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Fox: we have no complaints about the World Series ratings

Oct 18, 2011, 5:12 PM EDT

old TV

Folks are going to complain about the World Series ratings as soon as they start trickling in.  They’re really going to complain when the Rams-Cowboys game on Sunday doubles the ratings of the Cardinals-Rangers game just around the corner later that evening.  We know that by now.

But as Variety’s (and Dodgers Thoughts’) Jon Weisman reports, Fox is quite pleased, thank you very much, with the state of the ratings and their investment.

Ads sold out earlier than ever, Fox Sports’ vice-chairman Ed Goren said. And the ratings, while certainly not what they used to be, aren’t bad when you compare baseball to itself and other programming in this increasingly fragmented media landscape as opposed to simply comparing it to the ratings behemoth that is the NFL:

“First off, the World Series last year, we won primetime for the week.  Even last year’s World Series … in 1971, there was a Pirates-Orioles World Series, and it was the eighth highest-rated show of the year. Last year’s World Series was the eighth-highest rated show of the year also.  In this 500-channel universe, the numbers that the World Series pulls in viewership are substantial year after year. Some years are better than others — the more games you get, the better you’ll be — but it is still a major, major ratings attraction.”

Baseball TV rights will be up for bidding again after the 2012 season. I’m guessing Fox, and other outlets, will be involved in the bidding.  All of these are companies, it should be noted, that aren’t in the business of burning cash for the hell of it.

  1. halladaysbiceps - Oct 18, 2011 at 5:20 PM

    Why are non-TV executives (you and I and every other baseball fan) worried about the TV ratings for the World Series? Because neither team is a big city team? It’s not our money. I could care less what the World Series ratings are. Baseball fans will watch the games regardless of which teams are in it. I think this will be a great World Series and am looking forward to seeing who wins this series, because I have no clue at this stage. It’s a complete toss-up.

    • El Bravo - Oct 18, 2011 at 5:25 PM

      It’s purely an attempt to equate ratings to popularity, which is false. If everything that gets the best ratings on TV are the most popular shows/sports/events in our country, then I’m moving out of here faster than if Putin took over the White House in 2012.

      • Old Gator - Oct 18, 2011 at 11:08 PM

        Why move? the shock of someone competent in the White House for a change too much for you?

    • - Oct 18, 2011 at 5:50 PM

      I wonder this same thing with college conference re-alignment. These fans do know they don’t get a cut of the TV money…right?

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 18, 2011 at 6:01 PM

        I agree. Not one of us gets a cut of this money, from any sport. TV ratings only affect the owners and the players’ pockets. That’s why it’s pointless to contemplate their ratings. If they are not good for this WS, who cares? Do they make less money? Probably not. But even if they did, do we really care whether a player’s salary drops from 20 million to 15 million? It’s laughable.

  2. Ken Arneson - Oct 18, 2011 at 5:27 PM

    Look, if Fox hasn’t baked the odds of getting a Texas-St. Louis World Series into the price they paid for the broadcast rights, it’s their own damn fault. Why the hell do we care if Fox’s actuaries are doing a good job or not?

  3. jonweisman - Oct 18, 2011 at 5:36 PM

    I think that’s one of the most indignant Ken Arneson comments I’ve ever seen!

  4. nyyfaninbama - Oct 18, 2011 at 5:56 PM

    The ratings might be better if they had better announcers.

    • theolgoaler - Oct 18, 2011 at 7:20 PM

      Back in the day, the net (NBC, IIRC) would allow each team’s primary play-by-play announcer to do a couple innings of the World Series. I chortle at the thought of both East and West Coasts getting introduced to the stylings of the Cards’ Mike Shannon. I wasn’t able to listen to Game 5 of the NLDS vs. Philly, but after the first two batters of the game (Furcal triple, Jay double) I thought, “There’s your run, big boy!” Little did I know…

    • tomrogers8120 - Oct 18, 2011 at 9:58 PM

      Vin Scully, perhaps?

  5. sgtr0c - Oct 18, 2011 at 6:05 PM

    If NY, Boston, or Philadelphia were still in it, this would be a 100 comment post. Accept it, and both of you, enjoy your time…. How many days til pitchers and catchers?

  6. jonweisman - Oct 18, 2011 at 6:12 PM

    Texas, by the way, serves the No. 5 national market.

    I’ve added a supplemental blog post about how important Game 7s are.

  7. sdelmonte - Oct 18, 2011 at 6:46 PM

    I’ve seen what your bosses have been putting on prime time, Craig. They burn money.

    Playboy Club? Really?

    • firedude7160 - Oct 18, 2011 at 10:38 PM

      I never watched the show, because football was on, but I have to say that it never had a chance. NBC pitted it against Monday Night Football, which is a fight is was never going to win. They put the show into a time slot that their target audience is otherwise occupied. A show like that would be targeting males in the 18-49 age range, and the show was put in a slot that should be reserved for 18-49 year old females. Football dominates the male 18-49 demographic. If a show like that is to have any shot at surviving on a Monday night, it has to be a spring debut.

      • PanchoHerreraFanClub - Oct 19, 2011 at 2:22 AM

        Football wins out over sex. Doesn’t that tell you something about the average male viewer. Hey, all the guys can’t be married.

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