Baseball Beats Football
Baseball scored a surprisingly strong ratings victory over football Sunday night as Game 4 of the World Series averaged more than two million viewers over NBC's Sunday Night Football game between the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts, according to Nielsen overnight figures. While some attributed the baseball win to the football game's blowout score (Saints 62; Colts 7), the fact is that baseball led from the first half hour, when the Cardinals-Rangers contest drew just shy of 14 million viewers and the NFL contest 11.3 million. Ratings for live telecasts are often revised substantially when final figures are released, but the wide gap between the two sports telecasts in the overnights is not likely to be closed appreciably -- and may in fact be widened. Over the weekend, final results of the first two World Series games boosted their ratings by more than 5 percent. Meanwhile, ABC's new drama Once Upon a Time debuted with 12.79 million viewers against both the baseball and football games. Daily Variety reported that with a 3.9 rating and a 10 share among adults 18-49 the show registered the best numers for any new drama during this season in that demo.