15.5 Million Viewers Tune In to Witness Giants Win World Series on FOX

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

October 29th, 2012

via press release:



Fall Classic Remains Top Ten Show; No. 2 in Men 18-49


New York, NY – The San Francisco Giants captured their secondWorld Series title in three years last night and 15.5 million viewers tuned in to see the extra innings drama unfold on FOX Sports.


Sunday night’s decisive Game 4, which completed the Giants’ sweep of the Detroit Tigers, posted 8.9/14 fast-national rating/share, according to Nielsen Media Research. The average audience of 15.5 million viewers is up +2% from last year’s Game 4 average (15.2 million viewers, 9.2/14 rating/share).


The Giants aren’t the only ones to sweep during this series. FOX is projected to win both Saturday (Game 3) and Sunday nights in the coveted Adults 18-49 demographic, giving the network a win each World Series night this year. Saturday and Sunday’s broadcasts also won the night in household ratings, bringing the network to a total of three primetime wins during the Fall Classic. Game 3 on Saturday night posted a 6.1/11 fast-national rating/share.


When compared against other primetime programming, the World Series remains a top-ten force. The 2012 World Series averaged a 7.6/12 rating/share and 12.7 million viewers, ranking No. 9 in viewership among all primetime programming this season. This year’s four-game series still placed No. 2 among Men 18-49 (4.7); No. 3 in Men 25-54 (5.6); No. 4 with Men 18-34 (4.0); tied for No. 6 in Adults 18 – 49 (3.7); tied for No. 8 in Adults 18 - 34 (3.2) and No. 9 among Adults 25-54 (4.3).


"The World Series has been a top ten primetime hit for over 40 years and even with a four-game sweep this series was no exception,” said Michael Mulvihill, Senior Vice President of Programming and Research, FOX Sports Media Group. “This World Series gave us exactly what we expected: a top ten show among all viewers and a top five show among hard-to-reach younger men. It's important for us to remain focused on the Series relative to today's competitive environment rather than bygone years. The World Series remains a powerful force in primetime and we're fortunate to have the Fall Classic for at least nine more years to look forward to."


World Series Game 4 is the highest-rated, most-watched primetime program in households on FOX since the AMERICAN IDOLFinale this past May and provided the network its best Sunday night primetime performance since the NFC Championship Game on January 22, 2012. Last night’s game peaked with an 11.3 at 11:45 PM as the decisive 10th inningunfolded.


San Francisco led all marketswith a 38.7/64 for Game 4, scoring the best rating of any MLB game in that market since Game 7 of the 2002 World Series between the Angels and the Giants. Detroit scored a 37.9/53 for Game 4, notching Motown’s highest rating for an MLB game since Game 2 of the 2006 World Series between the Tigers and the Cardinals.


  • j

    Lowest ratings ever, congrats.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “Lowest ratings ever, congrats.”

    It was the third lowest viewership average for a World Series. 2010 and 2008 were both lower.

    Mis-read it, I did!

  • Jesse

    Third lowest viewership? Correct me if i’m wrong but with the 12.7 million avg would be the lowest ever. 2008 was 13.6 million. 2010 14.2 million.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “I don’t get it. Is there a H-50 repeat at 10 or is it the Hurricane Sandy special airing at 10 on CBS??”

    Mis-reading on my part!

  • AustinG

    Doesn’t matter how low the rating were, i’m just happy that the Giants won!

  • ZabriskiePt

    I think everything has to be put in the right context.
    In a “USA Today” article, Michael Hiestand said he didn’t understand the reasons behind the record low numbers Baseball produced this Postseason. I think the reasons are CLEAR and OBVIOUS and there are several.
    FIRST, this World Series rated poorly because there was little-to-no competition on the field. It doesn’t matter that Games 2 & 3 were 2-run contests. The lead was NEVER in doubt. Simply, San Francisco was way up superior. Only in Game 4 there has been some lead-changes. And, in fact, numbers for Game 4 were decent. Before Sunday’s Game, the Giants had NEVER ceased the lead for about 55 innings. Do you really believe there are so many people willing to watch lopsided games, just for sake of watching how SF players are much better than Detroit ones? I don’t think so.
    SECOND, despite all of the above, this year’s World Series still managed to beat Football two times, the first on Thursday, the NFL on NFL Network (yes, of course Fox is in about 55-60% more homes than NFL Net, but Game 2 of the WS drew about 135% more viewers than Thursday Night Football), the second on Saturday, two different College Football matches. And on Sunday, Game 4 has outdueled the TV behemoth that is Sunday Night Football, losing by a small gap.
    My question for everyone here is: how many TV programs in today’s TV landscape are capable to compete with the NFL and Football in general? I guess the answer is: there’s NONE BUT MLB.
    THIRD, the competition is harder and harder each and every year. And every year there seems to be more and more Football on TV, causing thousand, maybe millions of sports fans to choose between alternative options and fragmenting more and more viewership datas. Don’t forget: Baseball Postseason has competition from the NFL and College Football; the NBA from NHL. It’s not the same…
    FOURTH, despite all of the above, and despite a lopsided four-game Series, the Fall Classic still managed to be a top-ten primetime show and a top-five in the key demos. Just like in the past, when, according to some detractors, Baseball had much bigger TV numbers and was a much more successful product than today. “Baseball is dying” is a common refrain. I don’t think comparing 2012 World Series TV ratings with what they were in the 70s or in the 80s is a correct approach. I think it’s correct to verify where Baseball TV ratings stand today compared to today’s TV programming. And the answer is: IN THE TOP-TEN, JUST LIKE 40 YEARS AGO.
    FIFTH, are we sure TV ratings are a complete way to measure popularity in the world-wide-web era? For example, MLB.tv is considered a very good tool for watching live games. How many people do that? I think the answer could very well be surprising.

  • Jay

    Yeah but the NBA finals are in the middle of summer time. That’s major comp. In itself. You sure have a lot of excuses. Did anyone think San Fransisco had the superior players before the series started? That’s nonsense. Most people had Detroit winning. Face the facts, the ratings were garbage from beginning to almost the end. The close elimination game that went to extras finally delivered a decent rating. And that was helped by the Giants/Cowboys massive lead-in. There have been sweeps before. 2007 sweep was even more lopsided and a small market Colorado team. But the Red Sox still carried it to over 17 million avg. 2005 ChiSox(Chicago’s forgotten team) vs small fanbase Astros, over 17 million. San Fran and Detroit had very good local viewership. But others just didn’t care as much. And this has been a trend the last 4 out of 5 years. Last years game 6 and 7 were the savior of that series’ ratings.

  • Jay

    Baseball’s main problem is the demo anyway. This series averaged less than 4 demo. That’s the future of baseball. A lot of there fans are over 50. Bad news for the future. Kids are just more interested in football and basketball.

  • Jay

    NBA does better than MLB online as well just for the record.

  • Lol

    Sad to say but they should let them juice. What’s the big deal? The long ball will get more youngsters interested.

  • ZabriskiePt

    @ Jay.
    It doesn’t matter who was supposed of having the edge before the start of the Series. What really matters is the “plot” of each game: even if there are many people watching at the beginning of the broadcast, if the feeling is that, after two or three innings, there’s ONE team that’s dominating (or one team that looks powerless, as is the case of Detroit Tigers during the whole first three games), people tune out. And lots of people have tuned out of the games during this World Series. This Fall Classic has been BORING, and who says this is a person who watches every WS game, every Postseason game, no matter what. Game 4 was the first interesting game since the LDS round.
    Yes, the truth is that even LCS, including the 7-game NLCS, was boring and lopsided. Even a 7-game Series can be boring, based on a game-by-game judgement. And that’s the case. There is an interesting article that clarifies well this concept, for almost everything in Baseball can be measured:
    And this sweep can’t be compared to any other recent sweep because when there is a team from NY, Boston or Chicago you can be sure that you’ll have, at least, robust TV ratings.
    As for the web, I wasn’t talking about social media buzz. I was talking about products like MLB.tv which allows live streaming and which is, for what I know, one of the most widespread of its kind.
    I’d like to know how many people actually watched the games on TV (total viewers, not average), summed with radio listeners (everyone knows Baseball is very very strong on radio) and live web streamers, and compare to the same datas from other sporting events. Unfortunately it’s not that simple.
    What it’s undoubtedly true is that Baseball has the older fan base among the big three pro-Leagues. But that’s the nature of the game and not a sign of its imminent death. This is from an Adweek article of less than a week ago, and it’s Mike Mulvihill who’s talking, svp of programming and research for Fox Sports: “For 40 years people have been saying, ‘we’re losing the kids, we’re losing the kids,’ but the historical numbers tell a different story,” Mulvihill says. “Kids grow into Baseball. Twenty years ago, the Series was ranked 26th among boys 2-11. Now they’re all grown up and our ratings for men in the 21-29 range were the fourth highest on TV.”
    The slow pace of the Game doesn’t attract many young viewers, but when they grow up, they get involved. It’s been like this for many years now.
    But, even in this TV landscape, when you compare Postseason Baseball with non-sporting events, you have a top 5 TV show.
    As regards MLB vs. other Leagues, wait until Baseball will have some marquee teams back at the best level. I’m talking about the Cubs, the Dodgers, the Red Sox…you’ll see that TV ratings domination is cyclical and depends on a lot of factors. For Baseball it lays on having teams based in big markets with rich tradition in the mix. For Basketball it lays on having the teams with the best stars.

  • Lol


    If you’re waiting for the Cubs to reach the WS then good luck with that. It ain’t happening. The Dodgers are not that popular. Red Sox and Yankees is all baseball has.

  • ZabriskiePt

    I think the rebuilding process arranged by Theo Epstein could bring the Cubs back in the Postseason in two years, becoming a contender for the World Series in 3/4 years. I don’t believe in curses, so I don’t see why the Cubs couldn’t have a shot at reaching a title just like almost every other team has had in the last 30 years. The Cubs, too, arrived an inch far from the World Series in 2003.
    The Dodgers have a big potential under the new ownership. Now that the face of the franchise is Magic Johnson and now that they have money for creating one of the biggest star power in all of the pro Leagues, I think they only miss a World Series appearance for creating a big buzz around the team. And LA is a big big market. I guess a 4-game World Series between the Yankees and the Dodgers would draw in the 11 to 12 range TV ratings average. But a Game 7 between the same two teams could easily arrive in the 16 to 17 range. But Bud Selig’s dream certainly is a Cubs-Yankees Game 7. In that scenario, nothing would be impossible, not even a 20.0, I guess.

  • LT

    Giants, Cards and Nats to me are the favorites in the NL next season. In the Al, Rangers(they will be good still), Tigers, and look out for the Angels. Red Sox will struggle. And the Yankees have a lot of unanswered questions.

  • LT

    Hoping the Cubs win a title is like hoping the Knicks win a title. Or better yet the Jets.

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