Watchdog

Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.

World Series ratings at record low pace

Mike Napoli and Neftali Feliz of the Texas

Mike Napoli and Neftali Feliz of the Texas Rangers celebrate after defeating the St. Louis Cardinals Game 5 of the World Series. (Oct. 24, 2011) (Credit: Getty Images)

The World Series is averaging 8.3 percent of homes on Fox through five games, which would be a record low if the Fall Classic ended here.

(The current record low is 8.4, set in 2008 and tied last year.)

But, of course, the Series does not end here, and the ratings for Games 6 and (if necessary) Game 7 are all but certain to lift the number above 8.4.

(For comparison purposes, the best Series rating ever is 32.8 for the Royals and Phillies in 1980, a figure that by 21st century standards is mind-boggling.)

The strange thing about the low ratings is that the World Series more than held its own against competition from the NFL on Sunday and Monday, when stinker football games actually gave baseball rare head-to-head victories over pro football.

It's a shame, because it's been an interesting Series so far, but it is no surprise, even factoring in the predictably astronomical viewership in St. Louis, perhaps the best basball town in America.

Fact is, baseball is as healthy as ever as a local attraction, but it can't match the NFL or even the NBA in appeal to viewers once their local favorite is knocked out of the competition.

Anyway, most fans do not and should not care about this ratings stuff. But I follow it, because, well, it's what I do.

Speaking of the NFL, the second through 14th most-watched shows of the current television season are pro football games.

No. 1 and No. 15 are the first two episodes of the new-look "Two and a Half Men," featuring my least favorite actor, Ashton Kutcher.

The numbers for that show since have sunk, proving there still is hope for our nation.

Tags: Fox , MLB

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