The Los Angeles Dodgers forced Game 7 with a 3-1 victory against the Houston Astros Halloween night, drawing higher overnight TV ratings than even the Chicago Clubs classic Game 6 win last year.
Game 7 viewership averages almost twice as many viewers as other World Series games, creating a TV home run for Fox to offset dwindling viewership of NFL games on all stations.
It appears five million viewers have turned from the protest-marred NFL to the World Series for great story lines.
Yu Darvish, who won universal praise for turning the other cheek after a racist gesture directed at him in Game 3, will take the mound for the Dodgers hoping for a Hollywood ending. Meanwhile both teams’ top stars, Jose Altuve and Clayton Kershaw, continue to speak openly about their strong Christian faith and no one on either team stages protests during the national anthem as fans are able to tune in for a little escape from politics and the latest terrorist attack (though an extended moment of silence was observed to offer thoughts and prayers to the victims of New York’s attack earlier in the day).
In fact, the only baseball player who protested during the national anthem this year was later arrested for gun charges, and Alabama media reports and others from Huntsville report he was not denied service for earlier kneeling during “The Star Spangled Banner” but because the restaurant turned down a friend for beer after deeming his identification not up to standards.
The two sports flipped over the past two years, with NFL games on Fox averaging more than 20 million per game and World Series games below 15 million per game from 2010-15, and that reversing the past two years to NFL games averaging just over 15 million and the 14 World Series games over the past two years averaging over 20 million.
Tuesday night the World Series presumably lost viewers to trick-or-treating during the first few innings when George Springer hit a home run to give the Astros a 1-0 lead and bring the Dodgers to the brink of elimination. Nut apparently many parents returned home to watch the Dodgers rally for two runs against Justin Verlander and one late run to provide the final margin. Deadline Hollywood reports Game 6 was a big jump even over the Game 5 totals that easy beat Sunday Night Football, and even beat last year’s Cubs Game 6:
… last night’s Game 6 scored a 15.1/26 in metered market results for Fox. That’s the best this year’s Fall Classic has done in the early numbers and the best any Game 6 has done since 2009.
That’s also up 18% from October 29’s Sunday Night Football beating Game 5 when the Astros took the lead in the 2017 Series. With the pressure on for both top notch teams, that Game 5 ended up with a 5.3/17 rating among adults 18-49 and 18.94 million viewers to a stumbling SNF’s 4.8/15 in the key demo and total audience of 13.86 million…
Compared to the seven-year metered market high of the 2016 World Series Game 6 of November 1 last year, last night’s game rose 2% from the Chicago Cubs 9-3 victory over the Cleveland Indians. Also forcing a Cubs winning Game 7, the 2016 Game 6 went on to snare a 6.6/23 rating and 23.40 million sets of eyeballs for Fox. With the Cubs on the cusp of ending a 108-year World Series championship drought, the viewership number was the best any Game 6 had done since 1997.
This year’s series will not match the historic highs of last year’s World Series when the “lovable loser” Chicago Cubs won their first World Series since 1908, with an average of 20 million watching the first six games and then a stunning 40 million watched Game 7 for an overall average of 23.4 million. While final numbers still need to be tabulated on total viewers, this World Series will tend toward the high end of the 15.5 million to 20 million projected by Breitbart Sports.
Game 7 starts just after 5 p.m. in Los Angeles and 8 p.m. on the East Coast on Fox. Darvish will start on the mound, and the sold out crowd will provide a deafening set of boos when Yuli Gurriel, who was caught on video slanting his eyes after hitting a home run off Darvish, comes to the plate as the Astros fifth batter. The Houston Chronicle noted that the Dodgers pitcher Tuesday night took extra time to pitch to let the fans continue to boo Gurriel. Darvish himself said he was sure Gurriel would learn from his mistake.