via press release:


2009 Game 5 Ranks as Highest-Rated and Most-Watched Game 5 Since 2003

Phillies Force World Series Game Six for First Time Since 2003


The Phillies’ 8-6 victory over the Yankees in Game 5 last night sends the World Series to a sixth game for the first time since 2003.  The five-year gap between World Series lasting at least six games is the longest in baseball history.

Game 5 of the 105th WORLD SERIES earned a 10.6/16 average household rating/share, with an average audience of 17.1 million viewers on FOX, ranking as the highest-rated and most-watched Game 5 since 2003 (13.2/21, 19.9 mill.), including decisive Game 5s in 2008 and 2006. Last night’s Yankees-Phillies game rated +10% higher than the two-night average of last year’s Rays-Phillies Game 5 (9.6/14), and +8% higher in average audience (15.8 mill.). Last year’s game was started on a Monday night, suspended due to inclement weather after six-innings, and completed the following Wednesday.

Last night’s game averaged a 10.6/16 with 17.2 million viewers in prime time, giving FOX another easy household ratings win over the competition. FOX’s 10.6/16 was +14% better than ABC’s second-place 9.3/14.  CBS was next at a 7.2/11 with NBC a distant fourth at a 3.5/5, failing to generate even a third of FOX’s delivery.  ESPN’s Monday Night Football rounded out the toughest night of competition that this World Series has or will face.  ESPN’s Falcons-Saints game earned a 7.7/13 nationally (12.4 million), which is +5% better than the 7.3/11 they posted last year for Colts-Titans opposite Game 5 a year ago.

FOX continues to enjoy its best fourth quarter performance in history.  Last night’s 5.2 rating in prime time among Adults 18-49 allowed FOX to increase its season-to-date average to 3.8 among Adults 18-49, expanding FOX’s lead over second-place CBS (3.2) to +19%, FOX’s biggest season-to-date lead ever in fourth quarter and the biggest for any network in six years.

The Phillies’ 6-1 lead in the third inning dampened ratings growth throughout prime time to about half of what it has been for the Series’ more competitive games.  Last night’s game posted 9.6/15 at 8:00 PM ET and grew to 11.1/18 at 10:30 PM ET, a +16% gain during the prime-time window. To compare, Games 1 and 2 last week grew by an average of +31% from 8:00 to 10:30.  Clearly the early offensive outburst had a negative impact on interest.  The rating for last night’s game peaked after 11:00 PM ET at 11.6/20 (18.6 million) as the Yankees mounted a late rally and brought the tying run to the plate with two outs in the ninth only to fall short.

– PHILADELPHIA topped all markets, as they have for every game of this Series, with a 41.0/56.  NEW YORK notched a 28.7/42.


The first five games of the 2009 Fall Classic have averaged a 11.4/19 household rating/share, 18.7 million viewers and a 6.0 among Adults 18-49.  In households, this year’s Series is up +36% in rating over last year (8.4/14) and +38% in audience (13.6 million), and is the highest-rated and most-watched World Series since the Red Sox snapped their 86-year championship drought in 2004 (15.8/26, 25.4 million).  If we compare the first five games of the World Series to top-rated season-to-date primetime shows, the World Series would rank No. 2 in households. Excluding the competing markets and Hartford, which is in close proximity to NYC, the top-rated neutral markets to date are: West Palm Beach (14.0/21), Las Vegas (14.0/22), Tampa (13.5/22) and Buffalo (13.4/21).  The neutral markets posting the biggest percentage increase year-to-year are: Raleigh (12.3 vs. 5.8, +112%), Buffalo (13.4 vs. 6.9, +94%) and Pittsburgh (8.5 vs. 5.2, +63%).

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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