Three more World Series games took place over the weekend, and while viewership increased from each game to another, that streak started with the Fall Classic hitting another all-time low.
Game 3 on Friday night drew 8.156 million viewers, by far the lowest ever for a World Series game. The previous record was set for Wednesday’s Game 2 (adjusted slightly up from our post on Thursday), with Game 1 on Tuesday clocking in just ahead of that mark. This was also (hooray, math!) an all-time low for a Game 3, drawing roughly 1.7 million fewer viewers than the rain-delayed Phillies-Rays Game 3 back in 2008, which used to be the only World Series game to draw under ten million viewers (9.836 million).
The wild Game 4 on Saturday was a vast improvement for MLB and Fox, drawing 9.332 million viewers. While that still won the night, it also marked an all-time low for a Game 4, falling nearly a million viewers short of last year’s Nationals-Astros series (10.219 million).
Sunday’s Game 5, which saw the Dodgers push the Rays to the brink of elimination, drew a new season-best 10.059 million viewers for Fox. Incredibly, this was the first game of the series to top Game 7 of the NLCS between the Dodgers and Braves, which drew a then season-high 9.662 million viewers. However, it still trailed all four NFL windows on Sunday by a significant margin, including Sunday Night Football by more than four million viewers. This was also the least-watched Game 5 ever (there’s that distinction again), falling more than a million short of last year’s Game 5 (11.390 million for Nationals-Astros.
Through five games, the series is averaging just 9.155 million viewers. The record-low for a full series is 12.636 million for the Giants’ sweep of the Tigers in 2012.
We’re continuing the record-low watch going into Tuesday’s Game 6. The least-watched Game 6 ever came back in 2014 for Giants-Royals, which drew 13.372 million viewers. We should see an increase from the Game 5 viewership for Game 6, but just how large that increase will be is still up in the air. 11 million? 12 million? 13 million or more to avoid a sixth-straight record low game?
As for a potential Game 7, we’ll deal with that tomorrow. But if the series ends in six, Tuesday evening’s game will need to draw a truly bonkers viewership number for the series to avoid a record-low. For instance, if 30 million people watch Game 6 (which seems…well, unlikely), the series will still fall just shy of hitting that 12.636 million average.
Regardless of what happens on Tuesday, and possibly Wednesday, the series has sputtered from the start and even the minimal positive signs are draped in the “record-low” label. But given how close we are to the season actually being completed, I’m sure MLB, its players, and its TV partners will be thrilled just to get it over the finish line, poor viewership be damned.
[Data via ShowBuzz Daily]