Fox is hoping that it has a ratings winner with a World Series featuring Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander and Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera going against the San Francisco Giants, who beat the odds to make it to the Fall Classic.
The series, which starts Wednesday in San Francisco, may have trouble scoring big audiences because of the lack of an East Coast team. Typically, the World Series gets its biggest ratings when either the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox are representing the American League.
Last year's epic battle between the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers (won by the Cards in seven games) averaged 16.6-million viewers, according to Nielsen. That was a little better than the 2010 series, when the Giants beat the Rangers, which averaged 14.3-million viewers. Neither came close to the 19.3-million viewers that watched the Yankees beat the Philadelphia Phillies in 2009.
The last time a World Series averaged more than 20-million viewers was in 2004 when the Boston Red Sox's win over the Cardinals attracted 25.4-million viewers per game. The championship was the first for the Red Sox since 1918.