World Series Game 2: Tampa Bay 31.3, Philadelphia 30.7

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We’re tied 1-1 going into Game 3 — both in which participating city posts the biggest audience, and which team posts the greatest number of runs in that particular game.
The trend is quite spooky.

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Nationally, Fox reports a somewhat dangerously disappointing 8.1 national rating and 13 share (12.8 million viewers) for a Game 2 on a Thursday night up against network competition that was taking away more viewers than Game 1′s Wednesday.

That’s also a tick away from the lowest-rated World Series game of all time — 8.0 for Game 1 of the 2006 event.

Still, Fox had its best Thursday prime-time night since April 10. Maybe Los Lonely Boys, who did the national anthem, should have stuck around for a full-on concert.

“Now with the series tied at a game apiece, we’re looking forward to interest building as the games continue and the drama unfolds,” said Fox Sports executive producer Ed Goren.

Looking forward and praying are interchangable at this point. Fox needs a series going at least six games to have any impact on profits and ratings.

The 8.1/13 is down 27 percent from last year’s Game 2 (Boston-Colorado, 11.1/18) and down 30 percent from 2006 Game 2 (St. Louis-Detroit, 11.6/18 which was on a Sunday with an NFL lead-in). The first two ’08 games average an 8.7/14, down 19 percent to 2007 and down 11 percent to 2006.

After Tampa Bay/St. Pete and Philadelphia, the other Top 10 markets for Game 2:
Fort Myers, Fla., and Orlando, Fla. (each with 13.1/20), St. Louis (11.5/17), Charlotte, N.C. (10.3/15), Boston (10.1/16), Minneapolis (10.0/16), New York (9.8/15) and Milwaukee (9.7/15). Note: No major market West of the Ol’ Mississippi in that group.

Los Angeles trickled in below the national average at 7.7, bringing its two-game total to 8.0, tied for 30th among the 56 metered markets with Salt Lake City, Hartford, Miami and Portland, Ore. And that was with Hart High grad James Shields (above) performing well for the Rays as their starting pitcher.

The series moves to Philly for Games 3, 4 and 5 on Saturday, Sunday and Monday night, the last night of which competes with an ESPN “Monday Night Football” game. At least it doesn’t involve the Eagles or Bucs.

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