If the Giants win the World Series and no one watches does it really happen? Apparently so, because not many people were tuning in for the 2012 World Series.
In fact, the Giants sweep of the Tigers pulled the lowest ratings in World Series history.
Per Nielsen Media Research via the Associated Press, the four games "averaged a 7.6 rating and 12 share." A 7.6 rating means 7.6 percent of homes with a television tuned into the World Series and a 12 percent share means that 12 percent of homes using their televisions at the time tuned into the World Series.
The 2008 Phillies-Rays series and the 2010 Giants-Rangers series set the previous low ratings record with 8.4.
Does this mean no one cares about the Giants? Not at all. There are several reasons for the low ratings.
One, it was a sweep. That means the drama actually decreased as we moved along. Sweeps -- unlike sweeps in non-sports television -- do not attract extra viewers or the "average" fan.
Additionally, the Giants and the Tigers are popular teams, but they are not the Yankees and Phillies. The storylines available for these teams -- Miguel Cabrera and his Triple Crown, Justin Verlander, Tim Lincecum's struggles, Ryan Vogelsong, etc., -- aren't quite on par with the Nationals sudden ascension to a quality baseball team or the Cardinals turning into zombies.
And then there's this: the games were played on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Those are prime football-watching times. The Vikings-Buccaneers played on Thursday, there was significant college football action on Saturday, and the Broncos-Saints (which outdrew the World Series) was going on when the Giants clinched.
At the end of the day, ratings don't really matter. FOX might want them to be higher, but the team who wins the World Series probably doesn't really care how many people tuned in to see them clinch, especially if winning four-straight games resulted in less viewers.