Ratings Roundup: LSU-Bama Lives Up to Hype for CBS; Final World Series Numbers on Fox

It may not have featured much actual scoring, but the No. 1 LSU vs. No. 2 Alabama game on CBS on Saturday scored monumentally high in the ratings department, pulling in the largest audience for a CBS regular season college football game in 22 years. LSU’s 9-6 win over the Crimson Tide averaged 20.011 million viewers, the most for CBS since 22.495 million tuned in for Notre Dame-Miami on Nov. 25, 1989. The game earned an average fast-national household rating/share of 11.5/20, up 161% from last year’s 4.4/10 (No. 5-Alabama vs. No.12-LSU). The last time No. 1 faced No. 2 in the regular season was November 2006, when ABC drew 21 million viewers for Michigan-Ohio State.

The World Series has struggled a bit in the ratings game over the past half decade, as 15 of the 17 lowerst rated games have aired in the past four seasons alone and the past seven seasons have included the six lowest rated World Series of all time. However, the 2011 World Series bucked that trend thanks to the fact that it was the first to go seven games since 2002. The Cardinals’ Game 7 win drew a 14.7 final rating and 25.403 million viewers on October 28, the highest rated and most-viewed Major League Baseball game since 2004. Along with Game 6 of the series on October 27 (12.7, 21.065M), the final two games of the Cardinals/Rangers series boosted the overall series average to a solid 10.0 and 16.6 million viewers. Here is an in-depth ratings and viewership rundown for every World Series game dating back to 1972.

In the NFL sector, Sunday Night Football saw boost from Week 9 last year, as Steelers-Ravens drew 21.4 million viewers and a household rating of 13.3/21, up 14% and 15%, respectively (compared to 19.4 million and a 11.6/19 for Cowboys-Packers in 2010). Through the first nine weeks of the NFL season (nine Sunday’s and one Thursday), Sunday Night Football is averaging 21.4 million viewers and a 12.8/20 rating, the highest in both categories through this point in the season in the six-year history of SNF.

Bears-Eagles on Monday Night Football earned an 11.7 overnight rating on ESPN, the second highest overnight of the season behind only Washington/Cowboys in Week 3 (11.9). It is also up 17% from Week 9 last year (PIT/CIN: 10.0).

Fox’s Week 9 NFL national window, featuring a Super Bowl XLII rematch of Giants-Patriots in 55% of markets, notched the second-highest overnight rating for any NFL game this season and the third highest of the past four seasons (dating back to 2008). The telecast drew an 18.6 overnight, trailing only Fox’s 19.1 for Dallas-New England this season. The Week 13 national window in 2009 (NYG/DAL: 18.9, FOX) also slightly bested the overnight.

CBS’s Week 9 NFL singleheader window drew an 11.1 overnight rating on CBS Sunday, up 3% from Week 9 last year (NYG/SEA*: 10.8, FOX). The 11.1 is the second-highest overnight of the season for the NFL singleheader window on CBS (five telecasts).