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The Score - Anthony Schoettle

Welcome to The Score, your place for hard-hitting sports business news, fast-breaking updates and fuel-injected debate.  Buckle up.  I'm your host, Anthony Schoettle, IBJ sports reporter.

Sports Business

TV ratings show Fever firestorm more than mirage

October 16, 2009
KEYWORDS Sports Business

It appears those full-house crowds watching the Indiana Fever games during their WNBA finals run were no mirage.

It’s true, many of those tickets were sold cheap, but central Indiana truly did catch the Fever. Just to get 18,165 to show up for two consecutive games says something.

But I figured the TV ratings would be even more telling. What would men and women young and old and children of all ages across central Indiana choose to watch on the tube when they had at least 120 station to pick from. Throw in Netflix, Tivo, the Wii and who knows what else, and you have immense competition for peoples’ time and attention.

The Fever scored very nicely.

The ratings, compiled by New York-based Nielsen Media Research, show the WNBA finals ratings outdid several Indy Racing League events. No, they didn’t approach ratings for an Indianapolis Colts game, but still, they show promise.

The Phoenix Mercury won the series three games to two. But the Fever won the battle of the fans, attracting 50 percent more hometown TV viewers than Phoenix.
 
Here’s the breakdown:

Game 1: National rating .4 (422,000 TV households); Indianapolis 2.9 (32,000 TV households); Phoenix 1.8 (34,000 TV households)

Game 2: National .3 (398,000); Indianapolis 3.5 (39,000); Phoenix 1.6 (31,000)

Game 3: National .3 (332,000); Indianapolis 2.1 (24,000); Phoenix .9 (16,000)

Game 4: National .5 (541,000); Indianapolis 6.4 (71,000); Phoenix 1.0 (18,000)

Game 5: National .4 (475,000); Indianapolis 5.2 (58,000); Phoenix 2.7 (50,000)

Series average: National .4 (434,000); Indianapolis 4.0 (45,000); Phoenix 1.6 (30,000)

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