All-California Classic finishes with record-low TV ratingPosted: Tuesday October 29, 2002 2:42 AM
Updated: Wednesday October 30, 2002 12:05 AM
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- San Francisco wasn't the only World Series loser. Television ratings for the all-California matchup against Anaheim set record lows.
The Angels' seven-game victory over the Giants averaged an 11.9 rating and 20 share, Nielsen Media Research said Monday.
That rating is 24 percent below Arizona's seven-game victory over the New York Yankees last year, which got a 15.7/25, and is 4 percent below the previous record, the Yankees' five-game win over the Mets in the 2000 Subway Series (12.4/21).
In the past 11 years, the rating for the Series has gone down by 50 percent. Minnesota's seven-game victory over Atlanta in 1991 got a 24.0 rating and 39 share. The top Series rating was a 32.8/56 for Philadelphia's six-game victory over Kansas City in 1980.
"While the viewership was not as high as we had hoped, the fact is that Fox won six of the seven nights World Series games were played, won the week in households and adults 18-49, and will finish ahead of our business forecast," Fox Sports president Ed Goren said in a statement.
Anaheim's 4-1 victory Sunday night got a 17.9 preliminary rating and 28 share, down 24 percent from Arizona's 3-2 win in Game 7 last year, which received a 23.5/34.
With the Yankees not in the World Series for the first time since 1997, the all-California matchup set record lows for an opener (9.4), Game 2 (11.9), Game 3 (10.8), Game 4 (11.8), Game 5 (10.0), Game 6 (11.8) and Game 7.
Still, Fox estimated the seventh game was seen by 57.9 million viewers, the most-watched program of the television season.
The World Series averaged only one-third the rating of the most recent Super Bowl (40.4/61) and was less than this year's NCAA basketball championship game between Maryland and Indiana (15.0/24) and Miami's national football championship-winning Rose Bowl victory over Nebraska (13.8).
Still, it was higher than this year's Daytona 500 (10.9/26), the NBA Finals (10.2) and the NHL's Stanley Cup finals (3.6/7).
Baseball commissioner Bud Selig did not return a telephone call seeking comment. His spokesman, Rich Levin, called the ratings drop part of a cycle that included an increase last season.
"While there were a lot of unknown faces and that hurt in the short term, we put a lot of new faces on the national stage, and that bodes well for the future," Levin said.
On Saturday, Fox Sports chairman David Hill said baseball's labor strife this year was partly responsible for the decrease.
"Once again, baseball managed to turn off its loyal fans," he said. "I hoped it would pick up when we got to the postseason. It certainly hasn't been what I hoped it would be.
"Our ratings had been terrific all year. They went in the bucket when all the bristling and saber rattling started."
Baseball players and owners argued for much of July and August, with players threatening to strike. The sides struck a deal Aug. 30, just 2 1/2 hours before the scheduled start of the walkout.
News Corp., Fox's parent, took a $909 million charge against earnings in February, saying it had overpaid for its sports deals: $4.5 billion for the NFL, $2.4 billion for baseball and $1.9 billion for NASCAR.
Fox is in the second year of its six-year baseball contract.
"Baseball's got to be concerned about its future," Hill said. "I would imagine they'll read the writing on the wall at the very highest levels and get their house in order."
The rating is the percentage of TV households in the United States watching a broadcast, and each national point represents 1,055,000 homes. The share is the percentage watching a program among those households with televisions on at the time.