A long baseball season in which many of us questioned the sport's relevance in terms of national television ratings ended with a defiant bang to our critical words.
Game 6 of the World Series, in which the Boston Red Sox won the World Series at Fenway Park for the first time in 95 years (I don't know if Fox mentioned it), drew 19.2 million viewers. That made it the most-watched baseball game of any sort since Game 7 of the 2011 World Series. It also drew 277,000 viewers on Fox Deportes for the Spanish-language broadcast, the most-watched in that category since Game 2 of the 2009 series.
Boston drew a staggering 55.2/75 rating for the game. The game peaked from 11-11:30 p.m. ET in Beantown with a 59.5/84. 84 percent of the televisions turned on in the market. It was the highest-rated baseball game in Boston since Game 4 of the 2007 World Series. For more context, the latest Super Bowl featuring the Patriots (2012) drew a 56.7/81 on NBC. Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final (won by the Bruins) drew a 43.4/64 on NBC. Game 7 of Lakers-Celtics in 2010 (lost by the Celtics) drew a 33.9 rating on ABC.
St. Louis, which averaged a slightly higher rating than Boston for the series, drew a 37.9/55 for Game 6. Hartford, Ft. Myers, Kansas City, Tampa, Memphis, Las Vegas and Richmond rounded out the Top 10.
Fox averaged 14.9 million viewers for the six-game World Series. That's up 17 percent from last year's four-game sweep by the Giants over the Tigers, which averaged 12.7 million. Overall, the 2013 MLB Postseason was up 20 percent over last year's on Fox, TBS and MLB Network.
So we put a period on an end to an era of baseball on television. Next year, there will be games on Fox Sports 1, more games on ESPN, fewer games on TBS and a replacement for Tim McCarver on Fox (though he may show up somewhere else). The current television deal ended with as good a result as MLB and its television partners could have asked for.