Game 4 Marcus Semien Oct 31, 2023; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Texas Rangers second baseman Marcus Semien (2) runs toward third base after hitting a triple against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the second inning in game four of the 2023 World Series at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

While it wasn’t an all-time low for a World Series game, Tuesday did see an all-time low for a Game 4.

The Texas Rangers’ 11-7 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game 4 of the 2023 World Series averaged 8.480 million viewers on Fox (and another 167,000 on Fox Deportes). That’s the least-watched Game 4 ever (the previous record-low came in 2020 when Dodgers-Rays in the bubble averaged 9.56 million viewers) and the fourth-least-watched World Series game ever (behind Games 2 and 3 of this series and Game 3 of the 2020 series).

Unlike with Monday’s Game 3, there wasn’t much viable sports competition going up against Game 4. Tuesday’s game went head-to-head with an NBA on TNT doubleheader (which averaged 1.379 million viewers), one NHL game on ESPN (418,000), and NXT on USA (674,000). While the World Series handily beat them all, viewership grew by only around 300,000 viewers from Game 3, the least-watched World Series game in history.

Through four games, this year’s Fall Classic is averaging just 8.483 million viewers. That’s more than half a million viewers lower than the previous record-low series, Dodgers-Rays in 2020, through four games. Viewership ticked up for Game 5 that year with the series knotted at two games apiece, topping out for the Dodgers’ Game 6 clincher. With the Rangers holding a 3-1 series lead, will this series get that Game 5 spike? It’s tough to say. Back in 2021, with the Braves holding a 3-1 lead over the Astros, Game 5 saw a larger spike followed by a more modest one for Game 6. In the pre-pandemic years, viewership spiked in Game 5 while teams had a 3-1 lead in 2015, 2016, and 2018, but two of those series ended in five. In 2016, the Chicago Cubs’ dramatic seven-game victory over the Cleveland Indians, viewership actually decreased from Game 5 to Game 6 before spiking to over 40 million for Game 7.

As with any series, the best-case scenario at this point is two straight Diamondbacks wins to take this to a Game 7. Otherwise, we’re looking at a limp five-game series, or a six-game series ending with a Rangers clincher on Friday night. Neither is an ideal situation.

[Data via Sports Media Watch]

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.