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First Two Games Don't Rate Well With Viewers

October 25, 2005|Greg Johnson

Fox's television ratings for the first two games of the World Series were 4% lower than the initial games of the 2002 World Series -- an all-California affair featuring the Angels and Giants that generated record low ratings.

An average of 16.1 million viewers watched the Saturday and Sunday night games between the Chicago White Sox and the Houston Astros, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Last year, 24 million watched the first two games of the Boston-St. Louis series, which benefited from nationwide interest in the Red Sox's ultimately successful quest to end 86 years of postseason disappointment, and followed their historic comeback against the New York Yankees in the league championship series after trailing, three games to none.

In general, ratings for series not involving the Yankees or Red Sox have dipped since the 1994 series was canceled in a labor dispute.

The 2005 World Series showcases teams with an underdog appeal from major cities. The White Sox last won a World Series in 1917, and the Astros, a team born in 1962, are playing in their first Series. The White Sox have a 2-0 lead after winning twice at home. Game 3 is tonight in Houston.

In a news release Monday, Fox said ratings for the opening games compared favorably to past series that didn't feature the Red Sox or Yankees.

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