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Pair of Game 7s Drive Improved MLB Postseason Ratings

  • ALCS, NLCS averaged a combined 5.2 million viewers, up 6% from last year.
  • Heading into Friday’s start of the World Series, MLB postseason viewership is up 7%.
Christian Walker of Diamondbacks

Sports TV executives root for Game 7s more than big-market teams, and the numbers for Major League Baseball’s League Championship Series are the latest example.

With both ALCS and NLCS going a full seven games, coverage across Fox Sports/FS1 and TBS/TruTV averaged a combined 5.2 million viewers. 

That’s up 6% from last year’s LCS round — and the highest since 2018, according to Sports Media Watch.

The Arizona Diamondbacks’ pennant-clinching win over the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 7 of the NLCS on Tuesday night averaged 9 million viewers across TBS and truTV. 

With competition from ESPN’s “Monday Night Football,” the Texas Rangers’ victory over the Houston Astros in Game 7 of the ALCS drew 6.9 million. Heading into Friday’s start of the World Series, MLB postseason viewership is up a healthy 7%.

“Still more proof that length of series matters more than big markets and marquee brands. No [New York] Yankees, no [Boston] Red Sox, no [Chicago] Cubs, [Los Angeles] Dodgers out in 3, two LCS Game 7s….postseason up +7%,” tweeted Mike Mulvihill, Fox’s president of insights and analytics.

MLB’s embrace of the pitch clock also helped boost viewership, he added.

The average LCS viewers watched 41% of the game compared to 38% during last year’s round. 

“May not sound like a lot but that by itself is enough to grow average viewership for the LCS round,” tweeted Mulvihill. “Another positive outcome of the introduction of the pitch clock.”

The Diamondbacks Are World Series Underdogs, And So Is Their Ballpark

World Series contrasts between new Globe Life Field, aging Chase Field
October 26, 2023

Starting Friday night, Fox will televise the Fall Classic for the 26th time.

Lead-play-by-play announcer Joe Davis and analyst John Smoltz will call Rangers vs. Diamondbacks, along with reporters Tom Verducci and Ken Rosenthal.

New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter will make his first World Series debut as an analyst on Fox’s pregame show with Alex Rodriguez, David Ortiz, and Kevin Burkhardt.

Now the challenge for MLB will be to draw casual viewers to a Rangers-Diamondbacks Fall Classic. Fox says it will utilize aerial production drones in its coverage for the first time in World Series history.

Meanwhile, ESPN Radio’s new coverage team for the Series will include play-by-play announcer Jon Sciambi, analysts Jessica Mendoza and Eduardo Perez and reporter Buster Olney.

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