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Vikings-Giants generates higher rating than World Series Game 1

Minnesota Vikings v New York Giants Getty Images

Monday night’s Vikings-Giants game was about as dreadful as the NFL gets. But even a lousy NFL game does better ratings than just about anything else on American television.

The latest demonstration of that fact is pointed out by our friends at Hardball Talk, who note that the Vikings-Giants game on ESPN on Monday night had a higher overnight rating than Game One of the World Series on FOX on Wednesday night. (Vikings-Giants had a 9.5 overnight rating, World Series Game One had a 9.4.)

We’ve basically reached the point where anything the NFL puts on television is going to do great ratings. Major League Baseball, meanwhile, struggles to draw large national audiences, although many individual baseball teams still do very well in their local TV markets.

The strong ratings are cause for celebration from the NFL’s owners, but the recent slate of prime time games doesn’t give NFL fans much to celebrate. We’ve had some nationally televised stinkers this season, and it doesn’t get a lot better with the .500 Panthers visiting the winless Buccaneers tonight. Thursday Night Football generally draws lower ratings than Monday Night Football, and tonight’s Panthers-Bucs broadcast will probably be beaten in the ratings by World Series Game Two.

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64 Responses to “Vikings-Giants generates higher rating than World Series Game 1”
  1. thepftpoet says: Oct 24, 2013 1:21 PM

    I would rather watch a Jaguars vs Bucs game than a baseball game

    Football > Baseball

  2. tyler4richardson says: Oct 24, 2013 1:21 PM

    Turn on a hockey game…… Baseball sucks.

  3. tennis22drew says: Oct 24, 2013 1:24 PM

    If it was like, Tigers/Pirates I would have watched. But Boston/Stl = yawn

  4. joetoronto says: Oct 24, 2013 1:25 PM

    I can’t believe anybody watches baseball, I mean really, talk about boring.

    SMH.

  5. scoops1 says: Oct 24, 2013 1:26 PM

    “Watching grass grow is more exciting then watching baseball” – Jeremy Roenick

  6. jacob2815 says: Oct 24, 2013 1:27 PM

    I love when people agree with me about baseball. It blows.

  7. lastdukestreetking says: Oct 24, 2013 1:29 PM

    I’m almost through another MLB season without watching even one minute!

  8. thejabronisayz says: Oct 24, 2013 1:29 PM

    I can think of one scenario and one scenario only where I would realistically watch a baseball game instead of a football game.

    If it was Game 7 of the World Series, bottom of the 9th, 2 outs, bases loaded, full count in a 1 run game, then I suppose I might opt to watch the next pitch instead of re-watching the home video of my 8 year old son’s Pop-Warner exhibition football game.

    The key word there being “might.”

  9. pocketcow says: Oct 24, 2013 1:29 PM

    Baseball is just too slow and boring. There’s no real strategy besides what the pitcher is doing. Everything else is the same over and over. You could plug almost any player from any team into any other team and they would be able to start the next day. Try doing that in other sports.

    That and they play way too many games. If it’s on all the time, what’s the big deal? You only get 16 football games a year. You get like what, 160 some baseball games?

  10. cincinasty87 says: Oct 24, 2013 1:30 PM

    Baseball season is over when the REDS are done

  11. mavajo says: Oct 24, 2013 1:30 PM

    “Thursday Night Football generally draws lower ratings than Monday Night Football, and tonight’s Panthers-Bucs broadcast will probably be beaten in the ratings by World Series Game Two.”

    —————–

    Not a chance. Bucs/Panthers will absolutely beat Game 2. It just will.

    There’s a myriad reasons for it, but ultimately, unless your favorite team is playing, most people aren’t going to watch an MLB game. With the NFL, it doesn’t matter who’s playing – if it’s the only game on, people will watch.

    I’m not a fan of any of the teams playing tonight, but I’ll be watching Bucs/Panthers – and it’s not even a close call. There was nothing on TV at all last night, and I still didn’t watch the World Series. If we get to a Game 7, then I’ll probably tune in.

  12. ebbrown29 says: Oct 24, 2013 1:31 PM

    We all know that football is the only sport that will exist in America on a huge level say… 15 years from now. Football is the only sport worth watching.

    Baseball is trash, hockey will be trash with fighting being cut down, basketball is trash (and once LeBron retires, it’s over).

    I mean… now that Breaking Bad is over… what point is there to watch ANYTHING on TV outside of football? Seriously.

  13. riverace19 says: Oct 24, 2013 1:31 PM

    That’s a sad headline… But in this fast good over caffeinated world I guess it makes sense. In my mind it’s not even close. Watching 2 terrible football teams is about 50 feet below a World Series game 1.

  14. whiteknightblackheart says: Oct 24, 2013 1:31 PM

    Boston sucks and the only thing anyone needs to know about St. Louis is that Schottenheimer is coaching there(Read: Doomed.) and they have bbq. I would rather ask my Uncle what’s wrong with the world than watch that crap.

  15. filthymcnasty1 says: Oct 24, 2013 1:32 PM

    True enough about the ratings. But the Red Sox did score more points than the Vikings.

  16. sdisme says: Oct 24, 2013 1:33 PM

    The world series started? Who knew.

    But I guess that means I can listen to the audio of the Fox game of the week.

  17. backdapack4evr says: Oct 24, 2013 1:35 PM

    Everyone was sleeping and forgot to turn the TV off!!

  18. nepats12 says: Oct 24, 2013 1:36 PM

    I didn’t even know the WS has started. That’s how boring baseball is. Heck, I’d rather watch an EPL game than a baseball game.

  19. jjb0811 says: Oct 24, 2013 1:36 PM

    you can’t even watch or listen to the world series online. I tried last night, Fox wanted you to pay. Both Boston & St. Louis radio stations also wanted cash.

    On the other hand, i watch ESPN, & NBC games live right from my computer.

  20. pack13queens0 says: Oct 24, 2013 1:38 PM

    Imagine how much higher the ratings would have been if the Vikings weren’t involved. But it is true anything Football or Nascar is bringing in the ratings. Go Pack Go, Go Matt Kenseth.

  21. azarkhan says: Oct 24, 2013 1:40 PM

    Glad I didn’t waste my time watching the 1-6 team beat the 1-5 team.

  22. nghtrder169 says: Oct 24, 2013 1:41 PM

    Lol

  23. darkneptune73 says: Oct 24, 2013 1:42 PM

    Proof that football is America’s sport, not baseball.

  24. bucrightoff says: Oct 24, 2013 1:42 PM

    Baseball is going to be passed by basketball in the next few years, and will be on par with hockey in about 25 more. Its a dying game that takes way too long. MLB needs to figure out a way to get games under 2 hours and 20 minutes, like the NHL did, to get people watching again. 4 hour games are unwatchable.

  25. assuredmutualdestruction says: Oct 24, 2013 1:42 PM

    lol…I honestly didn’t even know the WS was on last night. But, then again, I didn’t watch Vikings/Giants either…for obvious reasons.

  26. orivar says: Oct 24, 2013 1:43 PM

    Maybe because it was on a WEDNESDAY! Whoever let the start of it be on a Wednesday is an idiot. Should of delayed.

  27. raideralex99 says: Oct 24, 2013 1:45 PM

    I stopped watching baseball after they cancelled the strike season.

  28. cowpiesnotcowboys says: Oct 24, 2013 1:46 PM

    Because the worst football game is still more entertaining than the best baseball game.

    Until MLB institutes a meaningful salary cap, baseball can’t really be considered much of a sport anyway. Any league in which rich teams can consistently buy their way into the playoffs isn’t very sporting.

  29. deucedropper says: Oct 24, 2013 1:46 PM

    Baseball is America’s pastime – meaning, it’s a relic of a past time.

  30. lengai says: Oct 24, 2013 1:49 PM

    ebbrown29 says:
    Oct 24, 2013 1:31 PM
    We all know that football is the only sport that will exist in America on a huge level say… 15 years from now. Football is the only sport worth watching.

    Baseball is trash, hockey will be trash with fighting being cut down, basketball is trash (and once LeBron retires, it’s over).

    I mean… now that Breaking Bad is over… what point is there to watch ANYTHING on TV outside of football? Seriously.
    ___________________________________

    You, sir, have insulted The Walking Dead. The gloves are off.

  31. romosrevenge says: Oct 24, 2013 1:53 PM

    The question isn’t is the NFL at it’s worst more popular than America’s Pastime (that happened years ago) but whether or not America’s Pastime is passed time. The current example, this year’s World Series between 2 eastern teams (yea, the Cards are in the East) will sink ratings for a WS to an all-time low. 75% of the country has zero interest, the rest only if there is no football. And specific to this particular series, (the Sox) having to watch the cast of Duck Dynasty play baseball is actually kind of repulsive. Seriously, the lack of grooming standards will play a large roll in the small ratings.

  32. wmelch says: Oct 24, 2013 1:59 PM

    I wonder how many people extolling the virtues of football over baseball are the same ones who proclaimed that they will never watch another football game because of the new rules protecting players.

    I will go on record as stating that not one person has stopped watching football because of the rule changes.

    “The sky is falling, the sky is falling”.

  33. Mr. Wright 212 says: Oct 24, 2013 2:00 PM

    The Yankees are not playing. No one cares. People just browse the box scores hoping Boston loses.

  34. somethingsmellsrotten says: Oct 24, 2013 2:04 PM

    Why wouldn’t it? Baseball is just sooooo boring.

  35. whatjusthapped says: Oct 24, 2013 2:05 PM

    I watched the game, to call that pro football is a bit of a stretch. To call the Vikings a professional team is an insult to all professional football players.

  36. axespray says: Oct 24, 2013 2:07 PM

    Like boston needs another championship…. baseball, basketball, NFL and their spoiled fans still abandon Brady in the 4th qt….smh.

  37. sillec28 says: Oct 24, 2013 2:09 PM

    I’m not sure the Vikings-Giants game would have been rated that high if it wasn’t for the Freeman situation. I tuned in just to see how he’d do after all the talk about his release, Vikes signing, starting after only a couple weeks, etc. But regardless, baseball is a seriously boring game to watch on TV unless you care about one of the teams. Great game to see in person but not on TV.

  38. FlashPatterson says: Oct 24, 2013 2:10 PM

    Wow, ESPN’s “Red Sox Nation” isn’t doing so hot these days huh? Thought they were the largest fan base in the country?

  39. fwippel says: Oct 24, 2013 2:11 PM

    Honestly, I used to be an MLB fan. But after the refusal of MLB and the owners to do anything about the doping scandals 15-20 years back, I lost interest, and have never regained it.

    Barry Bonds is still considered baseball’s home run king, yet everyone knows he was using performance enhancing drugs. Why have his records not been stricken from the books, along with the records of every other known doper?

    It was so damned obvious when it happened, that baseball became a farce. As an Orioles fan, I will never forget Brady Anderson’s sudden jump in yearly homeruns from the 12-21 range all the way to 50 homers in 1996.

    Baseball left this mess go far too long, and still has much to clean up. If that ever happens, I might pay attention again.

  40. trollhammer20 says: Oct 24, 2013 2:14 PM

    Game Two will outdraw Thursday Night Football….but only because TNF is limited to those with cable who choose to pay extra to add the NFL Network.

    If it were on a regular network or cable station, it would be a different story entirely.

  41. justintuckrule says: Oct 24, 2013 2:18 PM

    Until MLB institutes a meaningful salary cap, baseball can’t really be considered much of a sport anyway. Any league in which rich teams can consistently buy their way into the playoffs isn’t very sporting.
    —————-
    Tampa Bay has one of the cheapest payrolls and is the LEAST valued team in MLB. They are contenders every year.

    NYY, LA and Bos have the 3 highest payrolls in MLB. Guess how many rings these powerhouses have this century. 3.

    Salary cap / baseball is a fallacy.

  42. tigerpork says: Oct 24, 2013 2:32 PM

    most people cannot stand any boston sports team.

  43. blu4l1fe says: Oct 24, 2013 2:33 PM

    I’m sorry but baseball is really………………

    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  44. cowpiesnotcowboys says: Oct 24, 2013 2:36 PM

    justintuckrule says:
    Oct 24, 2013 2:18 PM
    Until MLB institutes a meaningful salary cap, baseball can’t really be considered much of a sport anyway. Any league in which rich teams can consistently buy their way into the playoffs isn’t very sporting.
    —————-
    Tampa Bay has one of the cheapest payrolls and is the LEAST valued team in MLB. They are contenders every year.

    NYY, LA and Bos have the 3 highest payrolls in MLB. Guess how many rings these powerhouses have this century. 3.

    Salary cap / baseball is a fallacy.

    ————————————————

    A twelve-season analysis of the correlation between payroll and wins performed in 2012 showed:
    – 69% of playoff participants (66 of 96) over the past 12 seasons spent more on payroll than the league average
    – 75% of the World Series participants (18 of 24) over the past 12 seasons spend more on payroll than the league average
    – The team with the most wins over the past twelve seasons was the Yankees (1,157 victories); they also spent the most per win ($1.823 million per victory)

    There absolutely IS a strong correlation between payroll and playoff appearances and wins in MLB. The fact the counter-examples exist just means that the correlation is not 100%

  45. JSpicoli says: Oct 24, 2013 2:39 PM

    fwippel says:Oct 24, 2013 2:11 PM

    Honestly, I used to be an MLB fan. But after the refusal of MLB and the owners to do anything about the doping scandals 15-20 years back, I lost interest, and have never regained it.

    Barry Bonds is still considered baseball’s home run king, yet everyone knows he was using performance enhancing drugs. Why have his records not been stricken from the books, along with the records of every other known doper?

    It was so damned obvious when it happened, that baseball became a farce. As an Orioles fan, I will never forget Brady Anderson’s sudden jump in yearly homeruns from the 12-21 range all the way to 50 homers in 1996.

    Baseball left this mess go far too long, and still has much to clean up. If that ever happens, I might pay attention again.
    ________________________________

    I’m sure you are equally concerened that there is no monopoly on PED’s in Baseball, or that your rules have changed to make your record book meaningless, or that you are not missed.

  46. bucrightoff says: Oct 24, 2013 2:46 PM

    justintuckrule says:
    Oct 24, 2013 2:15 PM
    One sport is not anymore “boring” than the other. Both appeal to totally different audiences and it’s just that there’s a bigger audience for the NFL.

    Here’s the non-sugarcoated real reason why. Football appeals to dumber viewers that don’t have the mental capacity to appreciate the chess match that goes into every pitch of a baseball game. They simply see a pitcher holding a ball thinking (throw it already!). These viewers need instant gratification and must see fail/succeed per minute or their simple minds wander.

    It’s a sad commentary on our society that people can’t sit down and enjoy a baseball game. The Jeter flip game 1-0 win over the A’s was more compelling pitch for pitch than any 48-42 monstrosity football game you can watch today.
    ___________________________________

    No its a very proper commentary on society that a game that is littered with cheaters, contains 4-6 teams that can actually win the title every year, has an average playoff game running time of 3.5 hours, and requires somewhere between 15-30 beers to get through is more relevant than hockey, a real sport. But in time baseball will be on hockeys level, don’t you worry. And then you can make some sanctamonious post about that.

  47. Mr. Wright 212 says: Oct 24, 2013 3:02 PM

    All that a higher payroll and “buying” players does is increase your probability of making the playoffs. It guarantees (nor increases likelihood, and the books bear this out) that you win a World Series.

  48. ricardooleon says: Oct 24, 2013 3:05 PM

    Wow, it’s amazing reading the comments here. Hard to understand the hatred of the fans of football for baseball, it should be the other way around.
    There is much inconsistency in saying that baseball is boring because it lasts three hours when most NFL games up to 4 hours …
    I like football, I like baseball, and basketball, all sports support my country.

    And I can only say that it is absurd and must be bad head for preferring a game between two bad teams like the Vikings and the Giants to the World Series, which is too big.

    The only explanation I find to this is that envy (?) Of soccer fans (which are most) for baseball makes them not see any game because they feel that they are giving audience to a sport that is a rival to his “national football league perfect “.

  49. cometkazie says: Oct 24, 2013 3:38 PM

    I lost track of baseball when da Bums and the Jints moved west. The Braves and the Browns moves made sense but the others have been following the money, screw tradition.

  50. justintuckrule says: Oct 24, 2013 3:43 PM

    No its a very proper commentary on society that a game that is littered with cheaters, contains 4-6 teams that can actually win the title every year, has an average playoff game running time of 3.5 hours, and requires somewhere between 15-30 beers to get through is more relevant than hockey, a real sport. But in time baseball will be on hockeys level, don’t you worry. And then you can make some sanctamonious post about that.
    —–
    @bucoff –

    1) Since the Yankees dynasty ended in 2000, there has been 9 different winners in 13 years.

    2) If you think NFL players are clean I have a Brooklyn Bridge to sell you

    3) 3.5 hours is not much different than football. The Vikings-Giants game had 5, count-em FIVE, commercial breaks in Five straight plays toward the end of the first Q. Talk about BORING!

    4) Hockey? Stay on topic. You’re the A.D.D. football fan I’m referring to. Can’t stay focused for more than 24 seconds at a time.

    Believe it or not….Goodell has killed football. It’s almost unwatchable now. But…it’s still like pizza and sex.

  51. trollhammer20 says: Oct 24, 2013 3:51 PM

    justintuckrule:

    There are quite a few people who used to appreciate a good game of baseball.

    Then baseball decided it was going to look the other way while juiced-up ‘roid junkies playing in smaller parks made a mockery of some of the cornerstone records of the game.

    Then a couple of teams came along, jacked their payrolls way up, and walked away with World Series trophies. Both teams then cut payroll and returned to mediocrappiness.

    The game lost a lot of its shine to quite a few people, and they aren’t coming back. We live int he best-entertained society in human history, it’s not like there’s a shortage of entertainment options.

  52. leftlaneisforpassingonly says: Oct 24, 2013 4:02 PM

    I tried watching the Giants/Vikings game but it was a struggle. I don’t know how anybody that wasn’t a Giants fan or a Vikings fan could sit and watch that game. I’m guessing fantasy football could be a reason.

  53. schmitty2 says: Oct 24, 2013 4:12 PM

    I love the World Series…because it keeps Joe Buck out of the football broadcast booth.

  54. TBaySlim says: Oct 24, 2013 4:16 PM

    whatjusthapped says:
    Oct 24, 2013 2:05 PM
    I watched the game, to call that pro football is a bit of a stretch. To call the Vikings a professional team is an insult to all professional football players.

    ^^^^^^^^^^ says the guy whos fan base willfully hands over 250 bucks for a piece of paper that isnt worth wiping my fanny with, yes yes that is trutly the definition of insulting to all man kind

  55. steelersfanfromtheseventies says: Oct 24, 2013 4:21 PM

    Sometimes you just have to stop and look at a train wreck.

  56. justintuckrule says: Oct 24, 2013 4:23 PM

    Then baseball decided it was going to look the other way while juiced-up ‘roid junkies playing in smaller parks made a mockery of some of the cornerstone records of the game.
    ———-
    The same problem I have with football today. Goodell juiced up the game by neutering defense. He’s banking on the product being like sex/pizza (i.e. the worst is still better than nothing).

    Baseball’s margins are creeping back on the NFL. Attendance has steadily grown and more games are accessible on TV. If you or anyone is a true fan of football the way it was meant to be played and not this rubbish that’s passed by us now, you should be rooting for MLB to kick the NFL’s butt. It’s going to take something momentous like that to restore football back to how it was before Goodell destroyed it.

  57. ricardooleon says: Oct 24, 2013 4:26 PM

    leftlaneisforpassingonly:

    That’s unfortunate a fantasy league has become more important than the game itself, I honestly do not think that’s good for the long-term NFL, the last MNF was terrible and terribly boring (or well, say that was so bad that did entertaining).

    The reality here is that the football fan base is too large, and I think the main reason why the audience is always so great, is that they are only 16 games in the regular round, this fact makes creating a buzz for each day.

    But baseball has definitely gone down, if you go back 20 years, you’ll see that baseball competed on equal terms with the football.

    Thank God Bud Selig is going in 2015, that can be a great hope for the future of baseball in popularity nationwide.

  58. ricardooleon says: Oct 24, 2013 4:50 PM

    Final numbers: Game 1 of World Series drew 14.4 million viewers, up 18%. Beats this week’s Monday Night Football (13.2M viewers)
    No more discussion.

  59. GenXJay says: Oct 24, 2013 7:46 PM

    Nascar blows.
    The gbtrolls are relying on old stats again to dog the Vikings before next Sunday.
    Scared much?

  60. jonsilver1947 says: Oct 24, 2013 7:56 PM

    Re Cowpiesnotcowboys’ 12 season stats on baseball postseason success

    I’d like to see those numbers for only the MLB teams whose spending rank is no more than 2 below, equal to or higher than their revenue rank…too many bb owners are not interested in going all out to compete…

  61. myyellowbike says: Oct 24, 2013 9:30 PM

    Most people don’t get the NFL network, all those saying the NFL wins tonight will probably be way way wrong.

  62. bearhand2741 says: Oct 25, 2013 3:37 AM

    Reading these comments has literally inspired me to create a wordpress account just to comment.

    It’s absurd how many people apparently hold a special hatred in their heart for baseball. The sport has an incredible amount of strategy involved even outside of pitching. Now I have a few specific ideas that I would like to address:

    1. The length of a baseball game is no longer than a football game, I don’t understand that argument for it’s “boredom”

    2. I find it funny that baseball is criticized so heavily for its steroid era woes when the sport of football is just as guilty if not more guilty. The difference is the MLB launched investigations into it earlier.

    3. The claim that baseball isn’t a sport because you can buy players is the dumbest thing I may have ever read. How the hell is trying to hit a small ball going 90-104 mph 500 feet not considered worthy of being a sport regardless of salary cap implications.
    Also I saw a lot of talk about correlation, which any statistician will tell you is not equivalent to causation.
    1. The LA payroll wasn’t that high when they won the World Series.
    2. Not every expensive player pays dividends especially during the playoffs. Look up Alex Rodriguez’ numbers in the Yankees World Series years, that’s an incredible amount of money for not a whole lot, but it sure adds to your correlation number.
    3. I actually support a salary cap for baseball but it’s not a sport? Come on now. It has more strategy involved than football I guarantee it.

    Another thing was someone complaining about being charged for trying to watch the World Series online. ITS THE WORLD SERIES. Yes they are gonna make you pay it’s no different when you try to do that with the Super Bowl.

    Finally there are plenty of reasons a bad football game would get a higher rating than a World Series game.
    1. People wanted to see the giants either continue losing or win their first game
    2. People wanted to see how AP is playing after his recent tragedy.
    3. Fantasy football implications were major with victor Cruz, Eli manning, and Adrian Peterson playing while fantasy baseball leagues are done for the most part.
    4. Joe buck swapped to baseball for the World Series which makes radio commentary increasingly appealing.

    Understand I say all this as someone who enjoys football, baseball, and basketball. Why limit myself to just one awesome sport when I can have 3?
    And for those bashing redsox nation, a lot of people in that city still feel a sting from the marathon bombing, this is shown by Boston strong being mowed into the field. I’m not a boston fan by any definition but you best believe baseball matters there as it does throughout the country.

  63. Mr. Wright 212 says: Oct 25, 2013 2:26 PM

    People who hate baseball have the attention span of a gadfly being sprayed with a bottle of cyanide. Consider the source.

  64. quofidelius says: Oct 26, 2013 9:53 PM

    Baseball, it is said, is only a game. True. And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona. Not all holes, or games, are created equal.

    I would rather watch a playoff game between the Blue Jays and the Diamondbacks than any football game. My personal choice. Born the first time my mother showed me how to keep score (Whitiker on 2nd, Trammel at short) Based on artful living. And a belief that how you feel about baseball reveals everything about who you are as a person.

    Of course, one does not need to denigrate football to enjoy baseball, nor vice versa. They are mutually exclusive and we all know it is a far, far better thing you do to root for your own team and not against the other. So, while I don’t get it, go ahead, forego the beauty of the two best teams in baseball for your game of violence and…whatever. Sorry, but they do say football is a metaphor for war. Don’t we at some point reach our war saturation?

    If it is so, as one commented, that football is the only sport left in 15 years, then please allow me to kill myself with a blunt object. Perhaps it follows that there will only be one store: Wal-Mart obvs; one restaurant: McDonald’s, etc. This is a society that reveres the Kardashians. Just because something is popular and does not make it good. It especially does not make it good for your soul.

    Baseball captures the essence of our national experience by tracing a thread that runs unbroken through 150 years of our history. It is nuance. It is heart and nostalgia. And if it doesn’t stir you, then your life probably lacks substantively that you couldn’t care less about charm.

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