More ominous than the year-to-year double-digit drop in overnight ratings for Game 1 of the World Series is the fact that the game was up only slightly from 2008.
The Giants’ 11-7 Game 1 win over the Rangers drew a 10.4 overnight rating on FOX Wednesday night, down 25% from Game 1 last year (PHI/NYY: 13.8), but up a tick from Game 1 two years ago (PHI/TB: 10.3).
The 10.4 overnight is the third-lowest for Game 1 of the World Series since at least 1998 (Game 1 overnights prior to 1999 were not immediately available). Only the aforementioned Phillies/Rays Game 1 in 2008 and Cardinals/Tigers Game 1 in 2006 (8.6) drew lower numbers.
Since 2000, final ratings for Game 1 of the World Series have declined between 7% and 20% from the overnight — putting Rangers/Giants on pace to finish in the 8.3-9.7 range. The lowest rated Game 1 ever (2006) drew an 8.0.
Though low historically, Wednesday’s Game 1 drew the same overnight as Game 1 of the Lakers/Celtics NBA Finals in June (10.4). The remaining games of Lakers/Celtics each drew better numbers than Game 1, and FOX no doubt hopes for similar growth for this year’s World Series.
However, since the current scheduling format began in 2007, Game 1 has not been the lowest rated game of any World Series. In fact, Game 1 was the third-highest rated game of both the 2009 and 2008 World Series.
In other words, 10.4 may not be the low point for Rangers/Giants.
Game 1, the first World Series game ever for the Rangers franchise, drew a 33.9 rating in Dallas-Ft. Worth. By comparison, the Mavericks’ first NBA Finals game (2006) drew a 32.8 rating on ABC, and the Stars’ first Stanley Cup Final game since moving to Dallas (1999) drew a 26.5 on FOX.
In the Bay Area, Game 1 drew a 35.9 rating — up 16% from Giants/Angels Game 1 in 2002 (30.9).
(Rating from Sports Business Daily)