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Fox’s Baseball Ratings Hit New Low

October 6, 2000

NEW YORK (AP) _ Politics keeps besting baseball’s postseason when it comes to TV audiences.

Fox Sports got only a 5.0 Nielsen rating for the New York Mets’ 5-4 victory over San Francisco in 10 innings on Thursday night. About 6.6 million people tuned in, Fox said.

The vice presidential debate between Dick Cheney and Joseph Lieberman drew an estimated audience of 25 million people on the other three major networks.

Fox’s 5.3 rating for Wednesday’s game between the Yankees and Athletics had been the worst prime-time baseball postseason number for the network since it started games in 1996.

That game went up against the two-hour season premiere of NBC’s Emmy-winning White House drama ``West Wing,″ which pulled in a 16.3 rating and 25 share.

These were the first two postseason games on Fox since the network agreed to pay $2.5 billion for exclusive TV rights to postseason baseball from 2001-06.

NBC’s telecast Tuesday of the playoff opener between Oakland and New York registered a 3.7 with a 6 share, making it the lowest-rated division series game ever on a network. That game faced the first presidential debate between Al Gore and George W. Bush.

Each rating point represents a little more than 1 million television households. Share is the percentage of in-use TVs tuned to a program.

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