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Sunday, April 21, 2024
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World Baseball Classic Final Draws Record TV Viewership

  • USA vs. Japan averages 5.2 million viewers.
  • Most-watched WBC game ever on American TV.
WBC ratings high
Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports

The World Baseball Classic got a dream finale with Shohei Ohtani dramatically striking out Los Angeles Angels teammate Mike Trout to clinch the title for Japan.

Tuesday night’s dramatic USA vs. Japan championship game generated the most-watched WBC Final in the tournament’s history.

  • Japan’s 3-2 victory over the USA drew 5.2 million viewers across the FS1 cable network, Fox Deportes, and Fox Sports’ streaming platforms, according to MLB. That made it the most-watched WBC game telecast ever on American TV. It was up 69% from the last WBC Final in 2017.
  • FS1 alone averaged 4.5 million viewers. That made Tuesday’s Final the most-watched WBC game ever on a single network, the most-watched cable telecast of the night, and the most-viewed FS1 telecast since Game 3 of MLB’s 2022 National League Championship Series.
  • TV Viewership on FS1 and Fox Deportes peaked at 6.5 million viewers between 10:30 pm and 10:45 p.m. ET as Ohtani and Trout neared their ninth-inning showdown. On its own, Fox Deportes averaged 492,000 viewers.
  • Three of the four most-watched games in the WBC’s five tournament history occurred in 2023. The quarterfinal between Japan and Italy drew a 48.7 TV rating in Japan, making it the most-watched game in WBC tournament history.

With the exception of the first “Field of Dreams” game in 2021, the game outdrew every MLB regular season game since the New York Yankees vs Boston Red Sox pulled 4.72 million viewers in 2011, according to Sports Media Watch. After Ohtani’s triumphant performance at the WBC, he could fetch a new contract worth a record $600 million.

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