Game 5 of the World Series and the Monday Night Football game between Baltimore and Jacksonville were close on the field, but the two head-to-head games weren't close on the Nielsen scoreboard.
Fox earned an 8.8/14 household rating/share for Game 5 -- the same as last year's clinching game, while ESPN has asked Nielsen to go back and count the hanging chads of its overnight rating because the 5.8 would be an all-time Monday Night Football low. The Jaguars defeated the Ravens 12-7 on Monday.
The Associated Press reports that Fox knocked off CBS in the ratings for the last week because of baseball, with three of the first four World Series games finishing in the top 10 for the last week. Only the Game 3 blowout wasn't in the top 10. Game 4 also beat the Sunday night NFL game on NBC and baseball is 12-1 in the ratings over the last 21 years when the World Series goes up against an NFL game in primetime.
Listen, I'm not naive and saying baseball is more popular than the almighty NFL in this country, there's no question the NFL is king. But it's just silly to hear things like even in the comments section of a baseball blog about how "nobody" is watching this World Series or that Dallas/Ft. Worth is a "small market" or some other such nonsense. Baseball is more of a regional sport, with regional allegiances playing into the ratings more than other sports, while the national obsession with betting and the NFL keeps its numbers high. Game 5 drew a 46.9/64 share in St. Louis and Dallas had a 40.0/58 share -- the highest ever local rating for a Rangers game and better than the ratings for every game of the NBA Finals featuring the Mavericks. Baseball has its problems, that's for sure, but the constant whining about ratings and who is or isn't watching the games is just getting old, tired and inaccurate.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.