Faced with a strong Sunday Night Football matchup between NFC East rivals Philadelphia and Dallas, it wouldn’t have been much of a surprise if Game 5 of the World Series between the Indians and Cubs drew a disappointing overnight rating.
That wasn’t the case. According to Austin Karp of the Sports Business Journal, Game 5 drew a monstrous 15.3 overnight, topping Sunday Night Football’s rting by 32%.
World Series Game 5 (15.3 overnight rating) beat Cowboys-Eagles overtime game last night by 32% (11.6 for Sunday Night Football)
— Austin Karp (@AustinKarp) October 31, 2016
It’s the first time since 2013 since the World Series has beaten Sunday Night Football head to head (thanks, Red Sox), and once the final ratings come out, it’ll be the first time since 2011 that baseball prevailed.
Have to correct this error I made. First time since *2013* that WS topped SNF in overnights. Will be first time since 2011 in final ratings. https://t.co/HAWLb0PYBB
— Paulsen (@paulsen_smw) October 31, 2016
Paulsen also noted on his site that this is the highest overnight for any MLB game since 2011’s Game 7 between the Rangers and Cardinals, a mark that will be exceeded by Game 6 on Tuesday.
The number is more incredible given that Sunday night is also home to The Walking Dead, which drew 17 million viewers last week and a 8.4 rating in the 18-49 demo to top Sunday Night Football.
If this series goes to a Game 7, Fox could end up with viewership that hasn’t been seen for baseball since the 2004 World Series. That’s not bad company.
Update with total audience numbers:
Indians-Cubs game 5: 23.6 million
Cowboys-Eagles SNF: 18.0 million
— Sports TV Ratings (@SportsTVRatings) October 31, 2016