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Underdogs have their day on Fox

Windy City sluggers help ratings step up to the plate

America’s pastime is back in a big way this fall — thanks in large part to the formerly hapless Chicago Cubs.

The Cubs, whose fans (and their parents and grandparents) have been starved for a World Series title since their last victory in 1908, provide a great storyline for Fox’s coverage of baseball’s League Championship Series.

The World Series, which begins Oct. 18, pits the winner of the Cubs-Florida Marlins matchup against the winner of the Boston Red Sox-New York Yankees series (another potential ratings dynamo). The Red Sox haven’t won it all since 1918 — when they beat the Cubs.

Game 1 of the Cubs-Marlins series on Oct. 7 averaged a big 15.6 million viewers — the largest opening-game aud in this round since 1993. This is a bigger audience, for example, than any game of the NBA Finals on ABC in June.

For the early Division Series round, Fox’s five primetime games averaged a network-record 11.2 million viewers, up 21% from last year.

A Cubs-Red Sox World Series would keep this ratings momentum going in a big way, likely garnering the best ratings for a Fall Classic in 15 years or more.

After all, someone’s got to win, right?

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