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Hardly a home run

Fox baseball coverage continues to slide

Fox Sports couldn’t have asked for more from Sunday night’s Game 2 of the World Series, but ratings for the Fall Classic continue to significantly underperform last season.

A competitive, high-scoring matchup won by the Chicago White Sox in the bottom of the ninth inning settled for ho-hum Nielsens by World Series standards, although Fox was a strong second to ABC on the night.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen that are adjusted for time zone differences, Sunday’s game between the White Sox and Houston Astros averaged a 5.7 rating in adults 18-49 — down 35% from last year’s 9.0 for Game 2 of the Boston Red Sox-St. Louis Cardinals series.

In overall viewership, Sunday’s game figures to come in above 17 million viewers for its 8-11 p.m. ET duration, compared with 25.5 million for last year’s Game 2.

Game earned a 39.5 household rating/55 in Chicago (or roughly 1.35 million households) and a 41.3/54 in Houston (roughly 790,000 homes), according to Nielsen metered-market overnights. Final nationals for the first two games of the World Series will be released today.

Fox easily won the night in male demos but ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” (prelim 10.9 rating/24 share in adults 18-49, 24.9 million viewers overall) and “Grey’s Anatomy” (prelim 8.5/20 in 18-49, 18.4 million) dominated among women and ruled from 9 to 11 in adults 18-49 and total viewers.

“DH,” although posting its lowest scores in five outings this season, was up about 12% vs. the same night a year ago. The hot “Grey’s” improved upon last season’s “Boston Legal” in the 10 o’clock hour by about 85%.

ABC was also the top nonsports choice in 18-49 at 8 with a repeat of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (prelim 4.9/12 in 18-49, 12.7 million).

On the other end of the spectrum, NBC’s “West Wing” remains weak at 8 (prelim 2.1/5 in 18-49, 7.8 million), matching its lowest score of the season.

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