World Series Edges The NFL In Sunday Night Ratings

By James Williams
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Despite those who feel that the World Series ratings are down Fox won their fourth straight night of ratings scoring a close but a big win. Last night was a big time shift as the Boston Red Sox‘ 4-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 4 of the World Series beat NBC Sunday Night Football.

According to early numbers from Nielsen,  Fox drew 16.7 million viewers and a rating of 5.1 in the key 18-49 age demographic, beating NBC, which brought in 12.3 million and a rating of 4.5. Fox did get a big assist from the NFL as their lead in the Denver Broncos 44-21 win over the Washington Redskins plus the NFL OT – Postgame Show helped Fox get an instant audience.

NBC Sunday Night Football was an entertaining one as the Green Bay Packers beat the Minnesota Vikings by a score of 44-31.  This was the first week since football season has began that NBC Sunday Night Football has not won its time slot as the top rated show of the week.

There will be adjusted numbers later today when the a complete report is put together, but it is hard to see how the rating will change. Much has been reported about how MLB does not have the ratings it once had, but that could be said for a number of sports.

It will be a close win for the World Series but a win nonetheless, and tonight’s Game 5 will no doubt beat ESPN Monday Night Football. Fox being on broadcast TV with two straight wild finishes looks to best the NFL again.

The key thing to remember is that thus far through four games of the 2013 World Series Fox has won every night in the ratings. The new MLB television contract with Fox, TBS and ESPN that takes effect next year was for double the amount of the previous number. The new deal is worth $12.4 billion, and that does not include the massive local deals that have been done by the regional cable sports networks. Baseball is a good investment for television programmers because you get so much content for the money. It starts in March and ends in October, and that gives plenty of entertaining days of baseball.

So Fox will see at least six wins on ratings night that could mean two straight weekly ratings wins for the network. Add to that the promotion that they have gotten throughout the World Series and the network is very happy with the ratings and the deal.

Rant Sports columnist James Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award winning producer, director and writer. Follow him on Twitter @Wordmandc and add him to your Google circles.

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