Emphasis below is mine. Note that even with a lower average viewership since Fox is now guaranteed at least 6 games this year (vs. 5 last year), they’ll almost certainly reap a bigger ratings benefit to their overall Fall and season averages.
via press release:
WORLD SERIES GAMES 3 & 4 TURN DOUBLE PLAY FOR FOX
Network Projected to Win Saturday & Sunday Nights
The 2011 World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers, tied at two games apiece after a split in Games 3 and 4, is delivering nightly for FOX.
Last night, 2011 World Series Game 4 on FOX posted a 9.2/14 fast national household rating/share with 15.2 million viewers according to Nielsen Media Research, as Texas evened the Series and set up a definite return to St. Louis for Game 6 and a possible Game 7. WS Game 4 out-performed Game 4 a year ago by +2% (9.0/15, 15.5 million), and ranks as the highest-rated and most-watched World Series broadcast this year. Though fast nationals for other live sports events broadcast last night are unavailable, World Series Game 4 is projected to out-rate all competitive programming for the night.
The 2011 World Series, despite a smaller National League market compared to a year ago, is averaging an 8.2/13 (13.5 million viewers), virtually flat with last year (-1%) through four games (8.3/14, 14.1 million) and ahead of 2008 (8.1/14, 13.0 million, +1%).
Complete time zone adjusted fast nationals are not available, so exact competitive figures cannot be released. FOX, however, projects that last night ranks as FOX’s best Sunday night on Households since Super Bowl XLV in February. FOX Research further projects a FOX win for the night among Homes, Average Audience and Adults 18-49. Given these projections, the World Series powered FOX to primetime victories among Adults 18-49 on each of its four broadcast nights and is driving FOX to the biggest week of the season thus far for any network among Adults 18-49.
St. Louis led all markets last night with a 45.4/61, followed by Dallas with a 39.1/56. FOX’s NFL followed by the World Series Sunday delivered massive day-long ratings in World Series markets Dallas and St. Louis. From noon to 11:15 PM ET, KDFW in Dallas averaged a remarkable 25.7/47, while KTVI in St. Louis averaged a 22.4/40. Prior to World Series Game 4, FOX also broadcast the St. Louis Rams at Dallas Cowboys contest at 4:15 PM ET.
Game 3 of the 2011 World Series on Saturday night was a high-scoring affair as the Cardinals defeated the Rangers 16-7, and predictably the rout, along with increased competition, affected viewership. WS Game 3 drew a 6.6/12 fast national household rating/share, with 11.2 million viewers on Saturday night, -1% from Game 3 a year ago 6.7/13 (11.5 million) for what was a close, two-run game between the San Francisco Giants and Rangers. FOX posted a 6.9 fast national rating, with 11.9 million viewers, between 8:00-11:00 PM ET which ranks as the network’s highest-rated and most-watched Saturday night since 1/15/11.
Game 3 opened up with a 5.2/10, 8.7 million at 8:01 PM ET, grew steadily and peaked at 7.9/14, 13.8 million viewers from 10:00-10:30 PM ET. As Albert Pujols and the Cardinals pounded out 15 hits and built their lead, viewership predictably tailed off, finishing with a 5.3/11, 8.7 million viewers at midnight ET. Locally, St. Louis paced all local markets with a 39.3/63, followed by Dallas’ 29.4/52.
Since national ratings are unavailable for all the networks airing live sports on Saturday night, the primetime race must for now be judged based on overnight numbers. Using that measurement, FOX easily won the day in sports and the night in primetime. ABC averaged a 2.1/4 for regionalized NCAA football from 8:00-11:30 PM ET. CBS delivered a 3.5/8 for Auburn and LSU from 3:30-6:45 PM ET and NBC posted a 2.6/5 for USC vs. Notre Dame from 7:45-11:00 PM ET. On the cable side, ESPN averaged a 1.9/3 for Wisconsin-Michigan State from 8:00-10:45 PM ET, while ESPN 2 delivered a 2.4/5 for Tennessee-Alabama from 7:00-10:00 PM ET. Total primetime college football programming was more competitive Saturday night than it was on the night of Game 3 a year ago. Last night’s four competing primetime college football games earned a total of a 9.0/17 in the metered markets compared to 7.8/15 for three games a year ago. Driven by the World Series, FOX’s 7.6/14 metered market average for the night of Game 3 nearly matched the 7.7/14 earned by ABC, CBS and NBC combined.