UPDATE: Ok, we were wrong. This was the lowest-rated, least-watched World Series in history. (Hey, we watched—two of the games.) Upside: it’s a bit of sports trivia for the ages. Remember this: it could come in very handy during a game of Trivial Pursuit in 10 years
EARLIER: Last night, in case you haven’t heard, the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Tampa Bay Rays to win the 2008 World Series. Another winner, at least last night: Fox, which won the night with an estimated 15.49 million viewers for game 5 of the Series and Barack Obama’s variety half-hour 30-minute political message.
Even before the matchup began, people (including us) were saying this could be the lowest rated World Series ever with two largely unknown teams facing off. Fortunately, two Wednesday games (game 1 and last night’s conclusion of game 5) likely saved Fox from such a fate.
Why? Because Wednesday night features lackluster, ratings-challenged shows on every other broadcast network. This is good news for Fox but a Phillies victory may be bad news for the economy. (Really, how much worse could things get?)
Excerpts from Fox’s “We’re Awesome” Press Release: The conclusion of Game 5 earned an 11.9/18 (19.8 million viewers) last night on FOX according to Nielsen Media Research, and combined with the game’s first five and a half innings on Monday, produces a nine-inning rating of 9.6/14 (15.8 million viewers) for the entire game. Game 5 was the highest-rated and most-watched game of the 2008 Series (the Monday portion of Game 5 posted an 8.2/12, 13.2 million viewers). The 9.6/14 for Game 5 is -7% lower than the last World Series Game 5, also a series-deciding contest, a 10.3/18 for Cardinals-Tigers in 2006, but one started and completed on the same night…
Driven by poor weather that forced Game 3 to begin on Saturday at 10:06 PM and conclude on Sunday at 1:47 AM, and the first-ever suspended World Series game on Monday, the 2008 World Series averaged an 8.4/14 nationally (13.6 million viewers), -17% in rating and -14% in audience from the last five game series (2006, St. Louis/Detroit – 10.1/17, 15.8 million). Despite the bad weather related-luck, the 2008 Fall Classic was down just 1% in terms of total rating points vs. a year ago (42.3 vs. 42.7), and that measure is a closer reflection of how the World Series contributes to FOX’s overall prime time success…
The 2008 World Series gave FOX some of its highest-rated nights in many weeks. Game 1 was at the time FOX ‘s highest-rated Wednesday night in 22 weeks. Game 2 was FOX’s best Thursday night in 28 weeks. Despite a 90-minute rain delay, Game 3 gave FOX its best Saturday night in 24 weeks. Game 4 provided FOX’s top Sunday night in 38 weeks, stretching back to Super Bowl XLII. The first five and a half innings of Game 5 on Monday produced FOX’s best Monday night average in 23 weeks, and the conclusion of Game 5 surpassed Game 1 to rank as FOX’s best Wednesday night in 23 weeks.
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