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Sunday, May 19, 2024

After Strong Viewership Start, World Series Must Compete With NFL

  • Fox averaged 11.2M viewers through Game 2 of Phillies vs. Astros Fall Classic.
  • But rainout will force Games 5 and 7 to compete with the NFL.
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Fox Sports’ coverage of the 2022 World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros is off to a strong start.

Through two games, Fox is averaging 11,185,000 viewers for the Fall Classic. That’s up 4% from last year’s first two game telecasts. And 21% over 2020. Details:

  • On the Fox broadcast network alone, the Astros’ series-tying 5-2 win Saturday averaged 10,789,000 viewers. That’s up 3% from last year and 17% from 2020.
  • TV viewership for Game 2 peaked at 12,424,000 Saturday night, making it the most-watched TV show of the day on any network. 
  • The Top 5 local TV markets for Game 2 were: Philadelphia, Houston, Austin, San Antonio, and San Diego.
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While the numbers were good compared to recent seasons, the World Series is still way off from its historical TV highs.

This year’s Game 1 between Phillies-Astros averaged 11,682,000 viewers vs. 19,371,000 for the 2016 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians.

As Sports Media Watch wrote: “This year’s Game 1 audience is the third-lowest all-time ahead of only the past two years.”

But Monday night’s rainout of Game 3 will also drive some interesting changes in the World Series TV schedule. 

Fox’s telecasts of Games 5 and 7, if the series  goes that long, will now have to go head-to-head for TV viewers against the NFL’s “Thursday Night Football” and “Sunday Night Football.” 

Plus, on Thursday night, sports fans in the local Philly TV market will have to choose between the Phillies-Astros World Series and the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles vs. the Houston Texans.

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