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Anybody home?

All-California Classic finishes with record-low TV rating

Posted: Tuesday October 29, 2002 2:42 AM
Updated: Wednesday October 30, 2002 12:05 AM

World Series Ratings
Yearly national ratings for the World Series, as compiled by Nielsen Media Research.
Year Network Rating Share
2002 Fox 11.9 20
2001 Fox 15.7 25
2000 Fox 12.4 21
1999 NBC 16.0 26
1998 Fox 14.1 24
1997 NBC 16.8 29
1996 Fox 17.4 29
1995 ABC/NBC 19.5 33
1993 CBS 17.3 30
1992 CBS 20.2 34
1991 CBS 24.0 39
1990 CBS 20.8 36
1989 ABC 16.4 30
1988 NBC 23.9 39
1987 ABC 24.0 41
1986 NBC 28.6 46
1985 ABC 25.3 39
1984 NBC 22.9 40
1983 ABC 23.3 41
1982 NBC 28.0 49
1981 ABC 30.0 49
1980 NBC 32.8 56
1979 ABC 28.0 51
1978 NBC 32.7 56
1977 ABC 29.9 52
1976 NBC 27.7 48
1975 NBC 29.0 53
1974 NBC 25.6 47
1973 NBC 30.7 57
1972 NBC 27.5 58
1971 NBC 24.2 59
1970 NBC 19.4 53
1969 NBC 22.4 58
1968 NBC 22.8 57
The rating is the percentage of households with televisions watching a program and the share is the percentage watching a program among those with televisons in use.
 

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.

 
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Fox attributes low ratings to labor strife
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