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.