- MLB Playoffs 2002 - East Coast ratings low for California Series

Monday, October 21
East Coast ratings low for California Series

Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO -- The opener of the All-California World Series between the Anaheim Angels and San Francisco Giants is on track to have the lowest TV rating ever for baseball's championship.

San Francisco's 4-3 victory in Saturday's opener got a 9.4 preliminary national rating and 18 share on Fox, Nielsen Media Research said Monday, down 10 percent from the 10.4/19 rating for last year's opener between Arizona and the New York Yankees.

Arizona's 9-1 rout in last year's Game 1 had been the previous low, beating the 11.3 for the 1997 opener between Cleveland at Florida.

Anaheim's 11-10 victory Sunday night saw an even bigger drop, getting an 11.9 preliminary rating and 20 share. That was down 21 percent from the 15.0/23 from last year's Game 2, a 4-0 victory for the Diamondbacks.

Overall, the combined preliminary rating for the first two games was a 10.7/19, 16 percent below the first two games last year, which averaged a 12.7/21. Fox said the biggest drop, 25 percent, was in the Eastern time zone.

Even though last year's World Series went seven games, its 15.7 rating was the third-lowest ever, ahead of only the 2000 Subway Series between the Yankees and New York Mets (12.4) and the Yankees' four-game sweep of San Diego in 1998 (14.1).

``After looking at the numbers, it's obvious that the regional nature of the matchup is having an impact on viewership,'' Fox Sports president Ed Goren said. ``But these numbers would be welcome by every sports league other than the NFL.''

While Sunday's game got a 35.1/53 in San Francisco and a 29.8/47 in Los Angeles, it dropped to a 10.9 rating in New York, a 9.1 in Boston and an 8.4 in Philadelphia. It received a 19.3 in Phoenix, a 15.2 in Minneapolis, a 14.9 in St. Louis and a 13.5 in Chicago.

Even though ratings are down, both games gave Fox prime-time victories.

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