World Series: Series-High 9.2 Rating For Game 4

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After hitting a series-low on Saturday night, the 2011 World Series bounced back to a series-high on Sunday.

Sunday’s Cardinals/Rangers Game 4 drew a 9.2 final rating and 15.156 million viewers on FOX, up 2% in ratings and down 3% in viewership from last year (SF/TEX G4: 9.0, 15.537M), and down 32% and 33%, respectively, from 2009 (NYY/PHI G4: 13.5, 22.761M).

Game 4 earned the highest rating for a non-Yankee World Series game since Rays/Phillies Game 5 in 2008 (9.6). The 2008 game began on a Monday night, was suspended due to rain, and concluded two nights later.

Having said that, the 9.2 rating is the second-lowest ever for a Sunday night World Series game, ahead of only last year.

Though low compared to previous World Series, the numbers for the Cardinals/Rangers matchup have been solid relative to other sporting events. Sunday’s game finished not-too-far behind Game 4 of the Heat/Mavericks NBA Finals in June (9.6, 16.126M), and Games 1, 2 and 4 of the series easily topped college football’s Fiesta (6.3), Orange (6.7) and Sugar (8.2) bowls.

In addition, Game 4 likely finished ahead of the Colts/Saints Sunday Night Football game on NBC, which drew an 8.2 overnight rating. Final numbers for the Saints’ 62-7 win were not immediately available.

Among adults 18-49, Game 4 drew a 4.2 rating — down a tick from last year (4.3), and down 46% from 2009 (7.8).

Locally, Game 4 earned a 45.4 rating in St. Louis, down 12% from Tigers/Cardinals Game 4 in 2006 (51.3), which aired on a Thursday night.

In Dallas-Ft. Worth, the game drew a 39.1 rating — up 24% from last year’s Giants/Rangers Game 4 (31.5). By comparison, Game 4 of this year’s Mavericks/Heat NBA Finals drew a 30.5 rating, and Game 4 of the 2006 Heat/Mavericks series drew a 31.0.

One factor in the local ratings was the Rams/Cowboys NFL game, which aired in the 3:15 PM CT window in both St. Louis and Dallas-Ft. Worth.

Through Game 4, the 2011 World Series has averaged an 8.2 rating and 13.5 million viewers on FOX, down a tick in ratings and 4% in viewership from the comparable point last year (8.3, 14.1M), and down 29% in both measures compared to 2009 (11.5, 19.1M).

Cardinals/Rangers ranks as the second-lowest rated, second-least viewed World Series of all-time, ahead of only Phillies/Rays in 2008 (8.1, 13.2M).

Ratings and viewership for Game 3 of the series are available here.

UPDATE 10/25/10: Updated viewership information and added adults 18-49 rating.

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

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  • Youngwerther23

    Curious to see what Game 5 received….it was up against a VERY weak Monday Night Football matchup….I’m going to guess somewhere in the 8.8-9.4 range….I’m thinking Game 6 could potentially hit double digits…

  • JakeFrankie

    Looks like this series average will get into high 8’s and maybe the low 9.0’s (assuming game 6 gets a good rating).  

    Mavericks-Heat game 6 got a 13.3, I assume Rangers-Cards game 6 will be in the 9’s at least.

    • Jeffrey

      Well, if Game 4 already did a 9.2, then yeah, a Game 6 would surpass that for sure. If we are lucky enough to get to a Game 7, we could see something along the lines of a 15 final rating. There’s some sizzle to this Series now. LaRussa controversy from last night and emerging folk hero Mike Napoli are helping to add to that I think.

  • Stingbee30

    The fine print is that Baseball is no longer America’s pastime.  For a country that created Baseball, you have to say that these numbers are embarrassing and disappointing.  It just shows that majority of Americans don’t care about the World Series anymore.  It appears that Baseball will settle in the 13-15 million range (if no NYY or Boston Red Sox) for World Series games, possibly falling as low as 10-12 million in the next few years.  The ratings will bounce back for occasional match-ups involving a well-known teams.  To suffice, these numbers reflect a bearish TV rating’s trend that has been shaping-up for years for the game of Baseball .  The game is slow and too long.  The season is way too long, and most Americans have to many other choices.

    • Validemail

      Duh!  The NFL, for example, is a made for TV game.  However, just because the game’s television ratings are not as stellar as some would like does not imply that anything is wrong with the game itself.  The game is shorter than NFL games and actually had more action than an NFL game.  The difference is the TYPE of action (i.e violence).  Baseball is a regional game. 

  • Chad

    Baseball should have beat the NFL game last night, Network tv to cable tv and also clinching type games usually get a higher rating, so Game 6 will probably hit double digits.

  • TW

    I’m not sure Stingbee’s point is necessarily accurate. There’s no disputing the NFL is king on TV, so I won’t event to try to argue that point. What people ought to remember is that football’s popularity stems in no small measure the the fact that gambling is a key ingredient to the nation’s interest in the game. Take away the point spread and fantasy football, and the landscape might be a bit different.

    In addition, one of the early games–I believe Game Two–peaked with a final hour audience of about 20 million…not bad for a series with small market St. Louis as one of the participants.