/// MLB Playoff Ratings Darken World Series Outlook

October 19, 2011  |  Media Week

If the MLB playoff ratings are anything to go by, Fox may be in for yet another rough World Series outing. According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, Fox’ coverage of the American League Championship Series averaged 7.1 million viewers and a 2.7 rating among men 18-49. In the demo, Fox dropped 25 percent versus 2010, when it covered the National League Championship Series. The ALCS battle between the nation’s seventh-largest DMA (the Texas Rangers represent the Dallas market) and No. 10 Detroit went six games and was plagued by rain delays throughout. Game 1 was interrupted twice by the rain and Game 2 was postponed from Sunday, Oct.9, to the following night. The median age of Fox’ six broadcasts was 53 years, up a tick from 52 in 2010. Cable net TBS also had a rough go of it, averaging 4.62 million viewers with its coverage of the NLCS. The Turner net averaged a 2.1 rating among men 18-49, down 44 percent from a year ago. The Cardinals beat the Brewers in six games, drawing 5.94 million viewers in Sunday’s deciding frame. But even that cumulative leap—the series opened Sunday, Oct. 9, to just 3.36 million viewers—was limited by some strong competition on the night of the 16th. Not only did the final game of the Cards-Brewers tilt compete with NBC’s Sunday Night Football— the Bears-Vikings blowout still managed to scare up 16.6 million viewers—but baseball also had to deal with a zombie pandemic. AMC’s The Walking Dead on Sunday returned to a staggering 7.26 million total viewers, of which a record 4.81 million were members of the 18-49 demo. Clearly not helping matters for TBS was the relatively tiny markets represented by the two NLCS combatants. St. Louis is the nation’s No. 21 DMA, while Milwaukee is 32nd on the list. Much as baseball purists fetishize the teachings of Moneyball , the ratings tend to take a beating whenever major markets aren’t represented in the post-season. With New York, Philadelphia, and Boston out of the running, Fox faces yet another chilly October

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MLB Playoff Ratings Darken World Series Outlook


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