DETROIT (CBS Detroit) Common wisdom says the eyes of the world are watching when it comes to the World Series — but it turns out when the Tigers played the San Francisco Giants that wasn’t the case.

Nielsen ratings showed the World Series where the Tigers lost in a sweep to the Giants was the lowest-rated World Series ever. The four games on Fox averaged a 7.6 rating and 12 share, Nielsen Media Research said Monday.

There was a viewership spike for the final game, which reportedly drew 17 million viewers nationally on Sunday, including 699,596 viewers in the Detroit market, a whopping local increase over the 88,603 viewers who tuned in for the Saturday game, according to FOX News sources. But it wasn’t enough to overcome the low average.

Comparatively, the 1968 World Series, where the Tigers beat the St. Louis Cardinals, drew 27.5 million viewers to game four nationally, according to Nielsen, back in a time when the United States had 100 million fewer people.

World Series numbers are down dramatically from that era, which falls in line with the trend from the last decade, with Nielsen numbers revealing World Series viewership steadily declining.

The Cardinals vs. Rangers series in 2011 averaged 16.6 million viewers; the Rangers vs. Giants series in 2010 drew 14 million.

So, what’s going on with the World Series?

David Call Jr. weighed on the Facebook page for 97.1 The Ticket, writing, “Too much else going on! Political events in an election year. Thursday night NFL football. Not to mention people don’t like Detroit. It was a perfect storm.”

Brian Wayda chimed in, writing, “Any correlation with the Tigers offensive output? Shorten the season at least 15 games make the ALDS best of 7 and don’t play into hurricane season.”

For comparison’s sake, game three of the ALCS drew 6.1 million viewers the week of October 15, according to Nielsen. The fourth game, where the Tigers swept the Yankees, garnered 3.5 million eyeballs.

Note the top hit on the networks that week was NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,” which drew 17.5 million viewers — or five times as many viewers as the baseball championship. CBS’ “60 Minutes” was second, with 10 million viewers, and “The Big Bang Theory” hit 9.7 million.


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