Posted on: October 28, 2011 1:03 pm
Edited on: October 28, 2011 4:42 pm

World Series Game 6 dominates in TV ratings

By Evan Brunell

World Series Game 6 crushed its competition in the rating. The ratings for Thursday night showed that 21.1 million people tuned into the game between the Rangers and Cardinals, with extra innings drawing 25.2 million viewers. That allowed Fox to win the nightly rating sweepstakes, and in convincing fashion But the good news doesn't stop there for baseball. It also dominated in the coveted ages 18-49 demographic, pulling in at least a 5.9 rating.

The 9.3 household rating average for the Series to date is 11 percent higher than 2010's series putting the Rangers against the Giants, even though San Francisco has twice as many homes as St. Louis. In the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, a 47.1 household rating was recorded, the highest ever for a MLB game in the area. Over 80 percent of TVs in St. Louis and Dallas were tuned to the game for extra innings.

In light of a Game 7, CBS has pulled its shows of CSI: NY, Blue Bloods and A Gifted Man from the lineup as so not to go up head-to-head to the game. NBC is also considering pulling its TV lineup, which includes the season premiere of Chuck and series premiere of Grimm, but is unlikely to do given the amount of promotion that went into having these shows premiere on Oct. 28.

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Posted on: October 25, 2011 6:15 pm
Edited on: October 25, 2011 6:18 pm

Game 5 ratings rout Monday Night Football

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Game 5 of the World Series and the Monday Night Football game between Baltimore and Jacksonville were close on the field, but the two head-to-head games weren't close on the Nielsen scoreboard.

Fox earned an 8.8/14 household rating/share for Game 5 -- the same as last year's clinching game, while ESPN has asked Nielsen to go back and count the hanging chads of its overnight rating because the 5.8 would be an all-time Monday Night Football low. The Jaguars defeated the Ravens 12-7 on Monday.

The Associated Press reports that Fox knocked off CBS in the ratings for the last week because of baseball, with three of the first four World Series games finishing in the top 10 for the last week. Only the Game 3 blowout wasn't in the top 10. Game 4 also beat the Sunday night NFL game on NBC and baseball is 12-1 in the ratings over the last 21 years when the World Series goes up against an NFL game in primetime.

Listen, I'm not naive and saying baseball is more popular than the almighty NFL in this country, there's no question the NFL is king. But it's just silly to hear things like even in the comments section of a baseball blog about how "nobody" is watching this World Series or that Dallas/Ft. Worth is a "small market" or some other such nonsense. Baseball is more of a regional sport, with regional allegiances playing into the ratings more than other sports, while the national obsession with betting and the NFL keeps its numbers high. Game 5 drew a 46.9/64 share in St. Louis and Dallas had a 40.0/58 share -- the highest ever local rating for a Rangers game and better than the ratings for every game of the NBA Finals featuring the Mavericks. Baseball has its problems, that's for sure, but the constant whining about ratings and who is or isn't watching the games is just getting old, tired and inaccurate.

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Posted on: October 24, 2011 6:20 pm
Edited on: October 24, 2011 6:47 pm

Game 4 beats NFL in TV ratings

Mike NapoliBy C. Trent Rosecrans

There's nothing like baseball ratings to get people all worked up over nothing, so how about we turn the tables?

The NFL is dead!

That's right, because Game 4 of the World Series pulled a bigger national rating than the Sunday night game of the Colts and Saints, it must mean the NFL is dead, nobody cares about the NFL and Roger Goodell is an idiot and must be fired, right? That's usually the way the discussion goes anytime the ratings of World Series game or baseball game in general are compared to an NFL game, so it's only fair to overreact the other way.

Of course, I'm kidding -- sort of. The point Matt made the other day about not caring about the ratings is still dead-on. However, we've pointed out the doom and gloom of baseball ratings so many times, I think it's germane to bring up Game 4's boffo ratings. Derek Holland's gem brought in 15.2 million viewers, a 9.2/14 television rating for Fox. Meanwhile, on NBC, the Saints' 62-7 thrashing of the Colts brought in an 8.2/13 overnight rating.

There are plenty of reasons why the Saints-Colts game didn't get the high ratings -- no Peyton Manning, a 21-0 Saints lead after the first quarter, the fact that Indianapolis and New Orleans are small markets (the NFL has those too, don't they?) But it's still a Sunday night game in primetime, featuring two teams that have won the Super Bowl in the last five seasons.

Through four games, the ratings are down just one percent from last season, as the 2011 World Series is averaging 8.2/13 rating as compared to 8.3/14 through four games for last year's Rangers-Giants World Series. The predictions and pre-Series screams of woe had many expecting much lower numbers. 

The bottom line, even for what has become a football nation, baseball was a better game on Sunday and the numbers reflect that people chose to watch baseball. And no matter what the numbers are for one game, we're a big enough country to support both and be able to enjoy both. The people who find baseball entertaining watched a highly entertaining baseball game. The people who don't enjoy baseball, probably didn't watch. But to pronounce one sport dead because of one night of ratings is silly -- no matter which sport has the bad night.

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Posted on: October 18, 2011 11:34 am

Low hopes for World Series ratings

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Game 6 of the NLCS was tuned in by fewer people than the season premiere of the Walking Dead on AMC. It could have been the fact that the game was on TBS or that it was decided pretty quickly as Shaun Marcum gave up four first-inning runs, but either way it's not a good omen for the World Series ratings.

Another bad sign for the World Series ratings is that it's the Rangers and Cardinals playing -- neither of which really back in the viewers like the Yankees or Red Sox. Here's a look at the ratings for the last 10 World Series from our buddy David Fung.


Check out more of David's work at fungraphs.tumbler.com or on Twitter (@cobradave).

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: October 7, 2011 1:55 pm

ALDS Game 5 earns big ratings for TBS

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Thursday night's Game 5 of the American League division series was the highest-rated LDS game since moving to cable and the highest-rated overall since 2005. The Tigers' 3-2 victory over the Yankees was viewed by 9,720,000 viewers and a 6.2 rating, according to a release from TBS.

Detroit averaged a rating of 27.6 and New York an 18.3 rating, as TBS with the highest-rated cable network on Thursday and third overall. 

The network is televising both NLDS games tonight, starting with Arizona at Milwaukee at 5 p.m. ET and St. Louis at Philadelphia at 8:30 p.m. ET. The NLCS will stay on TBS, while the ALDS between the Tigers and Rangers will be telecast on Fox.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com