/// World Series Preview: Inside Fox’s October Showcase

October 24, 2012  |  Media Week

When Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander takes the hill tonight in game one of the 108th edition of the World Series, he’ll be stepping into history. While this marks the 11th trip to the Fall Classic for the Tigers and the 19th appearance for the San Francisco Giants—14 of which were earned under the club’s original New York designation—these clubs have never met in the postseason. Fox is confident that the novelty of a Tigers-Giants showdown and a Detroit roster that includes the first Triple Crown winner since 1967 (Miguel Cabrera) and the best pitcher in baseball (Verlander) should be reason enough for fans to tune in. And while the ratings will never again match their Carter-era heyday, the World Series remains one of television’s most consequential events. According to Nielsen prime time ratings data for the fourth quarter of 2011, last year’s World Series (Rangers-Cardinals) ranked second among men 18-to-49—only CBS’s The Big Bang Theory put up bigger numbers in the demo—and eighth with the adults 18-to-49 set. Fox’s deliveries got a real shot in the arm when the Series returned to Busch Stadium for game six , as 21.1 million viewers tuned in; moreover, the network averaged a 6.5 rating in the dollar demo. David Freese’s walkoff homer in the 11th sent the Series to the limit and fans responded accordingly. Game seven drew 25.4 million viewers and notched a 7.4 in the demo, making it the highest-rated MLB broadcast since game four of the 2004 Series.

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