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Ratings Paint a Mixed Picture

October 22, 2002|Larry Stewart | Times Staff Writer

San Francisco is beating Los Angeles in the ratings for the World Series, but the Angels drew a higher rating in L.A. for Game 2 on Sunday night than the Lakers did for Game 2 of the NBA Finals in June.

San Francisco beat L.A. 30.9/55 (rating/share) to 26.9/50 for Game 1 on Saturday night, and 35.1/53 to 29.8/47 for Game 2.

The 29.8/47 for Game 2 is better than the 27.8/46 the Lakers drew in L.A. for Game 2 of the NBA Finals against the New Jersey Nets. But the four-game NBA Finals averaged 31.8/51 in L.A.

Nationally, the ratings rose 27% from Game 1 to Game 2 but the overall ratings are down 16% from a year ago.

The Angels' dramatic 11-10 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Sunday night earned a "fast" national rating of 11.9 with a 20% share of the audience, which translates to 19.4 million viewers.

Game 1 on Saturday night drew a fast national of 9.4/18 with 15.5 million viewers.

Final national ratings will not be available until today. If the 9.4/18 holds up it will set a record for lowest rating ever for a World Series game. The previous low was a 10.4/19 for Game 1 last year, when Arizona routed the New York Yankees, 9-1.

The previous low rating before that was an 11.3 for the 1997 opener between Cleveland and Florida.

For both games this year at Anaheim, ratings for the metered markets in the Pacific time zone have increased over last year's but have decreased in other time zones. The biggest drop-off, 25%, was in the Eastern time zone.

"After looking at the numbers, it's obvious that the regional nature of the matchup is having an impact on viewership," said Ed Goren, Fox Sports president. "But these numbers would be welcomed by every sports league other than the NFL."

Other markets besides San Francisco and Los Angeles where Game 2 drew well were Sacramento (28.6 rating), Phoenix (19.3), San Diego (19.2), Portland (17.1), Albuquerque (15.5), Las Vegas (15.2), Memphis (15.2), Minneapolis (15.2), St. Louis (14.9), Seattle (14.5), and Chicago (13.5).

In New York, the rating was a 10.9.

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