It appears that baseball may be losing its grip as America’s favourite pastime to NFL football. According to the television ratings over the past weekend (Oct. 30-31) the NFL beat out a World Series baseball game in America for the very first time. Even NFL betting is improving in almost all areas.
While NFL games usually draw more viewers than baseball and anything else on TV on a regular basis over the past several years, the league has never had higher rankings when going head to head with a World Series game in prime time before. It seems the times are changing though as the last time an NFL game was broadcast at the same time as the Fall Classic on a Sunday was way back in 1992 and the World Series game beat the football contest by a ratings margin of just over 8 to 1.
But this past Sunday the tables were turned as the NFL game featured the past two Super Bowl champions in the New Orleans Saints and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The baseball matchup was the fourth game of the World Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Texas Rangers in Texas. The football game ended up attracting more viewers as the famous Nielsen ratings reported that 10.7 per cent of all American homes that have a TV were tuned into the NFL clash which was broadcast by NBC. The baseball game which was shown by FOX attracted 9 per cent of the viewers.
Before this weekend, the NFL went toe-to-toe with the World Series nine times on a Sunday or Monday night and had come out on the losing end in every single matchup. However, there were some areas in America where the baseball game produced better ratings than the NFL contest. For instance, in St. Louis, Missouri, the World Series game had the highest rating across the country other than the five Texas and California cities which had regional interest in the baseball series. St. Louis was only tied for 33rd place when it came to football ratings.
The local St. Louis station that carried baseball, (KTVI, Channel 2), came in with a 12.5 rating for baseball and the station that showed the football game, (KSDK, Channel 5) had a 11.3 rating. Besides St. Louis and the local Texas and California cities, there were only six other cities out of 56 major markets across America where the ratings were higher for baseball than football.