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Archive for Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Ratings falling

World Series opener sets record low

October 22, 2002

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— The opener of the All-California World Series between the Anaheim Angels and San Francisco Giants is on track to have the lowest TV rating ever for baseball's championship.

San Francisco's 4-3 victory in Saturday's opener got a 9.4 preliminary national rating and 18 share on Fox, Nielsen Media Research said Monday, down 10 percent from the 10.4/19 rating for last year's opener between Arizona and the New York Yankees.

Arizona's 9-1 rout in last year's Game 1 had been the previous low, beating the 11.3 for the 1997 opener between Cleveland at Florida.

Anaheim's 11-10 victory Sunday saw a bigger drop, getting an 11.9 preliminary rating and 20 share. That was down 21 percent from the 15.0/23 from last year's Game 2, a 4-0 victory for the Diamondbacks.

Overall, the combined preliminary rating for the first two games was a 10.7/19, 16 percent below the first two games last year, which averaged a 12.7/21. Fox said the biggest drop, 25 percent, was in the Eastern time zone.

Even though last year's World Series went seven games, its 15.7 rating was the third-lowest ever, ahead of only the 2000 Subway Series between the Yankees and New York Mets (12.4) and the Yankees' four-game sweep of San Diego in 1998 (14.1).

"After looking at the numbers, it's obvious that the regional nature of the matchup is having an impact on viewership," Fox Sports president Ed Goren said. "But these numbers would be welcome by every sports league other than the NFL."

While Sunday's game got a 35.1/53 in San Francisco and a 29.8/47 in Los Angeles, it dropped to a 10.9 rating in New York, a 9.1 in Boston and an 8.4 in Philadelphia. It received a 19.3 in Phoenix, a 15.2 in Minneapolis, a 14.9 in St. Louis and a 13.5 in Chicago.

Even though ratings are down, both games gave Fox prime-time victories.

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