Double Play: Cards-Red Sox Game 2 Gets Fox Another World Series Ratings Increase
Fox earned a 9.5 overnight rating for Cardinals-Red Sox World Series Game 2 on Thursday night, up from an 8.8 rating for Giants-Tigers Game 2 last year. The game is expected to deliver Fox another primetime win and would mark the net’s best Thursday night since the “American Idol” finale in May. The game had competition from NFL Network’s Panthers-Buccaneers “Thursday Night Football” telecast, which earned a 3.3 overnight. Cardinals-Red Sox Game 2 peaked at a 10.8 rating during the 10:00pm ET half-hour. Boston earned a 37.3 local rating, while St. Louis earned a 42.0. Through two World Series games, Fox is averaging a 9.5 overnight rating, up 8% from ’12, while its complete MLB postseason coverage is also up 19% (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).
ONE FOR THE MONEY: Fox finished with an 8.6 rating and 14.4 million viewers for Game 1 on Wednesday night, up 13% and 18%, respectively, from a 7.6 rating and 12.2 million viewers for the Cardinals-Tigers opener last year. Looking back to ’11, Cardinals-Rangers Game 1 drew an 8.7 rating and 14.2 million viewers, while in ’10, Giants-Rangers Game 1 drew an 8.9 rating and 15.0 million viewers (Karp). The San Jose Mercury News' Mark Purdy noted MLB has become "more of a regional sport," and the ratings for World Series Game 1 were up "because Boston's a bigger city then Detroit." Purdy: "The problem with baseball right now is that within each market teams are pretty popular, but nationally they don’t have the stars that the NFL does." The S.F. Chronicle's Scott Ostler said baseball is "getting its butt kicked" by the NFL and NBA, as both are "seen as cooler, edgier, the demographic is better for advertisers." Ostler: "Baseball is becoming sort of an old guy's sport" ("Yahoo Sports Talk Live," CSN Bay Area, 10/24).
THE LONG AND SHORT OF IT: ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick wrote lengthy postseason games that "drag on close to midnight might be a challenge for fans," but they have "become a way of life in the new age of deliberate baseball in October." The average nine-inning postseason game in '13 "has taken almost 3 hours, 22 minutes to complete," which is "significantly longer than the average running time of nearly 2 hours, 59 minutes per game during the regular season." But MLB figures "show that the lengthy game times this fall are right in line with the recent trend in October." Commercial breaks between innings "account for a significant chunk of the longer running times in October," as the "standard break for an MLB regular-season game is 2 minutes, 5 seconds, and extends to 2:25 for a nationally televised game." However, the between-innings break "increases to 2:55" during the postseason (ESPN.com, 10/24).DOUBLE-DIP: In St. Louis, Dan Caesar writes the city "will be a second home this weekend" to ESPN. The net is "dispatching a battalion of personnel to town to report on the Series across its many media properties," and to produce next week's Seahawks-Rams “MNF” telecast. ESPN Senior VP & Exec Producer Jed Drake said, "It's just a wonderful confluence of two great properties. ... It’s going to be a really exciting night; we will cover this from every possible angle -- just the sheer spectacle of having these two huge events in one city on the same night at the same time" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 10/25).