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Yanks, Fox celebrate Series win

November 5, 2009 | 11:29 am


Although a Game 7 would have been sweet for Fox, the network ended up getting its biggest audience for the Fall Classic in five years.

Some 22.3 million people tuned in last night to watch the New York Yankees defeat the defending champion Philadelphia Phillies in Game 6, according to Nielsen. That was up 30% from the Game 5 Monday night beat-down that the Phillies laid on the Yankees to push the Series back to New York for Wednesday night's match.

Game 6 was probably the difference between Fox and its parent News Corp. crying in their beer versus popping the champagne. The network will not lose money on the Series since it almost went the distance. Fox is amid a seven-year, $1.8-billion deal with Major League Baseball.

Overall, the Series averaged 19.4 million viewers per game, a 43% improvement over the 13.6 million that watched the Phillies beat the Tampa Bay Rays last fall. Among adults 18-49, the Series got a 6.2 rating. Each rating point in that demographic equals 1.3 million people.

For Fox, after years of disappointing ratings, a tight Series between two big-city teams was welcome relief. Now we'll see if those big numbers (for these days anyway) translate into bigger audiences for Fox' s entertainment lineup.

-- Joe Flint

Photo: Yanks celebrate their title. Credit: David J. Phillip/EPA