CBS balks but Perot hits homer in Nielsens

CBS looked a little shaky coming out of the bullpen with its first World Series telecast Saturday, averaging only a 22 share for the night in Nielsen metered markets.

On the flip side, Ross Perot political ads continue to outperform the programs they replace, pulling an 18 share on NBC Friday and a 14 during an hour on ABC Saturday. Friday’s share was good for second place, beating “Picket Fences” in that half-hour.

Numbers for baseball should improve nationally, but CBS averaged a 12.8 rating, 22 share for the first game, well off last year’s opener. Some have speculated that having Toronto in the Series may hurt its ratings potential.

On Thursday, meanwhile, the first presidential debate carried by all four prime time services drew a combined 66 share in the metered markets, more than either the first Oct. 11 debate (where CBS sat out due to baseball) or Tuesday’s vice presidential encounter.

ABC again led during the debate with a 25 share to NBC’s 19 but, inexplicably , slid behind NBC during the post-debate analysis, where NBC had an 11.8 rating, 19 share nationally in Nielsen vs. an 11.5/18 for ABC and CBS’ 9.7/15. Fox Broadcasting Co. posted a 7 share during the debate.

National numbers weren’t available for the 90-minute forum, which ran unsponsored, but the shares were significantly higher than aggregate three-network analysis that followed, which was seen by more than 45 million viewers.

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