Did you hear that thud? That was the sound of the executives of FOX jaws hitting the ground when they realized that the World Series would feature Texas versus San Francisco. Now, this does have the Number 5 market (Dallas Ft. Worth) against Number 6 San Francisco (approximately 5.1 million homes combined). The two teams that did not make the series were the #1 and #4 markets (approximately 10.6 million homes). There are Yankees fans throughout the country and Yankees haters also. People watched them to see them win, or to hope they lose. The Phillies had two of the top pitchers in all of baseball and offensive players that have become household names over the past three seasons. Instead, we have “The Freak” and Buster against Cliff Lee and Josh Hamilton. There are other baseball stories with these two teams, but no baseball history between them.
Since I have never spoken to executives from Fox, I do not know what would ratings number make this World Series successful . Since there have been major changes in the television viewing patterns over the past forty years, we cannot compare the World Series of the 19702 and 1980s to that of today. However, I will take a look at the past 15 seasons (since the 1994 cancellation). The Top 2 rated World Series in that time frame were the Red Sox/Cardinals of 2004 (the Red Sox breaking the curse) and Diamondbacks/Yankees of 2001 (six weeks after 9/11). These two World Series were special for different reasons, but were also drawing card for Americans to watch. There have been many reasons to watch the World Series, but over the past five seasons, there have apparently been many reasons not to. Today’s Top 5 is, The Big Orange Guy’s Top 5 Worst rated World Series on Television.
Note: A ratings point is defined as the percentage of TV households in the US are watching. Since 2006, a national point represents approximately 1,114,000 homes. A “share” is the percentage of televisions in use at the time watching the specific event.
#1 2008 – Philadelphia Phillies vs. Tampa Bay Rays (#4 market vs. #14 market, 4.6 million homes in combined markets) The 2008 World Series was the first appearance ever for Tampa Bay and the first appearance for the Phillies since 1993. This series went five games, many were close but it was not watched by many at all. The series had a 8.4 rating and a 14 share. People would have watched to see the upstart Rays or the historic Phillies. In the end, it was the worst rated series ever.
#2 2006 – St. Louis Cardinals vs. Detroit Tigers (#21 market vs. #11 market, 3.2 million homes in combined markets) The 2006 World Series brought together two historic franchises, both in the Midwest. These two franchises have been around for decades and was a replay of the 1968 World Series won by the Tigers. This series went five games. It featured some of the best young pitchers of that season, but it did not grasp the rest of the country. Until 2008, this was the worst rated World Series with a 10.1 share and a 17 share.
#3 2007 – Boston Red Sox vs. Colorado Rockies ( #7 market vs. #17 market, 4.0 million homes in combined markets) if the Red Sox did not just win a series a few seasons before, more people in the country would have watched. The Colorado Rockies were written off as dead in July and pulled off an amazing run in September to make the playoffs. The feeling going into the series was that the Rockies did not have a chance against the Red Sox and they were swept, losing the first game 13-1. The series had an 10.6 rating and a 18 share.
#4 2005 – Chicago White Sox vs. Houston Astros (#3 market vs. #10 market, 5.7 million homes in combined markets) This World Series brought together two franchises with very little combined history. This series did have a large market versus a team in Texas and had a chance to be successful. Four close games was the entire series as it was swept by the White Sox. The Astros had Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, The Killer B’s (Berkman, Bagwell and Biggio), but the White Sox had the trophy. The series had an 11.1 rating and a 19 share.
#5 2009 – New York Yankees vs. Philadephia Phillies (#1 market vs. #4 market, 10.6 million homes in combined markets) This was the return to the World Series for the Yankees versus the reigning champions. This was a series that went six games and had many underlying stories including the return on Pedro Martinez to Yankee Stadium and the Core Four of the Yankees. As you have seen from the previous four World Series, the ratings were still relatively low. This series had an 11.7 rating and a 19 share.
In today’s society, there are too many channels and too many distractions for a television viewer. You can watch a game on the internet or listen to it numerous ways. From 1968 to 1982, there were three major television networks. There was no internet and cable television was in its infancy. As a result, during this time the lowest share for the World Series was a 46 share and anywhere between 20% and 33% of all televisions during these years were watching World Series baseball. Knowing the present and the past, the World Series starts tonight. Are you going to watch? Whether or not you will, thanks for reading my Top 5.
Have a good week all, see you on the other side.
Tags: Big Orange Guy, Big Orange Guy's Top 5, Big Orange Guys Top Five, MLB, World Series