World Series: Tigers/Giants Opens With Lowest Rated, Least-Viewed Game 1 Ever

Posted by | October 25, 2012 at 8:49 PM

FOX set multiple record lows for Game 1 of the 2012 World Series Wednesday night.

Game 1 of the Tigers/Giants World Series drew a 7.6 final rating and 12.2 million viewers on FOX, according to Nielsen fast-nationals — down 13% in ratings and 14% in viewership from Rangers/Cardinals Game 1 last year (8.7, 14.174M), and down 15% and 18%, respectively, from Rangers/Giants Game 1 in 2010 (8.9, 15.009M).

Wednesday’s game ranks as the lowest rated and least-viewed Game 1 of any World Series. The previous lows were an 8.0 and 12.840 million for Cardinals/Tigers Game 1 on a Saturday night in 2006.

The game also stands as the lowest rated and least-viewed World Series game that did not take place on a Saturday night. The previous lows were an 8.1 and 12.777 million viewers for Phillies/Rays Game 2 in 2008.

Overall, Game 1 ranks as the fourth-lowest rated and fourth-least viewed World Series game of all-time. Since the current scheduling format began in 2007, Game 1 has never been the lowest rated game of the World Series, meaning more record lows could be on the way.

The record-low performance can at least be partially attributed the uncompetitive nature of the game. In a Thursday press release, FOX noted that the Game 1 rating was actually trending above last year at 9 PM ET (8.8 to 8.7). The conclusion of the game, however, trailed last year by a wide margin (9.3 to 7.7).

Among adults 18-49, Game 1 drew a 3.6 rating — down 14% from last year (4.2), and down 23% from 2010 (4.7). The 3.6 is tied as the lowest Game 1 rating in the demo of at least the past ten years (demo ratings prior to 2002 were not consistently available).

Tigers/Giants ranked as the #2 program of the night on television in adults 18-49 and P2+ viewership. ABC’s “Modern Family” ranked as the top program of the night in both measures (12.5M, 4.9 A18-49).

Final Ratings/Viewership For Game 1 of the World Series
Past decade

Year Date Away Home Net Rating Viewers (000) A18-49
2012 Wed., 10/24/12 Tigers Giants FOX
7.6
12,240
3.6
2011 Wed., 10/19/11 Rangers Cardinals FOX
8.7
14,174
4.2
2010 Wed., 10/27/10 Rangers Giants FOX
8.9
15,009
4.7
2009 Wed., 10/28/09 Phillies Yankees FOX
11.9
19,511
6.3
2008 Wed., 10/22/08 Phillies Rays FOX
9.2
14,634
4.8
2007 Wed., 10/24/07 Rockies Red Sox FOX
10.5
16,897
5.8
2006 Sat., 10/21/06 Cardinals Tigers FOX
8.0
12,840
3.6
2005 Sat., 10/22/05 Astros White Sox FOX
9.5
15,015
4.6
2004 Sat., 10/23/04 Cardinals Red Sox FOX
13.7
23,168
8.0
2003 Sat., 10/18/03 Marlins Yankees FOX
10.9
17,687
6.0
2002 Sat., 10/19/02 Giants Angels FOX
9.4
15,457
5.0

CORRECTION 10/26/12: Game 1 was the fourth-lowest rated and fourth-least viewed World Series game ever, not the third.

(Wednesday’s numbers from Fox Sports press release via Fang’s Bites, with additional information from TV By the Numbers)