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