Not only did MLB not get a Game 7 in the LCS round of the Postseason, but the league also didn’t even get a Game 6. The Phillies won the NLCS over the Padres in five games and the Astros swept the Yankees in four, leading to disappointing overall viewership for the two series.
On Fox and FS1, the NLCS averaged 4.656 million viewers, while the ALCS on TBS averaged 5.179 million. Last year, the ALCS averaged 4.75 million viewers on Fox and FS1, while the NLCS averaged 5.23 million viewers on TBS. In short, each network’s coverage is down from the series each aired last year, while on a league to league basis, the ALCS was up and the NLCS was down.
Both series were up compared to 2020, but that was academic in the case of the ALCS: the 2020 edition was the least-watched LCS ever, despite it going to seven games.
The most watched game of the round was Game 2 of the ALCS on TBS Thursday night, averaging 5.891 million viewers while going up against Thursday Night Football on Amazon. The least-watched game was, perhaps surprisingly, the Phillies’ Game 5 NLCS clincher, which drew 3.613 million on FS1 Sunday afternoon going up against the NFL on network TV.
On a positive note for MLB, both Saturday games held their own against college football. Game 4 of the NLCS on Fox averaged 5.736 million in primetime, more than all of the day’s college football, and Game 3 of the ALCS on TBS averaged 4.664 million for a 5 PM ET start time, more than all but one college football game over the weekend.
But overall, the strong viewership trends for the Wild Card round and Division Series did not hold. The World Series between the Phillies and Astros, which begins Friday, won’t go up against the NFL on Sunday, but Game 3 will go head to head with Monday Night Football. MLB will naturally be hoping for a long series to end the season on a viewership high note.