The Boston Red Sox closed out the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday night 5-1 to seal their ninth World Series victory in franchise history. While the fans in Boston get ready to celebrate another title, MLB executives may not be as thrilled when looking at the TV numbers.
After five games featuring two of the biggest media markets in the country, ratings for the World Series were at their lowest point since 2015 when the New York Mets faced the Kansas City Royals in the Fall Classic. According to Sports Media Watch, ratings for Games 2-4 declined by double-digit from last year’s Dodgers-Astros series.
The clinching game of the series delivered a 12.3 rating which is the lowest for a clinching game since Game 5 of the 2015 series between the Mets and Royals garnered a 10.0. We covered several reasons that the MLB postseason TV ratings, particularly in the League Championship Series, were down just prior to the start of the Fall Classic when we spoke to Sports Media Watch creator Jon Lewis.
Among the points Lewis made is that baseball tends to be a more regionally-focused sports when it comes to ratings, with games dominating in their local markets. Results were mixed in that department as well, with Game 5 being down 21 percent in Los Angeles compared to last year while they were up 12% compared to the last Red Sox Game 5 in Boston (2013). However, even that comes with the caveat that the ratings were down 22 percent in Boston from the last clinching game for the Sox (Game 6 2013).
The good news for the league is that Game 5 did outperform Sunday Night Football’s New Orleans Saints versus Minnesota Vikings matchup in the overnight ratings 12.3 to 9.5.