SBD/October 30, 2012/Media

Giants' Sweep Of Tigers Marks Lowest World Series Audience On Record

Fox finished with a 7.6 rating and 12.7 million viewers for the Giants’ sweep of the Tigers, marking the smallest audience for any World Series on record. The 7.6 rating is 10% below the previous low set during the ’10 Giants-Rangers matchup and ’08 Phillies-Rays matchup -- both of which went to five games. Only those three World Series have averaged a single-digit rating. The last two World Series sweeps were Red Sox-Rockies in ’07 (10.6 rating) and White Sox-Astros in ’05 (11.1 rating). This year’s Giants-Tigers series is also down 24% and 23%, respectively, from a 10.0 rating and 16.6 million viewers for the seven-game Cardinals-Rangers series last year. Sunday night’s series-clinching Game 4 earned an 8.9 rating and 15.5 million viewers, up from a 9.2 rating and 15.2 million viewers for Cardinals-Rangers game 4 last year (Austin Karp, THE DAILY). In L.A., Joe Flint wrote the Giants-Tigers matchup “had low ratings in part because only the last game (won in extra innings) was particularly compelling.” Even though the Tigers and Giants have “loyal followings, neither has the national presence” of the Yankees or the Red Sox (LATIMES.com, 10/29). USA TODAY’s Michael Hiestand writes under the header, "World Series Viewership Hits All-Time Low." He notes although Fox’ Sunday NFL national window, which featured Giants-Cowboys prior to Giants-Tigers Game 4, “created a huge lead-in for the World Series; the rating fell by more than 50% when baseball began” (USA TODAY, 10/30). NBCSPORTS.com's Craig Calcaterra writes, "As the recent large TV deals handed out by Fox, TBS and ESPN indicate, and as the local deals -- which are the game’s real financial and ratings lifeblood reside -- explode, the World Series ratings are not really of consequence in any one year" (NBCSPORTS.com, 10/30).

WORLD SERIES AUDIENCE TREND ON FOX
YEAR
GMS
RAT.
VIEWERS (000)
MATCHUP
'12
4
7.6
12,700
Giants-Tigers
'11
7
10.0
16,600
Cardinals-Rangers
'10
5
8.4
14,268
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
'06
5
10.1
15,812
Cardinals-Tigers
'05
4
11.1
17,162
White Sox-Astros
'04
4
15.8
25,390
Red Sox-Cardinals
'03
6
12.8
20,142
Marlins-Yankees
'02
7
11.9
19,261
Angels-Giants
'01
7
15.7
24,528
D'Backs-Yankees
'00
5
12.4
18,081
Yankees-Mets
 

CHART NOTES: * = Game Five in '08 was suspended after 5 2/3 innings. Play was resumed on a Wednesday night. The combined rating for both nights of Game Five was a 9.6 (15.8 million viewers).

WORLD SERIES VS. THE COMPETITION: Despite the record-low audience this year, the ’12 World Series gave Fox a primetime win among all nets during each night the net had a game. The net won Sunday night despite competition from NBC's Saints-Broncos "SNF" telecast. Fox' primetime figure Sunday was helped an overrun from the net's late afternoon NFL window featuring a Giants-Cowboys game that came down to the end. The World series also ranks as the ninth-best audience among all primetime shows this season to date. The four-telecast average also places the World Series No. 2 among males 18-49, No. 3 among males 25-54 and No. 4 among males 18-34. After beating the NBA Finals audience from ’99-'09, the World Series audience has now lost three years running. The World Series remains well above the Stanley Cup Final audience (Karp).
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