October 29, 2013

Series Notebook: Baseball loses to football (on TV)

Game 4 of the World Series fares well in the ratings, but draws less than Green Bay’s NFL win over Minnesota.

The Associated Press

ST. LOUIS — Boston’s 4-2 win over St. Louis in Game 4 of the World Series drew a slightly higher rating than San Francisco’s title clincher last year but was topped by Green Bay’s 44-31 win over Minnesota in a regular-season NFL game.

Nielsen Media Research said Monday the game on Fox received a 9.4 rating and 15 share and was seen by an average of 16 million viewers. The rating was up 6 percent from the 8.9 mark for San Francisco’s 4-3, 10-inning victory at Detroit last year, which completed a sweep and was the highest-rated World Series game since Game 4 between the Yankees and Phillies in 2009.

The NFL game drew a 9.8/15 and 16.9 million viewers on NBC. The network said it was the third time in four years the Sunday night NFL telecast beat the World Series head to head.

The first four games of the World Series averaged an 8.4/14 and 14 million viewers, The rating was up 11 percent from the record-low 7.6/12 for last year’s Series.

Fox said Sunday night’s game was its highest-rated prime-time broadcast since the season premiere of “American Idol” in January.

The game received a 46.7/66 in the St. Louis market and a 34.7/55 in Boston.

The rating is the percentage of U.S. television households tuned to a program. The share is the percentage watching a broadcast among those homes with TVs on at the time. 

HITLESS WONDERS: American League pitchers rarely hit, and it has really showed in the World Series.

From 1976 to 1985, the designated hitter rule was applied to an entire World Series – switching off every other year between using it and not using it.

Starting in 1986, the DH has been used in the American League city and the pitcher hits in the NL city. It has proven to be a big disadvantage for the AL representative.

According to the website Sportingcharts.com, AL pitchers hit .096 entering this World Series, and they were 0 for 4 with three strikeouts in the first two games in St. Louis. Prior to this year’s Series, NL pitchers had batted .154 since 1986 and were 0 for 2 the first two games against Boston.

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