Fox Sports vice chairman Ed Goren told Variety that a short World Series would be disastrous for the network.
“There’s a direct relationship with the number of game and overall ratings,” Goren said. “If we go six or seven games, we’ll get strong ratings.”
On paper, the Texas Rangers taking on the San Francisco Giants might not be the sexy matchup, but it features the No. 5 and No. 6 television markets respectively.
As it stands, Fox will be without three million customers due to the ongoing conflict with Cablevision, which should have a nominal impact in the ratings according to Goren.
“If you’re a baseball fan, it’s unfortunate Cablevision has treated its customers this way,” Gorden added.
The 2009 World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees averaged 19.4 million viewers over six games. While Rangers-Giants might not achieve those numbers, it should finish ahead of the 2008 World Series (Phillies-Devil Rays), which averaged only 13.6 million viewers.
The World Series will potentially go head-to-head with the NFL on back-to-back evenings. Game 4 next Sunday will go against Pittsburgh-New Orleans on Sunday Night Football and if there’s a Game 5 on Monday, it will compete with Houston-Indianapolis on ESPN.
Despite the competition, Goren says the network isn’t worried and expects the World Series would finish in the top 10 shows for the week.