Sunday’s going to be a very good day for Fox Sports.
With a a pair of New York-Philadelphia meetings serving as the appetizer and dessert and Brett Favre’s Minnesota Vikings visiting the Green Bay Packers as the steak and sizzle, Fox could be looking at 70 million Nielsen sports fans on Nov. 2, give or take a couple of mil.
With first place in the NFC East on the line, the Giants invade Lincoln Financial to battle the Eagles at 1 p.m. DMA No. 4 is looking for its third straight over Nielsen’s best market in this one, following the Eagles late-season win and then dethroning of the G-men in the playoffs last January.
Then, it’s the main course: the old gunslinger venturing back to his former OK corral, where the boos figure to drown out the cheers for Favre. Last week, the Vikings-Pittsburgh Steelers provided a strong lead-in to Dallas Cowboys-Atlanta Falcons, which powered its way to 28.4 million viewers on average.
That marked Fox’s most-watched NFL Sunday telecast since America’s Team battled the San Francisco 49ers on Nov. 10, 1996 (29.7 million), the highest-rated NFL regular-season broadcast on the network since Cowboys-Giants on Dec. 3, 2006 and highest-rated and most-watched Sunday NFL telecast (CBS) since New England Patriots-Steelers on Dec. 9, 2007.
Don’t think it’s much of a Lambeau leap to think Favre-Pack is going to make like Adrian Peterson and streak by the cable-record 21.8 million who tuned in ESPN to witness the Oct. 5 game between the two at The Baggie, er Metrodome, er Mall of America Dome, or the Oct. 25 Dallas-Atlanta contest.
That still leaves room for the lathered in downtown Philly and dessert: Game 4 of the World Series between the Yankees and the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. This one decides whether one team is one game away from capturing the 105th Fall Classic, or if the match-up between MLB’s best is truly going to emerge as a classic.
Through the first two-game split, Fox averaged an 11.8 household rating/19 share and 19.2 million viewers, gains of 37% and 40% over the first two games of the Phillies-Tampa Bay Rays World Series last year.
By both accounts, this is the best start to a World Series since 2004, when the Red Sox were looking to snap the 86-year drought, then known as The Curse of the Bambino.