At first it seemed that the Boston Red Sox had nailed two St. Louis Cardinals base runners at the plate in the bottom of the ninth and Game 3 of the 2013 World Series was headed to extra innings.Â However, umpires ruled that Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks had interfered with Cardinals base runner Allen Craig who was awarded home, giving St. Louis a controversial 5-4 victory and a two games to one lead in the best of seven series.
A closely contested Game 3 posted aÂ 7.4/14Â household rating/share with 12.5 million viewers, according to fast national ratings issued today by Nielsen Media Research, up 21% and 19% respectively compared to Game 3 a year ago (6.1/11, 10.5 million), and is the highest-rated, most-watched World Series Game 3 since 2009 (9.1/18, 15.4 mm).Â Last night's game also out-rates four of the last five Game 3s dating back to 2008, is projected to power FOX to an easy first place finish in prime time among households and key male and adult demos and is the network's best Saturday performance in prime time since January.
As is typically the case for close postseason games, the rating and audience afterÂ 11:00 PM ETÂ was larger than before 11:00 PM ET in total and among younger viewers.Â Game 3 averaged a 7.0 household rating and 12.0 million viewers beforeÂ 11:00 PM, and increased 19% in rating (8.3) and 14% in audience (13.7 million) after 11:00 PM.Â Among teens (age 12-17), ratings post-11:00 PM ET increased 18% (1.3 vs. 1.1).
Last nightâ€™s game opened with a 5.6/11 with 9.3 million viewers fromÂ 8:00-8:30 PM ET, and grew steadily throughout the night peaking with anÂ 8.5/16Â with 14.1 million viewers fromÂ 11:00-11:30 PM ET.
In addition to its overall success, last nightâ€™s game posted huge increases across key male and adult demos: Men 18-34, +27% (3.8 vs. 3.0); Men 18-49, +17% (4.2 vs. 3.6); Adults 18-34, +12% (2.8 vs. 2.5); and Adults 18-49 , +18% (3.3 vs. 2.8).
The World Series on FOX through three games is averaging anÂ 8.1/14Â with 13.4 million viewers, +13% over last yearâ€™s first three game average (7.2/12, 11.7 million viewers) in households and +15% on average viewership.
Through World Series Game 3, FOXâ€™s nine-game postseason average (5.9/10, 9.5 million viewers) is up +18% in rating and +17% in audience from the 5.0/8, 8.1 million viewers produced by the networkâ€™s postseason coverage through World Series Game 3 last year (7 LCS, 3 WS), and ranks as FOXâ€™s best postseason since 2010 (6.3/11, 10.6 million viewers).
Not surprisingly, St. Louis led all markets posting a 37.2, followed by Boston (32.4), with Providence (30.2), Hartford (19.1) and Oklahoma City (13.1) rounding out the top five.Â Also posting double digit ratings were Ft. Myers (11.2), Richmond and Tulsa (11.0), Kansas City (10.9) and Memphis (10.3).Â Among the nation's five biggest markets, New York posted a 7.6, while Los Angeles recorded a 6.9, Chicago 5.6, Philadelphia 6.4 and Dallas 7.0.
FOX was the No. 1 most social TV networkÂ on Saturday, led by World Series Game 3.Â According to figures released by Nielsen SocialGuide, Twitter activity for last nightâ€™s World Series Game 3 drew over 482,000 tweets (up +171% from 2012 World Series Game 3) from more than 211,000 unique authors (up +120%).
According to Facebook, World Series Game 3 generated 4.8 million interactions from 2.8 million users during the game.Â For the first time in three games, Missouri topped Massachusetts in generating buzz, followed by users in California, Illinois, and New York.Â Team buzz was evenly split with Cardinals and Red Sox fans each responsible for 50% of the comments, likes, and posts related to the game.
Source: FOX Sports
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.
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