Slight Uptick for Fox’s World Series Ratings

Game 2 draws 14.3 million viewers and a 4.0 rating

Game 2 of the 2011 World Series was another nail-biter, as the Rangers rallied to a 2-1 victory over the Cardinals in the ninth inning. But as was the case in Wednesday’s opener, Americans seemed ambivalent about the national pastime.

According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, Thursday night’s game averaged 14.3 million viewers from 8:00 p.m. to 11:11 p.m. EDT, up 1 percent from 14.1 million a year ago. Game 2 notched a 4.0 rating among adults 18-49, flat versus last year’s demo delivery.

The second Cards-Rangers matchup was the second most-watched program on Thursday night, trailing CBS’s The Big Bang Theory, which drew 14.9 million viewers and a 5.1 rating at 8 p.m.

The median age of Fox’s broadcast was 54 years. This marks the network’s oldest World Series audience in its 14 years of covering the Fall Classic. 

Fox’ Game 2 coverage went head-to-head with a tepid prime time lineup. NBC aired nothing but repeats, while ABC started the night with a burn-off episode of Charlie’s Angels (5.57 million viewers, 1.2 rating). At 8:30 p.m., CBS aired the season premiere of Rules of Engagement; the David Spade comedy lost a quarter of its Big Bang lead-in, drawing 11.5 million viewers and a 3.6 rating.

CBS’s new drama Person of Interest was steady in the 9 p.m. slot, drawing 12.4 million viewers and a 2.7 rating, although Grey’s Anatomy fared better in the demo (3.6).

In time-honored fashion, Fox has introduced a new tech wrinkle to this year’s World Series, bowing the infrared “Hot Spot” camera in Game 1. While the heat-seeking images made it seem as if the alien from Predator were directing Fox’s game coverage, the gizmo came in handy in the ninth, when Adrian Beltre hit a chopper to third that he claimed had bounced off his foot.

The heat signature of the errant ball proved Beltre right, although the blown call probably did not alter the course of the game.