In theory, Fox Broadcasting should have no rooting interest in the upcoming American League and National League Championship Series that will determine who goes to the World Series, which airs on the network.
But theory is not reality and Fox executives are no doubt breathing a small sigh of relief that the small-market Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays have been eliminated.
However, they are not all the way out of the woods yet.
The dream World Series for Fox is the Los Angeles Dodgers of the National League vs. the Boston Red Sox of the American League. Sorry, St. Louis and Detroit, but big cities rule when it comes to ratings and the Red Sox even have something of a national following.
Furthermore, the Cardinals have already recently squared off against the Tigers (winning in five games) and the Red Sox (losing in four) in the Fall Classic so there is something of a been-there, done-that feel with the Redbirds.
The same goes for Detroit, which besides losing to the Cardinals in 2006, went down in four straight to the San Francisco Giants last year. That was the least-watched World Series in history with an average of 12.7 million viewers tuning in.
As for the league championship series, typically the American League scores more viewers than the National League. This year, Fox will carry the Red Sox-Tigers series and TBS will have the Dodgers-Cardinals. Last year, on TBS, the Yankees-Tigers championship series averaged 6.2 million viewers, while Fox's coverage of the Giants-Cardinals series averaged 5.8 million viewers.
Follow Joe Flint on Twitter @JBFlint.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times