Baseball Beats Jordan

  • by November 1, 2001
On Tuesday night, television audiences had a choice - game three of the World Series versus Michael Jordan's return to the NBA. More people chose to watch the World Series, but that's not necessarily because baseball is more popular with viewers.

According to Nielsen data, 23.4 million viewers watched baseball, giving it a 24 share and a 15.4 household rating. Only 2.8 million watched basketball, which earned a 4 share and a 2.0 household rating.

The reason for such a huge difference in viewership is not necessarily viewer preference. There was a larger possible audience for baseball since it was aired on a broadcast network (Fox), which is available in approximately 105 million homes. The Wizards vs. Knicks game aired on a cable network - TBS, which is available in approximately 86 million homes.

Additionally, there is the fact that the basketball game on TBS was blacked out in New York City because it was a Knicks game carried locally by MSG, so the TBS numbers don't include New York.

Baseball didn't just beat basketball Tuesday night. Game three of the World Series also beat games one and two, which had shares of 19 and 23 and household ratings of 10.4 and 15.0 respectively. -- Ken Liebeskind

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