| LOS ANGELES
LOS ANGELES Oct 29 The San Francisco Giants'
four-game World Series sweep thrilled the team's fans, but the
lopsided contest attracted the smallest television crowd in the
championship's history for broadcaster Fox.
The 2012 telecast of the Fall Classic averaged 12.7 million
viewers, News Corp unit Fox said on Monday. That left
the Giants' victory over the Detroit Tigers in the ratings
cellar, according to Nielsen data.
The previous World Series low came in 2008 when an average
of 13.6 million watched the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Tampa
Bay Rays in five games. An average of 17.1 million watched the
last-four game sweep, when the Boston Red Sox beat the Colorado
Rockies in 2007.
Ratings for the World Series have generally been declining
for nearly three decades. An average of 25 million people tuned
in for the seven game series in 1997 in which the Florida
Marlins beat the Cleveland Indians.
World Series viewership still ranks among the year's biggest
TV events, and this year's contest ranked as the ninth
most-viewed prime time program of the year, said Michael
Mulvihill, senior vice president of programming and research at
Fox Sports Media Group. He urged judging the results against
"today's competitive environment rather than bygone years."
"This World Series gave us exactly what we expected: a top
10 show among all viewers and a top five show among
hard-to-reach younger men," Mulvihill said in a statement.
The series ranked second among primetime shows for all of
2012 among men age 18 to 49, Fox said.
This year's matchup featured the sixth-largest TV market,
San Francisco, versus the No. 11 market, according to Nielsen.
San Francisco dominated from the start, kicking off with an
8-3 win that featured three homers by Giants third baseman Pablo
Sandoval, known affectionately as Kung Fu Panda. After two
shutouts by the Giants, Detroit sent Game Four into extra
innings but lost 4-3 in the 10th.
The quick, one-sided series hurt Fox's hopes of broadening
interest in the two teams, said Ed Desser, president of Desser
Sports Media, a sports consulting firm.
"When you have a short series, that tends to depress average
ratings," he said.