25 October 2016: Cleveland Indians Catcher Roberto Perez (55) is greeted by Cleveland Indians Second base Jason Kipnis (22) after hitting a home run during the fourth inning of the 2016 World Series Game 1 between the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field in Cleveland, OH. Cleveland defeated Chicago 6-0. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

With the Chicago Cubs in their first World Series since 1945, four wins from ending a cursed history with which even the most casual of sports fans are familiar, viewers seemed likely to tune in. Add the Cleveland Indians, who have their own stained history in not winning a World Series since 1948, and there’s plenty of underdog narrative to charm audiences. After Tuesday’s Game 1, such presumptions seemed to be confirmed.

The 2016 World Series opener between the Cubs and Indians drew a 12.6 overnight rating. According to SportsBusiness Daily’s Austin Karp, that number represents a 20 percent increase from last year’s World Series Game 1 between the New York Mets and Kansas City Royals. That telecast earned a 10.5 rating. Tuesday’s mark was also a 58 percent increase from the 2014 World Series opener involving the Royals and San Francisco Giants, which drew a 8.0 overnight. The rating is the best mark for a World Series Game 1 since 2009 when the Philadelphia Phillies faced the New York Yankees.

According to Sports Media Watch, Game 1’s 12.6 overnight rating was the second-highest among all World Series games during the past five years. Only 2014’s Game 7 between the Royals and Giants was higher (15.2). And to shovel some more dirt on NFL ratings, Tuesday’s mark drew a higher overnight rating than every NFL primetime telecast aired during the past month — or since Week 3 of this season.

As you might expect, local ratings in Cleveland and Chicago were high for the 2016 World Series opener. The Game 1 telecast drew a 46.5 local rating in the Cleveland-Akron market, and that was with the Cavaliers’ 2016-17 season opener, coming off their NBA championship victory, on TNT. (TNT drew a 2.2 overnight.) Meanwhile, Chicago generated a 34.1 mark. That’s a two percent increase from the 33.5 local rating for Game 1 of the 2005 World Series between the Chicago White Sox and Houston Astros.

About Ian Casselberry

Ian is a writer, editor, and podcaster. You can find his work at Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He's written for Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation.