World Series: Rangers/Cardinals Earns Second-Lowest Game 1 Rating

1

Game 1 of the World Series earned one of the lowest television ratings in the history of the event, though the numbers were down only slightly from last year.

Wednesday’s Rangers/Cardinals Game 1 drew an 8.7 final rating and 14.174 million viewers on FOX, down 2% in ratings and 6% in viewership from last year (TEX/SF G1: 8.9, 15.009M), and down 27% in both measures compared to 2009 (PHI/NYY G1: 11.9, 19.511M).

The Cardinals’ win ranks as the second-lowest rated and second-least viewed Game 1 in World Series history, ahead of only Cardinals/Tigers Game 1 in 2006 (8.0, 12.840M). Keep in mind the 2006 game was the last Game 1 to take place on a Saturday night, the lowest rated night of the week.

Excluding Saturday night games, Game 1 ranks as the third-lowest rated World Series game, ahead of only Rangers/Giants Game 2 last year (8.5) and Phillies/Rays Game 2 in 2008 (8.1).

Despite the historic lows, Game 1 put in a decent performance for FOX all things considered. Though the #5 market Rangers are in the World Series for the second straight year, the #21 Cardinals have replaced the #6 market Giants. Overall, this year’s home markets combine for 3.8 million TV households, down 25% from last year (5.1 million).

Among adults 18-49, Wednesday’s game earned a 4.2 rating — down 11% from last year (4.7) and down 33% from 2009 (6.3).

Game 1 was the top program of the night in household ratings and viewership, but placed a distant second among adults 18-49, behind ABC’s Modern Family (5.7). FOX won the night in primetime in all three categories.

For some perspective, Game 1 of the Mavericks/Heat NBA Finals drew a 9.0 final rating and 15.171 million viewers on ABC in May, with a 6.5 among adults 18-49.

Though the relatively small gap between the high-profile NBA Finals and this year’s World Series may seem encouraging, keep in mind the main difference between the two events — NBA Finals ratings typically rise from game to game, while World Series ratings over the past three years have dropped from Game 1 to Game 3.

10 Lowest Rated World Series Games

#
Date
Game
#
Series
Net
U.S. Rating
Viewers (000)
1
Sat., 10/25/08 TB 4, PHI 5
3
PHI 2-1
FOX
6.1
9,836
2
Sat., 10/30/10 SF 2, TEX 4
3
SF 2-1
FOX
6.7
11,460
3
Sat., 10/21/06 STL 7, DET 2
1
STL 1-0
FOX
8.0
12,840
4
Thu., 10/23/08 PHI 2, TB 4
2
TIE 1-1
FOX
8.1
12,777
T5
Thu., 10/28/10 TEX 0, SF 9
2
SF 2-0
FOX
8.5
14,130
T5
Sat., 10/27/07 BOS 10, COL 5
3
BOS 3-0
FOX
8.5
14,055
7
Wed., 10/19/11 TEX 2, STL 3
1
STL 1-0
FOX
8.7
14,174
8
Mon., 11/1/10 SF 3, TEX 1
5
SF 4-1
FOX
8.8
14,950
9
Wed., 10/27/10 TEX 7, SF 11
1
SF 1-0
FOX
8.9
15,009
10
Sun., 10/31/10 SF 4, TEX 0
4
SF 3-1
FOX
9.0
15,537

(This year’s numbers from Fox Sports Media Group press release via TV By the Numbers; additional information from The Voice of TV)

Share.
  • Guest

    Again, negative spin involving ratings. Is there any headline where you can avoid using the words “lowest” or “lowest since”? Finally–in paragraph five—you mention something positive…only to finish with one final parting shot in the final paragraph.

    It won’t be surprising one of these days to see the headline “lowest since last year”.