Without the New York Yankees to pull in their enormous national fan base AND Yankee Haters… the FOX network has had dismal ratings results with their World Series coverage. Without NFL competition the numbers were satisfactory, but, once the NFL took the field viewers switched to the ‘pigskin follies.’
How many Cardinal and Ranger fans are there? FOX was lucky that the Milwaukee team failed to make it to the big stage. If Major League Baseball truly wants to make an argument about still being America’s pastime after this year’s World Series, it will need some real voodoo mathematics. Part of the problem may also be the announcing tean led by Joe Buck. Internet ‘Chat’ room comments have been tough on Joe and Tim.
The latest evidence being the games played on Sunday and Monday nights.
Game 5 on Monday was down 4 percent in viewers from last year, which already was one of the lowest-rated fifth games in series history. This year’s game had 14.3 million viewers vs. 14.9 million last year.
Even worse for those defending baseball against the onslaught of football popularity was what took place on Sunday.
Major League Baseball had what might have been considered a stroke of good luck in its matchup against NFL football on Sunday night. NBC had what looked like a dreadful game on paper, with the winless Colts – minus the marquee quarterback Peyton Manning – against the powerful New Orleans Saints.
The game was a blowout from the start, with the final 62-7 score the most lopsided regular-season game since the merger of the NFL with the AFL in 1970. If ever the World Series had a chance to demonstrate its ratings strength, this was it.
Instead, it seems that younger viewers prefer even the least-compelling NFL game to one of baseball’s most compelling.
In the 18-49 rating that determines so much about ratings supremacy in television, Sunday night football beat the World Series game — a close contest with a 1-0 score through seven innings — with a 5.2 rating to a 4.2 for the baseball game.
The World Series did manage to pull in more total viewers —15.2 million to 12.5 million. But that only underscored how old the audience is for baseball.
Even among the other audience group that most advertisers buy, viewers between the ages of 25 and 54, the football game stayed ahead, with a 5.5 rating to a 5.2 for baseball. The single biggest rating for the World Series was among men over 50 years old, where it scored a huge 11.5 rating.
The evidence also suggests that a stronger football game Sunday night would have produced an embarrassing result for baseball.
Derek, Alex, Mariano we miss you.