World Series: Fifth Lowest-Rated Game Overall, Second-Lowest Game 1

Posted by | October 28, 2010 at 10:18 PM

Game 1 of the 2010 World Series did fairly well in the ratings on Wednesday night, but still ranked among the lowest rated openers in the history of the event.

FOX earned an 8.9 rating and 15.009 million viewers for Rangers/Giants Game 1 Wednesday, down 25% in ratings and 23% in viewership from Game 1 last year (PHI/NYY: 11.9, 19.511 mil), and down 3% and up 3%, respectively, from Game 1 in 2008 (PHI/TB: 9.2, 14.634 mil).

This marks the second-lowest rated Game 1 of the World Series dating back to at least 1968. Only Cardinals/Tigers Game 1 in 2006 (8.0) drew a lower rating.

Additionally, the game ranks as the third-least viewed Game 1 since at least ’68, ahead of only the aforementioned Cardinals/Tigers (12.840 mil), and Phillies/Rays (14.634 mil) games, and barely behind Astros/White Sox in 2005 (15.015 mil).

Overall, Rangers/Giants drew the fifth-lowest rating in World Series history, ahead of only Red Sox/Rockies Game 3 in 2007 (8.5), Phillies/Rays Game 2 in 2008 (8.1), Cardinals/Tigers Game 1, and Rays/Phillies Game 3 in 2008 (6.1).

Among adults 18-49, Game 1 drew a 4.7 rating — not only down 25% from last year (6.3), but also off 2% from 2008 (4.8).

Despite the historically low numbers, Wednesday’s game drew a higher rating and more viewers than Game 1 of the Celtics/Lakers NBA Finals on ABC (8.6, 14.088 mil), although it finished behind the NBA in both adults 18-49 (5.7 to 4.7) and adults 25-54 (5.8 to 5.5). Ratings in the adults 18-34 demo were not available.

Game 1 was also the highest rated, most-viewed program of Wednesday night on broadcast. Surprisingly, it finished second for the night behind ABC’s Modern Family in both adults 18-49 (5.1 to 4.7) and 25-54 (5.9 to 5.5).

In a series with growth from game-to-game, the numbers for Game 1 would be more acceptable. However, given the up-and-down nature of recent World Series, the numbers could conceivably go lower as the series progresses.

For example, last year’s Phillies/Yankees Game 1 outdrew Games 2, 3 and 5, and Game 1 in 2008 outdrew Games 2 and 3. The real problem for this World Series is not necessarily the rating for Game 1, but the possibility of lower ratings later on.

(pifeedback.com 1, 2; Sitcoms Online)