Baseball wraps strong, but series average is record low

Sports was where it was at on Sunday, with NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” prevailing over Fox’s fourth and final game of the World Series. Fox, though, was expected to win the night as it generated monster ratings for the end of the Cowboys-Giants NFL game, which ran about 50 minutes into primetime.

Opposite the night’s big sports action, ABC and CBS finished far behind their rivals — though that gap will close some in DVR numbers.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “Sunday Night Football” averaged a 6.3 rating/14 share in adults 18-49 and 16.2 million viewers overall on NBC’s stations from 8:30 to 11 p.m. — one of the lower ratings the franchise will see this season, though it was up considerably over the quickly lopsided New Orleans-Indianapolis game opposite the World Series last year.

In Nielsen’s metered-market averages, football earned an 11.4 household rating/17 share and baseball did a 10.6/16.

Over at Fox, the San Francisco Giants’ extra-inning victory over the Detroit Tigers averaged a 4.2/10 in 18-49 and 13.8 million viewers overall on the net’s stations from 8 to 11 p.m., with the final averages expected to rise by about 10% in the nationals. While the series ended on a high note, Fox must be disappointed to not get at least a fifth game in the best-of-seven series.

Sunday’s numbers were easily the best for this year’s World Series, but the overall average is expected to come in as a record low. The previous low in total viewers for the Fall Classic came in 2008 (13.6 million for Philadelphia-Tampa Bay) and 2010 (14.3 million for San Francisco-Texas).

Fox certainly had a running start on the night thanks to the conclusion of the NFL game between the Dallas Cowboys-New York Giants, which figures to come in with well above a 10 demo rating and about 30 million viewers overall for its 7-7:50 p.m. primetime portion.

Elsewhere, ABC’s overall average was in line with the previous week, as “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (1.6/4 in 18-49, 6.5 million viewers overall) and “Once Upon a Time” (3.4/8 in 18-49, 9.7 million viewers overall) edged up while “Revenge” (2.7/6 in 18-49, 8.0 million viewers overall) and “666 Park Avenue” (1.6/4 in 18-49, 4.8 million viewers overall) fell off slightly.

In 18-49, the Alphabet finished a bit ahead of CBS, the only other non-sports broadcaster Sunday, but the Eye tied ABC in 25-54 and beat it in total viewers.

“60 Minutes” (1.7/4 in 18-49, 10.8 million viewers overall) was on the low side opposite the big football on Fox, and “Amazing Race” (2.4/6 in 18-49, 9.4 million viewers overall) was slightly below average. From 9 to 11, “The Good Wife” (1.8/4 in 18-49, 9.5 million viewers overall) was about average, and “The Mentalist” (1.8/4 in 18-49, 10.1 million viewers overall) was nothing special, though it was up week to week and beat ABC’s “666″ in key demo categories.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 5.6/13; NBC, 5.1/12; ABC, 2.3/6; CBS, 1.9/5; Univision, 1.1/3.

In total viewers: Fox, 17.3 million; NBC, 13.2 million; CBS, 10.0 million; ABC, 7.2 million; Univision, 3.0 million.

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