The hand-wringing must already be starting among the executives at Fox Sports. While Los Angeles is a bigger market than Chicago, Fox must be praying for a World Series that features the Cubs vs. the Red Sox. While there are two teams from the Los Angeles Market in the playoffs, neither the Dodgers and certainly not the Angels of Anaheim, would be as large of a ratings draw nationally as a potential Cubs/Red Sox matchup.
Unfortunately Jupiter didn't align with Mars in such a way that Fox could get an NLCS featuring the Dodgers versus the Cubs. That matchup is taking place in the LDS round (League Division Series) and is airing on TBS. Though the Dodgers would not be a bad consolation prize for the NLCS and it wouldn't be a tragic outcome for Fox if the Dodgers made it to the World Series, especially if the Red Sox advanced, too. Then Fox would have both coasts represented plus the Manny Ramirez takes on his old team storyline.
But Fox must be rooting first for the Cubs vs. Red Sox, followed by the Dodgers vs. the Red Sox in terms of the World Series. As long as the Red Sox or the Cubs is in the World Series, it should prove nice for Fox, and if the Dodgers get in, it would not be awful for the ratings. After that there are some possible matchups that would be horrible from a ratings perspective, leading with Tampa Bay vs. Milwaukee. As a baseball fan, that would be a great story, but from a television ratings perspective, disastrous.
The Cubs lost game one to the Dodgers at Wrigley Field 7-2. If the Cubs get eliminated in the first round, or even the second, maybe someday an episode of Fringe will air on Fox that explains the curse...
Check our our historical ML Baseball Playoff TV Ratings here.