World Series: After Worst Game 1, Tigers/Giants Hits Game 2 Record Low

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One night after the worst Game 1 in World Series TV history, Game 2 of the World Series set another record low.

Game 2 of the Tigers/Giants World Series drew a 7.8 final rating and 12.3 million viewers on FOX, according to Nielsen fast-nationals — down 12% in ratings and 14% in viewership from Rangers/Cardinals Game 2 last year (8.9, 14.280M), and down 8% and 13%, respectively, from Rangers/Giants Game 2 in 2010 (8.5, 14.130M).

Thursday’s game ranks as the lowest rated and least-viewed Game 2 of a World Series. The previous lows were an 8.1 and 12.777 million viewers for Phillies/Rays Game 2 in 2008.

Overall, Game 2 stands as the fifth-lowest rated and fifth-least viewed World Series game ever (see table). Excluding Saturday night games, Game 2 ranks as the second-worst World Series game, ahead of only Wednesday’s Game 1 (7.6, 12.2M).

One factor to keep in mind is that Thursday’s game aired opposite live NFL coverage on NFL Network (5.165M). While that may not have been the driving force behind the record low numbers, the competition certainly did not help.

While the numbers are obviously low for the World Series, Game 2 earned the highest household rating for any primetime program on the FOX network since the season finale of “American Idol” in May (12.2).

Among adults 18-49, Game 2 drew a 3.5 rating — down 13% from both last year and 2010 (4.0 both years), and also down from Game 1 on Wednesday (3.6).

For the night, Tigers/Giants finished third among adults 18-49, behind “The Big Bang Theory” (5.0) and “Two and a Half Men” (3.7) on CBS. In P2+ viewership, the game finished fourth behind “Big Bang” (15.8M), “Half Men” (12.9M), and “Person of Interest” (14.0M).

Through two games, the 2012 World Series has averaged a 7.7 rating and 12.3 million viewers — down 13% in ratings and viewership from last year (8.8, 14.2M), and down 12% and 16%, respectively, from 2010 (8.7, 14.6M).

Tigers/Giants ranks as easily the lowest rated and least-viewed World Series ever through two games. The previous lows were an 8.6 and 13.8 million for the first two games of Phillies/Rays in 2008.

5 Lowest Rated World Series Games

# Date Away Home Gm. # Net Rating Viewers (000) A18-49
1 Sat., 10/25/08 Rays Phillies
3
FOX
6.1
9,836
3.2
2 Sat., 10/22/11 Cardinals Rangers
3
FOX
6.6
11,247
3.2
3 Sat., 10/30/10 Giants Rangers
3
FOX
6.7
11,460
2.9
4 Wed., 10/24/12 Tigers Giants
1
FOX
7.6
12,240
3.6
5 Thu., 10/25/12 Tigers Giants
2
FOX
7.8
12,340
3.5

Ratings/Viewership For Game 2 of the World Series
Past decade

Year Date Away Home Net Rating Viewers (000) A18-49
2012 Thu., 10/25/12 Tigers Giants FOX
7.8
12,340
3.5
2011 Thu., 10/20/11 Rangers Cardinals FOX
8.9
14,280
4.0
2010 Thu., 10/28/10 Rangers Giants FOX
8.5
14,130
4.0
2009 Thu., 10/29/09 Phillies Yankees FOX
11.7
18,897
5.8
2008 Thu., 10/23/08 Phillies Rays FOX
8.1
12,777
4.0
2007 Thu., 10/25/07 Rockies Red Sox FOX
11.1
16,950
5.3
2006 Sun., 10/22/06 Cardinals Tigers FOX
11.6
18,165
5.9
2005 Sun., 10/23/05 Astros White Sox FOX
11.1
17,190
5.7
2004 Sun., 10/24/04 Cardinals Red Sox FOX
15.9
25,463
9.0
2003 Sun., 10/19/03 Marlins Yankees FOX
12.6
20,552
7.4
2002 Sun., 10/20/02 Giants Angels FOX
11.9
19,368
6.6

(Thursday’s numbers and two-game average from Fox Sports Media Group press release [.pdf]; additional information from TV By the Numbers [1], [2])

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  • Bob G

    So the first two games of the series averaged a 3.55 rating among adults 18-49. To put that in perspective, the first two games of the 2012 NBA Finals averaged a 7.0.       http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2012/06/15/2012-nba-finals-game-2-tv-ratings-up-9-viewership-up-8-vs-last-season/138346/

    Remarkable. I would love to see the numbers for the 50+ demo.

  • ZabriskiePt

    I sadly have to say that this is one of the worst World Series in recent memory. I believe WS are always must-see TV, but it’s completely understandable why very few people are watching.
    In the actual TV landscape there’s no show, except maybe the NFL, which draws well no matter the quality of the product is. Only the Yankees, the Red Sox and the Cubs could do well even in a boring and lopsided Series.
    This Postseason as a whole has been, except LDSs, a total crap, under a competitive point of view. Even the 7-Game NLCS has been not so interesting as the result of the Series seems to suggest.
    But ALCS & WS has really been unwatchable, with a dominating team and another uncapable to even try and put some pressure on the other one. And, this is what makes this World Series unwatchable for everyone except Giants’ fans, every Tigers’ hitter seems to be helpless facing San Francisco’s pitchers. Two consecutive shutouts hadn’t be seen, for an AL team, since the “Black Sox” WS in 1919: they were trying to lose. The Tigers are simply uncapable to win.
    So, hats off to the Giants for the great team they are and the great shape they’re in.
    But there’s really nothing surprising in the TV numbers this Fall Classic is producing.
    For Saturday’s Game 3, given the historical drop from Game 2 and Game 3 in the “starting-Wednesday” era, quantifiable in a 20 to 25 percent range, a 5.8-6.2 final result has to be expected. And, given the lack of competitiveness, I’m inclined to think the final numbers will be under the 6.0 mark, producing the lowest-rated World Series Game in history.The only hope is Game 4 will mark a Detroit’s rebound, but in light of the tight pace of a 7-Game Series, I believe there’s no time to turn things around for Leyland & co.The consequence is that Game 4 on Sunday, too, will be very low-rated and soundly beaten by SNF.Selig has to hope Epstein will be capable of creating a good Cubs team. A Yankees-Cubs matchup could represent a rebirth of WS as a made-for-TV product.As of now numbers can only be awful.