Fox, as expected, got grand-slam Gotham numbers for Game 1 of the World Series but the net has to hope the news starts spreading to the rest of the country if it’s going to avoid record-low ratings for the Fall Classic.
Despite a competitive, marathon contest — won by the Yankees in 12 innings — the preliminary national rating from Nielsen gave the game an 11.0 rating and 20 share. If those numbers hold up when nationals are released Tuesday, they would place below the 1997 opener between Florida and Cleveland (11.3/22) and become the lowest-rated primetime World Series opener on record.
Last year’s Yankees-Braves opener scored a 14.2/26 in homes.
The game scored very well in overnights (14.0/25) but, of course, these big-market results include New York’s whopping score (41.6/62). This means that the game did not play nearly as well outside of the 49 large cities that Nielsen meters for overnight data.
Compared with Game 1 of the 1999 World Series (Yankees-Braves), this year’s New York rating was 51% higher (27.5/43). In fact, it’s the highest rating in New York for any program since the series finale of “Seinfeld” on NBC in May 1998 (49.1/63).
ABC most effectively counter-programmed the Series, with a repeat of “Forrest Gump” (prelim 12.1 million viewers), which logged the net’s best 18-49 average on a Saturday (5.1/14) since January.