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11/02/09 3:59 PM EST

Viewers tune in for Game 4 in droves

Ratings for Yanks-Phils way up from last year's Series

Sunday's Game 4 win by the Yankees was the most-watched World Series contest in five years and put up viewership numbers on par with the Super Bowl and "American Idol."

New York's 7-4 victory over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia was seen by 22.8 million viewers, which is a 47 percent increase over last year's Game 4 and the highest number since the Red Sox's Series-clinching Game 4 win over the Cardinals in 2004, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Based on preliminary primetime averages, the game propelled FOX to its best Sunday primetime performance since Super Bowl XLII in February 2008 and the best primetime performance on any night since the finale of "American Idol" on May 20.

Through the first four games, the Fall Classic is averaging 19.1 million viewers -- a 47-percent increase over the first four games of last year's Series between the Rays and Phillies and the highest four-game World Series average since 2004.

2009 World Series
Gm. 1 PHI 6, NYY 1 Wrap Video
Gm. 2 NYY 3, PHI 1 Wrap Video
Gm. 3 NYY 8, PHI 5 Wrap Video
Gm. 4 NYY 7, PHI 4 Wrap Video
Gm. 5 PHI 8, NYY 6 Wrap Video
Gm. 6 NYY 7, PHI 3 Wrap Video

In terms of the New York market, Game 4 scored a 31.2 local rating, exceeding all six games of the 2003 World Series, which pitted the Yanks against the Marlins, as well as every game except the seventh between the Bronx Bombers and the D-backs in '01. In Philadelphia, Game 4 averaged a 42.0 local rating, up from the 39.0 rating of Game 4 last year.

The Fall Classic continues with Game 5 on Monday at 7:57 p.m. ET on FOX. The Yankees hold a 3-1 edge and are one win away from their 27th World Series championship.

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.