While the World Series was no match in the ratings last night for “Sunday Night Football,” the good news for Fox is that a sixth, and potentially seventh game of the Fall Classic — airing without any competition from the NFL — should produce a surge in viewership for Fox.
Preliminary, affiliate-based ratings for live sports are always subject to revision due to time zone differences, but the New Orleans Saints’ 44-23 victory over the Green Bay Packers delivered more than double the demo rating on NBC’s stations from 8:30 to 11 p.m. (6.4/17 share) than the San Francisco Giants’ 5-0 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Fox’s stations from 8 to 11 (2.7/7).
It was a bit more competitive in total viewers, with the primetime portion of the football game topping that of the baseball game, 17.2 million to about 10 million. But in Nielsen’s metered-market overnights, football topped the World Series by a 39% margin (11.4/18 vs. 8.2/13) — the biggest advantage in the five years that the NFL has scheduled a game opposite the Sunday game of the World Series.
“Sunday Night Football” figures to finish with about a 7.2 demo rating in 18-49, which would make it easily the week’s top broadcast in the demo.
The football game felt more competitive last night, with the teams tied at halftime before the home team Saints broke it open in the final 20 minutes of action. The World Series, on the other hand, featured a dominant pitching performance by the Giants’ Madison Bumgarner in a game his team seemed to control from the outset, even if it was only 2-0 into the eighth inning.
Game 6 of the World Series is set for Tuesday night in Kansas City on Fox, with a potential seventh game to be played on Wednesday.
CBS aired NFL action until about 8 p.m. ET, and started its primetime lineup at that point in much of the country. In the 8 o’clock hour, “60 Minutes” did roughly a 2.4/7 in 18-49 and 13.5 million viewers overall, followed by “Madam Secretary” at 9 (1.5/4 in 18-49, 11.6 million viewers overall) and “The Good Wife” at 10 (1.4/4 in 18-49, 9.6 million viewers overall).
ABC followed the special “Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion” with season lows for its dramas “Once Upon a Time” (2.3/6 in 18-49, 6.6 million viewers overall), “Resurrection” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 4.4 million viewers overall) and “Revenge” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 4.3 million viewers overall). Still, “Once” and “Revenge” both improved upon the net’s performance in their time periods vs. the same night last year.
Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC, 5.0/14; Fox, 2.9/8; CBS, 2.8/8; ABC, 1.3/4; Univision, 0.9/3; Telemundo, 0.3/1
In total viewers: CBS and NBC, 13.8 million; Fox, 10.5 million; ABC, 4.5 million; Univision, 2.3 million; Telemundo, 0.7 million.