The sublime Astros-Dodgers World Series has turned into ratings gold for Fox Sports.
Last night’s Game 6 Dodgers win drew a 15.1 overnight rating, per Austin Karp of Sports Business Daily. That was up from a 14.8 rating for Cubs-Indians Game 6 last year and the best overnight rating for any World Series Game 6 since Yankees-Phillies in 2009 (15.5). These are stunning numbers, given the Cubs-Indians series was thought to be out of reach.
When the final viewership numbers come up, the game should draw between 23 and 25 million viewers. That is a remarkable number for baseball. Last year’s Game 6 was watched by 23.4 million viewers, the best for any World Series Game 6 since 1997, when the Indians beat the Marlins.
Fox is unlikely to top last year’s viewership for Wednesday night’s Game 7—an average of 40.04 million viewers watched the Cubs defeat the Indians 8-7 in 10 innings to win the franchise’s first championship in 108 years—but 35 million viewers is a real possibility. In 2002 the seventh game of the Angels-Giants series drew 30.814 million viewers. For an NFL comparison, the Steelers-Chiefs AFC Divisional Playoff game on NBC last January drew 37.11 million viewers.
“I’m thinking around 37 million viewers for Game 7,” predicted Karp. “Short of Cubs-Indians [40 million]. So maybe around a 20.0 final rating tonight.”
Through the first five games, the World Series had averaged 16.4 million viewers, the second best average behind last year (19.3 million) but up 12% from 2015 (14.7 million). Sports Media Watch said it was the third-most watched World Series in a decade, behind last year and Yankees-Phillies in 2009 (18.7 million).