Huge Audience for World Series, but N.F.L. Still Reigns

By Andrew Gauthier 

The New York Times

The question of the most popular sport on television has been long answered, but football put an exclamation point on it Sunday when a regular season N.F.L. game was far more watched than Game 4 of the World Series.

Both events had huge audiences, but the game between the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings, featuring the return of Brett Favre to Green Bay, was watched by an average of 29.8 million viewers–considerably more than the 22.3 million viewers who turned up for the Yankees win over the Phillies in the World Series.

Football showed its true power in the prime-time portion that ran after 7 p.m. That part of the game drew 39 million viewers, a figure on par with most playoff games.

The Fox network had coverage of both events, with postgame football shows in between. With an average of 23.3 million viewers for the four hours from 7 to 11 p.m., Fox scored the biggest night for network television since the Academy Awards show in February, which pulled an average of 36.3 million viewers. More…