FOX was happy to tout an increase in ratings for Game 1 of the NLCS, but the game was not exactly a ratings magnet.
Game 1 of the Cardinals/Giants National League Championship Series drew a 4.1 rating and 6.8 million viewers Sunday night, according to Nielsen fast-nationals — up 17% in ratings and 18% in viewership from Tigers/Rangers Game 1 last year (3.5, 5.770M), but down 2% and 5%, respectively, from Giants/Phillies Game 1 in 2010 (4.2, 7.126M).
The 2010 and 2011 games aired on Saturday nights.
Compared to Game 1 of last year’s Cardinals/Brewers NLCS on TBS (2.1, 3.350M), ratings and viewership increased 95% and 103%, respectively.
Though up substantially from last year, Cardinals/Giants put up surprisingly low numbers for a Sunday night game with an NFL lead-in. The last such LCS telecast — Giants/Phillies Game 2 in 2010 — drew a much stronger 5.3 and 8.835 million viewers.
In addition, the game underperformed relative to other LCS openers on FOX. The only LCS Game 1 to earn a lower rating or fewer viewers on the network was last year’s previously mentioned Tigers/Rangers game.
Game 2 Overnight Down: Monday’s Game 2 of the Cardinals/Giants series drew a 4.3 overnight rating on FOX, down 7% from Tigers/Rangers Game 2 on a Monday afternoon last year (4.6), and down 34% from Giants/Phillies on a Sunday night in 2010 (6.5).
Locally, Games 1 and 2 drew ratings of 41.5 and 36.2, respectively, in St. Louis. In the Bay Area, the games drew ratings of 20.6 (Game 1) and 19.1 (Game 2).