Given the choice of watching the third game of the World Series or
Michael Jordan’s return as a basketball player, television viewers
overwhelmingly stuck with the national pastime.
To be sure, the baseball
contest between the Yankees and the Diamondbacks was carried by a
broadcast network (Fox), capable of reaching 105.5 million homes, while
the basketball game, between Jordan’s Wizards and the Knicks, was carried
by cable TV (TBS), which can be seen in 86 million homes.
But it was
simply no contest.
The baseball game was watched in 16.3 million homes;
the basketball game, in only 2.9 million. Game 3 of the series wound up
with a 17.4 rating and a 24 share, the best that a third game has scored
since 1996. Last year’s Game 3 between the New York Yankees and the New
York Mets drew a 14.8/24. Wednesday night’s numbers appeared to dip to a
14.3/23, according to preliminary figures, but analysts indicated that
they were likely to rise when final results are released later today.