Where is the World Series most popular on television? Certainly not in Baltimore.
The Detroit Tigers-San Francisco Giants World Series is big news in—Detroit and San Francisco, and not many other places.
The first two games of the Series had record low ratings though the second game was up slightly from the first. If the Tigers fail to make the Series a competitive one, it’s likely to be the lowest-rated in history.
According to FOX Sports, four of the 10 markets with the most viewers for the games don’t even have major league baseball franchises: Sacramento, which has a huge Giants following, Las Vegas, Fort Myers, Fla. and Portland, Oregon.
FOX would have been happiest with a Yankees-Dodgers World Series, and they’ve been handicapped by getting two teams with fanatical regional followings but relatively low national ones.
If Detroit manages to win at least two games and extends the Series to six or seven games, ratings will be much higher.
While the ratings are much lower for the World Series than for an NFL game, that didn’t stop FOX, TBS, ESPN and the MLB Network from signing long-term extensions on their deals.
Had the Orioles or Nationals made it to the World Series, the ratings wouldn’t have been any higher. Both teams have devoted local, but limited national, followings.