Japan’s 3-2 win over the United States in Tuesday’s World Baseball Classic Final drew huge numbers on FS1 and Fox Deportes.
The English broadcast on FS1 averaged 4.48 million viewers, while the Spanish broadcast on Fox Deportes tacked on another 492,000. That’s a combined total of 4.972 million viewers.
Austin Karp of the Sports Business Journal notes that the English audience for the game topped many playoff games from the 2022 MLB season, including all but three Division Series games.
FS1 averaged 4.48 million viewers for Japan's 3-2 win over @USABaseball on Tuesday night in the final of the @WBCBaseball
An MLB comp? That's higher than all but 3 ALDS/NLDS games last season
It was also better than what FS1 drew for Padres-Phillies Game 5 NLCS clincher in 2022
— Austin Karp (@AustinKarp) March 22, 2023
This game’s viewership also topped a pair of NLCS games that aired on FS1.
The success of the WBC this March gives MLB a strong foundation to build on going into the 2023 season, beginning next week. The uncertainty surrounding RSNs could be a potential cloud on this season. On the other hand, the reception to rule changes this spring may give even more hope to higher scoring, faster games, both of which should appeal to local and national audiences alike.
The World Baseball Classic is scheduled to return in 2026.