Monday, October 29, 2012

Giants-Tigers: Lowest-rated World Series ever?

Posted By on Mon, Oct 29, 2012 at 4:32 PM

The Giants celebrate their sweep over the Tigers
  • The Giants celebrate their sweep over the Tigers.
If you just looked up and realized that the World Series is already over, you're not alone.

The San Francisco Giants' four-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers averaged an 8.9 overnight rating per game, putting the Series on track to become the lowest-rated ever, according to USA Today's Michael Hiestand.

Hiestand reported on Monday that the Series' first two games from San Francisco averaged just 7.7. percent of U.S. households, the lowest ratings ever for the first two games of a Series.

San Francisco is the sixth biggest media market in the country, and Detroit the 11th. And ratings were huge in those two cities.

So what gives?

For one thing, this series never picked up any momentum — except for the Giants and their fans, that is.

Any semblance of drama went out the window when the Giants won Game Three in Detroit Saturday night. No team in Series history has come back from an 0-3 deficit. (The Red Sox survived an 0-3 imbalance to beat New York in 2004, but that was a battle for the American League championship, not a World Series.)

And traditionally, a Series only begins to get some heft when it returns to the home city for games six and seven.

Last year's Texas Rangers/ St. Louis Cardinals classic actually started just as slowly as this year's — the first two games of the 2011 Series averaged an 8.8 rating. But Game 6 scored a 12.7 rating, and Game 7 garnered a 14.7.

Forbes reports that the Giants, the Tigers and Fox Sports lost a ton of money by having the Series end in a sweep.

Fox was charging roughly $425,000 for a 30-second ad spot during the Series, which translates into $30 million per game in ad revenue, according to Nielsen estimates. The problem is that most ad time is sold based on a guaranteed audience and the low ratings for the Giants-Tigers match-up means Fox will likely be on the hook for “make-good” commercials for its baseball advertisers.

Of course, San Franciscans could care less about all of this TV revenue news. As is almost the norm in American cities following their home teams winning a championship, the victory celebration led to mayhem on the streets: Some no doubt inebriated fans torched and destroyed a $700,000 Muni bus downtown.

An estimated crowd of 1 million is expected to crowd Market Street in downtown San Francisco on Halloween, when the team will hold its second victory parade in three years.

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