Fox posts lowest-rated Series ever
Posted: Sunday November 22, 1998 05:27 PM
NEW YORK (CNN/SI) - For New York Yankees fans, their World Series sweep of the San Diego Padres was the perfect end to a perfect season. For everyone else, it was a real yawner.
The 1998 World Series drew a 14.1 rating for Fox, the lowest Fall Classic rating in baseball history.
The showing was a 16 percent drop from NBC's coverage of the seven-game series between Florida and Cleveland last year and 14 percent lower than the previous record low set in earthquake-interrupted series of 1989. A ratings point represents 994,000 households.
Wednesday night's Game 4 posted a 16.6 rating, 7 percent higher than last year but still the third lowest prime-time fourth game.
Last year's series was on target to be the lowest ever until a highly-rated seventh game. Fox never had the benefit of a drama-building long series and ended up losing an estimated $15 million because of the sweep. The network needed a five-game series to break even.
The record-low audience for the Series comes after a regular season in which baseball regained some of viewers who fled after the 1994-95 strike. All of baseball's TV partners posted double-digit gains in the regular season and local ratings also saw tremendous boosts.
The ratings for the first two rounds of the playoffs also grew from last year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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