One of the most entertaining matchups in recent memory continues to deliver some of the best World Series ratings in a decade.
Sunday’s Dodgers-Astros World Series Game 5 had a 10.5 rating and 18.9 million viewers on FOX, down 20% in ratings and viewership from Cubs-Indians last year (13.1, 23.6M) but up 5% and 10% respectively from the Royals-Mets clincher in 2015 (10.0, 17.2M).
The Astros’ rollicking extra-inning win, which peaked with 20.8 million viewers from 11:45 PM-Midnight ET, trails only last year as the most-watched Game 5 of the World Series since 2003 (FLA-NYY: 19.9M). It ranks behind last year and Yankees-Phillies in 2009 (10.6) as the highest rated. Keep in mind that Game 5 did not have a direct NFL lead-in prior to 2015.
Not counting last year, Game 5 also ranks as the highest rated and most-watched non-clinching World Series game since Rangers-Cardinals Game 6 in 2011 (12.7, 21.1M).
Compared to previous Sunday night World Series games, Game 5 trails only last year as the highest rated and most-watched since Yankees-Phillies Game 4 in 2009 (13.5, 22.8M). That was the last Sunday night game that did not have to compete with NBC’s Sunday Night Football.
Speaking of football, Dodgers-Astros easily topped the competing Steelers-Lions game on NBC (13.8M), the second straight year the World Series has beaten SNF head-to-head. Baseball has now beaten SNF six times since NBC began airing the series in 2006 and three times since it began airing opposite the World Series in 2010.
The 37% margin is baseball’s largest victory over SNF in a decade — since Game 7 of the 2007 Indians-Red Sox ALCS on FOX (19.1M) beat NBC’s Steelers-Broncos (13.3M) by 44%.
In the key young demographics, the World Series beat SNF by 10% in adults 18-49 (5.3 to 4.8) and 13% in adults 25-54 (5.6 to 6.3). In a shock, the biggest margin was in adults 18-34, where baseball won by 14% (4.2 to 3.7). Compared to last year’s World Series Game 5, ratings fell 21% in 18-49 (from 6.7), 20% in 25-54 (from 7.9) and 21% in 18-34 (from 5.3).
Game 5 had 496,000 viewers on Fox Deportes, up 45% from last year’s Game 5 and the second-largest Spanish-language postseason audience ever. It had an additional 172,000 on Fox Sports GO (+8%). Across all Fox Sports platforms, Game 5 delivered 19.6 million viewers (-18%). Driven by growth on Fox Deportes, each game in this series has posted a smaller decline across all Fox Sports platforms than on FOX alone.
Entering tonight’s Game 6, the World Series has averaged 16.4 million viewers on FOX — down 15% from last year (19.3M) but up 12% from 2015 (14.7M). It ranks as the third-most watched World Series in a decade, behind last year and Yankees-Phillies in 2009 (18.7M). While FOX is down from last year, viewership has increased 41% on Fox Deportes (from 288K to 407K).
Locally, Game 5 delivered a 32.9 rating in Houston, up 1% from Game 4 (32.6). The Astros had never previously played in a World Series Game 5. Los Angeles turned in a series-high 32.8, up 41% from the series-low 23.2 set the previous night.
MLB Ratings Wins vs. Sunday Night Football
|2017||World Series||LAD-HOU Game 5||10.5||18.94M|
|MLB margin of victory:||n.a.||+37%|
|2016||World Series||CLE-CHC Game 5||13.1||23.64M|
|MLB margin of victory:||+28%||+31%|
|2011||World Series||STL-TEX Game 4||9.2||15.16M|
|MLB margin of victory:||+21%||+22%|
|2009||ALCS (FOX)||LAA-NYY Game 6||9.3||15.48M|
|MLB margin of victory:||+2%||+4%|
|2008||ALCS (TBS)||BOS-TB Game 7||7.9||13.36M|
|MLB margin of victory:||+25%||+33%|
|2007||ALCS (FOX)||CLE-BOS Game 7||11.7||19.15M|
|MLB margin of victory:||+41%||+44%|
[Sun. numbers from Fox Sports, demo numbers from Showbuzz Daily 10.31]