Tuesday, October 23, 2007

ALCS Provides Great Ratings for FOX [J. Mark English]

The ratings are in, and FOX is the winner. The ALCS match up between the Indians and the Red Sox provided FOX with the most viewers over the past week. Here is a summary from Variety.com:

Fox Sports is riding a wave of momentum -- and heightened advertiser interest -- into the World Series after the seventh and deciding game of the Red Sox-Indians series scored big numbers Sunday night.

The Boston Red Sox will take on the Colorado Rockies in the Fall Classic beginning Wednesday night.

Boston has a large national following while the Rockies are a great Cinderella story: Left for dead for most of summer, the young team rallied to become the last squad to qualify for the postseason and then swept the opening two rounds of the playoffs...

...Nielsen estimates that an average aud of 19 million viewers watched the Boston Red Sox cap their rally in the best-of-seven series with an 11-2 victory on Sunday. That made it the most-watched program of the night -- besting "Desperate Housewives" on ABC and "Sunday Night Football" on NBC -- and will help Fox win the week's primetime ratings race among young adults and total viewers....

....From Fox's perspective, one of the big advantages this year is that the first game will take place on Wednesday instead of Saturday, as in previous years, Goren said. Viewing levels are higher on Wednesday than Saturday, and "we'll get more of a sports-page buildup to the Series because baseball is not competing directly with weekend college football and the NFL," he said.

Also, the Wednesday start means that if the Series goes to a sixth and seventh game on Wednesday (Oct. 31) and Thursday (Nov. 1), Fox's sales staff will have two days to sell the time (Tuesday and Wednesday), not one day (Friday) when Game 6 takes place on a Saturday, as in previous years.

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