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Friday, July 12, 2024

The Most Watched World Series of All Time

  • The 1978 Fall Classic was the most-watched World Series of all time, drawing an average of 44.279 million viewers.
  • Each of the top 10 most watched World Series went at least six games.
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Fall Classic has seen declines in viewership over the past decade.  The last four World Series were the four least-watched World Series of all time, with the 2023 matchup between the Diamondbacks and Rangers marking an all-time low of 9.11 million average viewers.

As a whole, the 2023 MLB postseason saw a 8% decline in viewership from 2022.  Amid baseball’s latest rule changes and other sports vying for attention, MLB is searching for ways to reverse the downward trend in October.

But the landscape was much different in the heyday of the 1980s, where the World Series was a national spectacle drawing four times the viewership of today.

The 1978 Fall Classic was the most-watched World Series of all time, drawing an average of 44.279 million viewers.  The six-game series between the Yankees and Dodgers culminated in a Game 6 that drew 50.6 million viewers.

Second on the list is the 1980 World Series between the Phillies and Royals.  Philadelphia won their first championship in a Game 6 that reached 54.86 million viewers, making it the most watched Game 6 in World Series history.

Coming in third is the 1981 World Series, which featured the Dodgers and Yankees once again.  The series pulled in an average of 41.37 million viewers and saw Los Angeles win their first title since 1965.

Each of the three most-watched World Series featured teams from the largest TV markets in sports – Los Angeles, New York, and Philadelphia.

More competitive series draw bigger audiences, with each of the top 10 most watched World Series going at least six games.

Ranking The Most Watched World Series Ever

Here is the list of top 10 most-watched World Series based on average viewership. The list was compiled using historical data from Nielsen and Baseball Almanac.

  • Updated: June 12, 2024
RankingYearResultsWorld Series MVPAverage Viewership
11978Yankees (4)
Dodgers (2)
Bucky Dent44.279 million
21980Phillies (4)
Royals (2)
Mike Schmidt42.3 million
31981Dodgers (4)
Yankees (2)
Ron Cey, Pedro Guerrero, and Steve Yeager41.37 million
41982Cardinals (4)
Brewers (3)
Darrell Porter38.07 million
51979Pirates (4)
Orioles (3)
Willie Stargell37.96 million
61977Yankees (4)
Dodgers (2)
Reggie Jackson37.15 million
71986Mets (4)
Red Sox (3)
Ray Knight36.37 million
81975Reds (4)
Red Sox (3)
Pete Rose35.96 million
91991Twins (4)
Braves (3)
Jack Morris35.68 million
101987Twins (4)
Cardinals (3)
Frank Viola35.34 million

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