Following 2016’s historic World Series with the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians generating great ratings, a drop-off would be expected for this year’s matchup between the Astros and Dodgers. So far, the 2017 World Series ratings have exceeded expectations, taking advantage of the NFL’s recent viewership struggles.
According to Austin Karp from Sports Business Daily, last night’s game 5 received a 12.8 overnight. It was MLB’s second best game 5 since 2003, behind last year’s Cubs-Indians game 5 which received a 15.3. Karp also stated the ratings number did not include the Boston and Hartford markets due to inclement weather, meaning game 5’s audience was likely even higher.
Not just a rarity in sports, but a rarity in television overall, Sunday night’s 12.8 baseball rating topped the NFL’s Sunday Night Football broadcast for the second year in a row. Richard Deitsch, of Sports Illustrated, reported the Lions Steelers game earned a 9.4 rating for NBC.
The World Series’ 12.8, although down from 2016, was up 9% from 2015’s game 5 and 56% higher than 2014. Saturday night’s game 4 scored a 10.6 rating in metered markets which actually beat 2016’s Cubs Indians game 4. Through the first 4 games, the Series averaged 15.417 million viewers, down from 18.218 million in 2016, but up from 2015’s audience of 13.978 million.
Through five games, this year’s World Series has been filled with excitement and drama. MLB’s total ratings number won’t surpass 2016’s historic series with the Cubs, but the fact that Saturday night’s game 4 topped last year’s game 4 and last night’s game 5 beat Sunday Night Football is a big win for baseball.