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The Giants and Tigers make for the lowest-rated World Series ever

Oct 30, 2012, 11:00 AM EST

old TV

I guess someone has to be on the bottom, so why not a sweep which went head-to-head with football on three of its four nights:

The four games on Fox averaged a 7.6 rating and 12 share, Nielsen Media Research said Monday. The previous low was an 8.4 for the 2008 Phillies-Rays and 2010 Giants-Rangers series, which each went five games.

Last year’s Cardinals-Rangers World Series went the full seven games and built momentum to average a 10.0/16.

I’m sure someone, somewhere will try to make hay out of this, but as we’ve noted ad nauseum: “meh, who cares?” As the recent large TV deals handed out by Fox, TBS and ESPN indicate, and as the local deals — which are the game’s real financial and ratings lifeblood reside — explode, the World Series ratings are not really of consequence in any one year.

  1. icanspeel - Oct 30, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    Besides football taking viewers such as myself.. The series never showed signs of being a good competitive battle. Tigers got blown out in the first game and then forgot how to score the next 2. By then they are down 3-0 without a hope in the world.

    • El Bravo - Oct 30, 2012 at 11:19 AM

      True. Once Verlander got beat up right out the gate, I felt no compulsion to watch another inning.

  2. jarathen - Oct 30, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    I think there’s an overabundance problem here. Season is still the longest it’s ever been, more playoffs, more downtime, and of course a series that was over to most folk after three games.

    I think shortening the LCS, as Verducci suggested, should be seriously considered. The playoffs need to be more concentrated, though I like the extra WC as a disincentive for losing the division crown. Isn’t that right, Rangers?

    • pauleee - Oct 30, 2012 at 12:21 PM

      Well, why don’t we shorten ALL the series to a 1 and out format (just like football!). Then every game would be EXCITING. Just think of the ratings.

      Verducci is a tool.

    • js20011041 - Oct 30, 2012 at 1:20 PM

      Instead of shortening each series, thus further reducing the credibility of the regular season, why not just get rid of the wild card, the coin flip game, and the extra round of playoffs?

  3. Old Gator - Oct 30, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    And of course, the clueless general public missed out on some great new dance steps by Sergio Romo. But I guess if you’d rather watch Bristol Palin hoofing like a hippo, more power to you.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 30, 2012 at 4:55 PM

      It’s okay Gator…you can admit someone with the surname “Palin” is hot. Hahaha!
      It doesn’t mean you are suddenly an insensitive greedy, money loving, ladder climbing conservative.
      But I do agree with your premise though.
      So much so…
      I would rather watch Spring Training Baseball than that Dancing with the hippo’s “reality” show.

  4. coloradothistle - Oct 30, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    I think the season needs to be shortened to a) help with the bad weather problem that happens in later October; and b) reduce the conflict with football. Teams should be required to play at least 5 day/night double headers during the summer to reduce the calendar by a week.

    • jarathen - Oct 30, 2012 at 11:10 AM

      owners would NEVER agree, but i support a 154-game season.

    • sportsdrenched - Oct 30, 2012 at 11:20 AM

      This. Every team plays a DH on every home stand. And shorten the season to 154. Start the playoffs on Labor Day Weekend. (even though it would make the off-season longer, which would suck)

    • Detroit Michael - Oct 30, 2012 at 1:02 PM

      I’m always puzzled when baseball fans express a preference for a shorter regular season. It must be me because your comment drew lots of thumbs up.

      If you want to shorten something, spring training is the obvious candidate to me.

      • coloradothistle - Oct 30, 2012 at 1:32 PM

        I meant leave the 162 games in place. I know the owners like the money. But you can reduce the weeks of the season by playing day/night weekend double headers (again, keeping all the gate money coming in).

  5. darthicarus - Oct 30, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    Dammit, viewing of the World Series is down which makes it not trendy but I watched…so am I a hipster now?

    • rollinghighwayblues - Oct 30, 2012 at 11:28 AM

      I watched every inning with a trendy plaid shirt and horn rimmed glasses despite me having almost perfect vision. Dual hipster.

      • indaburg - Oct 30, 2012 at 11:49 AM

        Were you drinking a Pabst Blue Ribbon? You could have gone for the trifecta.

      • sophiethegreatdane - Oct 30, 2012 at 5:01 PM

        PBR is hipster beer? That’s the kind of swill my grandfathers drank.

      • hojo20 - Oct 30, 2012 at 10:04 PM

        Are you Mr. Rachel Maddow?

    • indaburg - Oct 30, 2012 at 11:50 AM

      Only if you watched it ironically.

      • rollinghighwayblues - Oct 30, 2012 at 12:29 PM

        Living in Texas, I made sure I drank Lone Star and I told everyone I was from Austin.

      • indaburg - Oct 30, 2012 at 12:46 PM

        Ah, good idea.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 30, 2012 at 1:35 PM

        Please. Lone Star is so three years ago. EVERYONE has moved on to Tito’s vodka.

      • rollinghighwayblues - Oct 30, 2012 at 2:09 PM

        Philliac- isn’t that the truth? Vodka is terrible regardless, in my opinion, but everyone swears that Tito’s is the second coming. I also tried to keep it ultra vintage hipster by also ordereding a Fireman’s 4.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 30, 2012 at 2:20 PM

        I’m not saying I lit up Big Tex after the Tigers swept the Stanks, but that Tito is…

  6. sportsdrenched - Oct 30, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    You said it Craig. Someone will make a narrative about how baseball is dying. However, in these situations we have to look at the real scoreboard: The ever increasing, and record amount of money broadcast companies are paying to put MLB games in their airwaves.

    Is MLB on par with the NFL? No, in fact no one but the NFL is keeping up with the NFL. 9 of the most watched shows over last 24 months are NFL games. Not even Hollywood is keeping up.

    But anyone who writes the narrative that baseball is dying doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

  7. dowhatifeellike - Oct 30, 2012 at 11:27 AM

    I watched probably 150 games this year, but I didn’t watch any of the World Series games. I can’t remember the last time I watched any WS game.

    It just doesn’t interest me. This year it was Detroit, a team in a different division than my own that I rarely get to see, and an NL team I don’t know anything about.

    I love baseball. I played every year from the age of 4 until I was 20. The problem is that unless my team is playing, it’s brutal to watch on television. The Fox broadcast team doesn’t help at all.

    • jarathen - Oct 30, 2012 at 2:59 PM

      Same boat for me. I love the Angels, paid MLB.tv $125 to watch out of market games, and once the season was on ice, I stopped caring. I care more about baseball today than I did on Sunday because now the Angels are playing as much baseball as everyone else. I just can’t bring myself to care too much about other teams.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 30, 2012 at 5:00 PM

      I appreciate where you are coming from (jarathen as well). But that is where we differ.
      I can watch any team(s) play baseball. Mariners/Royals, Astros/Padres, Pirates/Mets…it doesn’t matter.
      My Wife gives me all the TV time I want when it comes to the Cardinals…but me watching the other teams drives her batty!

  8. gerryb323 - Oct 30, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    And it’s not just the NFL, the Saturday game was up against some pretty attractive college football as well. Not that it can be avoided since MLB isn’t going to schedule the WS for all week nights…

  9. Charles Gates - Oct 30, 2012 at 11:33 AM

    See, baseball does need more instant replay.

  10. thebadguyswon - Oct 30, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    I’m another one that watched football. And I agree with the guy that said he stopped once Verlander got shelled. Same here.

  11. bringbackkosar - Oct 30, 2012 at 11:37 AM

    They could raise the ratings a couple of points instantly by ditching Tim McCarver

    • Hunter Pence's Eyes - Oct 30, 2012 at 11:52 AM

      McCarver has got to be the WORST color announcer of all time.

      He starts talking about the “greatest game ever pitched” in game one, and says “of course we reference this because ‘The Great Verlander’ is on the mound” … Mind you he was already getting shelled by this point… Verlander is great pitcher, but really…?

      Or he’ll say the most idiotic things like “He hit that ball hard and it went far” …. or “he threw it down the middle and it was a strike”…

      I don’t mind Joe Buck so much, but ffs McCarver has GOT to go….

      • skids003 - Oct 30, 2012 at 12:50 PM

        So you think Deion Sanders had the right idea?

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Oct 30, 2012 at 2:33 PM

        To make his rant about the Spahn/Marichal 16 inning game being the “greatest game ever pitched” even funnier is that in 1920, Oeschger and Cadore both went the distance in a 26 inning game, a 1-1 tie called due to darkness, the longest game in MLB history. That would be 10 innings longer, Tim.

    • kiwicricket - Oct 30, 2012 at 1:06 PM

      ‘The batter thought it was a strike, but it was a ball’
      Tim McCarver- Game2 and Game4

      McCarver,Buck and Andrews apparently tried their hardest to ruin the series for everyone. The post-game was brutal after game 4.

      • sailcat54 - Oct 30, 2012 at 3:12 PM

        In NorCal we turn off the sound on the tube and play the radio to hear good announcing and commentary as we watch the game. The six second delay is annoying, yes, but not nearly as obnoxious as Buck and McCarver.

  12. jasonburg - Oct 30, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    Could it have anything to do with the Fox baseball announcers being the absolute worst in the entire history of televised sports? Who have inspired an entire marketplace of radio-delay software designed to allow people to sync their local radio broadcasts with their TVs so as not to suffer through another Buck-McCarver carnival of idiocy? Nah. That couldn’t be it.

    • willclarkgameface - Oct 30, 2012 at 11:48 AM

      Not worse than TBS where you get your main play by play guy from another sport all together. TBS now sucks worse than FOX and that was VERY difficult to do.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 30, 2012 at 1:42 PM

        Another sport altogether — like Erin Andrews coming over from football? I’d just like to say for the record that it pisses me off that Fox has female reporters for football and NASCAR but not for baseball. Then, they import a woman — because I guess any attractive woman will do — for the WS. It kills me. There are talented female baseball reporters out there. Maybe they need to borrow Mitt’s binder or something to find some.

    • mrwillie - Oct 30, 2012 at 12:11 PM

      “And we welcome you into our broadcast booth. I’m Joe, that’s Tim…..”

      If you welcome me into your broadcast booth, two of us ain’t coming out!

      • ajcardsfan - Oct 30, 2012 at 4:15 PM

        Well, you pretty much summed it up the best but yeah…no point in listening to the broadcasters on either TBS or FOX, you’ll get my attention when you can make McCarver not sound like an idiot and Joe Buck to actually change the tone of his voice, but you’d probably having an easier time putting two parrots in the box and getting them to announce a game better.

    • Marty McKee - Oct 30, 2012 at 2:37 PM

      Yes. I’ve never understood why no article ever written about the death of baseball TV ratings ever takes into account the fact that Fox has always done a terrible job with the sport. Maybe it’s too late to reverse the dive, but if NBC (Costas!) or CBS was broadcasting the World Series with its own announcers and crew, I suspect ratings may bounce the other direction.

  13. norcaldeportes - Oct 30, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    Blame it on the folks at ESPN. When the two teams they cover (Red Sox & Yankees) were eliminated, and one of their pitchers (Verlander) was shelled in Game 1, the average fan didn’t seem to care anymore. And who can blame them, Tebow probably got in for 1 play & that requires days of analysis and film breakdown. ESPN is a joke. When I saw all 12 of their “experts” pick the Tigers (none going more than 6 games), I knew the Giants would win this series.

    • savocabol1 - Oct 30, 2012 at 2:33 PM

      I went on ESPN.com the day after the Giants won the WS. There was one little article about it, the rest was about NFL. If it isnt NFL, Yankees, Redsox, or Lebron, ESPN doesnt give two shits.

  14. bluburt - Oct 30, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    Clearly there was not enough Kate Upton in this series. MLB needs to correct that going forward…

  15. mrwillie - Oct 30, 2012 at 11:59 AM

    Sadly, it just was not an exciting series. I whole heartily watched game 1, as was flipping back and forth after that. There was just little excitement in the games. There were no real compelling pitching matchups, the Tigers bats were non-existent and it just couldn’t match the excitement of the DS and CS games.

    Congrats to the Giants though, fun team to watch the rest of the season.

  16. Marty - Oct 30, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    It’s hard to follow 4-7 games played by teams you don’t care about. The Super Bowl on the other hand is tailored for the masses to casually tune in and participate in the 4 hour consumer frenzy.

    • historiophiliac - Oct 30, 2012 at 6:45 PM

      And many are lured by the commercials and half-time show instead of the actual game.

  17. ll8078 - Oct 30, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    Baseball is dying. Kids aren’t watching it like we used to growing up. I didn’t miss a game of the World Series in the 90s and now kids hardly know who’s in it. NFL takeover.

    • redbirdfan81 - Oct 30, 2012 at 1:36 PM

      Sad but true. Money & greed and late night games have killed it as far as younger kids are concerned.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 30, 2012 at 2:04 PM

        Have you ever seen basketball?

    • braddavery - Oct 30, 2012 at 2:58 PM

      Some people simply don’t know anything about logic. The reason the NFL gets more viewers PER-GAME than baseball is because each team only plays 16 fucking games a season. If you ad up every ticket sold to every baseball game and every ticket sold to every football game, baseball wins by a freaking LANDSLIDE. But go ahead and keep telling yourself that the NFL, because they play less games, is more “popular” than baseball.

  18. jonirocit - Oct 30, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    Really don’t care screw fox and their money why do you guys feel the need to cram this ratings garbage down our throats . No one outside of your industry and the people directly involved care fans don’t give a crap. Furthermore baseball is mostly localized and if you are not a giants or Detroit fan you don’t really watch. There are a few baseball fans in general but if you don’t have a dog in the fight and no fantasy players to watch ratings are going to be down … The more they focus on ratings the more baseball is going to be like wwe err pre determined….and we will see Yankees or socks win the series every year.

  19. barroomhero80 - Oct 30, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    Nobody cares about either team

  20. yankee7fan - Oct 30, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    This is not very hard to figure out:
    1) Baseball is too diluted.
    2) The game has deteriorated as a result of specialization. Offenses are all or notthing. The designated hitter needs to go. The playoff format this year turned a lot of folks off. There was nothing exciting about the Tigers or the Giants.
    3) Selig is eroding the baseball fan base, he must go. Come on the All Star game winner gets home field. PEDs still a big part of the game.
    4) The playoffs are two long. Lacks a sense of a climax

    Time to:
    1) say good bye to Selig
    2) addios to the DH
    3) Yes to contraction

  21. redbirdfan81 - Oct 30, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    This is easily remedied and that is for Bud Selig to get his head out of his butt and make afternoon games again! The season is so long and late in autumn that the weather is a joke and people are into football. Change it up Bud and get the younger generation back into baseball. You’ve already lost one generation and this is what you get and deserve!

  22. sandwiches4ever - Oct 30, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    Other factor: a very close presidential race which has people paying more attention to politics in many parts of the country, rather than sports.

    But yeah, I didn’t feel compelled to watch the WS this year myself.

  23. cramit60 - Oct 30, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    MLB needs to take the shackles off bud selig and let him make more changes so the owners and players can make more money. First, he should make the season longer, it should last through december. He should add two more playoff teams per division. He should make the series best of 9 like the old days. And he should force joe buck to talk more. I detected a couple 3 second spans during the serious that buck was not speaking and it really hurt the broadcast.

  24. historiophiliac - Oct 30, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    I don’t understand all these comments. I watch the WS every year — and I root for whoever the AL sends (even if it’s the Stanks). It doesn’t matter if it’s a sweep or a long, drawn out series. I watch all of it. I can’t understand watching football instead. Football is for watching only when there is no baseball available — and even then I can only stomach college ball.

    • sailcat54 - Oct 30, 2012 at 2:42 PM

      Excellent post (except, perhaps, for the AL part). Football is a boring, plodding game characterized by long periods of inaction on the field punctuated by brief moments of actual play that is all to often called back by the refs for (mostly) irrelevant penalties. No interest in any of that for me.

      By the way, how many days until Spring Training?

      • historiophiliac - Oct 30, 2012 at 3:54 PM

        It’s totally irrational to put on pads and then run around smashing into one another. If you’re going to engage in such stupidity, you should do it for beer and girls. I really don’t understand grown men doing that to themselves for money.

        Not ready to start the countdown clock yet (do they feature one on this here blog?) — but last night the withdrawal did kick in about 7:30pm. As always, I expect it to get stronger in the next few days and then give way to numbness by Thanksgiving.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 30, 2012 at 5:06 PM

      On point once again Philiac. Any baseball will do.
      Separately:

      “Then, they import a woman — because I guess any attractive woman will do”
      That’s just it…(as we discussed previously)…she isn’t even all that attractive.
      And her voice grates on my nerves. She is built like Olive Oil and has the voice of Popeye.
      Bird body, bird nose, bird face…with Popeye’s voice.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 30, 2012 at 5:15 PM

        Well, I’m not fond of her, but you know, I’m not the target audience.

        Speaking of which, who’s our eye candy? Don’t say Joe Buck because that makes me throw up a little — or lots. I’d say the Brad Pitt commercials were for the female viewers, but I don’t care for him.

      • sailcat54 - Oct 30, 2012 at 9:01 PM

        How about a knowledgeable female to provide play by play, and to hell with her looks? I don’t need some featherweight cupcake delivering the game; I want someone who knows what he or she is talking about and who is articulate and informed. Of course, that lets Buck and McCarver out, but certainly there must be a woman sports reporter who can take their place without having to show off her cleavage to get the viewing public’s attention?

  25. shawnsmith262 - Oct 30, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    Reblogged this on Sidelined and Fined.

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