It was a double win last night for Major League Baseball in primetime as the Boston Red Sox beat the St. Louis Cardinals to even the World Series and Fox won the night over NBC and the usually unbeatable Sunday Night Football. Fox drew a 5.1/13 rating with 16.68 million viewers, while No. 2 NBC drew a 4.5/11 and 12.31 million viewers. After a stellar lead-in of NFL overruns — the Denver Broncos-Washington Redskins game (7.8/23) and Fox’s The OT (6.2/17) — the 8-11 PM World Series (4.4/11) Game 4 in St. Louis was up 10% from the fast nationals of last year’s series-ending Game 4 featuring the San Francisco Giants and Detroit Tigers. The latest wild finish for this Series included a three-run homer from Jonny Gomes who wasn’t even supposed to play, and Boston’s closer picking off St. Louis’ Kolton Wong for the game’s final out. Last night’s game also saw an 18% rise in total viewers for Fox compared with October 28, 2012’s Game 4 with 15.4 million watching Sunday. After the Red Sox’s 4-2 win, the Series returns tonight for Game 5. That’s nothing but gravy and good news for Fox as last year’s series ended after a four-game sweep by the Giants that averaged a 3.6/10 rating and 12.7 million viewers. With teams that draw bigger audiences and all the wild finishes, the ratings for this year are also up double digits game-over-game from last year’s lows. Like other live events, fast nationals for the World Series and Sunday Night Football are approximate and will likely change in the final numbers.
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NBC’s Sunday Night Football (5.6/13) saw the Green Bay Packers thrash the Minnesota Vikings 44-31 last night. Up against the World Series for the first time this season, the Week 8 matchup saw Aaron Rodgers and the Packers against the struggling Vikings register a harsh 41% fall from the 9.5/23 of the fast nationals of last week’s Denver Broncos-Indianapolis Colts game. That October 20 battle, which rose to a 10.0/27 in the final numbers, proved to be the highest-rated October primetime NFL broadcast in a decade and a half
In metered markets, Sunday’s game drew a 10.3/16 overnight rating in the 8:30-11 PM block. That’s down a sharp 40% from the 17.3/29 of last week’s Broncos-Colts game It’s also a drop from the 13.5/22 garnered October 13 by the top draw Dallas Cowboys’ win over the Redskins. The top two metered markets for last night’s game were not surprisingly Milwaukee (48.5/65) and Minneapolis (41.8/59), followed by New Orleans (16.7/23), Indianapolis (14.8/23) and Richmond (13.4/19).
ABC saw a 7% rise over last week in its Sunday primetime, partly owing to a 27% surge from America’s Funniest Home Videos (1.4/4) in the second week of its 24th season. At 8 PM, Once Upon A Time (2.2/5) was up 5% from its series low last week. Revenge (1.5/3) was steady with its October 20 telecast for a season low, and freshman Betrayal (1.0/2) was up for a second week in a row with an 11% rise.
CBS saw delays in a number of markets on the East Coast due to NFL overruns. With that in mind, 60 Minutes (1.5/4) was down 46% from last week and The Amazing Race (1.7/4) was also down, falling 11% to a series low. Drama The Good Wife (1.4/3) was even with last week while The Mentalist (1.3/3) bopped up 8% from its October 20 episode.