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Series Game 3 took viewers deep into the night

By JOHN C. COTEY, Times Staff Writer
Published October 28, 2005

Oh, hi there. Sorry, just woke up after watching Game 3 of the World Series. Slept right though Game 4. Is it all over?

Talk about your labors of love. For those who made it all the way through Game 3, congratulations. The 14-inning epic was the longest in World Series history, a whopping 5 hours and 41 minutes.

Those who tuned out, you were not alone.

Like many, I couldn't help but immediately wonder how many crazy people stayed up for the whole thing.

Compared to the rest of the game, not many. But the numbers were surprisingly high.

In the Tampa Bay area, the last half-hour of the game (1:45-2:15 a.m.) generated a 5.5 rating, which is roughly 97,000 households. To put that in perspective, as many houses had their TV's turned to Fox for the 14th inning as watched the Tonight Show.

That number was substantially and predictably down from the primetime numbers, when Fox registered local double-figure ratings, including a high of 13.8 (244,260 households) at 10 p.m.

In fact, you were a stubborn bunch of baseball viewers - right up to midnight, the ratings stayed over 10.0. Then the clock struck 12, and your carriages all turned into big nice, soft beds.

From midnight-12:30, about 25,000 households bailed. From 12:30-1 a.m., another 35,000 Tampa Bay TV watchers said goodnight. Thirty minutes later, another 20,000 or so hit the sack (or a different channel).

Many of you, apparently, just changed the channel but kept one eye on the sports ticker. Or took a brief nap. Because from 1:30 a.m.-2 a.m., the numbers started to climb again as 8,400 more households turned to Fox, moving the rating from its low of 4.66 to 5.23. And believe it or not, another 4,500 joined in the last 15 minutes of the game.

Work must have been fun for you the next day.

Not to diminish your effort, because you should be proud, but the rest of the country likes its baseball just a little bit more. Nationally, the game had its highest rating (13.3) from midnight-12:15.

And from 1-2:20 a.m., the audience still generated a 9.1 rating, which beat the primetime efforts of NBC's Law and Order: SVU (7.7/12) and Boston Legal (7.4/12).

BEST LINES: David Letterman put Game 3 into perspective with his usual wit, telling his audience Wednesday night that it "was the longest World Series game ever, and at 1:30 a.m., Jose Canseco came out and injected players ... with black coffee."

Oh, and this: "The game lasted five hours and 41 minutes, and as it dragged on and dragged on and dragged on, I started to think it was something that George Bush got us into."

You'd be laughing if you weren't so tired.

[Last modified October 28, 2005, 01:35:22]

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