Yankees Play for Shot at Dodgers, With Fox Hoping for a Home Run

Aaron Hicks #31 and Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees celebrate after defeating the Houston Astros in Game Five of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on Oct. 18.

Photographer: Al Bello/Getty Images

Network executives at Fox are officially neutral, but you can’t blame them if they secretly root for the Yankees.

A win by New York over the Houston Astros, either Friday or Saturday night, would guarantee the broadcaster a World Series featuring teams in the top two U.S. television markets. The Los Angeles Dodgers advanced to the championship round Thursday night.

An East Coast-West Coast battle would give Fox a storyline rivaling last year’s, when the Chicago Cubs topped the Cleveland Indians in the highest-rated series since 2004. Ads for the final game in that matchup went for $500,000 each. The teams have faced off in 11 World Series going back to the Dodgers’ days in Brooklyn.

21st Century Fox Inc., the network’s parent company, is paying about $525 million a year for Major League Baseball broadcast rights through 2021. The Yankees’ victory against the Astros Wednesday averaged 5.25 million viewers on Fox’s flagship cable sports network, FS1. That was up 85 percent over the fifth game of last year’s American League Championship Series, the network said.

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