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Another tight game means big numbers for Fox

November 2, 2009 | 10:03 am


Even if the New York Yankees wrap up the World Series tonight, there can be no argument that it has been one of the more compelling series as of late. Whether it's A-Rod getting beaned and then getting revenge two nights in a row, or the Philadelphia Phillies rallying only to fall short, as was the case last night, each game has been a nail-biter.

That's paying off for News Corp.'s Fox, which shells out $256 million a year for baseball. Last night's telecast got big numbers for the network, attracting 22.8 million viewers. That's almost 50% more than tuned into Game 4 a year ago between the Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays. It was the most-watched Game 4 since 2004, when the Red Sox clinched against the Cardinals and drew almost 30 million viewers, according to Nielsen. Fox did catch a break last night as there was no NFL football game on NBC.

Saturday's rain-delayed Game 3 broadcast still managed to lure 15.4 million viewers, and Fox is on pace to have its best series ratings in five years.

Fox also will likely have a pretty huge Sunday afternoon number from its coverage of Brett Favre's return to Green Bay as a Minnesota Viking.

-- Joe Flint

Photo: Alex Rodriguez rips one. Credit: Scott Rovak / U.S. Presswire