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Rainy, late-night, suspended Series sets ratings low

Yup, it was the lowest-rated World Series ever.

Numbers just in. Still studying nuances.

Final average was 8.4 percent of households, far below the 10.1 for Tigers-Cards in 2006.

Fox Sports president Ed Goren's take: "This World Series got off to a solid start last week and was poised to build momentum as we expected it to. The rain delay on Saturday and suspended game on Monday, combined with going only five games, obviously worked against the Series reaching its maximum viewership potential, but even with that, Fox was No. 1 most nights, posted some of its best nights in many weeks and was No. 1 last week in prime time."

Ratings geeks can click below for the entire, unabridged Fox news release.The exclamation point was placed on the 2008 World Series last night with the Philadelphia Phillies 4-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in the conclusion of Game 5, giving the Phils this edition of the Fall Classic four games to one. It is the Phillies second World Championship ever, the club's first since 1980. Baseball history was made when severe weather conditions in Philadelphia forced Game 5 to be suspended on Monday. Though originally scheduled to conclude Tuesday evening, poor weather forced the game to be resumed last night at 8:40 PM ET with the Phillies coming to bat in the bottom of the sixth with the score tied 2-2.

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.

“This World Series got off to a solid start last week and was poised to build momentum as we expected it to,” said FOX Sports president Ed Goren. “The rain delay on Saturday and suspended game on Monday, combined with only going only five games, obviously worked against the Series reaching its maximum viewership potential, but even with that, FOX was No. 1 most nights, posted some of its best nights in many weeks and was No. 1 last week in prime time.”

HIGHLIGHTS:

- The conclusion of Game 5 powered FOX to an easy prime time win among Households, Total Viewers, and in every meaningful Male and Adult demographics. Among Adults 18-49, the game, pregame, post-game and 8:00 PM Barack Obama paid program, combined to average a 5.0 rating. CBS was a distant second with a 3.0, followed by ABC (2.4) and NBC (2.3). FOX also easily captured the night among Total Viewers with 15.5 million viewers. CBS was again second with 11.9 million viewers.

- 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 World Series once again proved to be a force in prime time earning FOX four wins in the key A18-49 demographic (Games 1, 4 and both Game 5s). The five games of the 2008 Series ran for a combined 17+ hours, yielding to FOX the equivalent of a full season’s worth of rating points from a top twenty show. The 8.4/14 averaged by the World Series is also +33% higher than the 6.3/10 averaged by all prime-time programming this season-to-date on ABC, CBS, and NBC.

- 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.

- This is the first time in history that the World Series has failed to reach a Game 6 in five consecutive years, with the last coming in 2003.

- Philadelphia notched a spectacular 51.8/69 for the conclusion of Game 5 as the city earned its first major sports championship in 25 years. Tampa/St. Petersburg followed with a 32.4/45. Viewing in Philadelphia for last night’s decisive game peaked at a 54.5/73 at 10:00 PM ET as Brad Lidge fanned Eric Hinske to make the Phillies baseball's 104th World Series champions.

- Boston posted an impressive 19.0/27, tops among the non-home markets with Orlando, Providence (both 15.8), Ft. Myers (15.6), West Palm Beach (15.4), Charlotte (15.0), St. Louis (14.5) and New York (14.3) rounding out the top 10 ratings for last night’s conclusion of Game 5.

- Philadelphia averaged 36.3 for the five-game series with Tampa/St. Petersburg scoring a 28.4. Florida markets Orlando (12.7), Ft. Myers (11.4) and West Palm Beach (11.1) followed. Other markets posting strong average ratings throughout the series include Minneapolis (10.8), St. Louis (10.7), Charlotte (10.4), Milwaukee (10.2) and Seattle (10.1).

Tags: fox

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