Of course, that biggest year-to-year growth in history is on the heels of last year's record lows. But, this was a nice reversal and beats the heck out of consecutive record lows!
via press release:
2009 WORLD SERIES POSTS BIGGEST
YEAR-TO-YEAR GROWTH IN HISTORY
FALL CLASSIC DRIVES FOX TO BIGGEST EARLY-SEASON LEAD EVER
Games Ended 26-Minutes Earlier Than 2008; Post-11 PM ET Audiences Increase
105TH WORLD SERIES AUDIENCE SUMMARY
The 2009 Fall Classic averaged an 11.7/19 average household rating/share, an average audience of 19.4 million viewers and a 6.2 rating among Adults 18-49, re-establishing itself as a dominant force in prime time. This year’s Series finished up +39% over 2008 Rays-Phillies 8.4/14, and ranks as the highest-rated and most-watched World Series in five years (Red Sox-Cardinals, 15.8/26, 25.4 million viewers in 2004). The +39% increase over last year is the largest single-year ratings increase in the history of the World Series. If we compare the complete 2009 World Series to top-rated season-to-date prime-time shows, the World Series ranks No. 2 in Households and among Adults 18-49.
The 2009 World Series has helped power FOX to a 3.9 rating prime among Adults 18-49 with a commanding +22% lead over second-place CBS (3.2), and establishes a new high as FOX’s biggest season-to-date lead ever in fourth quarter and the biggest for any network in six years.
The World Series also hit five-year highs across every major male and adult demographic. On a year-to-year basis, major demo increases mirrored the overall Household increase. The World Series is up +38% over last year among M18-34 (6.5 vs. 4.7), +37% on M18-49 (7.8 vs. 5.7), +32% in M25-54 (8.7 vs. 6.6), +46% in A18-34 (5.4 vs. 3.7), +41% in A18-49(6.2 vs. 4.4), and +36% in A25-54 (6.8 vs. 5.0). One notable demo that outperformed the overall average was Teens, with Male Teens up +50% over last year (3.9 vs. 2.6) and Total Teens up +53% (2.9 vs. 1.9).
The 105th Fall Classic also highlights an outstanding year for Major League Baseball’s “jewel events.” The 2009 MLB All-Star Game hit a 10-year high in total audience, the Division Series gave TBS that network’s most-watched prime-time week ever, while the ALCS enjoyed a +35% increase on FOX, and the World Series posted the biggest one-year gain in its history (39%).
TIME FOR A CHANGE
Four of the six 2009 World Series games started before 8:00 PM ET, the earliest first pitch time ever for prime-time World Series games. A fifth was slated to start before 8:00 PM ET but was delayed by rain and only Sunday’s Game 4 had a planned 8:20 PM start to accommodate FOX’s NFL schedule. This year’s earlier start times allowed FOX to reversing a recent World Series trend and return to audience growth after 11:00 PM ET. The five games that were played as scheduled averaged a rating +6% higher after 11:00 PM ET (12.8) than before 11:00 PM ET (12.1). By comparison, last year’s games rated -3% lower after 11:00 PM ET and the 2007 World Series rated -8% lower post-11:00 PM ET. The average end time for this year’s five games played as scheduled was 11:37 PM, while over the previous two years the average end time for games played as scheduled was 12:03 AM.
The World Series crept into November by design for the first time and produced the two highest-rated and most-watched World Series games in five years (Games 4 and 6). Concerns about November baseball producing noticeably different on-field weather conditions proved completely unfounded, as the average first-pitch temperature for this year’s World Series was 53 degrees, which is in line with World Series played entirely in October.
FOX SPORTS’ POSTSEASON SUMMARY
The entire 2009 POSTSEASON on FOX averaged an 8.9/14 (14.6 million), while FOX’s eleven prime-time games averaged a 9.4/16 (15.4 million), and ALCS and World Series have been the dominant factors in the prime-time ratings race so far this season. FOX’s 9.4/16 household rating/share, generated over 32 hours on 11 nights is equivalent to an entire season of a top-10 prime-time show.
Game 6 caps a remarkable three-week run for FOX Sports. Over the last 20 days, FOX has aired 12 postseason MLB games and five regular season NFL windows with those 17 events totaling 175.9 gross household ratings points and an amazing 290 million impressions.
WORLD SERIES GAME 6 HIGHLIGHTS
Game 6 of the 2009 WORLD SERIES delivered 13.4/22 average household rating/share with an average audience of 22.3 million viewers last night on FOX as the Yankees earned their unprecedented 27th World Championship. Last night’s rating includes a 13.5/22 household rating/share and 22.7 million viewers from 8:00-11:00 PM ET, which makes this the highest-rated and most-watched Wednesday night on any network since the May 20 American Idol finale. Game 6 is also expected to rank as the highest-rated and most-watched prime-time show of the Monday-Sunday broadcast week (11/2-11/9). The last Game 6 in World Series play came in 2003 between the Marlins and Yankees, and earned 13.9/25, with 23.2 million viewers.
Last night’s game decimated the broadcast prime-time competition, averaging a 13.5/22 household rating/share with 22.7 million viewers, and a 7.3 among Adults 18-49 from 8:00-11:00 PM ET. Game 6 beat the combined delivery of ABC, CBS, and NBC last night in both average audience and Adults 18-49. FOX’s three broadcast competitors totaled 22.6 million viewers and a 6.6 in Adults 18-49.
Philadelphia topped all markets in every game of this World Series, including a 39.8/57 for Game 6 to bring the six-game average to 41.0/57, +13% better than the 36.3/53 set in the market a year ago It's the top rating for a World Series loser since St. Louis in posted a 44.3/61 in 2004. New York posted a 36.6/54 last night, peaking at a 39.5/66 after 11:30 PM ET. The six-game Series averaged a 30.4/45 in Gotham, beating the averages of both the 2003 (26.6/39, 6 games) and 2001 (27.7/40, 7 games) World Series. Boston posted a 14.5/26 last night, tuning in early to see Red Sox legend Pedro Martinez and peaking at an 18.1/29 at 9:00 PM ET. Viewership then fell -37% from the 9:00 PM ET peak to the final out (11.4/29), by far the biggest decline of any market as Sox fans likely elected not to watch their arch-rivals celebrate.