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California's Baseball Fun Could Cost Fox

Fox Television last week had good reason to hope Major League Baseball's World Series would extend to six or seven games. Historically, ratings rise when the series goes long, and additional contests mean there's more inventory to accommodate the make-good ads Fox figured to have provided to clients because ratings for Games 1 (11.2) and 2 (14) were low, relative to the reported 16 that was guaranteed to advertisers. That observation came from Bear Stearns & Co.'s Ray Katz, adding that cost-per-thousand wise, Fox probably did well with postseason ad sales, softening the blow. He also thinks Fox's fiscal first-quarter revenue report next month will be solid, as TV advertising is recovering strongly.