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Strong finish may not bolster weak ratings

The exciting finish to the World Series may have been a case of too little, too late for NBC's ratings.

The overnight rating for Game 7 was 26.0 with a 39 share, Nielsen Media research said Monday, the highest rating for a Series game since the 32.2 for the Twins-Braves Game 7 in 1991, the last Series to go seven games.

But the 1997 Series finishes as one of the two lowest-rated World Series since records began in 1959. The current low, 16.4, was for the 1989 Series sweep by the Oakland Athletics over the San Francisco Giants that was interrupted by an earthquake.

Entering the weekend, NBC needed to average 20.3 for the final two games to avoid the distinction of having the lowest-rated Series in history. The combined overnight average for the two was 22.0, but that probably will fall when the national rating is released today.

The Game 7 rating was more than 50 percent higher than any previous game in this Series, but it was the lowest for a Game 7 since 1968, when the Cardinals-Tigers afternoon game got a 21.2.

_ TIMES WIRES

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