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News > Companies
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Fox also a Series winner
graphic November 5, 2001: 2:44 p.m. ET

Sunday game's ratings best in a decade, easily top Emmy viewership.
By Staff Writer Chris Isidore
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  • SportsBiz: Fox may yet love NY series - Oct. 24, 2001
  • Winning stocks tough to find on the subway series - Oct. 20, 2000
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  • Fox Sports
  • Nielsen Media Research
  • Major League Baseball
  • CNNSI.com coverage of baseball's postseason
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    NEW YORK (CNNmoney) - The initial ratings from the last game of the World Series show it may have been the most-watched baseball game in a decade, and the best-viewed non-NFL broadcast ever on the Fox network.

    Game seven, in which the Arizona Diamondbacks dethroned the three-time defending champion New York Yankees, was seen at some point in the broadcast by 71.9 million people, according to Fox Sports.

    It easily outdistanced the viewership for the Emmy Awards on CBS as well as programming on NBC and ABC, according to overnight ratings from Nielsen Media Research, which measures viewership in the nation's 53 largest markets.

    The numbers from Fox and from Nielsen are slightly different from one another due to the preliminary sampling method. Fox's numbers, which it attributes to Nielsen data, shows the game had a 23.5 preliminary rating and an average audience of 39.1 million viewers, with 34 percent of all viewers who were watching television during that time tuned into the game.

    The early estimates from Nielsen itself are that game seven registered a rating of 27.0, with about 36 percent of all viewers tuning into the game.

    Shares of Fox Entertainment Group (FOX: up $0.65 to $21.60, Research, Estimates) were higher in trading Monday afternoon, while shares of media conglomerate News Corp. (NWS: down $0.21 to $27.49, Research, Estimates), which controls a majority of Fox's stock, were slightly lower.

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    The World Series victory of the Arizona Diamondbacks was also cause for celebration at Fox, which saw the game capture the most viewers of any baseball game in a decade.
    The preliminary ratings are often higher than the national ratings, which will be available later, especially when a major market like New York has a team involved in the Series, since the preliminary number gives greater weighting to the large markets.

    But it is clear the game was seen by the greatest number of viewers for a baseball game since game seven of the 1991 World Series between the Atlanta Braves and Minnesota Twins, which got a 32.2 rating. The only other deciding game seven of the series to be played since then got a 24.5 rating in 1997, but the number of households and viewers represented by each rating point then was lower.

    Last year's World Series between the Yankees and their cross-town rival the New York Mets only went five games, which hurt ratings because it did not provide as much drama to the best-of-seven contest. That Series averaged only a 12.4 rating over the five games, according to Nielsen. For this year, Fox calculates that it averaged a 15.6 rating, and a 25 percent share of viewers, over all seven games of the Series.

    The World Series games this weekend were particularly popular in the Phoenix market. Game seven got a 60.9 rating in Phoenix, with 79 percent of television viewers there watching the game, compared to a 38.6 percent rating and 52 percent of viewers in the New York market.

    Fans in New York have seen far more championship games than those in Phoenix, and baseball fan loyalties are split between the Yankees and the Mets. The games also extended past 11 p.m. in New York, where Phoenix saw the games three hours earlier. The best ratings occurred at the end of the tight final game, which Arizona won in the bottom of the ninth inning. Fox says that it posted a 28 rating and a 45 percent share of viewers during the 11 p.m. to 11:27 p.m. ET portion of the game.

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    There was also a New York Jets football game on Sunday night, but it got virtually no viewership in New York on the broadcast outlet for the game, getting a 2.2 percent rating and a 3 percent share. But that number does not include New York viewers who watched the football game on its simulcast on cable network ESPN. Cable network ratings are not yet available.

    The Emmy awards, which had been twice delayed due to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, finished a distant second Sunday night. Precise ratings for the program were not immediately available but CBS got a 10.9 rating and a 16 percent share of television viewers in the 7 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. ET time slot, which was mostly taken up with Emmy coverage.

    Click here for a look at CNNSI.com's coverage of the 2001 baseball postseason

    ABC, which went with a more typical Sunday-night lineup that included the end of the movie Toy Story 2 and the drama series "The Practice," got a 7 rating and a 10 percent share from 7 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. NBC, which showed the first half of the made-for-TV movie Uprising, got a 6.4 rating and a 9 percent share in that time slot.

    The ratings for game six of the World Series on Saturday night, when the Diamondbacks jumped out to an early lead and put the game out of reach by the third inning, did a healthy 15.1 rating, capturing a quarter of viewers nationwide, according to the overnight ratings. In New York, it saw a 21.6 rating and a 34 percent share, while in Phoenix fans gave the blowout by their team a 50.0 rating and a 72 percent share. graphic

      RELATED STORIES

    SportsBiz: Fox may yet love NY series - Oct. 24, 2001

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      RELATED LINKS

    Fox Sports

    Nielsen Media Research

    Major League Baseball

    CNNSI.com coverage of baseball's postseason





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