World Series draws more viewers than Jordan

Thursday, November 1, 2001

NEW YORK -- Michael Jordan had no chance against the World Series.

About 13 million more U.S. TV homes tuned in to see the New York Yankees play the Arizona Diamondbacks than watched Jordan's first game with the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night.

Fox's broadcast of the Yankees' 2-1 victory over the Diamondbacks in Game 3 of the World Series was watched by more than 16.2 million television households. About 3.3 million saw the Wizards' 93-91 loss to the New York Knicks on TBS.

The baseball game produced a national rating of 15.4 with a 24 share, 24 percent higher than the rating for Game 3 between the Yankees and Mets last year. That helped the current Fall Classic move well ahead of the record-low pace in 2000.

Through three games, the Yankees-Diamondbacks World Series was averaging 13.8/22, 14 percent higher than a year ago.

For broadcast networks, the rating is the percentage of 105.5 million U.S. television households tuned to a program. The share is the percentage watching a broadcast among TVs on at the time.

The basketball game produced a national cable rating of 3.3 on TBS, which translates to about 2.9 million homes. TBS's coverage was blacked out in New York, where the game was shown on MSG Network and was watched by about 347,500 TV homes -- about 2 1/2 times what MSG averaged for Knicks games last season.

The World Series game was watched by about 2.1 million TV homes in New York, the country's largest market.

The TBS rating still tripled what the network averaged for NBA regular season broadcasts in 2000-01, and more than doubled what TBS drew for its season opener last year between the Knicks and 76ers.

Jordan, who is making his second return from retirement, will go head-to-head with baseball again Thursday. TNT airs the Wizards' game against the Atlanta Hawks that night, while Fox has Game 5 of the World Series.

Last year's World Series, also on Fox, was the worst-rated ever, averaging a 12.4 rating and 21 share, down 23 percent from 1999 and 12 percent from 1998's previous record low.

Sunday night's Game 2, which Arizona won 4-0, drew a 15.0/23, making it the fourth most-watched program last week, trailing only "E.R.," "Friends" and "C.S.I."

Fox is in the first season of a $2.5 billion, five-year contract with baseball.

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