for the game, however, was down 2.5%. Game Four ranked as the fourth-highest primetime audience for the week ending Oct. 23. Game Three on Saturday night finished with a 6.7 rating and 11.25 million viewers, down 1.5% and 1.9%, respectively, from Game Three last year. Through four games, Fox is averaging an 8.2 rating and 13.54 million viewers, down 1.2% and 4.1%, respectively, from the same point of the Giants-Rangers matchup last year (Karp). NEWSDAY's Neil Best notes the best news for Fox and MLB is that there is a "prospect of a Game 7" in the World Series. That is what "every network that carries series in the sports with multiple-game playoff series prays for, and MLB and Fox have not had one in the World Series since 2002" (NEWSDAY.com, 10/24). Meanwhile, Rangers President & CEO Nolan Ryan when questioned about World Series ratings that are again tracking near record lows this year said the industry and entertainment landscapes continue to change dramatically. "I think it has to do with our society and all the things that go on now. ... I think there's so many things on TV and there's so much competition," Ryan said (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal).

BASEBALL VS. FOOTBALL: Cardinals-Rangers Game Four topped the Saints-Colts blowout on NBC Sunday, and WFAN-AM’s Joe Benigno said, "If Peyton Manning was still playing for the Colts and this was the game (Sunday) night, Albert Pujols could hit six home runs in a game and I’m telling you right now this game would have blew it away.” N.Y. Daily News columnist Bob Raissman said, “It’s still an unusual thing to me that baseball beat football. If you look at that demographic, 25-54 where football won, that’s where all the key advertising money is, that’s where the loot is. It wasn’t a total victory, but still baseball has got to be happy" (“Daily News Live,” SportsNet N.Y., 10/24).

THE HONEST TRUTH: SI.com's Joe Posnanski on his personal blog wrote he has "been listening to Tim McCarver call baseball games for almost 30 years now," and McCarver during his tenure with the Mets "broke down the game in a way I can never remember any other color commentator doing it." Posnanski: "He was a good story teller too. If I'm listing the greatest color commentators in baseball history, he's right up at the top. Trouble is, McCarver has been doing this a long time. And one of the sad truths is that sports color commentary tends to have an expiration date." Posnanski noted it was "telling when Terry Francona, who was so refreshing in part because he was so up to date," made the point during the ALCS that Rangers 2B Ian Kinsler "is one of the best young players in the game." McCarver two days later said on Fox, "I had never thought of him that way." Posnanski: "McCarver can still wow you now and again. ... But, all in all, he has become a hard listen" (JOEPOSNANSKI.BLOGSPOT.com, 10/24).

LEGENDARY RACE: MLB.com's Mark Newman noted last night was the "final 'Legends' mascot race of 2011 at a Rangers home game, continuing a tradition in the middle of the sixth inning." However, the race was run by MLB Network studio analysts Sean Casey, Kevin Millar, Harold Reynolds and Mitch Williams. Millar, who wore the Davy Crockett costume, won the race. MLB Network Coordinating Producer of Remote Field Production Marc Caiafa "coordinated the race" with Rangers VP/In-Park Entertainment Chuck Morgan (MLB.com, 10/24).

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