The Houston Astros are one win away from a World Championship following their 3-2 Game 5 win over the Philadelphia Phillies, and viewership for the game didn’t wilt all that much going head to head with Prime Video’s Thursday Night Football matchup between the Houston Texans and Philadelphia Eagles.
12.768 million viewers watched the game on Fox, which is good for a series high. It’s also the third-most watched MLB game over the last three seasons behind the final two games of the 2021 World Series.
Thursday night’s game was down from Game 5 of the 2021 series between the Braves and Astros (13.644 million), but up from 2020’s Dodgers-Rays series (10.059 million). It also managed to top Game 5 of the 2019 Nationals-Astros series (11.390 million).
On Prime Video, Thursday Night Football averaged 7.855 million viewers.
Locally, it wasn’t much of a contest between the NFL and MLB. With the significant caveat that Thursday Night Football aired on Prime Video in addition to local broadcast stations in both Houston and Philadelphia, Game 5 was by far the more popular viewing option on local TV in both markets. In Philly, ratings for the World Series nearly tripled Thursday Night Football, while in Houston, baseball’s rating was *17* times higher than football, per the Sports Business Journal.
The Astros’ 3-2 win over the Phillies drew a 25.9 rating in Philadelphia, outshining the 8.7 local rating for the over-the-air telecast in the market for Eagles-Texans on WPHL. In Houston, Game 5 drew a 25.5 local rating, while the NFL matchup drew a 1.5 local rating on KTXH.
I know the Texans aren’t good, and some viewers in Houston clearly did stream the game on Prime Video, but that gap is shocking. I also thought viewership over the air in Philly would be higher given the excitement around the Eagles, but again, there were clearly some viewers who streamed the game on Prime Video.
Through five games, this World Series is averaging 11.604 million viewers. That’s up from 2019 (11.590 million), 2020 (9.138 million), and 2021 (11.30 million), making it the most-watched World Series through five games since 2018. However, to top 2019 when all is said and done, this year’s series will need a Game 7.
Game 6 will take place in primetime Saturday night on Fox. The slate of college football games, headlined by Alabama-LSU, Texas-Kansas State, Clemson-Notre Dame, and Florida State-Miami, will inevitably draw away some viewers. Overall, I think Game 6 will do quite well. Beating 2020 is written in stone, but the Braves’ clincher over the Astros last year may be more difficult to top. And if we get a Game 7, it’ll be in primetime on Fox Sunday night, going head to head with Titans-Chiefs on Sunday Night Football.