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World Series ratings up here; Bills get another strong rating

By Alan Pergament

The local Fox affiliate has a minor baseball hit on its hands going into tonight's game five of the World Series between Boston and St. Louis.

The four games so far in the Series, which is tied at two games apiece, have averaged a 7.4 rating on WUTV, the local Fox affiliate commonly referred to as Channel 29.

The average is slightly higher than the 7.2 rating that WUTV averaged for San Francisco's four-game sweep of Detroit last season.

And as a rule, ratings for World Series increase the longer the series last. That is especially true of seven-game series.

Of course, the higher rating this year isn't unexpected since this area seems to have a larger share of Red Sox and Cardinal fans than Giant and Tiger fans.

The top-rated game in this year's Series here so far was game two, which averaged an 8.9 rating that was higher than the fast national rating.

The lowest-rated games included Saturday's controversial St. Louis win on an obstruction call, and the Series opener. Both were partly played opposite Buffalo Sabres games on cable that attract sports fans. On Saturday, the Series game had a 6.4 rating, while the Sabres' latest loss had a 6.0.

Tonight's game five also has some tough TV competition -- facing the Sabres game opposite former Coach Lindy Ruff and his new team, the Dallas Stars.

To put the average rating of the Series so far in perspective, the four Series games combined had a rating of 29.5. The Buffalo Bills' 35-17 loss to New Orleans had a 33.5 rating.

Of course, the four Series games had a total TV time four times or more higher than the Bills games, which allows Fox more opportunity to sell commercials.

Speaking of the Bills game, if you loved or hated the performance of CBS announcers Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf, be advised a replay is coming. They also are working this Sunday's game with the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs at the Ralph.

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