Fox has a field day

Baseball gives net highest series ratings

Fox Sports scored a record rating for the first round of the baseball playoffs Sunday night and was poised to hit another home run Monday night as well with the final game of the New York Yankees-Anaheim Angels series.

The Yankees’ 3-2 victory over the Angels on Sunday night delivered a 9.7 household rating/15 share in Nielsen’s metered-market overnights, a big 45% increase over the comparable game a year ago (6.7/10 for St. Louis Cardinals-Los Angeles Dodgers). Game did a 23.1/33 in New York and a 15.8/29 in Los Angeles.

Rating was Fox’s highest ever for the fourth game of a Division Series. And through four primetime telecasts, the 2005 Division Series on Fox was averaging a 7.1/11 in the overnights, up 13% vs. last year (6.3/10).

ESPN’s coverage of the Houston Astros-Atlanta Braves marathon 18-inning game Sunday registered a nothing-special 2.4/5 in the overnights from 1-4 p.m. ET but then spiked to a 5.2/10 from 4-7 p.m. Houston won the game on an 18th-inning home run to advance to face the Cardinals for the National League pennant.

Highest sports overnight rating Sunday came in the late afternoon (4:15-7:30 p.m. ET), when Fox netted a 13.1/25 share in the household overnights for its NFL doubleheader game (mostly Philadelphia Eagles-Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins-Denver Broncos).

On the entertainment side in primetime, ABC made it three straight Sunday victories to start the season, led as usual by “Desperate Housewives” (prelim 10.9 rating/24 share in adults 18-49, 25.7 million viewers overall). Although down 9% week-to-week, “DH” will come in as the week’s No. 1 program in 18-49.

“Grey’s Anatomy” (prelim 8.2/19 in 18-49, 18.5 million) and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (6.1/15 in 18-49, 15.0 million) also dominated their slots, and “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (3.0/9 in 18-49, 8.8 million) kicked off the night by standing as the top nonsports show in 18-49 at 7 o’clock.

NBC saw its dramas “The West Wing” (prelim 2.5/6 in 18-49, 8.1 million) and “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” (prelim 3.8/8 in 18-49, 12.5 million) improve vs. last week, while “Crossing Jordan” (prelim 3.8/9 in 18-49, 12.9 million viewers overall) remained the No. 2 entertainment choice at 10.

CBS saw another good outing from “Cold Case” at 8 (4.0/10 in 18-49, 15.8 million viewers overall) but then fell off with original movie “The Hunt for the BTK Killer” (2.6/6 in 18-49, 8.6 million viewers overall).

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